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How To Clean Mud Off ATV Exhaust

Mud is messy. Getting fully coated in mud while you’re riding feels great, provided you’ve got the appropriate mudproof gear. That’s when you know you really tackled that mud hole. But you’re not the only thing that got mud all over it. When you get home, you’ll discover your machine is now a mud color all over, even in places you didn’t know mud could go. This includes your muffler, which can get caked with mud outside and clogged with mud inside. Let’s discuss how to get mud off ATV exhaust.

atv and exhaust in mud

Routine Clean

Your ATV needs to be cleaned after every single ride, or least every weekend of riding. If you don’t clean it, the debris, sand, and mud you got on your machine will just sit there and damage the frame, the metals, the internals, and your exhaust.

If you get to it right after your ride when the mud is still wet, it will be much easier to clean. Wet mud may be thick and clingy, but it is still soft and slick. A garden hose on a high setting or a pressure washer on a low setting should get the bulk of the mud and debris off. You can then use a sponge and soapy water to remove the more stubborn stuff and spray it again to rinse everything off.

Make sure to plug the exhaust pipe up before you spray the water. When you’re done washing, you should clean the inside of your exhaust pipe with a hard bristled brush and some degreaser for more stubborn stuff like carbon, rust, and hard mud.

If you’ve got a slip-on exhaust, you can remove it and soak it in water to get hard-to-remove stuff off. It may require an overnight soak.

Dry your exhaust pipe when you’re done.

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How to Clean Baked Exhaust Pipe

Exhaust pipes get hot! Dried mud is already a lot like concrete. When you heat it up by riding it around on your exhaust because you didn’t clean your machine, you just baked it on, over and over again. This makes it much harder to remove. It will look like you permanently discolored your metal.

Even worse, mud plugging up the inside of your exhaust pipe can interfere with your ride. This is when you can’t put things off anymore.

Thankfully, cleaning your exhaust pipe isn’t as impossible a task as it seems. The answer to how to clean ATV exhaust pipe with caked on mud is to loosen the mud.


Many people just use a pressure washer to remove the mud from the exhaust pipe. You need to thoroughly wet the mud and let it sit for at least a few minutes to let the mud absorb the water. If that doesn’t loosen it, you can add in Mean Green Degreaser.

If you don’t have a pressure washer or using it didn’t work, there are several other things you can try.

You can spray WD-40 or another penetrating oil on the exhaust pipe and scrub it with a pad or wire brush. This is a particularly good option if you also have rust to contend with. Again, it helps if you let it soak in before you start to scrub.

Tire shine foam can work. Just make sure you don’t use it on a hot pipe.

You may have to scrape the mud off with a knife or paint scraper. Just be careful not to damage yourself or the machine.

Whichever method you choose may have to be done more than once.


The steps above will probably just get the bulk of the mud off. You will then want to wash the exhaust pipe with soapy water and a pad to remove the smaller, most stubborn stuff.


You can dry your exhaust pipe with towels, a leaf blower, or an air compressor. This will keep water spots from forming on your metal and help you remove any little remains of crud that were still unwilling to go.


Mud only bakes onto an exhaust pipe when it has been left to sit. You can keep this from happening by cleaning your ATV when the mud is still fresh. Do not put off your routine cleans!

You can coat new or cleaned exhaust pipes with high heat ceramic paint to make them easier to clean. The mud will stick to it less securely and be easier to remove, so your routine clean is much more manageable. There are other products you can buy to coat your entire machine to make the whole process easier.

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