Cleaning your Bajaj RE in the right way will not only make it look good but also make it last longer.
Recently I have seen some Bajaj RE’s that are less than a year old, that look dull and/or dirty they looked more like they were 10 years old than just a year old.
Reasons you should keep your RE looking good
- Cleaning and polishing it in the correct way will extend its life.
- The Bajaj RE is new to the Philippines and is often discriminated against, if they look good, are clean and shining it helps us fight the discrimination against it.
- It will give you pride and make you feel better every time you drive it.
- If you drive an RE, for hire a clean Bajaj RE will get you more customers and could lead to more tips.
- Cleaning your Bajaj RE makes it last longer
- On vehicles like the Bajaj RE it is common for the bodywork to rust away long before the engine gives up.
- Removing the dirt and grime will help prevent rusting, a coat of wax adds a protective coat against the weather and the dirt on the road, it will also keep your paintwork looking shiny.
In some countries where they take a lot of pride in their Tuk Tuks it is very common to see 15-year-old Tuk Tuks that still look good.
Cleaning your Bajaj RE will get you more Customers
Sadly in the Philippines the fact people would rather travel in nice looking shiny vehicles is something that is overlooked.
There is a reason why the best malls and shops look nice and shiny and clean, it is because it makes people want to use them, it gives people more trust in them and makes them more willing to spend money in them. The same applies to a vehicle, if it looks good people want to use it, if it looks bad they will use it only if they have no other choice.
If you work in an area where there are foreigners believe me they will walk past tricycles in the line and insist they want to travel in a nice shiny Bajaj RE. Your effort in keeping it clean and shiny they will reward with a bigger tip.
When people see a shiny clean vehicle, it is automatic that they think it is more roadworthy, it is common sense to think a driver that cares about the look of his vehicle also cares about keeping it well maintained. The reverse is also true if your vehicle looks dull and not care for people wonder if it is roadworthy.
Don’t think Filipinos don’t care how it looks, they just want to get from A to B. Remember a huge amount of Filipinos have worked abroad and because of this attitudes are changing, they are coming back to the Philippines with the attitude people in other countries would not put up with unroadworthy vehicles so why should they.
How to Clean your Bajaj RE
Firstly hose it down all over with water, a pressure washer is best but if you do not have one a hose pipe will do. This loosens the dirt and removes grit that could scratch your paintwork.
While it is still wet shampoo it, Use a good quality car shampoo such as Turtle Wax Wash & Wax, while it might seem expensive at about 380 peso a bottle, you will get many washes from it as 2 cap Turtle Wax Wash & Wax in a bucket of water is plenty, plus the fact it can add years to the life of your Tuk Tuk.
Use a soft sponge to apply the shampoo and use plenty of water.
WARNING do not use washing-up liquid such as Joy it will take the gloss of your paintwork, Washing powder is even worse. So never-never use detergent laundry or dishwashing liquids on your Bajaj RE.
Next hose all the suds of your RE.
At this point if you leave it to dry naturally you will get streaks and watermarks on your paintwork when it dries.
How to avoid streaks when Cleaning your Bajaj RE
To avoid the streaks dry your RE with a damp chamois. This is easier with a synthetic chamois as you can wring out the excess water, however a genuine chamois leather does make a better job and will leave your RE with a better shine. If you do choose to use a genuine chamois leather do not wring out the excess water because wringing it will cause it to rip, just squeeze out the excess water.
When drying your Tuk Tuk have a bucket of clear water and keep rinsing out the chamois so you do not spread any remaining dirt.
You can dry off all your RE with a chamois including the roof and the seats.
Protecting you Bajaj RE and Finishing touches.
We have already written an article on keeping the roof of your Bajaj RE looking new.
Because the hot sun and the dust in the Philippines is very hard on vinyl, I would suggest you treat the roof most times you wash it, as this puts a protective layer on it keeps your roof supple so it does not crack.
Waxing the Bajaj RE
After Cleaning your Bajaj RE the next step is waxing.
There are many brands of wax you can use on an RE, but some of them come with problem. On cars I have always used Turtle Wax super hard shell paste wax so naturally it was what I first used on my Tuk Tuk, that was until I discovered it really was not suitable for a Tuk Tuk. If you get Turtle Wax super hard shell paste wax on other parts that are not paintwork it leaves a white residue that is hard to remove, as there are very few large areas on a Bajaj RE I would advice not using any wax that leaves a residue.
Turtle Wax Express Shine Carnauba Spray Cleaner Wax
I switched to Turtle Wax Express Shine Carnauba Spray Cleaner Wax as it does not leave a white residue and it does a great job, not sure if it protects as well as the paste but it is far easier to use.
Spray on the Turtle Wax Express Shine Carnauba Spray Cleaner Wax buff it with a microfibre cloth, leave for 15 minutes and then buff it with a clean microfibre cloth to give it a really good shine.
Microfibre Cloth for Cleaning your Bajaj RE
I highly recommend using microfibre cloths they might seem expensive but you can wash them out and use them again hundreds of times, I have microfibre cloths that are 4 years old and I am still using them. They clean and polish far better than a normal cloth and it takes less effort cleaning with them.
Cleaning the Interior of the Bajaj RE
For cleaning the interior of my Tuk Tuk I use SM bonus Furniture Polish it is cheap I think about 80 peso and does a good job. I suspect if I used a top brand car interior polish it might shine more but there is a good reason I go for cheap as explained below.
I use SM bonus Furniture Polish on the seats and the dashboard of my Tuk Tuk
Solving the problem of cats loving the Bajaj RE
Cats clawing the seats of a Bajaj RE is a real problem, I spent over a year trying to find a solution to this problem. Some of the things I tried did not work at all, some worked for a few days then the cats seemed to get used to the smell and would ignore it and still go in my RE.
Finally I tried Eucalyptus Oil and it works, cats hate the smell of Eucalyptus Oil for a good reason, it is toxic to them, so unlike other smells they get used to they will never get used to the smell of Eucalyptus Oil as it will make them ill. Since I have used Eucalyptus Oil cats do not go with in 1 metre of my Bajaj. Notice how our cat in the video above comes no closer than a mitre.
Make sure you buy a good quality Eucalyptus Oil I would suggest getting Human Heart Nature Eucalyptus Oil as it is very high quality and goes a long way. At 295 peso for a small bottle it might seem expensive but it will last for months as you only need to use a few drops.
I add 30 drops of Eucalyptus Oil to a bottle of SM bonus Furniture Polish that way every time I polish my seats they get the small of Eucalyptus Oil. I give my seats a quick spray and a wipe every 2 days to make sure the smell is still there, it takes less than 1 minute.
Your Tuk Tuk now Looks Great
Your Tuk Tuk now shines and looks fantastic, it will also last years longer.
It takes me about 1 hour 30 minutes from start to finish and I am old and because I am not used to the heat here I am unable to work fast and take a few 5 minute breaks while cleaning it. Because the Bajaj RE is small I suspect someone younger could do it in an hour. So an hour a week will keep your RE looking better than new and add years to its life.
Remember owners of the Bajaj RE are fighting for it to be accepted, Cleaning your Bajaj RE and keeping your RE looking good will help in it being accepted.