How Should You Clean Your Aluminum Trailer?
You have worked hard to have an aluminum trailer to help meet the needs of your business or your hobbies. Either way, you want to keep that investment in top shape so it will continue to be useful.
That is why cleaning your trailer is so important. However, just cleaning your trailer is not going to keep it the way you want it. Read through the following to see how you can keep your trailer in optimal condition.
Scrub a Dub a Trailer in the Tub
Just like your car or truck, keeping your trailer clean can make the difference of whether your trailer lasts years or decades. However, the standard bath is not going to make that difference.
Rather, your aluminum trailer needs an acidic bath. This helps remove the oxidation that will eventually lead to aluminum corrosion, so removing this is important.
There are problems with an acid bath, though. First is the personal safety consideration. Hydrofluoric acid is what is commonly used, but that can lead to severe burns. Therefore, you need to either invest in personal protective gear or hire a professional to do it.
The second consideration is the environmental impact. You do not want to was your trailer in your driveway with a hydroflouric solution. This will contaminate water supplies, not to mention lead to injuries from kids and animals who wander through the residue.
Heavy citrus cleaners can do the same job as hydrofluoric acid but is a lot safer.
Waxing Is Good
We all grew up watching Danny Laruso wax on and wax off. This is not far from the truth of what is needed to help maintain your trailer. Once you have cleaned off all the aluminum oxide with the acid bath, you need to condition the trailer to seal it off.
Before you take to the wax, you will want to polish your aluminum trailer to give it an amazing shine. Use a polish specifically designed for aluminum, and apply a small amount to the exposed areas. Use a separate cloth to buff out the polish while it is still wet. If your entire trailer is shiny aluminum, this will take some time, so grab some drinks and invite the crew to help out.
Once that is done, apply a coat or two of paste wax. This is the one-two punch to keep your trailer shiny and new looking, not to mention functional.
Between Bath Maintenance
The acidic bath is not something you should plan to do every week unless you really enjoy polishing and buffing wax. Rather, these intensive baths should be done a maximum of about once every month or two.
So what do you do between these intensive baths? First, keep the trailer swept out. Loose dirt and dust will collect over time and compact in corners. This accumulation can lead to retention of moisture. Excess moisture is problematic for any metal application, so keep it down to a minimum.
In addition to sweeping it out, a good old fashioned hose down is perfect. Every time you notice the dirt building up, just break out the hose and a garden sprayer and hose it down. Sure, you can use a pressure washer if you have one available. Just be sure to be careful not to strip any paint from the sides.
Knowing What Products to Use
Having the right equipment for the job will help you enjoy it and be sure you complete it easily. You need the obvious, a scrub brush, microfiber towels, a bucket, a hose, and a sprayer. That takes care of the basic stuff.
When it comes to cleaners and waxes, you can look for ones that are useable with RVs. These are generally safe enough to avoid stripping off paint. For polishes, be sure to find something specifically meant for aluminum. This will help ensure you get your trailer clean, sealed, and continuing to roll down the road for a long time.