Questions tagged [cleaning]

Anything to do with cleaning the interior or exterior or removing things like stickers and decals.

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53
votes
22answers
180k views

Effective way to clean inside of windshield?

The inside of my windshield has a thin layer of grime. When the light hits it a certain way, it drastically reduces my visibility. I have used glass cleaner with clean microfiber car cloths and ...
33
votes
8answers
10k views

Do I really need to wash the outside of my car?

Some people say they wash the outside car every week as it makes the paint nice etc Are there any benefits of washing the outside of my car? Do I really need to wash the exterior of my car every ...
25
votes
11answers
10k views

How to get rid of a decal on the rear window?

I've bought a car which has ugly label glued to its rear window. What are inexpensive and effective ways to remove it without residue? Edit: my car has it on the outside on the blank glass but it‘s ...
15
votes
1answer
76k views

Why is my Toyota dashboard shiny and sticky, and how do I clean it?

I have a 2008 Toyota Camry, which is primarily kept in Florida (southern U.S.). My entire dashboard has been sticky / tacky for years. I do not know why or how it got this way. It accumulates dust ...
14
votes
1answer
24k views

Cleaning brake fluid (general tips)

There are some other threads on other websites about cleaning up brake fluid. But I just wanted to get a more organized, concise answer here on SE. Wanted to confirm that cleaning up brake fluid just ...
13
votes
2answers
21k views

Why has white powder formed on metal parts after cleaning with degreaser and what can I do about it?

I just cleaned much of my engine compartment with Abro Heavy Duty Degreaser, and I noticed that on certain metal parts like the valve cover, thermostat housing and transmission housing a white powder ...
13
votes
2answers
55k views

How should I remove stickers or pinstripe decals from paint?

I want to remove a dealer's sticker from my car. The sticker is on a painted surface. What is the best way to do it? Could I remove pinstripe decals in the same way?
12
votes
8answers
5k views

Tips for an oil change at home: cleanliness and disposal?

Drain oil, add new oil... find oil everywhere. It spills, the funnel is full of it when I'm done and drips forever, and I'm pouring kitty litter all over the driveway. If I had a proper garage this ...
12
votes
2answers
528 views

How to restore and care for leather?

I have an old car and I am wondering about the processes involved in cleaning the leather on it and bringing it back to an almost new looking state. The roof exterior is leather and the whole ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

Avoiding the grease, dirt and oil from getting onto the skin and under the nails?

I started learning to maintain my motorcycle on my own, and cleaned the chain and lubricated it yesterday. Ended up with grease+oil smeared all over my hands and under the nails which haven't gone off ...
11
votes
3answers
11k views

Can I use washing up liquid to wash my car?

I was just wondering, can I use something like Fairy washing up liquid or dish soap (which is added to hot water in a sink or basin to wash plates, dishes and cutlery etc)) in warm water to wash my ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Cleaning and Shining Black, Under Hood Rubber and Plastic Parts

There are various black plastic and rubber parts under my hood I would try to make look nice such as my cold air intake box: I tried cleaning it with water that had a little vinegar added to it, ...
10
votes
4answers
31k views

How to Make a Homebrew Engine Degreaser Spray?

Can anyone recommend a cheap and safe homebrew engine degreaser that can be used in a spray bottle. When I say safe, I mean both for the engine and me. I would be rinsing with either another spray ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I achieve a streak free windshield?

I can never quite get the streak free shine on my windshield from using Windex. Is there another product that works better?
10
votes
1answer
5k views

Cleaning mud from motorcycle radiator

Can anyone suggest a non damaging way to clean my muddy radiator? Preferably without removing it from the bike. Thanks! Update, after cleaning it with sprayed hot water and small brushes: Note: I ...
10
votes
3answers
45k views

How can I clean the dirt build-up in my alternator?

The alternator in my '04 Lumina SS is its Achilles' heel. It lasts a few years before it starts to overcharge the battery, after which the only practical remedy is to replace it. While I cannot be ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

What's the easiest way to remove chewing gum from a medium-pile floor mat?

A circumstance rather sticky Unfolded and made things icky. This ungainly sight Of chewing gum white, Uprooting it seems quite tricky! How can I pull it out causing as little damage to the ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

What clean, non-sticky lubricant can I use for door hinges?

I cleaned the hinges of my doors and tailgate, the grease had attracted all sorts of dirt and turned black, tar-like and abrasive (metal shiny when I wiped the stuff off). I used a toothbrush, WD-40 ...
9
votes
1answer
369 views

What is the best way to detail your car inside?

I bought a used car and its seat, doors, dashboard all needs some good cleaning job. I am thinking to shampoo the seats and side doors and then vacuuming it. But I don't know what shampoo to use and ...
8
votes
10answers
73k views

Is it all right to clean a car radiator with vinegar and chlorine?

I got the idea from this article, where it suggests cleaning your washing machine using chlorine bleach and then vinegar. I have successfully used this method to clean my household washing machine ...
8
votes
2answers
27k views

Battery acid clean up

I was carrying a battery in the floorboard of the backseat area of the car. I was going to return it to be disposed in a week. In the meantime, it tipped over and a good amount of the battery acid ...
8
votes
3answers
56k views

Are fuel system cleaners (like Gumout) worth using regularly?

Are fuel system cleaners (like Gumout) worth using regularly?
8
votes
1answer
19k views

Consequences of a Dirty Intake Manifold

This is similar to, but not the same as my question Effects of Dirty Piston Heads and Intake Valves. Basically, I often see people talking about taking the intake manifolds off older cars to clean ...
8
votes
1answer
612 views

Why should I clean bug and bird debris off my car?

I have a relatively new car with nice clean paint. I've read and been told that cleaning bugs and bird debris off of my car quickly is important because it can damage the paint. Do I really need to ...
8
votes
1answer
140 views

Neutralizing sulfur-like smell from car

A full bottle of jewelry cleaning (links product and material safety data sheet below) broke in my car and went unnoticed for a few days. Now the car has a sulfur-like smell whenever I go into the ...
7
votes
1answer
13k views

What are some Seafoam Alternatives

I read this procedure for using Sea Foam ( also listed on their website ) to clean the intake manifold, injectors and crankcase. I think this would be useful for my vehicle, however Sea Foam isn't ...
7
votes
2answers
730 views

Cleaning toddler accident from car

A 20 month old toddler vomited milk in my car. The vomit landed on the rear seat and the foot area in front of the seat. I am sure a few drops flew into the rear air con vent. I have only wiped it off ...
7
votes
2answers
254 views

Cut and Polish: Looking for help on how to do my car

I am looking to do a cut and polish on my Australian made Holden Calais VT commodore (98 model). I am very new to doing cut and polishes and was hoping someone could point me out to what products ...
6
votes
5answers
18k views

How to remove Duct Tape residue?

I recently had my window get stuck only after having it rolled all the way down. So I had to put a trash bag in its place temporarily, to keep rain from damaging the interior of my vehicle, and it was ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Fuel meets rubber

When working with on (diesel) fuel system components the instructions often advise keeping fuel off of rubber parts or cleaning it up promptly if fuel gets on them. OK, I can get behind that, but what ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

How toxic is brake fluid?

Is brake fluid especially toxic or is it about the same as dirty oil (not very toxic in trace amounts or just occasional human exposure). I'm trying to figure out how much effort I should put in ...
5
votes
2answers
683 views

What is the best DIY approach to keeping brake dust off your rims?

I used to work at a car wash, so I am familiar with the assembly line brushes they used. I do have a bag of old t-shirt rags, but I am not sure I want to deplete them by single-use for this task. I'...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Water underneath floor carpet - Mazda Protégé 2002

I just bought a Mazda Protégé 2002 and a few weeks later I noticed a damp spot on the back passenger side floor. Very wet and soaked. Later I noticed the smell grew larger and the vapor on the glass ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Removing oil stains from the driveway?

A few weeks ago, our car seems to have spilled some oil on our driveway. I regret that I didn't ask sooner but I hope it's not too late: --> What can I do to remove these stains? As for the car, I'm ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Washing Engine Bay / Underside From Oil / Dirt

I'm considering getting a power washer for the purpose of cleaning engines, bays and car / engine undersides of built up dirt and oil and was wondering what the minimum PSI and flow rate required are ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Washing shop clothes with lots of motor oil on them

What's the most effective way to wash your shop clothes that have lots of motor oil? I don't want to put it in the washer together with my regular dirty clothes to avoid spreading the oil onto them. ...
5
votes
4answers
95k views

Flushing built up Rust and Mineral Deposits in Cooling System

The previous owner ran tap water in the cooling system for few years, and we have very heavy, mineral rich water locally. When I bought the car about six months ago, I drained the water, and put a ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Car runs uneven and jerky, but why? (Mazda 626)

I have a Mazda 626 (sedan) -97 and lately its been running uneven and jerky. Have had in in for repairs and changed battery, oil+filter and spark plugs. Still had problems and tried to use a engine ...
5
votes
4answers
10k views

How to clean Car's HVAC and AC system

There is a relatively unpleasant smell in my car's HVAC, AC or heating system. Failed idea#1: I removed the cabin air filter and sprayed lots of Lysol in there. It did not help much. Failed idea#2: ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Is there any side effect with using brake cleaners as a general grease or oil cleaner?

The brake cleaner spray I use is relatively cheap and does a great job cleaning my tools. After an oil change, I spray oily stuff and they become clean. The sprayed brake cleaner evaporates and dry ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Best Way to Clean CV Joints of Old Grease

I'll be replacing the CV boots on my axles pretty soon and was wondering what the best way to clean the old grease off is. Are there any common solvents that would be useful, or are just a bunch of ...
5
votes
1answer
289 views

Remove interior stickers such as airbag deployment warnings from car

I would like to remove the stickers on my visors that explain about the airbags from my car without damaging the visors. What is the best way to accomplish this?
5
votes
1answer
72 views

New to mechanical work. Is this a safe way to clean oxygen sensor, or any similar part

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tD9KXAukO9M So I found this video of a guy cleaning their oxygen sensor out with an ultrasound cleaner. I presume what it is doing is breaking up the carbon build up ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Cigarette in the ac vent

I have a Ford Fiesta, a friend of mine dropped a cigarette inside the left air conditioning vent..Should I worry about it catching fire? Even if not, how do I get it out?
4
votes
4answers
17k views

Motorcycle chain degreasing

What are the pros and cons of the various chain degreasing techniques. I want to maintain my chain and sprockets to the best possible standard and have heard many schools of thought on chain cleaning ...
4
votes
3answers
892 views

Washing a vehicle in the hot sun?

A quick search online turns up a number of pages that recommend against giving your vehicle a carwash in the hot sun. Will this actually damage the finish on the vehicle? Will it cause any harm to ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Will brake dust corrode my wheels?

I've had my car for 1 month and 2,000 miles now and my wheels, which were once very shiny chrome, now look like I painted them gray because the brake dust is so bad. First of all, is brake dust ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How to protect floor mats?

I recently sold my old Clio and bought a new Polo. On my old Clio I had rubber mats on top of the original mats, which were super easy to clean with some water and maybe some scrubbing when they ...
4
votes
3answers
11k views

Vinyl steering wheel restoration

Over the years the vinyl on my steering wheel has fallen apart. I'm not so concerned about cosmetics but on humid days it becomes sticky and leaves a mess on my hands: Unfortunately, even the ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

Safely washing engine bay of Ford Focus

I am trying to clean the engine bay of my 2002 Ford Focus SE, which is really grimy thanks to years of neglect, and a valve cover gasket leak that I recently fixed. I have been reading about how to ...