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The Ultimate Guide to Learning How To Wash Your Tesla Like a Pro

[Updated: June 24, 2022]
how to wash a tesla
Does Your Tesla look like this? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Introduction

Maybe you just got your new Tesla. Maybe this is your third Tesla. Either way, you end up realizing the same thing: Your Tesla requires a unique approach to its aesthetic upkeep. Washing a Tesla is a topic that is getting more and more hits every year. We made this guide for Tesla owners who are looking to get the most out of their amazing machines. Remember, Elon says our Tesla’s are appreciating assets, so by taking care of your Tesla you’ll see a great resale price. We created this guide to be the #1 guide for owners on how to wash your Tesla. We try to keep this page updated with the latest best practices.

Table Of Contents

1.) Getting Started Washing Your Tesla

2.) The 5 different ways to wash your Tesla.

3.) How often should I wash my Tesla?

4.) Words of Advice For Washing Your Tesla On Your Own.

5.) What products should I avoid using on my Tesla?

6.) BONUS: 15 Detailing Pro-Tips Every Tesla Owner Should Know.

Getting Started Washing Your Tesla:

Before we begin, find a good place to wash your Tesla. Make sure the area is free of debris and that there is enough room for you to move around the car. Once you’ve found a good spot, make sure to get your wash arsenal ready.

If you’re using a power washer, get it out, clean those buckets, and get your soap ready. You can check below for our recommended at-home wash setup, but assuming you’re ready to begin start by hosing or spraying down (with a power washer) your Tesla with water. Make sure to cover every inch of your vehicle and not just one part at a time. Remember, stay at least 30cm away if you’re spraying with a power washer, and please make sure you’re using the white 45-degree head. This’ll ensure you don’t apply too much pressure.

Once you’ve got your Tesla watered down, it’s time to choose the washing method to use to clean the car. Depending on how dirty your Tesla is, it’ll require different methods. If you’re Tesla is absolutely caked on, like below, just skip straight to a hand-wash. A Touchless wash with this level of grime will leave you feeling like you didn’t achieve much. Take it from us, skip straight to a hand-wash if your Tesla looks as dirty as the one below.

The 5 Different Ways To Wash Your Tesla

1.) Touchless Wash

Depending on how dirty your Tesla is, the Touchless option is best utilized during great streaks of weather. This option is for Tesla’s that don’t have any cake-factor, in other words, there’s no dirt on the Tesla. The downside of this option is that your Tesla will not be as shiny and clean, because the car has never been scrubbed. However, if you want to save money on a wash, or simply don’t have one nearby- then choosing Touchless can be an easy way out.

2.) Hand-Wash

The hand-wash option is the best choice for those who want their Tesla to be squeaky clean. If you’re able to find a good car wash, then this will likely save money over time and prevent scratches from happening on your vehicle’s paint job. The downside of handwashing is that it takes much more effort than other methods, such as Touchless, where all you need to do is drive through an automatic car wash.

This option also tends to be slower than other methods because there are multiple steps involved during the process which include applying soap in order for it to foam up before scrubbing down every inch of your vehicle with a sponge or brush (depending on what’s being offered at the car wash). Make sure to rinse off all of the soap and then dry your Tesla with a chamois or soft cloth. Remember, if you’re hand washing your Tesla, take care around areas that are prone to scratches- such as door handles!

3.) Waterless Wash

The waterless wash is a great option for those who want to clean their Tesla but don’t have access to a hose or car wash. This method can be done by using a microfiber cloth and some soapy water. Simply pour the soapy water onto the cloth, then wipe down your entire Tesla- making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. Be sure to use a different cloth for the windows, as you don’t want any streaks. For best results, use a window cleaner on your glass surfaces. This is also a great method to use if you’re short on time. The entire process should take about 15-20 minutes.

4.) Rinseless Wash

The rinseless wash is very similar to the waterless one. The only difference being that it requires a hose or bucket of water for you to rinse off all the soap from your car’s surface after cleaning with a microfiber cloth and soapy water solution as described above. If you don’t have access to either of those things, then this option won’t be available to you.

Just like the waterless wash, the rinseless one is great for those who want a quick and easy clean. It also helps to prevent scratches from happening on your paint job. The downside of this method is that it’s not as thorough as some of the other ones- such as the hand wash.

The best way to use this method is to mix the soapy water with a degreaser, which will help break down any dirt or grease that’s on your car. Be sure to rinse off all of the soap and then dry your Tesla with a chamois or soft cloth.

5.) Automatic Car wash (Words of Advice)

Lastly, Automatic car washes are an option but you should never use them. You will get scratches and swirl marks on your paint job. If your Tesla is really dirty, then the dirt and grit will cause scratches on your car. Please make sure to always use Car Wash mode if you’re going to run your car through an automatic car wash.

The best way to wash your Tesla is by using a hand-wash, waterless or rinseless wash. If you don’t have access to those things, then the next best thing would be to use a touchless wash. However, if you have no other choice, then just wait.

There are a variety of ways that you can go about cleaning your Tesla, but we’re going to focus on the five most popular methods: hand wash, waterless wash, rinseless wash, touchless car wash, and automatic car wash.

If you’re looking for the best way to wash your Tesla, then hand washing is always the safest option. However, if you don’t have access to a hose or car wash, then using a waterless or rinseless wash can be a good alternative. Just be sure to take your time and pay close attention to all the details

When you’re done with your wash, dry off the surface of your Tesla using a chamois or soft cloth. If you don’t have either of those things available then use towels instead but be careful not to scratch any paintwork when doing so. Do so by swiping your towel side to side instead of in circles.

How Often Should I Wash My Tesla

If you’re looking for a more detailed answer, we recommend washing your Tesla every two weeks if you live in a dusty or sandy area. If you have a pet, we recommend washing it every week. And if bird droppings are an issue, then wash your car every day! If you are low on time do your best to wash your Tesla once to twice per month.

How to Wash My Tesla On My Own

If you’re looking to clean your Tesla yourself, you’ll need the following supplies:

  • Clean Microfiber towels for handwashing the Tesla
  • Bucket of car wash soap and water (no dish soap), preferably something like Honeydew Snow Foam Extreme Suds Cleansing Wash Shampoo.
  • Spray bottle with distilled white vinegar or rubbing alcohol, whichever is available at the local auto parts store
  • Foam Cannon + Power washer (optional)
  • 1-2 Plush towels to completely dry your Tesla

Top Products to Avoid Using On Your Tesla

When it comes to what products to avoid using on your Tesla, there are really two that top the list. Please never use:

  • Hydroxide
  • Dish Soap
wash my tesla

Summarized List of Tesla Washing Pro-Tips

  1. Do not wash your Tesla in direct sunlight.
  2. Do not use windshield treatment fluids. 
  3. Do not use hot water, detergents, or highly alkaline or caustic cleaning products, especially those containing hydroxide.
  4. If using a pressure washer, maintain a distance of at least 30 cm between the nozzle and the surface of your Tesla. Avoid aiming the water-jet directly at parking sensors and cameras.
  5. Do not aim water hoses directly at windows, door, or hood seals or at electronic modules or exposed cabling.
  6. To avoid corrosive damage that may not be covered by the warranty, rinse away any road salt from the underside of the vehicle, wheel wells, and brakes. 
  7. After washing your Tesla, dry the brakes by going on a short drive and applying the brakes multiple times.
  8. Avoid using tight-napped or rough cloths, such as washing mitts. A high-quality microfiber cleaning cloth is recommended.
  9. If washing in an automatic car wash, use touchless car washes only. These car washes have no parts (brushes, etc.) that touch the surfaces of your Tesla. 
  10. Some touchless car washes use caustic solutions that, over time, can cause discoloration of the decorative exterior trim. 
  11. Avoid exposure to soaps and chemicals above pH 13. If unsure, check the product label or ask the staff at the car wash. 
  12. If washing in an automatic car wash, make sure your Tesla is locked. In addition, avoid using controls on the touchscreen that can result in accidentally opening doors or trunks while the vehicle is being washed. 
  13. Ensure the wipers are off before washing your Tesla to avoid the risk of damaging the wipers.
  14. Do not use chemical-based wheel cleaners or pre-wash products. These can damage the finish on the wheels
  15. Never spray liquid at a high velocity towards the charge port while your Tesla is charging.

Final Words…

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to washing your Tesla. We want the procedure to be as easy for you as possible, which is why we created this article. If you have any queries regarding how to wash your Tesla, please contact us at team@washmyt.com.