What is the best way to clean a new galvanized surface before painting?

If it is not practical to allow the surface to weather for six months before painting, it must be cleaned with a solvent to remove any surface contaminants and oils applied by the manufacturer to prevent oxidation of the zinc in the galvanized coating. This is best accomplished by using a water-soluble degreasing cleaner applied with a clean cloth or sponge. Change sponge or cloth and cleaning solution frequently so the dirt and oil are removed from the surface, not just spread to other areas. Rinse the surface thoroughly and allow to dry before painting.