How To Wash An Electric Car? (Jet Washing & Handwashing)

When you think of an electric car, you’ll naturally think of the fact that it runs using batteries, and can an electric vehicle go through a carwash?

It isn’t totally unwise to be concerned for the well-being of these advanced and sensitive systems, particularly when it comes time to give your beloved new car a good wash.

Some EV owners may wonder about how safe it is to wash an electric car, either in a car wash or by hand, it’s completely safe to do so, and these cars are built to withstand rain and water the same as any other car.

When it comes to washing your electric car, there’s no real need to make any significant changes from your regular car washing routine that you would use on a standard gas-powered vehicle.

There are a couple of additional things to be aware of and keep in mind.

Naturally, using a high-powered pressure washer or jet washer to spray into the charging port is very unwise.

The same applies to breaking out the soap and water anywhere near the batteries.

However, these are ridiculous things no one with any common sense would do, and it’s not as if you’d take a soapy sponge to the battery of a standard car, so why would you do this on an electric vehicle?

One of the key things to remember is to keep the car turned off and ensure you aren’t charging the car while you wash it.

This could lead to water getting into the charging port and damaging the charging cable or other sensitive electrical components that shouldn’t be exposed to water.

📝 Related question: Can I charge my EV in the rain?

Now that we’ve got the common sense stuff out of the way, we can spend the rest of this guide highlighting some of the best routines and methods to keep your electric car looking as good as new, using both a hand wash and a jet wash.

Jet Washing

Before you start, it’s vital to ensure that your car is turned off and isn’t charging. Also, ensure that the charging port is secured and totally enclosed and that all windows and doors are properly closed.

Move the car into a shaded spot to help make things easier and ensure that there’s plenty of space around the vehicle to give yourself ample room to move around with the jet wash and create space for reaching every nook and cranny.

If you use an electric car, it may be an idea to consider using eco-friendly or biodegradable cleaning agents and sponges to maximize your eco-friendly lifestyle or even using an all-electric washer instead of a gas-powered jet wash to minimize your carbon footprint.

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1️⃣ Hook up the pressure washer and use your detergent

Connect your pressure washer to your hose and ensure that it’s all plugged in with enough range to reach all areas of your car.

Prepare your cleaning agents using the instructions on the bottle and attach the washer nozzle to prepare for the next step.

2️⃣ Get the detergent all over the car

When cleaning your car, you want to ensure it’s well coated in detergent, so don’t be shy and don’t worry about damaging the vehicle.

If you’ve prepared it properly, it will be essentially waterproof, and you won’t be able to damage it while you spray it with the washer. Ensure you get an even coating all over the exterior of the car.

3️⃣ Rinse off the soap

Now is the time to use the pressure washer to rinse off the car and blast away any dirt and grime.

One important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t turn the power up too high on your washer or stand too close to the car as this could damage your car’s finish, and this is true of almost any vehicle, not just electric cars.

4️⃣ Dry the car

The best way to prevent water stains is to ensure the car is dried correctly and not allow the water to evaporate off the car’s surface.

Once you’ve rinsed it well, use a hand chamois to dry the exterior as much as possible to prevent unsightly watermarks. This is why it’s best to work in the shade, to prevent water from evaporating too quickly.

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5️⃣ Wax 

The last step of any good car wash is often skipped, but it shouldn’t be, as it can help your car stay cleaner and shinier for longer and help enhance its color and protect its paint.

There are many waxes to choose from, so we’ll leave this choice to you, but make sure to follow the instructions for your particular wax when preparing it.

Then work over your car with it in sections, applying the wax in short, straight lines to keep it even over the whole vehicle—always polish using circular motions.

Alright, Mr. Miaggi, wax on! Wax-off!

Hand Washing

Much of the prep when hand washing is the same as jetwashing, except you won’t need to prepare the jet washer.

Instead, you’ll need to collect your buckets, one for detergent and one for clean, pure water to rinse—a car washing mitt or sponge, microfiber towels, and a wheel cleaner.

1️⃣ Start on the wheels first

Starting on the wheels gets one of the muckiest jobs out of the way first and ensures that this filth doesn’t get splashed around while you wash other parts of the car.

2️⃣ Wash with the sponge, then dry with the towels

Washing by hand is much slower than jet washing. However, you can divide up the areas of the car more efficiently, and it is a more thorough clean in many ways.

Use a new mitt and start with the car’s roof, then move to the frunk/hood, sides, and rear.

Make sure to wash the mitt between sections to avoid spreading grime around. Also, take care when around the charging port and double-check it stays closed as you work around it.

3️⃣ Rinse

Use pure water to rinse off each section as you go, and remember to use freshwater regularly to keep the rinsing as pure as possible.

4️⃣ Wax

Like jet washing, use your favorite car wax and apply it in straight lines, working section by section.