If you are the kind of person who enjoys rugged vehicles, work in trucking or construction, then you probably know all about diamond plate. If not, then diamond plate is a durable but lightweight sheet of metal which has a cross-woven pattern of raised diamond shaped metal grate on the upward facing side.
Its common uses are as surfaces on steps, platforms, or industrial floors where good traction is necessary. You may have also heard it being referred to as floor plate or checker aluminum plate. Most commonly, it comes in the form of aluminum, however, it can also be found in stainless steel and other durable metals.
If you have ever had to clean it, you know that it can be somewhat challenging to really get it right, but doing so will make all the difference in presenting the appearance of a clean, well-kept vehicle. This is why you need this how to clean diamond plate guide and tutorial because you would want to make things right.
Upkeep and Maintenance of Diamond Plate
Diamond plate is less about aesthetics and more about function. For this reason, upkeep is important to maintain its functionality. If covered in dirt, grease or oils, even diamond plate can become slippery, which can be downright dangerous in heavy work situations.
As a common component of rugged work situations, it is likely to become dirty frequently, so a high frequency of maintenance is the key. Additionally, the proper tools and solutions for cleaning diamond plate will also be helpful – if not necessary. Let’s get into what these tools are and the proper ways to use them.
The Things You Need for this Tutorial
If you are really looking to do the job thoroughly and restore the glossy shine of a diamond plate surface, a rotary polisher with abrasive wool pads will help cut the amount of time and energy it would take by quite a large margin.
If this tool is unavailable for whatever reason, steel wool pads and plenty of elbow grease can achieve similar results, albeit far more tiring and time-consuming. Using these tools is for a restorative type of cleaning job on diamond plate.
The idea behind it is to remove a thin layer of old, dirty, stained or scratched metal from the top of the plate, then buff it out and finish it off with a layer of protective coating.
If you are working with newer diamond plate, or are only looking to do a basic cleaning job, then you can safely skip this part of the process and go straight to the later steps which do not involve removal of aged or damaged steel.
The Process on How to Clean the Diamond Plate of Your Car
Buffing and Refinishing
Put on your safety gear as one would when working with heavy machinery. Goggles are probably most important, as sometimes a rotary buffer can kick up specs that would not be pleasant by any means if it were to wind up in your eye.
Use the rotary buffer to buff out worn sections, scratches, dull or discolored areas. Buffing out steel in this matter is no easy task and can take quite a long time. Be sure not to do this in a hurry, and having someone there to help with the job is ideal.
Cleaning The Diamond Plate
The next step is to clean the diamond plate using the proper solution and rinse away with water. The right solution will depend on the kind of metal your plate is made of. Your local auto parts retailer will have a variety to choose from for various types of metal. In all cases, you will want to avoid using acid-based detergents or harsh cleaning solutions.
These types of chemicals will eat away at the finish and cause discoloration and dullness of the diamond plate. Additionally, you will want to take care in removing the solution with a thorough rinse after the amount of time recommended by the manufacturer of whatever solution you are using.
Leaving the solution on for too long can cause similar damages as harsh detergents, as well as soap buildup and water spots.
Finally, once the rinse is through, dry it off quickly using microfiber towels. It’s important to dry it before it drys on its own, as letting water air dry on the surface will cause water spots and mineral buildups which are unsightly and difficult to remove.
You will also want to have an abundance of microfiber towels, as diamond plate tends to get greasy and dirty enough to render a fresh towel unusable for cleaning purposes in a short amount of time. If one cycle of cleaning is not sufficient, repeat as necessary before moving on to the next step.
Now that we have a clean diamond plate surface, we will want to take measures to keep it clean and protected from the elements as much as possible. This is achieved using products such as metal polish and waxes. Using special polish applicator pads is probably the safest bet in achieving optimal results when polishing diamond plate.
Applying a coat of wax or polish and then buffing it out is what will give the steel a shiny gloss, as well as a protective coat that helps keep dirt and grease from sticking to the grate and providing additional protection against scratches and physical damage. Once you finish this step, then you are done! Your diamond plate surface should look clean and shiny like the day you acquired it brand new.
In the end, cleaning a diamond plate can be a particularly tough and tedious job if it has not been maintained frequently enough, but with patience and persistence, you can restore it back to its original state of beauty. Once a good thorough cleaning has been administered, keeping it clean should be much easier from there on out, provided you never let it go for too long.
All things considered, it’s worth it as it feels good to know that your vehicle is in pristine condition both functionally and aesthetically. I hope this information has been helpful for you. If you have some secret method or trick to make it even easier to clean diamond plate or have something to add to my methods, please feel free to leave a comment and give feedback. Thanks for reading and keep on truckin’!