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Needless to say, one of the main reasons people buy UTVs is to enjoy off-road rides. But with off-roading also comes mud, which can make cleaning your UTV quite difficult at times.

However, you can prevent this from happening to a certain degree if you follow the advice that we’ve prepared for you today. Do note that it is very important to keep mud off your UTV as much as you can to prevent rust, loss of performance and airflow, and damage to your paint.

With that said, you’ll need to use a combination of tactics to ensure outstanding protection. Follow these steps and your UTV life will be that much easier. 

Basic Steps to Keep Mud From Sticking to Your UTV

 First and foremost, wash your UTV as often as possible, especially after each ride. Many people think that the rain already does a good job, but it’s far from the truth. Rainwater might encourage dust to settle in much faster because you’re not using any form of detergent.

Ideally, you’ll want to wash your UTV once a week if you don’t ride off-road all that much. It’s the best way to prevent dust from clinging and damaging the paint and other components. Yes, you’ll still need to wash it even if it’s parked because dust tends to settle.

Where to Park to Keep Mud From Sticking to the UTV

Always park your UTV in a shaded area, preferably a garage. If you don’t have a garage, try parking it under a tree or other covered area. You should especially avoid leaving your UTV in direct sunlight if it already has mud on it. As a result, its paint fades, and the dust gets stuck to it; thus removing the mud becomes difficult.

Parking in a shaded area is also beneficial because it protects the paint and UTV components from UV rays.

Use a Canvas Cover

Using a cover is the best way to keep your UTV protected from the elements in case you don’t have a garage. In fact, we’d advise you to use a cover even if you do keep the UTV inside a garage. The simple reason is that the cover provides extra protection against small dust particles.

Furthermore, a canvas can even protect your UTV from scratches and dents in case someone accidentally hits it. Sure, it won’t be enough for a high-speed crash, but it will still give it extra protection from scratches or dents made by little kids playing around carelessly. 

Use Protective Film

The next logical step you should take is to cover your UTV in a protective film. This type of film lasts for about 10 years, so it’s a worthy and relatively affordable investment. Not only will it prevent mud from sticking to your UTV, but it will also offer extra protection against road debris, dust, corrosion caused by acidic rain, and even ultraviolet rays.

Of course, not every protective film is created equally, so you’ll have to do your research and find the ones that offer protection against as many elements as possible. However, you can easily wash your ATV with a film cover, as all of them are highly waterproof. Another advantage of doing so is that you can paint over the film without affecting the original coating. It’s a great way to test out different looks and be able to revert in case you regret something.

Use Mud Prevention Spray

You can find a lot of options on the market. These mud prevention sprays do exactly what they say, namely protect your UTV from mud. A mud prevention spray is also great at removing water spots, dust, mud, or other debris and it makes the paint surface seem shiny.

The way it works is it makes the surface much more slippery, thus preventing hard elements like mud from clinging onto your UTV. Another advantage of using such a spray is that it also removes stains. Just be careful not to use the spray on switches and other electronics.

Bonus fact

You can also use WD-40 on fenders to prevent mud from clinging onto them. The well-known spray truly is a wonder. 

You Can Also Use a Little Oil

The same oil that you use for the engine can also act as a mud deterrent. Just apply a little oil to a towel and then slowly apply it to the surface of your UTV before heading for an off-road adventure. When you are back from your ride, you can wipe out that dust from UTV easily with a piece of cloth.

Just don’t forget to wipe it off efficiently. Also, you should use this method only if your UTV has been recently washed. Putting oil on a layer of dirt isn’t at all effective, and it might make cleaning even more troublesome.

How to Clean Mud Off Your UTV

Now that you know the prevention method, let’s see how you can effectively clean mud from your UTV if there’s just too much of it accumulated. While it might not be necessary, we recommend using a pressure washer for your UTV, just so you know. Pressure washers can keep the job as simple as possible.

Alternatively, a garden hose with a strong spray attachment also works fine if you can’t afford a pressure washer. There are three steps that you’ll have to take when cleaning mud off your UTV. 

Scrape and Soak

If your UTV has large chunks of mud on it, you have no other option but to scrape it all off at first if you want great results. Dried mud is even nastier than wet mud because you’ll also have to rinse it all to make it come off.

While there are specialized mud scrapers on the market, a stick might work just as well if you’re willing to put in the effort. An important thing to note about this step is that you’re not going for a perfect look on this first round. Just go for the large chunks without thinking about the overall look too much. It’s still early. Once you’re done, you can move on to the next step.

Wash the Mud Off the UTV

Thoroughly apply whatever car detergent you have handy and let it soak for up to 5 minutes so that it can penetrate all the mud layers that may have built up. Sure, you might be tempted to wash it all off straight away. However, leaving it on for a little longer will ensure that you can then get the mud off much, much easier.


Finally, we’re at the part where you will see the biggest difference. Using your pressure washer or your hose, rinse away the suds, and along with them the mud. The mud should just slide right off, leaving the UTV shining like new.

Just be careful not to spray water on any electronic parts. You have no idea how many people completely forget about those and go berzerk with the water. Also, don’t let water get too deep into the intake or exhaust, as this can affect your engine’s effectiveness on startup.

Once you’re done, we recommend using a towel to get any remaining water off because air drying isn’t a great idea for UTVs. Alternatively, you can use a leaf blower to speed up the process.

If you want even more details regarding the cleaning process of a UTV plus more “technical” details regarding the maintenance of its looks, head on over to Polaris’s article.

Final Thoughts

We hope that you’ve found this guide useful and that you’ve learned something new today. In any case, applying any of these principles should help you clean and keep mud from sticking to your UTV with relative ease.