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How to Keep Your Off Road Truck Clean - Dean of Clean

Posted in How To on December 1, 2006
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We all spend a significant amount of time maintaining the mechanical workings of our trusty rigs, but do we pay the same attention to the interior? Hey, there's nothing worse than the interior of a rig that smells like feet, an old corn chip, and trail rot. Undoubtedly you know exactly what we're talking about. While the Bouquet de Landfill is a bad thing, the good news is that it can be avoided by applying some common sense items to the interior of your truck. After all, it's guaranteed that whether you use your rig for work or play, dirt and crud will find its way inside.

There are two ways to fight back against grime and odor. The first is to not let them get a foothold inside your vehicle by installing stuff like washable seat covers and floor mats. The second is to regularly attack them with high-strength cleaners. The result will be a rig that you and your friends won't mind riding in, and you won't have to wear a clothespin on your nose and wipe your feet when you get out. Following are a few items that will help you keep the interior of your rig livable.


The cargo area of your SUV can be protected from stains and spills with the aptly named Cargoliner. This unique system is made from OE-grade vinyl, and is custom-tailored for specific vehicle applications. Its patented fitted-edge design provides complete protection, from the rear side panels to the top and back of the rear seat. Velcro fasteners make it a snap to install and ensure a snug fit. Cargoliners are guaranteed for the life of your vehicle and are available in Gray, Beige, or Dark Gray.
Contact: Cargoliner, 805/521-1104,

Seat Protector Covers

Perfect for providing seat protection for those occasional off-highway forays or when you're wet, dirty, or grimy, these slip-on/slip-off no-hassle covers are made of 420-weight Denier nylon and they're 100 percent water-resistant. Seat Protectors are available for all SUV and pickup bucket seats and some split-bench applications. Bucket models come with a self-storing pouch, and a variety of colors are available.
Contact: Cerullo, 909/392-5561,

Wet Okole Seat Covers

Once seats get wet, they forever emit funky odors. You can avoid this nauseating experience by installing a set of Wet Okole waterproof seat covers. They're made from neoprene wetsuit material, and they're now available in the classic European "full pipe" style. Unlike the old OE-style plastic-core piping that eventually cracked, Wet Okole pipes are made from super durable neoprene-covered flexible cord. Wet Okole also offers Realtree camo patterns. In order to keep the seat covers looking and smelling fresh, they also offer a Cover Care Kit. It includes concentrated shampoo, odor eliminator, and UV protectant.
Contact: Wet Okole, 888/246-5653,

Covercraft Seatsavers

Not only will these seat covers protect your bench or bucket seats from slime and grime, but they also help avoid wear and tear as well as damage caused by harmful UV rays. They are washer/dryer-safe, and the polycotton drill weave fabric "breathes" so you don't get stuck to the seat. All Seatsavers feature overlapped and double-stitched seams and most front seat backs include a handy built-in map pocket at the rear. Further, the fabric is protected with a DWR (durable water repellency) finish that blocks most accidents from reaching the seats. Seatsavers are available in Misty Gray, Gray, Navy Blue, Wet Sand, Tan, Charcoal Black, and Taupe.
Contact: Covercraft Industries, 800/426-8377,

NXT Generation Glass Cleaner

It's amazing how much of the trail can get pitched onto the inside of your rig's windows. Don't just smear it around--use this specially formulated cleaner which quickly cleans windows and is guaranteed to leave a streak-free finish. Its non-ammonia formula is safe for window-tint film too.
Contact: Meguiar's, 800/347-5700,

Gold Class Rich Leather Spray

The reality is that most late-model four-wheel-drive vehicles are available with leather seating. Like upholstered seats they must be cleaned occasionally. Unlike upholstered seats, the leather can dry out and crack. Meguiar's offers Gold Class Rich Leather Spray, which cleans, moisturizes, and protects leather. You simply spray it on and wipe it off. Meguiar's says it has gentle, safe cleaners and rich, luxurious moisturizers. Further, it has UV inhibitors that help prevent premature fading, aging, and cracking.
Contact: Meguiar's, 800/347-5700,

Covercraft Pet Pad

If you hit the trail with your pet dog, cat, pot-bellied pig, iguana, kangaroo, or whatever, the folks at Covercraft offer the Pet Pad Seat Protector. It's designed to protect your seat upholstery against such unpleasant pet by-products like shedding and even, uh, carsickness. Not only that, but it provides a comfortable surface for your pet because the quilted and PVC-backed woven polyester outer shell sandwiches soft, high-loft insulated padding. The entire Pet Pad is bound with 2-inch black webbing to withstand lots of abuse. Best of all, it's easily rinsed clean with a hose. Get in the truck, dog.
Contact: Covercraft Industries, 800/426-8377,

Husky Liners

We consider these to be a mandatory upgrade to any vehicle. We've used 'em for years, and they fit like a glove and clean up easily. They effectively keep water, mud, and snow from soiling your carpet, and they're easily cleaned. They're made of a patented rubberized thermo-plastic material, and they're guaranteed not to crack or break. They're also resistant to most chemicals including gasoline, oil, and battery acid. In addition to a variety of floor mats, Husky Liners also offers cargo mats, which offer the same awesome level of protection to your SUV's cargo area.
Contact: Winfield Consumer Products, 800/344-8759,

Odor Bomb

For those of you who let gnarly stench get a foothold in your rig, there's the Odor Bomb. This is the Holy Grail when it comes to odor removal. The maker claims it'll permanently eliminate vile odors that we don't even want to talk about. They say one can will neutralize over 6,000 square feet of space, so even a stinky Excursion shouldn't be a problem. To use, press the 360-degree valve and close the can in your rig. The next time you open the door, it'll smell like Lemon-Lime or Fresh Melon or whichever of the many Odor Bomb fragrances you've chosen. Big time. Because the fragrance is an aerosol, it can permeate areas of your rig you didn't even know existed. We're thinking it may be wise to just use a short burst on stinky areas of your rig first.
Contact: Dakota Products, 888/368-2166,

Heavy-Duty Carpet & Interior Cleaner

Grease and oil are two stinky items that we always seem to spill or drag into our rig's interior. One way to get 'em out of there is with Meguiar's Heavy Duty Carpet & Interior Cleaner. It quickly and safely removes tough oil and water-based stains from mats, carpeting, and seats. It also cleans vinyl, seatbelt straps, and other interior surfaces. It simply sprays on and wipes off and requires no vacuuming. Now if they could only invent Trail Damage Remover, we'd have it made.
Contact: Meguiar's, 800/347-5700,

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