Most drivers know it’s important that washing cars regularly keeps vehicles free from dirt and harmful paint-dulling contaminants. However, an often neglected part of the car wash process is the undercarriage of a car. Just as washing the visible exterior of a car helps prevent deterioration and improves a car’s longevity, regularly cleaning the underside of your vehicle also increases its life-span. There are two ways to go about cleaning the underside of your vehicle.

Do It Yourself

Undercarriage cleaning can be an overwhelming task for some car owners. However, you can save money by washing the underside of your car at home instead of at the car wash. Before you begin to clean the underside of your car, prop the vehicle up on car jacks or use dolly tire-skates that have swivel casters with lock. Raising the car off of the ground will help you easily reach underneath your car. Use a high-powered sprayer or garden hose with a nozzle and spray the underside of your car to remove dirt and grime. Then, apply a cleaner, let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing off. If your car is heavily soiled, you can spot-clean areas with cleaner and a scrubber brush. Then, rinse those areas after cleaning. 

Have It Professionally Cleaned

Washing underneath your car prevents rust from forming and removes any oil and road grime buildup from the bottom of your car. Many professional car washes offer underbody cleaning as an easy add-on when you get a regular car wash. These professional car washes have the proper equipment and tools to quickly and thoroughly clean the underside of your vehicle. While adding an underbody wash to your car wash services may not save you money, it might save you some time and labor because the car wash already has the necessary tools, cleaners and equipment in place to quickly wash the underside of a vehicle. 

Whether you choose to do it yourself or opt for a professional clean, you don’t need to clean the underside of your car each and every time you wash the exterior. However, it is good to add a once-a-month undercarriage cleaning into your regular rotation. Additionally, when you know your car has been exposed to road salts or a lot of mud and dirt, it’s a good idea to make sure the underside is cleaned and any harmful contaminants have been removed, even if it's between your monthly washes. By regularly cleaning the underside of your car, you will protect against rust and increase the car’s life-span. 

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