How to Clean and Maintain Your Side-by-Side (SXS)

How to Clean and Maintain Your Side-by-Side (SXS) - Goats Trail Off-Road Apparel Company

Keep Your Ride Looking Brand New: Tips and Tricks for SXS Cleaning and Maintenance

Off-roading is an exhilarating experience that lovers of outdoor fanatics can't resist. But all that fun can come at a cost. Mud, dirt, and grime can build up quickly on your side-by-side vehicle (SXS), leading to malfunction, reduced performance, and an overall lack of enjoyment.

By cleaning and maintaining your SXS properly, you can keep it looking brand new for years to come. In this short guide, we’ll provide you with some tips and tricks for SXS cleaning and maintenance - and how you can stay looking fly yourself along the way!

What You'll Need

Before you get started cleaning and maintaining your SXS, make sure you have the necessary tools on hand:

Cleaning Tools

  • Variable Speed Pressure Washer: A pressure washer is essential for cleaning off the dirt and mud from your SXS vehicle after a day of off-roading.
  • Soft Bristle Brush: Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub areas the pressure washer missed.
  • Microfiber Cloths/Towels: You'll need these to dry the SXS vehicle after washing it.
  • Bucket: A bucket will help you contain the soapy water used to clean the SXS vehicle.
  • Soap: Choose a soap designed for off-road vehicles to remove dirt, grime, and mud.
  • Wax: Wax will help protect the SXS vehicle from dirt and grime and make it shine.


  • Lithium Grease: Lubricating the suspension, steering components, and pivot points with lithium grease will extend their lifespan and prevent rust and corrosion.
  • Chain Lube: Keep your SXS vehicle's chain lubricated to avoid rust and ensure smooth operation.

Replacement Parts

  • Air Filter: Replace the air filter frequently, especially when driving in dusty or dirty environments.
  • Oil Filter: Regularly changing the oil filter is necessary, as it helps keep the engine clean and lubricated.

Cleaning Your SXS

Step 1: Cleaning the Exterior

The first step in cleaning your SXS is to tackle the exterior. You'll want to start by removing any loose dirt and debris using a soft-bristled brush or blower. 

Go over the entire vehicle and ensure you get in all of the crevices and hard-to-reach areas - this will help get rid of any mud or dirt that has built up.

Once you've completed brushing off the SXS, it's time to start using a pressure washer. Make sure you keep it set at a low setting, as high pressure can damage the paint or body of your SXS.

You'll also want to use an appropriate soap for off-road vehicles to help break down and remove dirt and mud. Go over the entire vehicle once more, making sure to get all of the nooks and crannies.

One of the easiest and most effective ways to clean the exterior of your SXS is by using a foam cannon. A foam cannon allows you to coat your SXS's surface with a thick layer of cleaning foam, loosening any dirt or grime stuck on the surface.

For better results, we recommend using Super Clean's Foaming Degreaser. It's a powerful, biodegradable cleaner that cuts through dirt and grime without damaging your vehicle's paint or bodywork.

Once you've coated your SXS with a thick layer of foam, let it sit for a few minutes to penetrate all the dirt and grime. Afterward, use a pressure washer to rinse your machine thoroughly. Take a look over the SXS for any remaining dirt, and clean it off using a soft-bristled brush.

Super Clean Foaming Degreaser

Step 2: Cleaning the Interior

Cleaning the interior of your SXS is just as important as cleaning the exterior - you'd be shocked at just how much dirt and debris can build up over time.

Start by vacuuming the interior of your SXS, making sure to reach all of the crevices and hard-to-reach areas. You'll want to use an appropriate car vacuum cleaner - this will help get rid of any sand or dirt stuck in the fibers of the seating or carpeting.

Once you're done vacuuming, it's time to tackle any tricky areas that require a little more elbow grease! Use a soft-bristled brush and appropriate cleaner to scrub away stubborn dirt and grime from any hard surfaces in your SXS. Don't forget about the windows - use glass cleaner to get rid of any fingerprints or smudges.

We recommend using an all-purpose cleaner, such as Chemical Guys' All Clean+ cleaner, for tougher stains. It's a versatile cleaner that can be used on both the interior and exterior surfaces of your SXS. 

Apply a small amount to a microfiber towel and gently scrub the area. Wipe the area clean with a damp microfiber towel. This will help remove any oils or residue that built up over time.

Chemical Guys Cleaner

Step 3: Cleaning the Undercarriage

Off-roading can be rough on the undercarriage of your SXS. Rocks, mud, and debris can become lodged in the undercarriage, causing damage and rust over time. That's why it's essential to clean the undercarriage regularly.

To clean the undercarriage, you'll need to elevate your SXS to gain access to the underside. Use a pressure washer to rinse the undercarriage, removing any dirt, mud, or debris.

We recommend using a specialized undercarriage cleaner, such as Adam's Polishes Undercarriage Spray, for better results. It's a powerful cleaner that removes stubborn dirt and grime, leaving your undercarriage looking as good as new.

This is also a great time to review all of the components under your SXS and check for any signs of wear or damage. If you find any, address them immediately - this will help ensure that your SXS stays in top condition!

Protecting Your SXS

After cleaning your SXS, you'll want to protect it from future damage. Here are a few tips to help keep your SXS in great shape:

  • Wax or seal the paintwork of your SXS regularly. This will help protect it from UV rays and other environmental damage.
  • Apply a protective coating on any chrome, plastic, or metal parts of your SXS. This will help ensure that these components stay in top condition for years to come.
  • Invest in a good quality cover for your SXS. This will help keep it protected from the elements when not in use.

Staying consistent with regular cleaning and maintenance of your SXS is the best way to ensure that it looks great and performs at its best for years. So make sure to take some time out of your schedule every few months or so to give your SXS a thorough clean - it'll be worth it in the long run!

Contact us for your off-road apparel needs,

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