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The Main Ingredients in Truck Wash Soap & Cleaners

June 22, 2023

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Trucks and other vehicles are essential for transportation, delivery, and other operations. However, they are also subject to harsh conditions and heavy use, which can lead to the buildup of dirt, grime, and other contaminants. This buildup can affect the vehicle’s appearance, performance, and longevity. Therefore, regular cleaning is essential, and choosing the right cleaning products is critical.

This article will discuss the main ingredients in commercial truck wash chemicals and cleaners.

Common Fleet Washing Detergents and Why They Are Important

When choosing the right truck wash soap or cleaner, it’s important to consider the specific needs of your fleet. Different types of detergents are designed for various cleaning tasks and surfaces. Here are some common types of fleet washing detergents and their benefits:

  • All-Purpose Detergents: These versatile detergents are suitable for most cleaning tasks and can effectively remove dirt and grime from the surface of your truck.
  • Heavy-Duty Detergents: For more stubborn stains and contaminants, heavy-duty detergents contain stronger chemicals that can dissolve and remove even the toughest grime.
  • Aluminum Brighteners: To clean and brighten aluminum surfaces, highly acidic aluminum brighteners can dissolve the oxidation layer on the surface of the metal.
  • Degreasers: For oil, grease, and other organic materials, degreasers break down these molecules to make them easier to rinse off.

Properties and Uses of Low pH and High pH Chemicals in Truck Wash Detergents

Here’s a closer look at the differences between the two chemicals:

Acids and Low-pH Chemicals

When it comes to truck wash soaps, the presence of acids can be intimidating. However, not all acids are harmful, and many everyday items such as coffee or red meat are technically acidic without posing any danger. In addition, almost all low pH presoaks are blends of different acids in truck washing.

Here are some of the common acids used in low-pH commercial truck wash chemicals:

Hydrofluoric Acid

This potent but corrosive acid is a staple in low-pH truck wash soaps due to its high effectiveness. In addition, hydrofluoric acid is particularly useful for brightening non-polished aluminum and removing oxidation from paint, making it a cost-effective solution for cleaning large fleets.

Citric Acid

Mild and non-corrosive, citric acid is a popular ingredient in truck wash soaps because of its pleasant smell and safety. It is particularly effective at removing oxidation from paint and some stains associated with minerals like iron ore. This makes it an essential component of many presoak solutions.

Sulfuric Acid

A strong and highly effective acid for removing mineral stains, sulfuric acid is highly corrosive and requires protective equipment when handled. Despite its caustic nature, it is often included in truck wash soaps due to its cost-effectiveness relative to other safer alternatives.

Hydrochloric Acid (Muriatic Acid)

While primarily used in heavy-duty applications, hydrochloric acid is still an important ingredient in many truck wash soaps. Blended with other acids at lower strengths, it can effectively target cement, concrete, rust stains, or fly ash, making it a versatile addition to any pre-soak solution.

Phosphoric Acid

Like citric acid in its mild nature, phosphoric acid acts as a very gentle aluminum brightener and helps remove oxidation from paint. Its non-corrosive properties make it a popular choice for “safe on polish” cleaning options for fleets. It also ensures that vehicles stay looking their best without causing any damage to delicate finishes.

Alkaline and High pH Chemicals

Alkaline detergents are effective at breaking down organic materials like grease and oil. They work by saponification, which is the process of converting oils and fats into soap.

Here are some of the common alkaline chemicals used in detergents:

Sodium Metasilicate

This chemical is an alkaline builder that helps increase the detergent’s pH. As a result, it is highly effective at removing heavy dirt and grime from trucks.

Sodium Hydroxide

Also known as lye or caustic soda, this powerful chemical is a staple in many high-pH detergents due to its strong base properties.

Potassium Hydroxide

This commercial truck wash chemical is often used with other alkaline chemicals. This ingredient creates a powerful high pH detergent that can tackle even the toughest cleaning challenges.

Additional Ingredients

Due to its strong degreasing abilities, butyl is often included in high-pH and alkaline detergents to enhance their cleaning performance. In addition, it works synergistically with other alkaline chemicals by accelerating the breakdown of grease and oil residues, facilitating their removal from surfaces.

Choose Hibrett Puratex for Your Commercial Fleet’s Ultimate Cleaning Solution

Say goodbye to stubborn stains and grime on your trucks and trailers with Hibrett Puratex’s fleet washing chemicals! Our powerful and effective products are perfect for cleaning the toughest dirt and grease, leaving your fleet looking like new.

Contact us today to get started!

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