Wash Car Engine Equipment Needed
Auto Engines

Equipment Needed To Wash Car Engine

Are you considering giving your engine a much-needed cleaning? Do you need better equipment? Cleaning your car’s engine and using the right tools has some advantages: it helps your car run better and look well-maintained. It is easier to do repairs and maintenance on a clean engine and rust can be avoided by cleaning it on a regular basis.

To clean a car’s engine, the essential equipment you’ll need are:

  • An automotive soap cleaner, a brush, and a bucket
  • Gloves and eye protection
  • A clean cloth
  • A spray bottle
  • A degreaser for the engine
  • A hose or pressure washer

Keeping it clean and using the proper materials means your car can perform at its best.

Any car’s engine bay needs to be cleaned consistently. If I get super dirty, it always feels good to get cleaned up. Our cars need similar attention. We’ll explain step-by-step instructions and the equipment and products needed for the best engine cleaning results. 

What Can You Use To Clean Your Car’s Engine?

Items Needed to wash engine

It’s critical to take care when cleaning your engine bay and to use the right materials in the right way. Before we start, here’s what you should prepare to clean your car’s engine area:

  • Bucket
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Engine degreaser
  • Plastic bags
  • Spray bottle
  • Water

While you’re going through the process, make sure you’re wearing protective clothing. This should keep you safe from the potentially harmful chemicals you’ll come across when cleaning your engine bay.

  • Rubber Gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Face mask

After you’ve gathered all of the necessary supplies, start cleaning your car’s engine using water. Take note of the dos and don’ts to ensure that you don’t have any problems during the process.

Is It Safe To Wash A Car’s Engine?

It is possible to wash a car engine, but it must be done in a safe manner. Cover the battery contacts and the air filter, you can use a bag or rag to cover the alternator. Be sure there is no overspray on your vehicle. Check to see if the engine is hot to the touch.

We recommend starting and warming up your car for 1-2 minutes before turning it off, as this helps to shift the more concentrated dirt build up faster.

Don’t worry, we will make sure it’s safe and you just follow the step-by-step instructions carefully!

Step-by-step Guide On How To Wash The Car Engine Area

Step To Clean Engine

This is a very simple and easy procedure. You’ve already gotten a head start if you’ve decided that your engine bay is safe to get wet and take the necessary measures. Here’s what you should follow when washing your car’s engine area:

  1. First, make sure that the engine has cooled down, as this task should never be done with the engine still running or is still warm from a recent drive. The last thing you need is to have cold water introduced to the hot parts of your engine. You may pop the car’s hood and let it cool for about an hour.
  2. Put the drip pans down, as well as the absorbent pads, to prevent the harmful chemicals from going to the gutters.
  3. You might want to have your car parked in a shaded area, which would help in reducing the possibility of the shampoo or soap quickly drying.
  4. You also need to cover up the high-risk parts using a plastic bag. These would include the fuse panel, distributor, the alternator and the coil pack.
  5. The next thing that you should do is to hose down the engine area. A very quick pre-rinse will be able to accomplish several things. It would knock off any loose dirt and dust, making it a lot easier for you to use spread the engine degreaser around. Also, it prevents spots that come from the soap that dries out quickly.
  6. Then, disconnect the negative terminal of the battery first or you may just cover it up using a plastic bag. As you may already know, water conducts electricity. With this, you would not want them to connect and make temporary circuits.
  7. If you have a classic engine model, you need to cover up the alternator, distributor, as well as the carburetor using plastic bags. On a modern one, on the over hand, you only need to cover up the alternator and be cautious with the water, especially around the fuse box and the coil packs.
  8. You may now apply the engine degreaser. While a regular or traditional car soap does the job, an engine degreaser does a more effective job in removing grime and oil. You may opt to go heavy on the engine degreaser, especially on the oiliest and nastiest parts of your engine area. This would include the oil pan, as well as the starter.
  9. You must diligently follow the instructions specified in the engine degreaser bottle. Normally, you need to let it sit for a couple of minutes to achieve the most grime and oil-lifting action.
  10. You may opt using a wash brush, especially for the seriously nasty areas of your engine. This would be very safe to use, as it has soft bristles that will never scratch or cause any damage to the plastic or paint.
  11. Start rinsing with low-pressure water. You may need to reapply the engine degreaser for vehicle engines that were never cleaned in 300,000 miles.
  12. You may now use the automotive soap to complete the engine area cleaning in the same process you do in cleaning the exterior. You may want to use a wash mitt, get it soaped up in the bucket of formula, and then scrub the engine area and rinse after.
  13. After rinsing, you may now remove the plastic bags that you use to cover up the sensitive parts of your vehicle’s engine. Keep in mind that professional detailers will simply remove the fuse box cover or the distributor cap, especially if they need cleaning. This process would never affect the electronics.
  14. Bolt these parts back on once you are sure that they are dry and clean.
  15. You may need to use a designated plastic cleaner to be able to polish tiny scratches, as well as restore the shine to the engine area plastics.
  16. Apply some to a cloth and then wipe it off using a clean and dry microfiber cloth.
  17. For the metal pieces, on the other hand, try using a metal polish. There might be a lot of metal polishes to choose from but generally, you only to need to use a little amount on the metal surface until the polish becomes darker.
  18. Lastly, you may now wipe them off using a clean and dry cloth.

Tips On Washing Your Car’s Engine Area

Tips on Washing Your Car’s Engine Area
Credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ettzyNnNG5s
  • As the improper disposal of used pads and oil is extremely discouraged, you may need to find a recycling center within your area that accepts them.
  • If you have a power washer, you may need to only use the low-pressure setting. This setting has been proven to effectively clean and get rid of the crud without blasting it into the small gaps in between the engine’s components.
  • You may also use compressed air to be able to blow away water residue, which effectively helps in getting the engine dry as quickly as possible.
  • After cleaning, you may also leave the hood open and park your vehicle under the sun. This would allow your engine to dry and you may now start driving your car again (read more driving tips).


Your car engine will look brand new after being washed. Keep in mind that, what matters is what’s inside the engine. Washing your vehicle’s engine area would guarantee more smooth drives in the years to come. This can save you time, effort, and money.

We hope that you will be able to apply this new knowledge to get the best out of your engine and help you to learn more about your car maintenance.

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How to clean an engine (carwash.com)