All of us DIY'ers work on our own cars and take great pride in keeping them looking nice which means you more than likely wash and wax your vehicle too. When was the last time you washed your engine bay?
Most people don't touch the engine bay because it's hidden and honestly who ever sees what is inside besides you or another mechanic? Well, proper cleaning actually helps to prevents damage and also helps you to locate possible trouble before it becomes an issue.
Step 1 - Wait until your engine is cleaned off and unhook your battery. We recommend placing drip pads underneath the engine compartment on the ground to catch the oil and greases that will be removed. If you have a carburetor, make sure to put a bag over it along with the alternator and distributor. Then apply a very light pre-rinse to the entire engine compartment, now don't go overboard, just sprits a little water in there to knock off any loose dust.
Step 2 - Now apply a liberal amount of engine degreaser. Why use a degreaser instead of regular car soap? Your average car-wash soap is fine for grit and dirt but just won’t cut it on oil and grime. Go heavy on the engine degreaser on the typically nasty parts, like the starter and oil pan and anything else oily. Let the degreaser sit for at least 10 minutes.
Step 3 - Rinse with low pressure water again, some engines may require you to apply more degreaser and maybe even a brush with soft bristles so you don't scratch the paint.
Step 4 - If you are happy with the degreaser, now it's time to apply the automotive soap. Clean the engine bay the same way you would clean the exterior of your car with a soft cloth pad, rubbing down all of the engine parts, fender wells, firewall, etc. Then rinse again with low pressure.
Step 5 - Remove the plastic bags from your carb, alternator and distributor.Now it's time to clean that plastic, use a dedicated plastic cleaner to polish up the engine pay plastics. Apply with a terry cloth and whip clean with a microfiber cloth. Use a good metal polish to clean up metal bits and make them shine.