How To Clean your Stainless Steel Exhaust in 6 Simple Steps

Last Updated on June 3, 2021

How To Clean your Stainless Steel Exhaust in 6 Simple Steps

If you are looking to give your car the deep clean that it deserves, a pressure washer is going to make a massive impact.

These handy tools allow you to pay fantastic attention to detail, ensuring that any stubborn grime and stains are taken care of when regular methods are not sufficient.

After you have taken care of the exterior of your car, it would be daft not to go all the way and spruce up all the little details. This could consist of your wing mirrors, your engine, or your exhaust pipe!

Whilst your car’s exhaust pipe may not be the first thing that comes to mind when cleaning your car, it’s actually one of the first things people see when judging a car for it’s cleanliness!

It’s super important to clean this regularly, and we guarantee that people will notice. However, this may appear to be an intimidating task – how do you clean it, and what tools will you require?

Do not worry – we’ve got you covered with this step-by-step guide on how to clean your stainless-steel exhaust in six simple steps. Read on to find out more!

How to clean your stainless-steel exhaust like a professional

Step 1: The Pressure Washer

Most of the steps for cleaning your stainless-steel exhaust will not require a pressure washer, so it’s important to make use of it before you start to make the job easier.

Instead of getting straight into the cleaning, why not give your exhaust a quick blast with some high PSI water pressure? The exhaust is made of stainless steel so it’s super durable – you won’t have any issues blasting it with that needle-point attachment. However, do not get carried away by spraying the interior.

Simply apply water pressure to the exterior of your exhaust to get rid of any visible grime. This is going to make the rest of the job so much easier!

Step 2: Using a Wire Brush

Cleaning your exhaust isn’t just about the exterior appearance. If you’re going to the effort of cleaning these small details, you may as well give the exhaust interior a thorough wash too! For this, you are going to want to purchase a small wire brush.

These metallic tools essentially act as scours, allowing you to get to work on stubborn sections of filth that a regular cloth would be useless at removing. Simply take the brush and clean around the inside of the pipe – this will help break down carbon build up.

If you are sceptical of this method at any point, simply take a look at the wire brush after use – it’s going to be caked in filth!

Step 3: Wipe Away the Grime

After giving the exhaust a thorough internal clean with the wire brush, there will be a lot of loose grime remaining in the exhaust.

This filth is only going to get in the way of the following steps, so it’s important to remove as much of it as possible before you continue. Go and grab a damp cloth and simply wipe down the interior of the exhaust.

Make sure to pay close attention to commonly ignored spots such as the tip and the back of the pipe. It might also be worth grabbing a torch so that you can potentially reveal any hidden dirt.

We find this step particularly satisfying – you are going to see a massive difference!

Step 4: Apply Metal Polish

Now that you have removed a whole bunch of nasty carbon build up and grime, your exhaust is probably looking a lot better.

However, to get it looking really flash you are going to want to get to work on it with some metal polish. If you try to use any standard household chemical on metal, you could face some serious problems.

Some chemicals can damage or rust metal, and others will simply cause nasty smears. Ensure that the polish you have chosen is suitable for stainless-steel, and you should be good to go. Grab your polish and apply a few drops to a cloth.

This is powerful stuff, so there is no need to use excessive amounts.

Step 5: Polish In A Circular Motion

Once you have applied the metal polish, take a fresh microfibre cloth, and gently polish the exhaust. Try to polish the exhaust through circular motions, as if you were cleaning a window.

This is important as regular side-to-side motions can result in streaks, and this is not going to be satisfying in the slightest! Keep looking at your cloth to identify when it is dirty – there is no point in polishing your exhaust if the cloth is filthy!

You can fold the cloth over so that you can use a fresh section of the cloth for each section of the exhaust, or if you are not worried about wasting cloths then simply use multiple. Do not forget to put some real elbow grease into this step – we want to be able to see the reflection of our face in the exhaust!

Step 6: Rinse and Repeat

Your stainless-steel exhaust is probably looking much better now, but if you are looking for a truly thorough job then do not hang up the cloth just yet! If you notice even the slightest bit of grime remaining, it’s time to get that pressure washer out again!

Make sure you have wiped off any filth remaining from the previous step, and spray that exhaust down once again. Personally, we always love to finish a cleaning job with a final pressure was. It gives us peace of mind knowing that despite the exhaust already looking clean, we went that extra mile to blast away any stubborn dirt.

You may think that this step is a little excessive but come on – you have gone to all this effort to clean your exhaust, so it would be daft to leave the job at 95% completion. You do not necessarily need to repeat all of these steps, but when it comes to attention to detail it’s always worth rinsing and repeating!

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