Skip to main content
Cleaning & Degreasing

How to Wash a Car Engine

By June 3, 2022June 9th, 2023No Comments

Your car engine is one of the most important parts of your car and the most difficult to clean. Many people take their car to a professional to clean the engine; however, this is not always necessary. You can save money by learning how to wash a car engine yourself.

How to Wash a Car Engine

You will need to assemble some of the materials before starting to clean the engine. You require a water hose, a pressure washer (optional), a bucket, soap or degreaser, a scrub brush, and rags. If the engine was recently used, make sure it has cooled down before starting to wash it.

Cleaning Car Engine using Ignite's Non-Toxic Cleaners and Degreasaers.

It is also important to find a raised platform on which to work. This will make it easier to see the engine while cleaning it. It will also help the water to drain and prevent any damage to the engine from the water pressure.

Now that we have covered the materials you need, and some safety concerns, let’s get started on how to wash your car engine step by step and make it look new again!

Open the Hood

First, you need to open the hood of your car. This will give you access to the engine. Make sure that you prop the hood open so that it does not close while working.

Also, take this opportunity to remove any loose debris, such as leaves or twigs, that may have accumulated on or near the engine. You can use a brush or your hands to remove these items. This will prevent them from getting wet and potentially causing damage.

Remove the Air Intake Filter

Removing the air intake filter will prevent water and soap from getting into the engine. Many filters can be removed by simply unscrewing them. Others may require you to loosen a clamp or two.

Consult your car’s owner’s manual if you are unsure of how to remove the air intake filter. It is important to be gentle when removing the filter so that you do not damage it and have to replace it.

Cover Any Electrical Components

Covering the electrical components is vital to prevent any damage from occurring. Water and electricity do not mix well!

You can use plastic bags or wrap to cover the electrical components. Ensure that the bags or wrap are secure so that they do not fall off while washing the engine. At this point, you can remove the battery or disconnect it if you feel more comfortable doing so.

Instructions to Cover Any Electrical Components while cleaning car engine.

Wet the Engine

This can be done using a hose or pressure washer. If using a hose, make sure that the water pressure is not too high so that you do not damage the engine.

Start at the top of the engine and work your way down. Be sure to get all engine areas, including in between and underneath parts, as this will help to loosen any dirt or grime that may be attached.

Apply Soap or Degreaser

Now it is time to add degreaser or soap to the engine. You can do this by pouring the degreaser directly onto the engine or using a brush to apply it. If using a brush, make sure that it is not made of metal, which could damage the engine.

The soap or degreaser cleaning solution that you are using should have instructions on how long it needs to be left on the engine before being rinsed off. Follow these directions carefully to avoid damaging the engine.

Let the Soap or Degreaser Sit

Once the soap or degreaser has been applied, it is important to let it sit for the amount of time specified by the manufacturer. This will give it time for the degreaser to break down the dirt and grime so that it can be easily rinsed away.

Do not allow the soap or degreaser to dry on the engine, making it more difficult to remove and could damage the engine.

Scrub the Engine With a Brush Until Clean

After the specified amount of time has passed, it is time to scrub the engine with a brush until it is clean. Ensure that you are using a brush that will not damage the engine.

A toothbrush can be used to get into small crevices and areas that are difficult to reach. Once you have scrubbed the entire engine, it is time to rinse it off.

Rinse the Engine Thoroughly

Rinse the engine thoroughly with water to remove all the soap or degreaser. Start at the top of the engine and work your way down.

It is important to remove all of the soap or degreaser as it can damage the engine if left behind. Also, be sure to rinse in between and underneath all engine parts.

Instructions to Rinse the engine thoroughly with water to remove all the soap or degreaser.

Dry the Engine

Once the engine is rinsed, it is important to dry it to prevent any water spots from forming. Air drying is the most effective method. However, you can also use a clean towel to dry the engine if necessary.

Be sure to get all engine areas, including in between and underneath parts. Once the engine is completely dry, you can replace the battery or reconnect it if you disconnected it earlier.

Benefits of Washing Your Car Engine

  • It can help improve your engine’s performance by removing dirt and grime that can cause it to run less efficiently.
  • A clean engine is also less likely to overheat, as the cooling system will be able to work more effectively.
  • Washing your car engine can also help extend its lifespan by preventing corrosion and other damage caused by dirt and grime.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Safe to Wash Car Engines With Water?

It is very safe to wash your car engine with water as long as you take the necessary precautions. Ensure to air dry or towel dry the engine afterward so that no water spots form.

Can I Use a Pressure Washer to Wash My Engine?

Yes, you can use a pressure washer to wash your engine. However, be sure to use a low setting so that you do not damage the engine.


Washing your car engine regularly is important to keep it running smoothly and prevent corrosion. However, it’s important to do it safely to avoid damaging the engine or getting electrocuted. Ensure that the engine is cool before starting, use a non-flammable cleaner, and avoid getting water inside the engine.


Skip to content