How To Clean Car Wash Brushes – The Easiest Way

Whether you own a car wash or just love washing your car at home, a good car wash brush is a must-have tool. However, these brushes tend to collect so much dirt. Therefore, if not cleaned regularly, dirt and grime in the brushes can damage your car’s finish. 

So, how exactly do you clean your car wash brush without damaging its bristles? After all, no one wants to see a grimy brush and least of all your customers.

Well, in this guide, we will look at the steps on how to clean car wash brushes depending on the type of brush you have.

Types Of Car Wash Brushes

Surprisingly, there is no such thing as an all-around car brush for washing. It’s no wonder there are different types of car wash brushes in the market. And each brush has its specific purpose. These include:

Interior soft car wash brush

Interior soft car wash brushes

As the name suggests, this type of car wash brush is designed for cleaning the interior of your car. It features soft bristles to help you remove dirt and grime from your vehicle’s door panels, seats, and seat covers. In addition, it boasts a short handle for added convenience when you’re using it.

Long and short-handled brush

A long-handled car wash brush is built to help you clean the hard-to-reach spots of your car like your vehicle’s roof. Generally, most long-handled brushes feature an extended or telescoping handle with soft bristles. This way, you can easily adjust their length. Moreover, this type of brush often comes with hose attachment option which makes your cleaning task easier.

A short-handled brush, on the other hand, is best suited for cleaning small and tight spots of your car such as the nooks and crannies inside your vehicle’s wheels.

Microfiber car cleaning brush

A microfiber brush is considered one of the best car wash brushes and for good reasons. First, the microfiber tends to naturally attract dirt particles and other contaminants. Therefore, you can use this brush to clean the roof and other hard-to-reach areas of your car.

Flow-thru wash brush

Flow-thru wash brush

This is a unique type of car wash brush that is quite efficient at removing dirt from your car just like soft-cloth car washes. The brush provides you with consistent water flow through its handle or pole. Consequently, this allows you to clean any dirt and grime off your car with so much ease. This type of brush also comes with soap dispenser which makes your car washing task easier as you don’t need to apply the shampoo using another stuff. Just fill the soap container with soap and let the brush work for you.

Self-serve wash brushes

Self-serve brushes are quite common in self-service car washes. This type of brush is what your customers see and touch when they come to your car wash. So, under this category, you might find a short or long-handle brush, a flow-thru brush, and a microfiber brush.

Drill-attached car wash brushes

Drill-attached car wash brushes

For this type of brush, you just attach your car wash brush to a power drill. This provides you with a more powerful brushing motion. As such, cleaning the headlights, the grill areas, and around the license plate becomes easier.

How to Clean a Car Wash Brush?

Not all car wash brushes are built equally. This means that even how you clean one type of brush may be different from how you clean another one. So, in this section, we will look at the steps on how to clean different types of car wash brushes.

Cleaning Car wash brush with soft-bristles

Most modern wash brushes feature soft bristles to ensure they don’t scratch your car. It does not matter whether you are using a long-handle brush or a drill-attached brush. So, here are steps on how to clean these types of car wash brushes.

Step 1: Gather your supplies

For starters, you will need a couple of supplies to help in cleaning your car wash brush. These include a bucket, towel, clean water, dirt trap, vinegar, liquid washing detergent, and baking soda. 

Step 2: Pour several drops of detergent onto the brush

Next, pick your liquid washing detergent and drizzle several drops onto your wet car wash brush. Then, gently scrub your brush against your dirt trap to loosen up the soft bristles and remove any dirt.

Step 3: Deep cleaning

If your car wash brushes are not clean to your satisfaction, you will need to use baking soda and vinegar solution for deep cleaning. Pour two cups of undiluted white vinegar in your bucket and a 1/2 cup baking soda. Stir the solution so you have a consistent mixture.

Step 4: Soak your brushes

After making your baking soda and vinegar solution, the next step is to soak your brushes in the mixture. For wheel brushes, you can soak them overnight in the solution to remove all the traces of grease. But for normal car wash brushes, you just leave them in the mixture for a couple of hours.

Final step: Rinse your brushes

Lastly, get clean and warm/hot water to rinse all of your brushes. Then, shake them well to get rid of any excess water. After that, get a clean towel and set your car brushes on it with the bristles facing down. Leave them to air dry.

Cleaning a Microfiber Car Brush

When it comes to cleaning a microfiber car wash brush, the process is a little different compared to that of a brush with soft bristles. So, here is how to go about it.

Step 1: Gather your cleaning solutions

Cleaning your microfiber car brush is quite easy. You just need a bucket of clean water, mild detergent, and a clean soft-bristled brush.

Step 2: Start cleaning

In a bucket, put hot water and add a few drops of your mild detergent. Then, take your soft-bristled brush and start cleaning your microfiber brush.

Step 3: Rinse the detergent off

After you have cleaned all the dirt from your microfiber brush, rinse the detergent off. Then, place it on a clean surface and leave it to air dry.

How Do You Get Grease Out Of A Car Wash Brush?

The best way to get grease out of a car wash brush is to clean it immediately after use. If you let the grease dry, it becomes much harder to remove.

If you have already allowed grease to harden in your brush, there are several methods you can use to get it out.

Soak the bristles in warm water for 30 minutes or so. This will soften the grease so that it can be removed with a stiff-bristled brush or scouring pad. After soaking, use your fingers or a toothbrush to gently loosen any remaining grease and flush water out of the bristles.

If this doesn’t work, try using dish soap or WD-40 on the brush instead of water. These products both have lubricants that will help loosen hardening grease so they can be flushed out more easily with warm water afterward.

Another option is to fill your sink with warm water and add a few drops of liquid dish soap and some baking soda (about 1/4 cup each). Let the brush soak for about 20 minutes then scrub off as much of the gunk as possible with an old toothbrush before rinsing well under running water and allowing it to air dry completely before storing again for next time

Tips To Follow While Cleaning a Car Wash Brush

When cleaning your car wash brushes or car wax rags, you must do it the right way. Otherwise, you might end up damaging their bristles. Here are tips that can help you.

Tip#1: Never use your car wash brush to clean your vehicle’s wheels and tires. Instead, you should get a separate brush with tougher bristles.

Tip#2: When cleaning your car, don’t use your car wash brush with other cleaning agents besides car wash soap. The detergents could ruin your vehicle’s paint.

Tip#3: Always leave your car wash brush to air dry. However, be sure not to set it down with the bristles touching the ground.

Tip#4: When cleaning your microfiber car brush, don’t use fabric softeners or detergents containing fabric softeners.

Tip#5: Always avoid storing your automotive cleaning brushes upright to dry because the water from the bristles can damage your brushes’ handle.

Tip#6: Before cleaning your car wash brushes, make sure to wet the bristles with lukewarm water for the best results.


Since your car wash brush is designed to make direct contact with your vehicle, you want to make sure that it’s clean before use. So, learning how to clean car wash brushes is critical.

Luckily, for most types of car wash brushes, you just need water and liquid washing detergent to clean them. However, you can always use a baking soda and vinegar solution for deep cleaning. But if you have a microfiber brush, you must use a mild detergent to clean it.

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