How Much Does It Cost to Wash A 18 Wheeler? 4 Key-Factors

There’s never any specific boundary that determines a fixed amount of cost to wash an 18-wheeler. It depends on the specific requirements and needs of the vehicle owner. However, still, there are some factors that are non-negotiable.  So, it’s normal to be confused about how much does it cost to wash a 18 wheeler.

Considering some of the non-negotiable factors, the cost can be between $35 to $50. However, it can go up to $150 or more based on the waxing and detailing cost.

Even in certain areas, the cost goes high in order to the higher supply and labor costs. You also need to know the quality of the cleaning products. High-quality products require high costs.

Cost Details to Wash an 18-Wheeler in Brief

The 18-wheeler is also called a semi-truck which is a type of tractor cab. Its different sizes and types will surely bring an impact on your detailing cost.

In this case, you have to consider the size, the current condition, the location where you wash, and the types of service you take to wash your vehicle.

On the other hand, most commercial drivers or owners of an 18-wheeler get free or discounted washing services when they purchase fuel for their vehicles.

The cost to wash an 18-wheeler can go up or down every week. So, it’s essential to budget accordingly.

How Much Does It Cost to Wash A 18 Wheeler?

Cost to Wash A 18 Wheeler

Image Credit: Detail Xperts Franchise

To get the crucial detail about the cost of your semi-truck washing, here are the crucial factors that you must check out. These factors will help you determine your budget-

1. Cost Considering the Basic and Premium Service

Washing service comes in basic and premium modes primarily. And these two services offer different price ranges-

● Basic Washing Sercice

If you take the basic service, your cost will be low. The basic washing typically ranges from $20 to $50. It will include a basic exterior cleaning service.

● Premium Washing Service

To get a bit high-quality washing service, you can rely on the premium washing service. In this case, the cost will be a bit high compared to the basic service and will increase to $100 or more.

2. Costs Considering the Types of 18-Wheeler Detailing

There are lots of washing types to wash and clean your 18-wheeler. Based on your truck size and model, these types can vary-

  • Refrigerator Trailer Washout
  • Trailer Washout
  • Interior  Washout
  • Exterior  Washout
  • Wax Treatment

● Cost of Trailer Washout

The price of the trailer washing method begins at $80, but it can be higher if your wheeler gets a dry van or any enclosed box. Because these have additional surfaces to wash and clean which requires extra time and labor.

● Cost of Refrigerator Trailer Washout

This cleaning type goes through the high temperature of steam. As a result, your vehicle will get a quality sanitized cleaning that is capable to destroy harmful bacteria. This washing process meets safety and environmental regulations.

Also, if you need a deep cleaning of your semi-truck, you have to go for the refrigerator trailer washout. It will allow your vehicle to avoid cross-contamination. To get this cleaning service, you have to spend $100 at least. And this cost can go higher.

● Cost of Interior Washout

Interior cleaning of your 18-wheeler will require at least $200 and it will increase if the vehicle is too dirty to clean. The interior parts that are included in this cleaning service are-

  • Cup Holders
  • Carpets and Shampoo Seats
  • Vacuum
  • Interior Window
  • Stain Removal
  • Vents
  • Door Jumps
  • Headliners

● Cost of Exterior Washout

You might understand the meaning of this cleaning type. It’s a perfect washing method to clean exterior parts like wheels, windows, and doors. To get this service, you must fix your budget at $200 minimum. And this cost will increase depending on what additional services like steam engine cleaning you include.

● Cost of Wax Treatment

If you want to enhance the performance of your 18-wheeler, the wax treatment should be your priority. Although it’s cost-effective a cleaning service, the minimum cost starts at $100. And it can go up to $500 depending on the adds-on.

3. Cost Considering the Non-Negotiable Factors

Some of the factors cannot be overlooked while washing your 18-wheeler. These must-have factors are-

● Size

The cost depends on what size your 18-wheeler has. Depending on the size, the cost can be around more or less  $130 if you take a full exterior washing service. However, for the complete exterior which means both the interior and exterior washing service will cost around $250 minimum.

● Quality of Cleaning Products

Detailing products come with various qualities. If you ask the cleaner to use high-quality products, it will require a high price and vice versa. Here the price cannot be specific. It will depend on the product’s price.

● Condition of Your 18-Wheeler

If it’s about a long since you washed the vehicle last time, your vehicle must be so dirty with full of grime and dirt. This condition of the truck will cost you more to wash. Depending on the washing center, the cost can be $200, $250, or more.

4. Cost Considering the Negotiable Factors

Unlike non-negotiable factors, you have the option to skip the following terms. These are completely optional. And, considering these factors, your washing cost will be increased or decreased-

● Cleaning Method

18-wheeler washing comes with several washing methods and all these methods stand at different price ranges. The most popular cleaning methods are water washing, steam washing, and pressure washer washing.

Among all these methods, steam cleaning is the most effective to get you superior cleaning. the cost will be from $100 to $600. 

● On-Site Detailing

If your 18-wheeler is in need of immediate detailing, you can take the on-site detailing service. It’s also called mobile detailing.  It’s the easiest and most time-saving washing service.

However, it’s expensive and the cost depends on where you take the service from, the availability of water, and also the number of cleaners you employ. You have to spend around $300 for this washing service.  

How to Wash 18-Wheeler: Manual Cleaning & Touchless Cleaning

Knowing the procedure of washing your 18-wheeler or semi-truck will come in handy when the washing service is unavailable.  It’s pretty easy to get a primary wash to your semi-truck-

Manual Cleaning

1. Pre-Soak the Semi Truck

Presoaking the semi-truck will help soften the grime and dirt built up over time. It will make the cleaning process easier.

2. Prepare the Soap Water

You’ll get high-quality automotive soap on the market. Mix that soap with warm water and make soapy water. Start scrubbing the sides one after another. We recommend starting from the dirtiest side.

3. Wash the Soapy Water

Now wash the soapy water with cold water. Wash gently so that the interior parts won’t get wet, especially the engine parts. Getting water into any of the engine parts will damage the engine.

4. Rinse Your Semi Truck

Dry or rinse soon after the water drops from the truck with fiber cloths. Ensure the cloth is soft enough not to make any scratches on the truck.

5. Wax the Truck

It’s extremely important to apply wax on the truck exterior. It will protect your truck with bright paint of an eye-catchy look. 

Touchless Cleaning

If you don’t like manual cleaning, go for touchless cleaning.  This cleaning process will require you to purchase the cleaning solution. Cleaning solutions are of two types-

  1. High pH Detergent- Standard Strength is 1:20
  2. Low pH Detergent- Standard Strength is 1:64

Ways to Apply

  • Spray the cleaning solution
  • Take 50 seconds to allow the solution to sit on the truck surface
  • Ensure the solution isn’t drying because it will damage the truck’s exterior paint
  • Wash it with warm water comes at 100°F

Why The 18-Wheeler Washing Is So Costly?

It requires hard manual labor and high-quality cleaning products. And both these factors are the crucial reason behind making the washing high price.  

How Long Do I Need To Wash My 18-Wheeler?

It varies on which types of washing service you take. The timing might differ from 2 hours to days based on the types and process.

How Long My Semi Truck Detailing Will Last?

Depending on the roughness of your trips, it can last up to six months.


You must get clear about the service cost before going to wash your semi-truck. Therefore it’s essential to know how much does it cost to wash a 18 wheeler? Washing service comes based on many factors and you should know the detail about all these.

It will help you determine your budget and also the quality of the washing service.

Whatever service you take, you ought to know the service detail and price detail before handing your 18-wheeler to the service providers.

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