- Wheel Cleaning Brushes
- Wheel Wash Mitt
- Wheel Soap
- All-Purpose Cleaner
- Steel Wool
- Metal Polish
- Wheel Protectant
Exhaust soot is typically unburnt fuel released during engine combustion resulting in black carbon buildup that can be a challenge to remove. Be sure to wear protective gloves and eye wear at all times. Exhaust tips should be cleaned immediately after you scrub your wheels, and before you begin cleaning the paint. Use the same wheel bucket, brushes, and wheel woolies for the exhaust as you did on the wheels themselves. Never use a clean wash mitt on your wheels or exhaust that you would later use on your paint. Make sure to separate the wheel and exhaust bucket from your paint bucket, by using different colors or simply using a marker.
First, spray all-purpose cleaner on the tips and allow them to soak for one to two minutes without drying. Then refill the bucket with strong wheel soap, dunk the woolie, and scrub the inner lip by twisting the woolie in your hand. Rinse and reassess. If the exhaust is maintained on a regular basis, this is all that will be required to keep it looking good during a normal wash routine. Do your best to avoid spraying or shooting water directly into the exhaust chamber, however, quick but thorough rinses are completely safe.
If the exhaust looks better, but not perfect, soak the tips in wheel cleaner and let them soak for one to two minutes. Then use four ott steel wool on the inner lip to break apart the carbon buildup. Use medium to heavy pressure, and rotate the wool as it becomes full of carbon. Rinse, and reassess again. If more work is needed, repeat the wheel cleaner, steel wool method. Next use aluminum or metal polish on a microfiber towel to brighten up the surface. Rotate the towel as it becomes dirty and buff clean when done.
Finally, protect the exhaust tip with a metal coating or wheel sealant to make future cleanings easier. It’s best to apply two to three layers of protection due to the exhaust location and the amount of heat it may endure. Cleaning exhaust pipes is a never ending task. As soon as you start your car, the buildup begins again. But remember the best way to keep your exhaust tips clean is to incorporate them into your regular wash routine.