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How to Clean & Polish Exhaust Tips (Step-by-Step)

Updated: Jan 8

Exhaust tips are an important part of a car's exhaust system and can affect the appearance of your vehicle. Over time, exhaust tips can accumulate dirt, grime, and carbon buildup, which can make them look dirty and dingy.


Cleaning your exhaust tips is an easy way to improve the appearance of your car and ensure that it's looking at its best.


In this article, we will provide step-by-step instructions on how to clean exhaust tips, as well as answer some commonly asked questions about the cleaning process.

 

Table of Contents:


person cleaning a car exhaust tip

How to Clean Exhaust Tips

You will need the following items to clean exhaust tips.



To clean an exhaust tip, follow the steps below. This works for all types of exhaust tips, including black, painted, stainless steel and chrome exhaust tips.


  1. Before beginning, put on a pair of gloves to protect your hands from harsh cleaning chemicals.

  2. Mix a solution of car wash soap and water in a bucket. The soap will help to loosen and lift dirt and grime from the surface of the exhaust tips.

  3. Using a cloth, wipe away surface dirt and carbon from the exterior of the exhaust tip. Be sure to get into any crevices or hard-to-reach areas.

  4. To clean the inside of the exhaust tip, use a round, stiff-bristled brush dipped in the soapy water. Scrub the inside of the exhaust tip in a circular motion to loosen and remove any built-up grime.

  5. Once you have removed as much dirt and grime as possible, it's time to apply a degreaser. Dampen a clean, dry cloth with the degreaser and apply it to the exhaust tip, both inside and outside. Follow the instructions on the degreaser label for the recommended soaking time.

  6. After the degreaser has had a chance to work its magic, use #0000 grade steel wool to scrub off any remaining dirt and carbon buildup. The fine grade of the steel wool will help to avoid scratching the surface of the exhaust tip.

  7. If the exhaust tips are extremely dirty, you may need to repeat the degreasing and scrubbing process.

  8. Once you have removed all of the dirt and grime, wipe the exhaust tip with a clean, damp cloth to remove any remaining residue.

  9. To give the exhaust tips a shiny finish, use a microfibre cloth to apply a metal polish. Rub the polish into the surface of the exhaust tip in a circular motion, covering both the inside and outside.

  10. After the recommended time has passed, use a microfiber cloth to remove the metal polish. The microfiber cloth will help to prevent streaks and leave the exhaust tips with a polished, shiny finish.


With these steps, your cars exhaust tips should be looking like new in no time! Just be sure to follow the instructions on any cleaning products you use, and take care not to scratch or damage the surface of the exhaust tips.


If you're using metal polish, make sure it works with your type of exhaust tip, it may not work well with painted or black exhaust tips, check to see if it works with a chrome exhaust tip as well.

How Do You Remove Carbon Buildup From Exhaust Tips?

To remove carbon buildup from the exhaust tips, you can follow the steps outlined below.


  • Start by washing the surface of the exhaust tip with soapy water and a bristled brush.

  • Next, apply a degreaser to the exhaust tip and let it soak for the recommended amount of time.

  • Then, scrub off the degreaser using #0000 grade steel wool.

  • If you haven't cleaned your exhaust tips in a long time, you may need to repeat this process to fully remove the carbon buildup.


Does WD-40 Clean Exhaust Tips?

While WD-40 is a versatile product that can be used to clean and protect a wide range of surfaces, it is not specifically designed for use on exhaust tips.


WD-40 is primarily a lubricant, penetrating fluid and water displacement agent and may not be effective at removing dirt, grime, and carbon buildup from exhaust tips.


For best results, we recommend using a degreaser specifically designed for cleaning exhaust tips.


Can I Use Steel Wool to Clean Exhaust Tips?

Yes, you can use steel wool to clean exhaust tips. However, it is important to use a fine grade of steel wool, such as #0000 grade, to avoid scratching the surface of the exhaust tip.


After applying a degreaser and letting it soak, you can use the steel wool to scrub off any remaining dirt and carbon buildup. Be sure to follow the instructions on the degreaser label to ensure that you are using the product safely and effectively.


Can You Use Stainless Steel Cleaner on Exhaust Tips?

Yes, you can use a stainless steel cleaner on exhaust tips. Stainless steel cleaners are specifically designed to remove dirt, grime, and fingerprints from stainless steel surfaces. To use a stainless steel cleaner on your exhaust tips, follow the instructions on the cleaner's label.


Be sure to use a clean cloth to apply the cleaner and wipe it off, and avoid using abrasive materials like steel wool to scrub the surface.


If your exhaust tips are made of a different type of metal, such as chrome or aluminum, be sure to use a cleaner that is safe for use on that type of metal.


Conclusion

Cleaning exhaust tips is an easy way to improve the appearance of your vehicle. By following the steps outlined above, you can effectively remove dirt, grime, and carbon buildup from your exhaust tips.


Be sure to use protective gloves, a degreaser specifically designed for cleaning exhaust tips, and fine #0000 grade steel wool to avoid damaging the surface of the exhaust tip. By taking care of your exhaust tips, you can help ensure that your car is looking its best.