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The Best Way To Clean Your Remote Control Car

Are you looking for how to perform routine care, maintenance, and cleaning on your remote control car? Or, did you drive your remote control car through water, dirt, oil, or other substances that could harm your car if not cleaned off? You’ll be able to clean your remote control car and get it back to looking new in no time at all!

So, what is the best way to clean your remote control car? For routine cleanings, you won’t need to use much more than a basic brush, or possibly a can of compressed air. You can use a cleaner like 409 to help clean your remote control car if the car is in worse shape than just a basic cleaning would fix. 

You’ll want to make sure you don’t use any chemicals on your car that could mix with electronics or bearings and cause problems. There are also some instances, like when your car gets submerged in water, that you might want to give your remote control car a more thorough cleaning than just what you do on a routine basis. You should provide a thorough deep clean and maintenance to your RC car at least once per year. Read on for how to best clean your remote control car!

How to Perform Routine Cleaning of your Remote Control Car

The biggest concern when cleaning the car is to ensure that any chemicals you use don’t touch the electrical parts of the cars or the bearings, as chemicals and electronics don’t mix.

For routine cleanings, a toothbrush or a paint brush might be the only tool you need to clean your car. If you’ve got some dust and dirt, you could also try a can of compressed air. If your car isn’t especially dirty, you won’t need any more tools than that.

The easiest time to clean your car is going to be right after you use it. If you got any dust on it, it should blow off right away before it has a chance to settle and stick to anything.

There are a few steps you can to clean your car right after you drive it:

  1. Switch off the power, and take out the battery. This ensures your car has no power, and you won’t get shocked while you are cleaning it.

  2. Brush down the car to remove any loose dirt and debris. The easiest time to remove fresh dirt is right after you drive the car. The dirt won’t have a chance to cake on. For this brushing, you can either use an old toothbrush, or even a small paint brush – with no paint on it obviously! Don’t get too carried away, if there is caked on dirt, you can usually remove that with a can of compressed air or with a damp rag.

  3. If the dirt is indeed still stuck on after a basic wipe down and some compressed air, go ahead and use a cloth and a cleaner like 409 to remove it. Just find an old rag in your garage, spray some cleaner on it, and give the car a good wipe down.

  4. When you’re done with the routine cleaning, take a look at the bearings. If they need it, give them some oil, using something as  simple as some WD40. Make sure everything is still running smoothly.

  5. Reassemble the car. If you took out the battery, or maybe you did a more thorough cleaning and removed bearings, now is the time to put it all back together. Once it’s put together, give the car a run for a few feet. Don’t use the car so much that it needs to be cleaned all over again! Just go for a few feet on a clean, dustless surface and make sure that all the parts are in working order.

One last tip – you also might consider just spraying some rubbing alcohol over all parts of the car that aren’t electrical. That’ll kill dirt and grime, and also dry on its own, ensuring you don’t have any left over water residue that could corrode the car.

That’s it for routine cleaning! Get in the habit of regularly wiping your remote control cloth down with a cloth, and if it needs a little bit extra, spray it with a cleaner like 409.

Annual Cleaning of your Remote Control Car

In addition to the regular cleaning you give, you should also get in the habit of cleaning your car a little bit extra at the end of the driving season. If you don’t drive your remote control car much in the wintertime, make it a point to clean the car thoroughly every autumn before you store it away for the winter.

  1. You’ll want to remove the electric components from the car. Then you can really begin a deep cleaning. Again, this can be as simple as removing the battery and making sure nothing is connected that could shock you.

  2. Since you’ll definitely want to use a cleaning agent before storing it for the winter, it’ll be easier now that the electric parts are out of the way. Use a toothbrush, brush, and cleaning agent to clean every nook and crevice of your remote control car.

  3. Dry your car. This step is very important before storing your car for the winter. If you stow away a wet car, you run the chance of rust and corrosion. Come springtime, your car might have major rust problems!

  4. Give the bearings and hinges some oil, as well as any bare metal surfaces. To do this, you might want to remove the hinge pins, clean them separately, and then put them back in the car.

  5. Consider greasing the joints. You should only need to do this once a year or so, but you should give some maintenance to the joints on the car. They can be greased with a graphite grease, or there are other special oils that are made for joints.

You definitely want to take some time and give your remote control car some maintenance and a deep cleaning every year before you put it away for a few months. You’ll feel that much better when spring rolls around, and you’re ready for a nice clean car!

How to Clean the Wheels of Your Remote Control Car

We’ll talk more in a bit about what to do if the wheels of your car get wet. For now, let’s just discuss any special cleaning that your wheels will require for routine use.

  • If you’re like me, when you wash your regular personal vehicle, you clean and wash the tires and wheels a little differently than the rest of your car. Let’s take that same approach with your RC car.

  • Cleaning the wheels is actually pretty easy. You’ll only need regular old soap and water! It’s a good idea to soak the wheel a little bit in some water. Don’t soak it for so long that it gets waterlogged, and water gets into the tire itself. Just a little soak to make sure the wheels are sufficiently coated in water should do the trick. Remember, don’t soak it so far that you’re exposing bearings to water. Once they’ve soaked for a bit, go ahead and wipe them down with some soap and a rag.

Just make sure your wheels and car are completely dry before storing them away! Any leftover residue is leaving open the possibility of mold, mildew, or even rust!

Why Should You Clean Your Remote Control Car

Even if your car isn’t dusty, it doesn’t look dirty, and you didn’t just run it through a puddle, it’s still a good idea to clean your car periodically. You should perform routine maintenance on your remote control car, and cleaning it is just one part of the regular maintenance. A poorly maintained, or not maintained car, is going to break a lot quicker than a well-maintained car.

Since you’ll regularly be changing the battery in your car, you might as well make a habit of cleaning the car at the same time, and before you store it away for any period of time. Just by cleaning your car regularly, you’re going to make it more durable and ensure that the mechanical parts in the car don’t rust or corrode. Dirt encourages moisture to stick around, which is never a good thing for your remote control car.

What happens if you don’t clean your Remote Control Car

If you don’t perform routine maintenance and cleaning, your car will not last as long as it should.

  • Tires could get moldy and corroded.
  • Electrical components might rust and become inoperable.
  • Paint could peel off the outside of your car, taking away from the visual appearance of your RC car.

Your car definitely won’t last as long without regular cleanings. Cleaning your car is a fairly easy process, and you’ll want to make sure you stay on top of it so that you can extend the life of your car!

What about Saltwater or Other Harsh Substances that are on Your Remote Control Car?

If you run your car through saltwater, an oil spot, a dirty field, or some other substance that causes a bit more grime than usual, you’ll want to do an extra thorough cleaning.

I’ve lived at the beach, and can tell you that salt water, and even just the salt in the air near the water, is the worst thing for any type of vehicle! Cars that sit in driveways year round at the beach rust out a lot quicker than a car that sits in the garage.

If your RC car is exposed to salt water or other chemicals, you’ll want to clean it quickly and thoroughly. This does not mean that you can’t use your car near the beach, just that you’ll need to clean it. If your car is exposed to these types of elements, consider doing the recommended annual deep clean of your car instead of just the light cleaning you give your car after its daily use. You’ll be thankful later when your RC car doesn’t rust out and need to be replaced!

What Happens if Your Remote Control Car Gets Wet?

Do you need to do anything special if your remote control car gets wet? Yes, you do. You’ll need to make sure to get all the water out of the car, especially out of the tires. To make sure you get all the water out of your car’s tires, you’ll want to follow two simple steps.

  1. Put some small holes in the tires of your car. Don’t spend too much time over thinking this step. Find a small drill bit, no bigger than 1/8th of an inch thick, and drill a couple of holes in the tires that have water in them.

  2. After you’ve drilled the holes, spin out the water. This is also an easy process. Either put the car upside down and run it, put the car on a block and run it, or hold the car in your hand and run it. The goal is to run the car to let the tires spin, without letting the car go anywhere. Spin those tires as fast as you can and watch the water fly out of the holes you drilled.

For water on the rest of your car, aside from the tires, just dry it off with a towel. Once you’ve got all the water out of your car, then you can resume the cleaning process for the rest of the car! It’s a good idea to let your car sit out and air dry for a day or two to ensure all moisture is evaporated before storing it for any length of time.

Products to help you Clean your Remote Control Car

If you need to buy some products to help you clean your remote control car, here are some good options for you to consider.

  • HUDYDiff Grease – this is a great option for a product that can help grease bearings and joints during your annual maintenance. It’s made specifically to use on any moving parts in a remote control car. You should definitely have this in your toolkit as a remote control car owner!

  • Remote Control Car Work Station – this is a special lift that will let you raise your remote control car so you can work on all angles. You can clean and maintain the undercarriage of your car by raising it up on this lift.

  • WD40 Specialist Contact Cleaner Spray – this WD40 is specifically designed for small work, like on a remote control car. It’s designed to make sure none of the electrical components of your car would be ruined if the spray hits it. Give this a try instead of the standard WD40.

  • OPOLAR Cordless Air Duster – this is the high-tech version of that old compressed air duster can that usually floats around most office buildings. If you want to get fancy, this is the trick! Invest in one of these, and you can blow off almost all dust and debris from your RC car!

There are a lot of products out there to help you be able to best clean and maintain your remote control car. Decide on how much you want to invest, or if you want to just get out an old toothbrush and some soap and water.

Video Guides on How to Clean Your Remote Control Car

There are some great videos that show you exactly how to clean your remote control car. Check out some of the best videos here:

  • Here’s a great introduction video for beginners. It goes through all the tips and tricks you’ll need to keep your car looking and performing like new!
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  • This video takes you through one person cleaning his car in a way that you can replicate. If you want to see someone else clean his RC car, you might want to start with this video!
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  • Here’s some more tips and tricks on how to best clean your RC car!
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If you prefer watching videos to reading a lot of articles, YouTube has some great options for you to see firsthand on how to best clean your remote control car!

How to Best Clean Your Remote Control Car

Cleaning your remote control car shouldn’t be that difficult of a process. You can get away with just a toothbrush, a rag, and maybe a can of air. Most dust and dirt is easily removed if you blow it off right after using your remote control car.

About once a year, after you use the car for a season and are putting it away for a couple months, give the car some routine maintenance and a deeper clean than you normally do. Clean every crack and crevice, lubricate some joints, and your car will have a long life and be good as new when you are ready to use it next!