Cleaning your Engine Bay

Cleaning your engine bay isn’t a hard task, however it does require a great deal of care as there are a few things you need to take into account whilst doing it so that you don’t do any damage to any components whilst doing it. It’s also quite important to clear any build ups in any exposed paintwork in the engine bay as it’ll help prevent any rust in future as this dirt will hold moisture and potentially cause rust.

Engine Bay Detailing Before and After

Reddit user xtremelowzfsc

What’s required to clean your engine bay

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Soft Brush
  • Wheel Brush
  • Dressing spray or Plastic Trim Cleaner
  • Polish and wax (Optional)
  • Hosepipe or Spray bottle with soapy water

Cleaning the engine bay (Step 1)

Clear any leaves and general debris from the bay, I tend to find a large build up of leaves around the engine hinges and have done in all of my previous cars. You want to remove that all first as when you start to clean it, if they get wet they just get harder to clean up.

Choose one of the following options to get any dirt/dust in the engine bay lose.

Option 1: Cover the alternator and any exposed wiring/plugs with something waterproof (an old plastic bag will work, ensure they’re secured with tape or an elastic band). Spray the engine bay lightly with the hosepipe covering the engine cover, any trim around the edges and hoses.

Option 2: Use a spray bottle filled with soapy water to cover the engine bay and any hoses. I personally always go for this option as I find the soap helps lift dirt off the bay and also it is a lot easier to be accurate with where you spray which means you shouldn’t have to cover electrical components.

Cleaning the engine bay (Step 2)

Then grab a soft brush to clean down the bay, the wheel brush is handy here as where you have larger spaces or want to get between hoses this can cover them quickly and remove any stubborn dirt. Be sure to get into any exposed paintwork with the softer brush as the bristles on a wheel brush may damage the paint, if you’re doing this without a detailing brush then a microfiber cloth will also do the job just fine.

Once you have cleaned all the dirt from the bay you want to to grab your dressing spray/plastic cleaner (tyre dressing is fine, however aerosol form won’t work great) and apply it to all plastic trim and hoses, just wipe it down with a microfiber cloth to clear off any excess and to ensure you’ve covered it all.

Optional – You can also polish/wax the paintwork in your engine bay, I tend to apply wax to mine once every 3-6 months. In terms of polish, it’s not really required, however if your paint is looking a bit dull polish should bring it back to life and make it look awesome again.