How To Clean an RC Car?

How to clean an RC car

RC cars getting dirty or deteriorating in appearance is inevitable. As an RC enthusiast, you will want to keep your RC vehicles as clean and glossy as new.

In addition, cleaning and regular maintenance will ensure your RC car’s functions and prevent dirt from building up inside. So, how to clean an RC car effectively without damaging its electronic components?

How often should you clean your RC car, anyway? If you are wondering about these questions, you’ve come to the right place. I will guide you on cleaning dirty RC cars in a matter of seconds.

Why Do You Need To Clean And Maintain The RC Car?

Cleaning and maintaining the RC car on a regular basis is arduous work for any RC owner. But this task is crucial since RC vehicles can easily collect dust and debris from the road.

Without proper cleaning, the dust inside will slowly corrode and weaken the car’s motors and components, thus slowly affecting your RC car’s functions. In addition, the dirty wheels deliver less traction and poorer performance.

Besides the technical reason, no player wants to play with a dirty-looking car. A new and glossy vehicle is not only pleasing to the eyes but also delivers higher resale value.

Regular cleaning also protects its finishes and paint, preventing the car from deteriorating in appearance over the long run. Plus, it’s much easier to store a clean car since dirty vehicles can leave debris and dirt all around the house.

What Tools Do You Need To Clean Your RC Car?

Using the proper cleaning tools is just as critical as implementing the right methods. You need to follow the owner’s manual’s rules and instructions carefully before cleaning or maintaining the RC car.

Also, ensure that the terrain you play the RC car on is suitable for its intended use. For example, an off-road RC truck is optimal on rough and dirty roads.

Meanwhile, the on-road RC cars with low tire height are suitable for indoor playing. Now let me walk you through some necessary tools for cleaning and disassembling the car’s components:

  • A basic and complete toolset for repairing electronic devices with wrenches, a socket driver, and a flathead screwdriver.
  • Paper, soft towels, and wet wipes for cleaning the liquid on the RC car.
  • Degreaser, soap, alcohol, or Wd-40 to wash off the dirt and debris.
  • A vacuum cleaner or air compressor to rinse the RC car after cleaning.
  • A cleaning spray.

How To Clean An RC Car?

There are 6 core steps to clean an RC car, which you can apply to various types of vehicles. However, be careful that your RC car cannot resist water or spraying.

Also, follow the owner’s manual to disassemble the vehicle correctly.

Step 1: Remove The Car’s Batteries

The battery is one of the most crucial components of your RC car that are very susceptible to water and impacts.

Therefore it’s critical to remove this power source before you do any cleaning.

First, use your vacuum cleaner or a mini air compressor to wipe out the dirt from the car’s chassis, electrical wires, and bearings. Then use the screwdriver to unscrew the car body and carefully remove its battery cell.

Avoid Washing The Car’s Battery

Step 2: Remove And Clean The Car’s Tires

The next step is to remove and hygiene the RC car’s tires after you have separated its electrical components and battery cell. Remove each tire gradually and use a dry, soft toothbrush to gently wipe off the dirt.

When the solid dirt and debris are removed, apply water or soap to the tire.

You can soap the tires in a mixture of Wd-40 and soap to clean them thoroughly, but ensure that the tires are completely waterproof.

Once the tires are clean, use a towel to dry off the water and carefully install them back on the RC car.

Step 3: Spray The RC Car Using A General Cleaner And Clean It

Some high-end car models have waterproof components, but you should check the owner’s manual to confirm. If it is not, it’s best to separate all electronic components and just clean the car’s body shell.

Now check the car’s bearings for any dirt or stain clinging up to the surface. Please note that water will oxidate the metallic bearings, so you better use a degreasing solution.

If the bearing is made of plastic, a water solution will do just fine. For the electrical parts, spray them with a mixture of detergent (soap) and warm water. Use a soft toothbrush and gently clean all of its body parts.

If these components are fragile and not waterproof, use a vacuum air cleaner and gently blow off the dirt. Normally these parts are fully sheltered by the body shell, so there’s much cleaning needed.

Step 4: Let The RC Car Dry

The easiest way is to let the car rest under direct sunlight so the water inside can evaporate. But the first step is to wipe off the water using a clean, soft, and dry towel.

If you want to speed up the drying time, use a vacuum cleaner or put the car under a high-speed fan.

Let The Car Dry After Cleaning

Step 5: Examine The Car’s Components For Any Signs Of Rust

Before reassembling the car components, check for any sign of rust, cracks, or damage. If the cracks are too big, the best way is to replace that component.

You can remove the rust by applying anti-rust chemicals or solutions onto that stain. To protect your car better, spray it with the Wd-40 solution on the metal body shell and bearings.

Step 6: Lubricate The Car’s Joints And Other Moving Parts

Cleaning the car will wipe out the dirt, but the lubricant in its joint will be gone too. It might cause the RC car to malfunction since its components are not lubricated properly.

The easiest solution is applying motor oil or WD-40 onto its joints before reassembling the components.

Not every RC car has the same cleaning method. Here is a real-life demonstration of RC car cleaning:

Pro Tips On Cleaning RC Vehicles

  1. You should wash the car whenever it gets dirty or after play time, especially on off-road terrains. This practice will form a healthy habit and help your RC car stay like new in the long run.
  2. For off-road RC cars, you should take off their tires and wheels before cleaning.
  3. Always remove the car’s battery and non-waterproof components first. Also, turn off its power button before cleaning.


If you still have some queries about RC car cleaning, check out the sections below. This information will help you clean the RC cars more efficiently.

Can You Clean Your RC Car With Water?

The answer is yes, but only for RC cars with waterproof motors and components. You can mix detergent with warm water and spray the mixture on the car’s features.

Then, use a soft toothbrush and softly wash off the dirt or debris building up inside. Remember to dry the vehicle after cleaning.

Can You Use Wd-40 On Your RC Car?

I have incorporated Wd-40 in my RC car’s cleaning process for a few years, and it worked magnificently. You can soak the car in Wd-40 so it can wash off the dirt and debris inside the plastic body.

Then, rinse the car off using an air blower and apply a little Wd-40 on its body. The WD coat will dry after a few days, making your car look beautiful as new.

How Often Should You Clean Your RC Car?

It depends on the state of your RC car and the type of track you play it on.

If you drive the RC car on dirty, off-road terrains, cleaning is needed every few days. If you play mainly in the house, cleaning on a weekly basis is sufficient.

How Do You Clean Plastic RC Parts?

Plastic RC cars are fairly simple to clean. You can use a mini cleaner to wash away the debris and dirt building up on the car’s body. Don’t use a hard brush, or it will damage and scratch the car’s surface.

Plastic cars are immune to water, so feel free to rinse off the dirt using water and gas cleaner.

Can I Hose Down My RC Car?

You can clean the RC car’s wheels and chassis using a low-pressure hose. Ensure that the breather holes on the car’s wheels are fully covered so water cannot get in when you clean.

Remember to blow off the water using compressed air after rinsing the car.

Final Thoughts

So those are the basic steps and easy instructions on cleaning an RC car. Ensure that you follow the steps in the correct order and use the proper tools to avoid damaging your RC car.

I hope that the guides in this post can make your RC car clean as new. Thank you for reading, and have a nice day!

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