Common Chemicals Used in Fleet Washing

Common Chemicals Used in Fleet Washing

The process of fleet washing generally focuses on removing debris from a vehicle. It can involve multiple different chemicals since there are various purposes, such as cleaning, degreasing, and resurfacing the fleet vehicle. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the chemicals and methods used to wash commercial trucks and other vehicles.

What Are Some of the Types of Chemicals Utilized in Fleet Washing?

There is an array of chemicals used in industrial-grade cleaning solutions. However, these solutions can be broken down into five different groups:

  • Cleaners
  • Degreasers
  • Rust removers
  • Citrus oils
  • Aluminum brighteners

Deciding which type of cleaning solution is best for you depends on your fleet washing goals. Keep reading to learn more about each type of cleaning solution and when to use them.


These are chemicals used for simple cleaning of the outside of the vehicle, generally combined with water and used in a pressure washer for convenient cleaning.

Cleaning chemicals for fleet vehicles typically consist of a blend of chemicals that may be either acidic or alkaline, with the most common chemicals being:

  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Hydrofluoric acid
  • Citric acid
  • Butyl


These chemicals are specifically used to dissolve grease and oil, sometimes as a pre-cleaning process before washing the vehicle.

Common degreasing chemicals include sodium hydroxide and 2-butoxyethanol, which are both highly effective at dissolving grease and oils.

Rust Removers

Rust can develop on metal and requires acidic solutions to dissolve it. Common chemicals for rust removal include:

  • Hydrochloric acid
  • Oxalic acid
  • Nitric acid

Citrus Oils

There are also citrus degreasers, which are considered an environmentally-friendly and effective option for grease removal.

These products generally contain a high concentration of d-limonene, extracted from orange rinds, as the main ingredient.

Aluminum Brighteners

For metal parts of an automobile, aluminum brighteners may be required for resurfacing the metal. After a long period of time, the aluminum may react with oxygen, creating a top layer that dulls the surface.

To remove the top layer and reveal the shiny surface, chemicals like hydrofluoric acid or sulfuric acid are used as the main ingredients in aluminum brightening solutions.

Looking for Chemicals for Washing?

TidalWashers provides an array of cleaning solutions and detergents for various industrial washing purposes. Contact us today to find the best product for your needs!

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