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The Cybertruck: Conquer the Cleaning, Battle the Myths, and Break down the Process!

Updated: May 3

But first...The Intro:

stainless steel cybertruck with fingerpring smudges

Fingerprints, the eternal nemesis of Cybertruck owners, seem to multiply faster than they can be wiped away. Amidst the digital chatter, myths about the cleaning process abound. Today, we embark on a journey to demystify these misconceptions and offer practical solutions. Join us as we explore the nuances of washing, decontaminating, and protecting the Cybertruck with a ceramic coating while dispelling common myths along the way.

Unveiling the Cybertruck & its challenges:

First, let's address the enigma of the Cybertruck itself. Crafted from stainless steel, this futuristic vehicle demands specialized care. Conventional detailing practices like polishing can spell disaster, as the metal will only grow shinier, leading to uneven surfaces and persistent issues. Among the litany of gripes voiced by Cybertruck owners, fingerprints and rust spots top the list. Contrary to popular belief, stainless steel isn't rusting; rather, it's a byproduct of everyday road travel. The phenomenon is exacerbated by the Cybertruck's unique visibility, magnifying seemingly minor imperfections. To combat these challenges, we turn to effective solutions. Iron remover emerges as a hero in our quest, dispelling the misconception that its use spells permanent staining. Instead, it targets and eliminates oxidized metal, eradicating rust spots without compromising the stainless steel's integrity. In the realm of Cybertruck maintenance, knowledge is power. By debunking myths and embracing practical solutions, we empower owners and professional detailers to navigate the cleaning process with confidence. Remember, the Cybertruck isn't just a vehicle; it's a testament to innovation, deserving of meticulous care and attention.


Let’s dive into the process and show you how simple yet vital this process can be!


Step One: Initial Cleaning

Cybertruck driving through mud and kicking up mud splashes

We kickstart the Cybertruck detailing process with a Rinseless Wash, which works wonders in eliminating pesky fingerprints. With a quick wipe down using a drying towel, we bid farewell to those smudges, leaving behind a clean surface. However, to deal with the faint traces of fingerprints that remain, we take a slightly stronger approach. This involves applying more Rinseless Wash and utilizing an iron remover along with a clay towel to address any lingering ghosting.


Step Two: Decontamination

Moving on to the next phase, we employ a decontamination towel for this task. Unlike traditional clay bars, which might struggle due to the Cybertruck's unique texture, our clay towel handles the job seamlessly. A single spray of iron remover onto the towel is all it takes to kickstart the process. As we glide the towel across the surface, it's evident that contamination is present, a common occurrence for vehicles traversing the roads. Fortunately, the iron remover excels in breaking down these residual oils, ensuring a thorough cleansing of the stainless-steel surface.


Step Three: Ensuring Removal of Iron Remover

When utilizing iron remover, it's crucial to ensure complete removal from the paint surface. Now, I'll confess, as a detailer I have a slight tendency to be a tad generous with product application. However, in this case, you’d be keen on avoiding any excess. With a diligent effort to flush the panel, a thorough rinse confirms our success as those stubborn fingerprints bid their final farewell, leaving behind a flawlessly cleansed panel, free from any lingering contamination.


**Video note: In the video, you can see the stainless-steel surface brighten up as compared to other areas not addressed.  You can see less streaking and better color because the contamination has been removed.


Step Four: Panel Preparation

Now, onto the crucial step of panel prep before we dive into coating. This step serves as a fantastic cleaner for the Cybertruck. Despite what you might come across online, using a regular glass cleaner won't cut it. Sure, you can use Rinseless Wash for the bulk of the cleaning, but if you're picky about those subtle streaks, panel prep is the way to go.

Here's the drill: Apply a generous amount of panel prep onto a towel. Then, with another towel at the ready, swiftly follow along to wipe it off before it dries completely. Avoid spraying panel prep directly onto any surface; it's best applied onto the towel first. This ensures an even distribution and prevents any potential damage.

The goal here is to wipe off the panel prep before it fully evaporates. Why? Because as it evaporates, it lifts off any lingering oils or residues, leaving behind a brightened panel ready for the next step. And just like that, with a freshened-up panel, we're all set to proceed with ceramic coating.  As a side note, you want to follow up with the panel prep step as many times as it takes until you don’t see any of the black residue on the towel.  This is vital to ensuring the coating is absorbed into the pores of the surface and achieving the best results and adhesion. Using a dedicated panel prep is vital as well, using just a basic isopropyl alcohol prep spray is not enough! Using a dedicated panel prep solution has propenol and surfactants that will give you that deep clean of the surface and allow optimal adhesion for the ceramic coating!


*Video note – The coating used is specific to the brand in the video, this brand carries a coating specific to unprotected raw metals such as stainless steel, aluminum, or brass.  They note the variance in finishes for the cybertruck due to their process for preparing the stainless-steel panels for production.  They sand the grain of the stainless steel in multiple angles in a circular motion to better hide imperfections like that of orange peel that you would see on traditional clear-coated paint on cars.  The orange peel does a great job of hiding imperfections and is known to be done purposefully on the production line.  The cybertruck with a ceramic coating, specifically this metal coating, will do a great job at reducing the look of the patina that can be seen through oxidation with this material and add a touch of gloss to further make imperfections hide better!



Insights on Ceramic Coating

Let's talk about ceramic coating myths. There's this notion floating around online that applying a ceramic coating to the Cybertruck is a big no-no because the ceramic particles might scratch the stainless steel. Frankly, I'm not sure where that idea came from, but it's far from the truth. There aren't any bulky ceramic chunks lurking in the mix here. Plus, considering it's specifically tailored for metal, the cross-linking process takes its sweet time – we're talking a good five minutes or more before it starts leveling out.

Now, here's the lowdown: Metal ceramic coating operates a tad differently than its paint counterpart. The solvents it contains are sluggish, allowing the coating to seep deep into those stainless-steel pores. Yup, stainless steel isn't as smooth as it looks; under a microscope, it's more like a sponge. Our job is to fill up those tiny pores, enhancing the panel's sheen and smoothing out its texture. Ever wonder why fingerprints seem to cling on for dear life? Well, blame it on that sponge-like surface soaking up body oils. To banish those pesky marks, we need to dive deep into the sponge and give it a thorough cleansing. Now, isn't that fascinating?


Ceramic Coating Performance

Now, let's talk performance. How does it stack up against your run-of-the-mill ceramic coatings? Well, here's the deal: Once applied, it's going to behave pretty much like your typical painted ceramic coating. The key difference? It puts the brakes on oxidation, making cleaning a breeze. Say goodbye to those relentless fingerprints – they'll still make an appearance, but they won't cling on for dear life like they used to. Just think about your stainless-steel fridge at home – similar deal, but easier to manage.

Now, onto longevity and maintenance. Keep up with the occasional Rinseless Wash, and a clay towel with some iron remover will work wonders. And hey, feel free to go all out with PH-neutral snow foam soaps – foam it on, shower it with water – this Cybertruck can take it. It's built to weather whatever wild adventures those daring Tesla owners throw its way. After all, it's not just any truck – it's designed to tackle the toughest tasks with ease.

Disclaimer - This blog post was based on the endless research done by me searching for the best methods to clean a cybertruck including products to use to achieve the best results as a professional detailer. One video that this blog was closely based on was created by DIY Detail on their YouTube channel - I'll post the video below so you can review it hand in hand with this post if you would like!

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