Cleaning your engine can help to make maintenance easier, as you can see what you’re doing more clearly. It can also help you spot oil leaks sooner, and prevent wear to rubber and plastic components caused by oil and grease. Here’s a roundup of our favourite products for getting your engine and engine bay super clean super clean.
If you need to know to get the job done, read our guide on how to clean your engine bay here.
Engine Cleaner & Degreaser
Perhaps the most obvious engine bay cleaning must-have, a high-quality engine cleaner should be at the top of your shopping list. Known also as engine degreaser, engine cleaner gets to work on all of the gunk, oil and grease caked onto your engine components.
You can find a range of engine cleaners with differing application styles, such as brush on, spray on, or foaming – but most will require rinsing off. Remember to only apply and rinse engine degreaser from water resistant components – the following products should be used for elements you need to keep dry.
Particularly if you’re using spray-on engine cleaning solutions, you’ll need to pick up a spray applicator. These allow you to apply your cleaning chemicals evenly, making sure to get into those hard to reach crevices. Adding air into the mix, spray applicators don’t release excess product while cleaning either, providing more bang for your buck.
And it’s not just cleaning up the engine bay you can use spray applicators for – you can use them for a number of car cleaning fluids, or even other domestic cleaners around the home. You can find sprayers in a range of sizes, such as the small WD-40 Spray Applicator, medium Trade Quality Venus sprayers in 1.5 and 2 litre capacities, or the larger 6 litre compression sprayer.
Contact cleaner is the perfect solution to cleaning those water-sensitive and electrical engine components. Contact cleaner goes by many names – including electrical cleaner, switch cleaner, electrical contact cleaner and battery terminal cleaner – but every solution works in the same way.
It’s a solvent solution that’s designed to remove dirt, oils, and particulates from components without disrupting surface contact. This is an effective way to clean electrical engine components without damage from applying water, scrubbing or wiping. They usually come in pressurised cans with long nozzles, allowing the pressure of the spray to knock debris away with ease.
For those components that do require a little elbow grease, you’ll want to pick up a good quality cloth. You’ll need something that isn’t too rough, causing unnecessary friction, but is durable enough to wipe away some serious engine gunk.
There’s plenty of different cloths to choose from, depending on the specific cleaning products and engine components you’re working with. We recommend adding a good set of chamois, microfibre, cotton and synthetic cloths to your arsenal. They’re perfect for cleaning not just your engine, but a range of areas in your car – and your home too.
Another great way to get rid of loose debris in your engine bay is with a vacuum cleaner. Handheld vacuums and those with long pipes and nozzles are best for getting into the tricky areas and avoiding the more delicate spots.
Water-free, cleaning your engine bay with your vacuum cleaner won’t disrupt any connections or cause damage to electrical components. What they will do, is remove larger debris with minimal effort, and without the need for a clean up job after cleaning your engine bay.
For more top tips on maintaining your vehicle, don’t forget to take a look at other blogs. You can find everything you need to keep your engine bay clean, and running smoothly, over at the Euro Car Parts shop.