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How To Wash RC Trucks & Cars

People of all age brackets can have a lot of fun with an RC car or truck. Whether you’re a child or an adult, there’s surely something fun you can do with an RC vehicle.

An RC truck can be even more fun when you run it not only on road but also off the road but when you take your RC vehicle off road you are likely going to get it dirty and depending on the terrain possibly very dirty. 

Many people love to have fun, but they also like having a clean RC vehicle to use especially when showing it off to friends and family. Keeping your RC truck or car clean is a huge part of making sure that it stays in good condition and that it functions properly. 

Of course, it’s going to get dirty soon after you have raced it outside especially when using it off road but all that does is make it necessary to give it a good wash. Now when we speak of washing, we do not mean submerging your RC car or truck in soapy water. Seeing as it has many electronics inside of it, that is not something you should do although you can simply wash with water and soap you shouldn’t submerge it. 

There is only one wrong way to clean your RC car or truck and that is to submerge it in liquid entirely. Besides that you can use a variety of cleaners or just warm soapy water if you choose. 

There are many different ways that you can clean your RC car and honestly which one you use is more of a personal preference than anything else. There are many different methods such as by using special instructions and kits for cleaning and maintaining your RC car but those things aren’t required either.

Just using soapy water, on the other hand, will also work just fine as well as long as you aren’t using a ton of water or pouring the water on top of your vehicle. 

In this article we are going to mention some important tips and tricks that you need to know to help adequately take care of your RC truck/car. 

For additional tips and tricks for cleaning your RC car check out the video below. 

Tips for washing your RC vehicle

There are many different tips that you should keep in mind when you are washing your RC vehicle. Some of the most important ones are: 

  • Your RC truck will quickly get damaged if you do not clean it for a long time so it’s important that you take the time to do that on a regular basis.
  • Cleaning electronic  products such as an RC truck is difficult and you can’t just wash it like anything else. Cleaning solutions abound on the market and you can always pick your preferred option depending on how much you are willing to spend.
  • Always be careful not to use abrasive rags or pads when cleaning your RC car. Anything that is very abrasive can damage the paint as well as the windows in turn making your RC car look worse. 
  • Make sure to carefully clean the tires and other areas that tend to get dirt and grime build up over time. To get the best results from your RC car it should be entirely clean including the tires.

RC Cleaning Tools

Before we get on to talking about how to actually clean your RC truck, there are some important “tools” that you will need to have to make the process go as smoothly as possible. Some of those tools are: 

  • Cotton swabs: So that you can reach into small cracks and crevices on your RC car.
  • Toothbrush: To help you take off the  dirt or mud that is especially caked on.
  • Cleaners: to make the dirt come off easier as well as to remove extra difficult grime.
  • Paper towels: So you can wipe and dry the truck.
  • Soft washcloth: to clean the actual vehicle with
  • Bucket: to hold your cleaning solution

There are certainly other tools that you can use and that will make your job easier. Things like a workbench or saw horse will allow you to clean the RC car without getting on the floor but you could also just take your RC car to the kitchen and clean it on the counter. 

Cleaning Your RC Car or Truck

There are a variety of different ways to clean your RC car/truck but ultimately which way you prefer is up to you. 

Use soap and water

Obviously this is the simplest of ways to clean your RC vehicle but that doesn’t make it any less effective. Soap, water, and some elbow grease (hard work) will do wonders for your RC car. Even in cleaning your own normal car you will still likely use the normal soap and water in a bucket so why wouldn’t you try this on your RC car? 

A sponge can work great for cleaning off the exterior of your RC car as well but you will have to be extra careful not to squeeze out the water where the electronics are. 

If you use this method you will want to go light on the water so that way you don’t risk damaging the RC car. 

Use air

Yes, I know that air is all around us but I’m obviously not talking about that air! If your car is mainly dusty with no grime or stuck on dirt you can easily use cans of compressed air like what you would use for the keyboard on a computer. 

However depending on how often you clean your RC car or truck and how many RC vehicles you have this can get expensive quickly so many people will actually purchase an air compressor. 

You can actually get a small air compressor quite cheaply at many local hardware stores or at places online (such as here) and it will often pay for itself within a year when compared to buying cans of air over and over again. 

Most air compressors (included the one I linked to above) come with an accessory that will allow you to quite literally blow the dirt off your RC car. One thing you do have to be careful with is that if you have paint or decals that are loose then this powerful air can cause it to come off entirely. 

Cleaning products

There are many additional cleaning products on the market that you can use to wipe off your RC car such as wet wipes, disinfectant wipes, or a variety of cleaning solutions that you spray on and then wipe off. No matter which one you choose you will always want to be sure to test the solution in a small spot on the paint if this is your first time using it. 

Cleaning solutions can have some odd reactions to paint or decals so putting it on a small spot first will ensure that you don’t accidentally mess up your entire paint job while you were trying to clean it and make it look better! 

Tips for cleaning your RC car 

  • Make sure that chemicals don’t get in the car’s electrical components or bearings.
  • Compressed air is a quick and excellent option after driving in a dusty environment and it will save you tons of time.
  • It’s best to clean the car right after driving when the dirt is fresh and can come off easily. Oncemud has hardened it becomes much more difficult to remove.
  • Always switch off the power and take off the batteries after driving and before you begin cleaning. Water and batteries do not mix!
  • With off-road trucks, you can take off the tires and rear wing to make the cleaning job a little bit easier.


Maintenance and cleaning are huge parts of owning an RC truck or car so if you’re going to have a quality and properly functioning RC truck for many years to come, it’s important that you clean and maintain it often. 

The above mentioned methods are easy ways to properly clean and care for your RC vehicle but they are far from being the only options. As long as the method that you choose doesn’t harm the paint or decals on the vehicle then you can feel free to test out as many new methods as you like. 

As we noted in the tips, you can remove parts of the RC vehicle to clean it easier if it gets really dirty and some people even remove the body from the chassis entirely to get the body extremely clean. 

Ultimately your cleaning process is something you will fine tune over time until you get it exactly how you like it.