Back to Newsroom

Tips on how to clean your van

Keeping your van clean and tidy shows potential customers that you mean business. It represents your brand and helps you to make a good first impression.

Keep your van looking its best.

Keep your van looking its best.

Having your van cleaned professionally can be costly and time-consuming, which is why we’ve put together some tips on how to keep your van spick and span.

Using the right products

Important: Don’t use washing up liquid or other household cleaners – they’re not designed for cars or vans and they can break down the paintwork.

What do you need?

  • Acid-free vehicle cleaning products.
  • A bucket of clean, warm water.
  • Extendable soft brush.
  • Smaller soft brush.
  • Microfibre cloth.
  • Step ladder – especially important if you have a large van.
  • Vehicle polish or wax.


Start with the two dirtiest areas of your van, which are usually the roof and the wheels.

Top tip: Cleaning your van with a brush is less time consuming than using a sponge and produces the same results.

Roof Apply the cleaning product to your extendable soft brush and use firm, horizontal motions. Make sure you lift any residual dirt which, if left too long, can cause damp and mould. Pour hot water across the top of the roof to lift away the residue.

Wheels Remove any excess dirt by using a hose or pressure washer. Then, apply wheel cleaner and use a smaller soft brush to get in between the spokes. Use the hose again to remove any excess cleaning products.

Windows Using a microfibre cloth, buff glass cleaner horizontally on one side and vertically on the other. Top tip: Roll the window down slightly to avoid a rim of dirt along the top of the glass.

Side panels The same technique to clean the roof can be used for the side panels. You can use a hose instead of a bucket to remove the dirt, but avoid a power washer as they can be too powerful and damage the paintwork.

Drying and polishing

Leaving your van to dry itself will lead to unwanted streaks. Use a chamois or clean towel to dry the exterior quickly and evenly. Avoid newspaper which is commonly used for windows and mirrors and opt for a microfibre cloth instead. Wipe in every direction until your van is completely dry.

Depending on the brand you use, vehicle polish or wax will have different methods of application. Wax is less abrasive and can be applied more frequently than polish. You should only polish your car once or twice a year to protect the paintwork.

Top tip: Don’t polish your car in direct sunlight. Wash your car in overcast weather or in the evening.

About the Author

Bethany Tourish