How to clean a Tanker Truck

Two-Step Touchless cleaning is the best method to clean a tanker truck. The low pH (acid) product will brighten the metal, while the high pH (alkaline) product attacks dirt, grease and oils.

Two-Step Touchless Cleaning:

  • Clean your tanker from front to back and in small vertical sections (8-10 feet wide)
    • you may want to clean your tractor first
    • clean the tanker portion from front to back in small sections
  • Step 1: Apply a low pH (acid) detergent to the vehicle surface using a Foam Maxx foamer
    • When applying the chemical, foam it on from the bottom of the vehicle to the top of the vehicle
  • Step 2: Apply a high pH (alkaline) detergent directly on top of the low pH (acid) detergent)
  • Step 3: Allow for a short dwell time 30-45 seconds
    • Do not allow the chemical to dry on the surface
  • Step 4: Use warm water (90°F – 100°F) for your high pressure rinse and rinse the vehicle section from top to bottom
    • Maintain your high pressure nozzle within 18 inches of the surface and a spray angle of 15° – 45°
  • Repeat Steps 1-4 until your tanker truck is clean. Dirty tankers will have a soft haze to their surface. Proper cleaning will reveal a shiny surface.
  • The best products to use for two-step cleaning are CIT110 Citric Clean for the first step and HEL100 Hellcat or THU100 Thunderbolt for the second step


  1. I’m worried about burning my vehicle, any tips? Work with your chemical supplier to select the right products, use the right dilutions and monitor chemical dwell time closely. Never let your chemical dry on the surface of your truck.
  2. Why do I need a Foam Maxx foamer to apply the chemical?Using a Foam Maxx foamer allows you to put the chemical where you need it. The foam will also remain in contact longer with the dirt/grease/oil to ensure thorough cleaning when you rinse.
  3. What dilution do you recommend?We tell our customers to start the high pH (alkaline) detergent at a strength of 1:20. The low pH (acid) detergent at a strength of 1:64.
  4. What happens if I leave the chemical on and it dries?Streaking will result on the vehicle surface.
  5. Can you show me a diagram of applying top to bottom?

  6. What if my truck has some really thick mud?Use a pressure washer to knock off the large chunks. If possible, allow surface to dry as the chemical works best when applied to a dry surface. If you do not have time to let the surface dry, you may need to increase the strength of the chemical.