Trucks can get messy! Cleaning a truck is a bit of a chore, which is why it might be nice to know how to clean oil from under a truck. Getting oil cleaned from the bottom of a truck – or off the ground, shouldn’t be hard. You just need the right know how to avoid spending way too much time cleaning up sticky, grimy oil.
What’s the easiest way to clean oil under a truck?
The easiest way to clean oil that is on the undercarriage of a truck is to use a combination of a degreaser or solvent, a good brush, and a pressure washer. Driveways can be cleaned by applying baking soda to an oil leak or spill, waiting, and then scrubbing the area.
Let’s learn more about the process of effectively cleaning the underside of a truck or your driveway. You can waste lots of time, frustration, and even money by doing things less effectively the first time.
We’ve washed a few cars in our day and understand the importance of having a clean truck and a clean driveway.
How do I clean off the underbody of my truck?
We’ll address why your truck has oil on the underside later, but let’s start with a simple step-by-step process about how to get the oil off the undercarriage.
A couple of things will help, but aren’t essential:
- Air blower or compressor and brush
- Plastic bags or tarp
- Pressure washer
You will need:
- Degreaser or solvent
Turn off the truck
The underside of the truck will likely experience uneven heat while the truck is on and running. We suggest you leave the truck off for a half-hour before attempting anything to allow metal surfaces to cool down.
Dust off the undercarriage
Even if country roads aren’t your way home, it’s pretty easy to get a solid undercoating of dust on your vehicle. You can do this with an air compressor or simple brush.
One part of the plan, if available, is to spray water into the undercarriage. Consider covering electronic parts and sensors with plastic to keep them from getting too wet.
This is the most important part! Oil can be very hard to remove because it is sticky on metal and rather stubborn. Solvents and degreasers do a great job of dissolving oil into a much more removable substance. Spray degreaser on all the parts that are covered in oil.
Use a stiff-bristled brush to remove what you can with elbow grease. If you don’t have a pressure washer, this is a decent alternative and could just take a bit more of your time than using high-pressure water.
If you have a pressure washer, this is a great time to get it out. Spray the underside of your truck thoroughly.
Let it try
Let the underside of your truck drip dry for a while. While you could manually dry your vehicle, the effort doesn’t seem like it’s quite worth it!
Remove plastic covers
If you did use any plastic covers on electronics from the underside, this is the time to remove them.
Why should I clean my undercarriage?
You’ve got a couple of good reasons to clean your undercarriage – especially depending on where you live.
Look at the undercarriage before you clean it. There shouldn’t be oil on your undercarriage – this is a sign that something, somewhere is leaking, or that someone had a very messy oil change.
Salt and grime
If you live in an area that uses salt on the roads in the winter, it’s a great idea to wash the undercarriage – and take care of any oil leaks at the same time. Salt is corrosive and will lead to premature rust in your vehicle. Even without the potential for leaks, getting an undercarriage wash from a local car wash is a great way to avoid rust in the future.
How often should I clean my undercarriage?
Since cleaning the undercarriage is a relatively easy process, we suggest doing it a few times per year. Do it more if you live in a climate where salt is frequently used on the roads, as it will help extend the life of your truck.
How do I clean the undercarriage of my car at home?
Is there anything I should or shouldn’t use to clean the underside of my truck?
Sometimes we just have to do with whatever is in the garage in regards to cleaning the underside of the truck. Whether you just have time to do it now without a trip to the hardware store or want to try something different, there are substances you should avoid.
These include brake cleaners – and it’s especially important not to use them near your vehicle’s paint because they will damage the paint on your vehicle. Brake cleaner is very caustic and could eat the metal on the undercarriage since they are designed to clean off brakes.
One good option for very cheap is dish soap. Dish soap does an excellent job of cutting through small amounts of grease and oil.
The oil on the underside of my vehicle isn’t that bad – how about just a car wash?
Having a car wash isn’t much different than using a pressure washer on your truck, though to be fair, it’s also not as high of pressure. If your oil situation isn’t terrible – and especially if it’s still wet, consider just getting a car wash that includes an undercarriage spray – usually for less than $15.
How do you get oil out of a truck bed liner?
Like many truck owners, we bet you carry extra oil in the bed of your truck. It’s a great place to store extra while on the road to make more room for actual seating in your truck. Oil can topple and spill, though. Here’s how to get it out:
Wipe up as much of the oil as you can with paper towels. You already know the wonderful absorbent properties of paper towels so this can be a great start without having to do much right away.
Get additional stains and deposits out with some vinegar. Vinegar helps loosen additional oil.
A scraper will help get super stubborn sticky spots out.
How do I get oil off my driveway?
If you have oil on the underside of your truck, there is a decent chance that the same oil has made itself into a puddle on your driveway. This is also an even better sign that your vehicle is leaking oil. Here are a few – often basic things you can do to remove oil from the driveway.
The same, well, stuff, your cat pees is very good at absorbing many things, including oil spills. We’ll be real here: Get the cheap kind. Expensive kitty litters clump up and become less effective, and have scents that aren’t entirely necessary for asphalt or concrete. Cover the oil with kitty litter and let it absorb the excess for a vehicle. Use a broom to push the cat litter aside and throw it away when done.
This stuff can clean the gunk off your oven grates, and it’s an effective oil removed too. Spray it on and attach it with a tough bristle brush.
Baking soda is a surprisingly flexible kitchen item. Pour baking soda in a layer over an oil stain or spill. Scrub it. You can also add vinegar for an extra punch.
Coca-Cola is unexpectedly caustic for a drink. Pour a can or two on an oil stain, then let it set for a couple of days. Spray it off when done. The results might surprise you.