How to Properly Clean a Truck Bed

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How to Properly Clean a Truck Bed

Taking care of one's vehicle is important to ensure that it always looks good, is clean, and feels comfortable to drive in. Like other vehicles, trucks also need to be regularly cleaned so they remain clean and shiny. However, while it is easy to clean the outer body of a truck, cleaning the truck bed can be a more difficult task. The truck bed gets dirty easily because since it is usually left open, it tends to collect leaves, as well as dirt and debris from the road while travelling.

Owners who want to make sure that their truck bed is clean and spotless should know how to properly clean it and also maintain it so it does not get damaged or dirty easily. Cleaning a truck bed may only take a few minutes but some effort is definitely needed when cleaning it. In addition, owners should also know the proper techniques they should use and the car care products that can clean their truck bed effectively.

The Importance of Cleaning a Truck Bed

Owners who haul cargo frequently on their trucks surely know that the bed on the back of the truck can get dirty quickly. This can be frustrating for many people, but regularly cleaning the truck bed can ensure that it always looks good. Cleaning a truck bed is not necessary for cosmetic purposes only. Sleeping in a clean spot is also important for one's health, including for preventing dust and mite allergies. Another important reason to clean one's truck bed is to protect the truck bed from wear and tear, and help extend its life. This is especially true if owners have an unlined metal truck bed since the surface can rust easily if not cleaned and maintained properly.

How to Clean a Truck Bed

Cleaning a truck is similar to cleaning any other vehicle. However, when cleaning a truck bed, the owners may need to employ specific techniques and use different products. How owners clean their truck beds depends on what kind of truck bed liner they have. The table below shows some of the truck bed liners available for trucks.

Liner Type




Just the plain metal truck bed surface

Same as the body of the truck; paint can be waxed

Spray-on liner

Spray-on surface; can be made of polyurethane, rubber, or epoxy concrete; durable and permanent

Very easy to clean since surface is durable

Drop-in liner

Made of durable plastic, covers the whole bed and may be removable; Wears out after a few years

Easy to clean since it is plastic; some can be removed to clean the metal bed surface

Truck bed mat

Simple kind of liner; can be easily removed from the truck bed

Should always be removed when cleaning the truck bed

It is important for truck owners to know what kind of lining they have on their truck if they want to clean their truck bed properly. Lined truck beds are easier and require fewer steps and less time to clean than unlined ones since their surfaces usually do not trap dirt easily. Therefore, owners who want to protect their truck bed surface from dents, scrapes, and dirt, can consider getting a liner for their truck bed. The following sections discuss the steps for truck owners to properly clean their truck beds.

Sweep the Surface First

One should always sweep the truck bed surface with a broom before cleaning it. This applies to whatever kind of surface a truck bed has, even if it has a bed liner. If owners have a removable mat or liner on the truck bed, they should remove it as well and clean it separately. However, some plastic bed liners are securely fitted on the truck bed, and it may not be necessary to remove them. Besides the bed liners, one should also remember to remove all the contents of the truck cabin. Owners should then sweep the corners of their truck bed as well as around the wheel since these areas tend to trap dirt and debris. After thoroughly sweeping, one can then start to wash the truck bed.

Rinse Quickly

Using a pressure washer, truck owners should spray out the truck bed starting from the front of the bed to the back where the tailgate is. To properly remove excess dirt and grime sticking to the surface, one should spray the water across the truck bed from side to side. Also, one should spray water into the corners on the bed. To allow the water and dirt to easily flow out of the truck, owners can park it on a slight incline. Otherwise, they can also just sweep the water out after spraying the bed.


After quickly rinsing the truck bed, it is then time to wash it with some soap. It is good to use a proper car shampoo when washing an unlined truck bed as it is formulated to get rid of dirt without damaging surfaces. Owners can then soak a car wash mitt attached to a wand in the car shampoo and proceed to scrub the bed surface. They should make sure they scrub the whole truck bed to remove all the dirt. Although the word 'scrubbing' is used here, one should not use a brush to clean the truck bed since it can scratch the paint surface. It is also not advisable to use the car wash mitt to clean other parts of the truck since it may trap dirt from the bed and damage the body of the truck. If one wants to use a single mitt for the whole truck, then clean the outer body first starting from the top of the truck.

When cleaning the bed with its liner on, one can simply use an all-purpose cleaning liquid to do the job. It is also not very necessary to stick to a mitt to clean the surface since the liner is usually durable and scratch resistant. Therefore, owners can use a brush to scrub the truck bed liner. Similar to washing an unlined truck bed, owners should thoroughly scrub their bed liner to properly remove any dirt.

Rinse, Dry, and Wax

After scrubbing down the truck bed, owners can then rinse the soapy water off with their high-pressure hose. Again, they should remember to rinse from front to back. When cleaning an unlined metal surface, it is necessary to wipe away the excess water with a clean cloth, ideally a microfibre one so the water does not stain the paint surface. While it is not necessary to wipe dry the bed liner surface, this is an option.

Some owners like to make sure that their truck bed always looks shiny and new. Although it is not necessary, they can apply a coat of wax if they want to. For a spray-on or drop down liner, one can apply the appropriate plastic polish to give the surface a nice shine.

Buying Truck Bed Cleaning Products on eBay

You can use various auto-care products to clean your truck bed, and you can find plenty of them on eBay. To search for the products you want, use eBay's search function. Just type the relevant keywords such as 'car wash brush' or 'car wax' into the search bar on the eBay home page. You will then be presented with a list of suitable products, which you can browse through. Make sure you read all the provided details when you look at the products to determine if they are what you need. Also, be sure to look at the price and shipping fee of the items.

To reduce the cost of the product, you can buy from local eBay sellers since they often charge a very low shipping fee and, sometimes, none at all. After selecting the item you want, go through all the available information again including the item description, payment method, and return policy. Some products, such as solid and metallic waxes may not be suitable for certain kinds of surfaces, so remember to make sure that you can use the product on your truck bed before you purchase it.


Cleaning the truck bed properly is important to make sure it is clean and protected from damage. After all, compared to a clean truck bed, a dirty one is more prone to having its paint wear off. To properly clean a truck bed, owners must first know what kind of truck bed they have. There are generally four kinds of surfaces for a truck bed, which are the unlined surface, spray-on liner, drop down liner, and truck bed mat.

Before cleaning a truck bed, owners should always remove any cargo and mat they have on the bed. Next, they should sweep the truck bed to remove any dirt and debris. After sweeping, they can quickly rinse the truck bed with a jet of water. Then, they can wash the truck bed with the appropriate car care products, rinse it again, dry the surface, and apply wax if they want. It is easy to properly clean a truck bed if one knows how and uses the right products. To buy the products they need, truck owners can do their shopping on eBay.

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