Best Engine Bay Cleaners
If you’re looking to clean up that engine bay - these degreasers will get the job done!by Tijo Tenson, on
It’s always mesmerizing to see your car all shiny and spotless. It takes you on a peace-trip and gives a sense of satisfaction. But the focus is mostly on the outside, and we seldom think of the ’inside’. No, not the cabin. We are talking of the engine bay, the heart of your ride.
It is the most stressed-out, heated, and frequently soiled part of a car, that also gets exposed to a lot of moisture and dust. So, investing in a good engine bay degreaser and cleaner will keep the heart clean and be pleasing to your eyes, every time you pop that hood.
What Is An Engine Bay Cleaner?
An engine bay cleaner essentially has the properties of a degreaser and agitators. Removal of grime and dirt is a tedious process and most of the engine bay cleaners have strong chemicals that react and stir those stubborn patches of dirt.
Engine bay cleaning is a 3 step process with the agitator and degreaser being the first. The second being a thorough wash if needed. The last step is purely aesthetic with the application of polish on the plastic elements like the engine covers.
What Happens If You Don’t Clean The Engine Bay?
The engine bay is a crucial area of your car as it houses the engine and a few electricals, sometimes even the Engine Control Module. Over time, if not cleaned, dirt and dust start to accumulate in and around the bay. Due to constant exposure to heat and moisture, the grim thickens over time. This can be avoided by using the right kind of products that will degrease, clean, and shine your engine bay without any side-effects or damage to delicate elements like electrical connectors and fine metal parts such as the radiator or intercooler.
Here Are The Best Engine Bay Cleaners For Your Car
This happens to be one of the most sought-after engine bay cleaners out there. It sure is on the pricier side at $14.58 for a 16 oz. bottle. But its intensive citrus-based formula, which can be used to remove much more than dirt, makes it well worth it.
Chemical Guys Signature Series Orange Degreaser’s non-corrosive formula also allows you to use it on other external components like the wheels and underbody of the vehicle. It also comes in a handy spray bottle that makes applying it, an easy affair. Apart from making your engine bay spotless, a faint smell of oranges also follows. Wiping away the residue with a micro-fiber cloth is the easiest method if on accessible surfaces. Otherwise, a gentle wash with water will do the trick as well. Check it out on Amazon today!
This product is specifically designed to combat tough fluids accumulating in the engine bay. It has proved its worth in this arena over the years and is one of the cheapest (at $9.49) for a 15 oz. bottle. and best-selling engine bay cleaners. Gunk Original Engine Bright packs one of the strongest formulae for removing oil-soaked dirt.
It also comes in a sprayable can and using it is as easy as it gets. You spray it on the surface to be cleaned and leave it for 15 mins. This allows the concentration to eat into the grime, no matter how old it is. After which, a nice wash with water will make your engine bay as good as new. Because of its concentric formula, Gunk Original Engine Bright is recommended for older engines and those that have had oil leaks. Get a great deal on Amazon today!
This is more of a daily weapon against grim. And so Griots Garage Engine Cleaneruses a milder degreaser formula so as not to damage the surfaces with frequent usage. It has the added benefit of adding a layer of shine, that fares the work of an after-polish as well.
This requires some external agitation to work. After spraying it, it is best to take a micro-fiber and run it around to help break thick accumulations. After that, a mellow wash followed by a dry wipe will do the trick. Griots Garage Engine Cleaner is priced at $10.99 for a 22 oz. bottle. Order it by the gallon from Amazon at a discount!
Sonax Engine Degreaser And Cleaner
This German product is quite the cleaner and degreaser when it comes to stubborn patches. It removes fluids and dirt from the engine bay with ease. It comes in a spray bottle and interestingly, despite being free from phosphates, solvents, and acids remove the thickest of grime with ease.
This no-touch Sonax Engine Degreaser And Cleaner comes on the pricier side at $14.64 for a 16.9 oz. bottle and seldom requires added agitation. Spraying and letting it stay for about 5 minutes is all it takes. A water jet does the work of removing all the agitated dirt. If you still find more grime stuck to the engine, a slight brush-off might be necessary. Sonax recommends you use its engine cleaning solution on a cold dry engine out of direct sunlight as it tends to dry up quickly. Also, electricals are better avoided.
Most of the cleaners mentioned above are clear liquids. But the WD-40 Specialist Machine and Engine Degreaser is a heavy-duty foam-based spray. WD-40 is a common name in the mechanic world, as it is synonymous with ’removing rust’. The same stubborn nature is followed in its engine degreaser. The sprayer is can be used from up to 5 feet away, thus helping cover a wider and deeper area.
WD-40 has made a clever choice of making it water-based as it causes no damage for the non-metal components in the engine bay. This product is not confined to a car’s engine bay as it is usable on various machinery as well. Electricals are also well out of trouble because of this cleaner’s non-corrosive nature. This cleaner degreaser is priced at $12.49 for an 18 oz. bottle. Get 4 18-ounce cans on Amazon for less than $20!
Just as the name suggests, Wash All-Aero Cosmetics cleaner can be used on a variety of surfaces. Being a water-based formula, this formula is subtle and doesn’t destroy delicate surfaces with frequent usage. No alcohol or ammonia here and it is completely biodegradable. It can also be used on tires and external plastic claddings.
As it is a water-based product, the only aspect to keep in mind is to not use it on electrical elements. The Wash All-Aero Engine Cleaner is priced at $9.95 for a 16 oz. nominal bottle. And as it is also biodegradable, the safety of the environment is upheld. Get it by the gallon for less than $30 on Amazon!
Sacota Extreme Engine Cleaner
This engine cleaner uses a heavy-duty formula that includes solvents, emulsifiers, and other stain removers. So clearly not for the faint-surfaces as it tends to damage sensitive plastic parts if sprayed over for too long. Because of such a concentric formula, you don’t even need water in normal cases to clear the residue.
Just a wipe would do. It is not safe for the environment and should also not be used daily. But at $10.00 for a 32 oz. bottle, Sacota Extreme Engine Cleaner is the cheapest and strongest cleaner out there.
Ardex Engine Cleaner
Ardex Engine Cleaner can be diluted to cater to a variety of surfaces. The concentrated formula can be directly used on the stubbornest of engine grime. It can also be diluted with water and used on delicate surfaces, both on the outside and inside.
This makes the Ardex Engine cleaner the most versatile product of this bunch. But despite being flexible, it is best avoided on electricals. Priced at $15.99 for a 32 oz. bottle, it comes in pretty cheap, for the flexible nature it offers.
Mckee’s Engine Degreaser Cleaner
This is the fastest reacting formula of the bunch and is well known for its reaction on hard surfaces. It comes with surfactants that can dissolve any degree of dirt and grime and stir it up within minutes.
Its formula is biodegradable and non-toxic. But this should be kept away from sensitive areas like electrical and the interior. No toxic by-products mean that you can breathe freely while using Mckee’s engine cleaner. For what it offers, $19.99 for a 22 oz. bottle of McKee’s Engine Degreaseris a decent package.
So, Which Engine Degreaser Is The Best One For You?
If you are a person who would like to clean the engine bay daily as you clean the exterior, it is better to go for any of the above-mentioned water-based engine cleaners. This helps in keeping sensitive areas safe from harsh chemicals that are otherwise used generally in solvent-based cleaners. Ardex Engine Cleaner is our choice here because of the flexible dilution it offers.
If you want to clean it and keep it shiny at extended intervals, then the concentrated ones will do no harm. Just keep in mind, to avoid any delicate plastics or electrical elements while using the stronger ones. WD-40’s Foaming Spray or Chemical Guys Orange Degreaser can be your picks here.