Bottom of a trailer

How to Clean a Galvanised Trailer to Make it Shine

Galvanised trailers are an excellent investment, especially if you transport goods regularly, but they are not indestructible, The zinc-coating can get damaged! 

If you spent a lot of money on galvanised trailers for sale in Melbourne, you might be disappointed to find some rust, but this isn’t always an indication of the trailer’s quality. Sometimes, the zinc coating has weaknesses that allow rust; but it’s easier to treat than metal. 


What is a Galvanised Trailer? 

Galvanised metal is metal that is coated with a special zinc coating; this coating helps to prevent the metal underneath from corrosion and oxidation, allowing it to last longer. When metal comes into contact with water, the iron particles react with the air and moisture, and rust is the result. 

It’s a good idea to invest in trailer canvas covers because this piece of equipment is made of metal predominantly and is regularly exposed to oxygen and moisture. The protective zinc coating allows the trailer to last much longer, but it needs to be cared for to prevent damage. 


How to Clean a Galvanised Trailer

If you want to keep your trailer in the best condition possible, you will want to clean it regularly; the good news is that cleaning galvanised steel is quite straightforward; you can even use basic soap and water to wash off the dirt that accumulates while you tow your trailer across the country.

Fill a bucket with warm water and add some ordinary dish soap; also, gather a soft bristle brush, a washcloth, and some metal polish. Start with the soft bristle brush and take off some of the ingrained dirt and sand. Rinse and dry with a cloth and finish the job with some metal polish.  

Handle of Box Trailer

Removing Rust from a Galvanised Trailer 

Although galvanised metal is designed to resist corrosion, rust can still happen. Rust occurs on galvanised steel when part of the protective zinc coating is damaged and allows some of the air and moisture to affect the steel underneath. This results in some rust on the galvanised steel. 

If you want to protect your galvanised trailer, you will need to remove the rust and recoat the metal with protective paint. Start by removing debris and dust with a wire brush and some vinegar; next, sand the area and wipe everything down. Finally, apply some iron-rich paint. 


How to Paint Galvanised Steel 

If your galvanised trailer wheels have been damaged, then you might need to repaint it to shore up its protection capabilities; after all, there’s not much point in having a galvanised trailer that has weak spots. The localised rust will continue to develop and spread on the trailer. 

But there’s good news; you can paint a galvanised trailer cage with some special paint that gives it the same protection that it has when you first bought it. First, prepare the area with a wire brush, then prime the area and apply special galvanising paint that contains extra iron.


Preparing Galvanised Steel for Paint 

Although it’s possible to return your galvanised steel trailer to its original condition, the surface needs to be prepared correctly; otherwise, the paint will not take, and you won’t get the best purchase from your repair. Use the steps below to prepare the steel before applying paint. 

Start by scrubbing the galvanised metal in the weaker areas or removing any rust that has appeared. Use a wire brush to remove the rust. After you have cleaned and dried the area, apply white vinegar to the surface and allow it to sit for hours before priming and painting it.


Tips for Cleaning Galvanised Steel

Using the steps and advice above, you can clean your galvanised trailer and prepare it for priming and painting. If you follow these steps, you can return your trailer back to its original condition and increase its lifecycles. But there are still some tips that can improve the job. 

If you use a hose to clean the galvanised trailer initially, you will get most of the rust off the trailer without any elbow effort. Another tip is to mix 4 cups of bleach with 3 gallons of warm water, apply this to the affected area to remove the rust more easily and prep for paint.


Final Thoughts 

A galvanised trailer is an excellent investment; it’s designed to last longer than conventional metal trailers, so they don’t have to be replaced regularly. However, a galvanised trailer is not indestructible sometimes, the zinc coating can become damaged, and some rust can develop. 

When this happens, you need to act fast to prevent further corrosion and protect the surface for the future. It’s possible to remove rust from the damaged surface and treat it with rust-resistant paint that works in the same way as zinc coating. Follow the article instructions for best results.  

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