Quick guide; how to clean a car engine without water

Did you know that your car can malfunction because it has contamination on the engine? Yeah, that’s right! That’s the exact reason you need to know how to clean a car engine without water. It is important to insist on without water because it is the best way to have your engine clean. Water can also damage some parts if not handled well.

Stick around for a full guide on how to clean your car engine and a few tips on how to protect your engine. We shall also be looking at how to clean different types of car engines and some very useful products you need to have by your side when doing such an operation.

  1. Let your engine cool down completely
  2. Do a shallow clean-up to remove debris
  3. Secure any delicate parts with plastic bags
  4. Apply a degreasing agent
  5. Thoroughly scrub off the grease
  6. Clean off your engine until it’s dry
  7. Apply a little bit of engine protectant
  8. Remove the plastic bags
  9. Let is sit for a while and start the engine

Now, considering that you want to avoid the damage that comes with cleaning an engine with water, especially when it is not done properly, you need to have some tools in play. However, this should not worry you even a bit because they are some very accessible tools that anyone can source both locally and from the auto spares store.

car engine image; stock

You will need the following;

  1. A brush
  2. Degreasing wipes
  3. A plastic bag
  4. A degreasing agent
  5. Micro fiber cloth pieces
  6. Engine protectant

With those handy tools, we are now ready to delve into our process of cleaning the engine itself. How to clean a car engine without water. This step-by-step guide will help you clean up your engine in a few minutes without having to use water. This has no chance of damaging any component of your engine.

How to clean a car engine without water

1. Let your engine cool down properly

Car engines can get very hot, especially after a drive. So, before you are ready to look into the cleanliness of the engine, you should look into how safe it is to touch. This is the main reason why it is important to have it cool down properly first. Preferably, open the bonnet and have it under a shade or somewhere in your garage and leave it for some time, until you’re convinced it is cool enough to touch with your hands.

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2. Do a shallow clean-up to remove debris

It’s common that some, debris such as sticks and leaves might have found its way into your engine. Now we need to get rid of those before we are ready to start the proper clean-up. The brush will help you a lot in this. It is not anything complicated and it can be dealt with in a few minutes. Loosely clean every part to remove all the debris.

3. Secure any delicate part of the engine with the plastic bags

Although we are not using any water in the clean-up process, we still need to secure some parts and components of the engine which need not come into contact with the degreaser. We usually refer to them as delicate parts of the engine. The agent you will use for degreasing might leave behind some damage due to moisture. Components such as open electrical components and air intakes should be well-secured using the plastic bag available.

4. Apply your degreasing agent

It is now time to get to the heart of cleaning. The kind of degreaser that you will use determines a lot of how good an outcome you will have at the end of this process. Go for a high-quality one such as this Chemical Guys CLD_201_16 Signature Series Orange Degreaser, 16 oz

Once you have a degreaser of your choice, you can carefully apply it to securely reach every part of your engine. If you do not want to have a degreasing agent sprayed on the engine, you can go for the alternative of degreasing wipes to clean take effect if all the remnants of grease as well as any dirt on the engine. With your chosen agent, make sure you cover every part of the engine. After you are satisfied that you have reached every part of your engine, you can now let it sit for a while. This will allow your agent to act on the grease and dirt so that it is easy to wipe off in the end.

5. Clean and wipe off the engine surface until it’s completely dry

how to clean a car engine without water

After the agent has sat for the required while, you can now embark on final cleaning and wiping off the excess together with the dirt. You can use a brush to enhance the efficiency of cleaning before using the microfiber cloth pieces to get off the excess.

This way, every surface you deal with will end up clean. You want to check that every part is clean. Where there is some stubborn dirt or grease, be sure to add a little bit more of the degreaser and clean it off until you’re satisfied with the result.

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Quick tip;

Try to strictly use microfiber cloth since it leaves no residue of moisture at all. Towels can do but they won’t be as efficient as the microfiber cloth.

6. Apply a little bit of engine degreaser

It is important to do more than just the normal cleaning of the engine. The protectant mostly comes in spray bottles but you can consider avoiding over-splatter by using the microfiber cloth to apply it gently until every part that needs it is covered. Mostly, the rubber and plastic parts are targeted.

7. Remove the plastic bags

After you’re done with all the process, you can now do away with the plastic bags from the delicate parts. You can then check if there might be a mistaken drop of the cleaning agents that slipped its way through. After you make everything is in proper shape, you can head to the next step.

8. Let it sit for a while before starting the engine

After the process, you might want to give the engine some time to sit for a while before you can now start it. Ten minutes or so won’t be bad. Make sure that there is no alight problem before you turn off the engine or go for a drive again. That’s pretty much it. Your engine is now clean and quite protected!

Few tips on how to clean a car engine without water

  • Make sure all the delicate components are well protected throught the process
  • Use fibre cloth instead of a towel
  • Add some protectant
  • After cleaning, do not spray the protectant, use some fibre cloth to apply it.

Considering that there are so many car engine degreasers and degreasing agents in the stores, you might make use of a few recommendations on the same. We sampled five of the best degreasers on Amazon to help you fix the gap in case you’re stuck on which one to use.

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List of five best degreasers to use

  1. Chemical Guys CLD_201_16 Signature Series Orange Degreaser
  2. Cleaner Degreaser, 1 Gal
  3. Gunk EB1CA ‘Original Engine Brite’ Engine Degreaser – 15 oz.
  4. Pro HD”Purple” Concentrated Cleaner & Degreaser – Heavy Duty, Professional, Automotive, Restaurant, Grills, Ovens (32 oz Spray @Heavy Strength and 1 Gal Concentrate Refill)
  5. Chemical Guys CLD_201 Signature Series Orange Degreaser

How to clean a car engine without water- FAQs

Can you clean an engine without water?

Yes. a car engine is in fact better cleaned without water since water can sometimes damage some key delicate components of the engine due to moisture accumulation. water is therefore not recommended for engine cleaning.

How can I clean my engine without damaging anything?

Just like we mentioned in the guide above make, remove the dirt, degrease the engine surface, wipe off the excess and let it dry well. you will be good to go! without water remember.

What is the best way to clean the engine?

it is simple as;
remove loose dirt
add a degrease
brush it in thoroughly
dry it off and
let it dry

How do I clean my engine bay without a pressure washer?

you do not need a pressure washer to clean your engine. just some degreaser or degreaser wipes and you’ll be good to go. just be sure to make sure the degreaser does not touch the delicate parts of the engine.

Is it OK to wash the engine with water?

it is okay to use water for engine cleaning but you should strictly do it very carefully. water damages some parts of the engine since it can lead to moisture accumulation.

Can you spray an engine with water?

You can spray the engine with water to clean it but you should do so when your engine is cool. cold water on hot engine components can be potential damage. Be sure to cover the electrical parts and the air intake.

What is the best engine cleaner?

since there are many cleaners in the market, there is great competition when it comes to such products. we picked on this chemical guy’s CLD 201 degreaser.

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