What to look for in ‘Truck Wash’ Products
What do you expect from a Truck Wash ?
Consumers should be aware of the possible problems that can arise from using many of the Truck Wash products on the market today. Aspects such as; the cleaning power of the product is seen as the mark of a good detergent, or brand name, or popularity. Whereas such things as pH level and salt content are completely overlooked by the vast majority of users. To further broarden this problem, nowadays there is a tendency for consumers to use Truck Wash on their four wheel drives and family sedans.
What is the pH of the product?
The measure of the pH is the measure of acid or alkalinity measured on a pH scale (or more accurately – a measure of hydrogen ions in solution). On this scale the range is from 0 on the acid end to 14 on the alkaline end, with 7 being considered neutral.
What does all this mean? Well the chemical industry has for many years known that alyline detergents clean fairly quickly – and are relatively cheap to make. Additionally a fact that is not known by the public is that thickening a detergent can be done very cheaply by the addition of salt. The consumer perceives that a “thick” detergent must be very concentrated, and if it cleans quickly it must be good. Therefore there is a good chance that the truck wash you have been using for years may be too high on the pH scale (many are between 10 to 11.5) and may contain salt.
Salt residue and alkaline water can set up an electrolytic reaction that will undoubtedly begin to cause corrosion. This is very clearly demonstrated in and around mining environments where winds will often carry highly alkaline deposits and bring them to rest on vehicles.
A simple test using a cheap pH test strip will reveal what your products pH value is.
Check the pH level of the detergent you are using, if it is higher than 8 (+-0.5) then we would suggest changing product to one that is neutral
Ensure all residue is washed away from bare and coated metal surfaces, and allowed to dry as quickly as possible.
If you are around coastal or mining areas, the use of lanolin products such as Sierra’s will further protect the surface.
Just because a product says it has “anti-corrosive” additives doesnt mean it wont contribute to corrosion. The pH level may be at odds to the additives.