How to Clean the Underside of My Car

As the saying goes “cleanliness is next to godliness”, and with a recent study showing that British drivers spend an awful lot of time in their vehicles – 32 hours of every year is spent stuck in traffic! – it’s not just your home that should be kept clean. The cleanliness of your car is important, particularly during the winter months where your car faces some tough challenges on the road due to adverse weather conditions, excess road debris and surface salts.

All year round a clean car can unlock a number of advantages for the owner, retaining the value of the vehicle, protecting its paintwork and ensuring a good driving experience in a vehicle you’re proud to be seen driving. Vehicle safety is also improved with regular car cleaning. Thanks to valeting, your windscreen, mirrors and lights can all be kept free from dirt, ensuring your vehicle is not only more visible to other drivers and pedestrians but visibility is enhanced for you as a driver. It’s not just the parts of your vehicle that you can see that need to be kept in tip top condition however.

The underside of your vehicle should be clean and debris-free to keep harmful contaminants and dirt at bay. Without the right maintenance and cleaning the underside of your vehicle in particular can accumulate dirt and debris that prevents the vital components within from operating as they should do. Here are our top tips for cleaning the underside of your car and keeping the underbody of your vehicle just as pristine as the rest of your ride.

To jack or not to jack?

The decision to jack or raise your vehicle for underside cleaning is entirely up to you. Many people choose to clean without a jack with modern day cleaning apparatus and products providing all the power you need to clean to a good standard. Underbody lances can also be used to target those difficult to reach places on the underside of your car.

Those who can’t fit under their vehicles may want to lift their cars with steady jacks, particularly if you are looking to achieve detail clean quality.

Choose your time

When you clean the underside of your vehicle is just as important as how. Cleaning your vehicle underside should be reserved for cooler weather conditions. Cleaning in warmer weather is not a great idea, as the products you use will dry to the surface of your underbody and various components quickly, making them more difficult to remove. Before cleaning you should also allow your vehicle to cool as excess heat from components will have the same effect as cleaning the underbody in hot weather.

Select your products

The right products and cleaning equipment will make all the difference for drivers wishing to clean their vehicle undersides to perfection. Products that are intended for use on heavily soiled, exterior areas are the ideal choice. Degreasers, traffic film removers and heavy duty all-purpose cleaners all do a great job too. The cleaning products you choose should be applied generously to the underside of the car, many also require time to do their magic before being rinsed away.

Rinse off thoroughly

After waiting the recommended time for the product to set, all product should be rinsed thoroughly and at high pressure. Many choose to follow up this rinse with a specialist foaming product to clean the tighter and more awkward areas of the underside. Most foaming products must be left to set for a long period of time before being washed off, so make sure you have no car journeys planned for the rest of the day.

Whether opting for a foamy finish or not, regular underbody cleaning ensures that the excess grime, grease and dirt picked up from the road can be kept under control and you can reap the rewards of a clean and debris free vehicle.

You don’t have to clean the underside of your vehicle yourself. Let us valet every part of your vehicle for you to keep it in the very best condition. We offer a number of professional valeting programmes for your perusal, contact us today for more details.