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10 Tips to Keep Your Truck Clean

10 Tips to Keep Your Truck Clean

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Truckers spend so much time in their rigs that they are now practically their second home. And just like any home, your truck needs a bit of TLC every now and then. From food wrappers to dust, the truck interior can get dirty real quick. Over time, all this clutter can build up and make your drive uncomfortable or even potentially distracting. Germs and viruses also tend to thrive in dirty environments, which can lead to cold, flu, and other health issues down the road.

Keeping your truck cab neat and tidy can help you feel more at ease and focused while driving, as well as avoid any potential problems in the long run. And to help you out, we listed out some simple yet effective tips to keep your truck tidy:

  1. Vacuum often. A car vacuum cleaner can do wonders in removing any dirt, gravel, sand, and salt from your cab and keeping it spotless. While any portable model will do, we recommend one with at least a 4-horsepower pump for consistently powerful suction. It’s also a good idea to choose one with a lot of attachments included, as the cab interior has a lot of different surfaces and tight spaces that a standard vacuum nozzle may not be able to clean thoroughly.

Start with any loose dirt on the floor and large surfaces, followed by the seats, the seat folds, and other areas that the vacuum can reach. If your truck has floor mats, clean them outside the cab so you’ll have an easier time vacuuming them and the area they were placed in. Also, don’t hesitate to use vacuum attachments. Brush attachments, for instance, can remove any particles deeply embedded in the carpet and in hard-to-reach spaces.

  1. Bring some wet wipes. Many truck drivers swear how helpful it is to have a large pack of wet wipes. The wipes can be used to remove dust, soak up spills, or disinfect any surfaces. And since they are disposable, cleanup is a breeze.
  2. Have a garbage can to store your trash. You’ll be surprised at how much garbage can pile up on your floor or dash in a short time, especially once it starts to smell. Prevent this by keeping a small garbage can tucked away in a corner to keep your trash while you’re driving. Don’t forget to line the can with a garbage bag, so cleanup is easier and more hygienic.
  3. Deodorize the carpet with some baking soda. If the floor’s starting to smell like a wet dog, get some baking soda, sprinkle it generously over the carpet, and allow it to sit for several minutes before vacuuming. The baking soda will absorb any musty smells as well as prevent any molds from appearing. You can also use a similar method with a commercial carpet freshener powder.
  4. Keep an extra pair of shoes with you in the cab. Some drivers prefer to travel with two or more pairs of shoes, with one exclusively for driving and swapping them out for another pair when going outside. This can greatly reduce the amount of dirt and mud you bring inside (and save yourself the resulting cleanup).
  5. Spot-clean any stains immediately with soap and water. From oil stains to ketchup, only a matter of time before you spill something on the floor or your truck’s upholstery. Thankfully, most stains can easily be removed with soapy water or upholstery cleaner when done immediately. Apply the solution across the stain and wipe the area clean with a sponge. If you are going to use a commercial cleaning product, we recommend doing a spot test on a concealed part of your seat upholstery to ensure the cleaner won’t discolor or damage the fabric.
  6. Replace the cabin filter regularly. Another source of musty smells in the truck interior is a dirty cabin air filter. Also known as an HVAC filter, the cabin air filter traps airborne contaminants such as dust, pollen, and mold before entering the AC. These filters are typically disposable in nature and need to be replaced once a year or every 12,000 miles, after which the air filter may already become too clogged with dirt and debris to function efficiently and result in foul smells inside the cabin.
  7. Make sure the dashboard is always clean. The dash is notorious for being a dust magnet, but many don’t know that the high-traffic areas in your dash, like the knobs, switches, steering wheel, and handles, are also incubators for germs. Thankfully, some dish soap and a soft cloth or even a couple of wet wipes will help keep these areas clean and sanitized. There are also cleaners specially formulated for vehicle surfaces and include conditioners or wax compounds for additional detail, although those that result in a glossy or shiny finish should be avoided as this can cause glare and potentially interfere with driving.

Ideally, you should also clean the dashboard at least once a week (or twice a week during cold and flu season). We also recommend washing your hands regularly before handling the steering wheel and instruments in the dash to minimize the spread of germs.

  1. Newspapers are great for cleaning windows. It’s one of those life hacks that actually work: old newspapers actually remove stains better than cloth on most types of truck windows and windshields. However, this only works on clear windows, as newspaper is mildly abrasive and may scratch tinted windows or even cause them to peel off. Use a soft microfiber cloth instead.
  2. Don’t forget the laundry bags. Gym bags or laundry bags make it easy to tidy up used clothing, but these can accumulate germs and microbes as well. So when laundry day comes, don’t forget to toss them in the wash as well. However, if the bag’s not machine-washable or you’re using a laundry hamper, you can wipe it down with disinfectant.

While it’s not as good as professional cleaning, doing a bit of regular cleanup can help keep your home away from home a clean, comfortable, and sanitary place.