How To Wash Salt From Under Car | Winter Driving Tips

Salts are the element that keeps the road clean when snow takes over. The magic of chemistry takes place and melts all the snow to make way for our cars and walkway. All these salts go nowhere; rather, they get on the undercarriage and other parts of our car.

The outer part of the car is cleaned easily; it’s just the undercarriage that goes uncleaned as it stays out of sight. But, it is important to keep cleaning that area too, from time to time.

In this article, we will try to enlighten you about how to wash road salt from under car . Stay hooked to the end to learn about all the aspects of this winter car care and save your vehicle from corrosion.

Does Salt Damages Undercarriage?

Road salt is used to melt ice and snow on roads and highways during the winter months, but it can also be harmful to your car’s undercarriage if left unchecked. When salt gets on the undercarriage of your car, it can cause rust and corrosion to form on the metal parts. This is because salt is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs water from the air. When the salt absorbs water from the air, it creates a saline solution that can accelerate the rusting process.

The undercarriage of a car is particularly susceptible to salt damage because it is constantly exposed to the elements, and the constant movement of the car can cause the salt to be ground into the metal parts. Over time, this can lead to the metal becoming weak and brittle, and it can eventually cause structural damage to the car.

To prevent salt damage to your car’s undercarriage, it is important to wash the salt off regularly during the winter months. This can be done by rinsing the undercarriage with a hose and scrubbing away any remaining salt deposits with soapy water and a scrub brush. It is also a good idea to apply a rust inhibitor or undercarriage coating to help protect the metal from rust and corrosion. By taking these steps, you can help extend the life of your car and protect it from costly repairs.

Can I Wash Salt From Under Car At Home?

It can be difficult and strenuous, but the answer is- yes. You can wash the salt from under the vehicle at home just like you wash your car.

You can always rely on a car wash for this part, but as it has to happen very frequently in the months of freezing temperature- it will slack you a very hefty amount of money.

So, doing the extra work by yourself will save you a lot, and also, no one else is going to care more for your beloved car than yourself.

In the following segments, we will discuss all the ways to remove salt from under your car all by yourself at home.

How To Wash The Salt From Under The Car?

We all see the lines of white salts on the upper areas of our car and clean them sincerely, but what about the undercarriage. Salt gets mixed up with melted ice and enters into the car’s undercarriage area with little sprinkles and pile up in there. As salt is very erosive to metals- it is very important to clean and wash them away.

Let’s see how you can do it at home.


The rugged job you are about to do will require some mechanical tools. Well, a toolbox should include all the instruments. If you are missing out on a few things, just go and grab those tools out of the market.

  • Car Jack
  • Wrench
  • Hosepipe
  • Pressure Washer
  • Undercarriage Cleaner

We can get started once all these are arranged.

If you don’t prefer going out to buy a dedicated car wash soap for your car undercarriage, take some hot water and white vinegar and mix them in the same proportion. Now, what you have on your hand is a self-made wash solution.

So, let’s start with the cleaning steps-

Step One:

The first thing you should be doing in the process is removing the wheels. Some people do not prefer to go through such troubles- but for your caution, wheels are most keen on the road salt- which later causes rampant harm to the car.

So, pick up your jack, wrench, and bolt out the wheels.

As the underside of the vehicle is out of our reach and sight, the next thing we have to do, is lift the car. Use the jack to lift up and hold still. The vehicle should be at a level that you can see it through and work simply.

use car lifting jack

We strongly suggest you not go under the car by yourself without enough protective measures. One minor accident can cost your life.

Step Two:

You have done quite a heavy job- lifting that car, then taking out the wheels. It’s time to get to the main objective now. Let’s wash away those disturbing salts.

Connect the hosepipe with the pressure washer . Now unleash the pressure on under the vehicle. It is better to divide the area beneath your car into a few different portions on your mind; this will help you clean properly.

Wash Salt From Under Car using pressure washer

Put the maximum pressure to wash away the salts extensively, as the piled-up salts are obtrusive to leave their home. Hold the washer at a 45-degree angle; this angle is supposed to use the pressure most effectively.

Now take one portion at a time and clean that area thoroughly.

Step Three:

Though the pressure washer should be able to wash away most of the salt and rubbishes, you will still find some salt. Those little heap of salts won’t just go away by water pressure.

Time to pick up the wash solution you have made before. Now spray it on the remaining salt, then scrub that area with a brush.

Repeat the process a few times.

Step Four:

Use the undercarriage cleaner now. These cleaners are specially designed to spray water and clean the area at some points where our hand and pressure washer can’t reach. Wash with it two or three times.

This is where the troublesome task ends. Be careful doing all the work; you definitely don’t want any water to get inside the car’s engine block or any inner part.

It’s better to close the exhaust pipe and all the other ways with a piece of cloth before start working.

Recommended Post : Best Car Wash Soap For Road Salt In 2023

How Do I Protect My Car’s Undercarriage?

Prevention is always better than cure. It should be best in your interest to protect your car’s undercarriage from salt rather than dealing with it later.

There are a few ways to protect a car’s underneath from salt. In this segment, we will discuss a few of those ideas now.


A little disclaimer- these ways help protect the car’s undercarriage adequately, but not entirely. The most effective way to protect the vehicle is to wash it properly. Wash every part- the front, the roof, the undercarriage, even the mats. Use a good quality spot free car soap while washing the upper part. It will wash the salts away and also keep the look clean and shiny.


Follow the process stated above to clean and wash the salt away from under the car. Waxing is a very feasible way to remove salt and rust from your car. It works as an extra layer between dust and salts and the undercarriage. It may be thin, but it is effective to some level.

Wax the car’s wheels if possible; it helps keep the salt away.


Undercoating is the most effective way known to this date in order to protect the undercarriage from any kind of unwanted material. It is some kind of ceramics mixed with the liquid on color. Later, when it dries, it becomes a strong coat and works as a shield against salt and debris.

Don’t Drive In Deep Snow

Snow is soft and easy to run over with a strong car and tires. But no metal is strong enough for the salt to damage.

When you run the car in deep snow, it collects salt off from them. Which later turns into a colossal furuncle.

Try to avoid doing this; better keep the car in the garage if not needed too much.

Don’t Drive Before or After Snowstorm

Sometimes, the snow becomes a few feet thicker when a storm hits, and so rock salts are splattered to make ways to keep the communication system functioning. That’s high season for the car to catch salt.

Do not drive before or after a snowstorm if not too much necessary.

Turn these points into a winter ritual; this way, it will be easier to protect the undercarriage of your car and keep it going for years.

How Often Should You Wash The Salt Off Your Car?

So, you have learned about how to wash the car and why you should do it. But how often do you have to do it in order to prevent any erosion?

During the summertime you can just wash the car or not- the only thing it will affect is the look, but in winter it’s a different case. You need to wash the salt out of your car every two weeks’ minimum. Though it is advised to do it after every ten days, you can buy 4 to 5 extra days if the car is waxed properly.

If not waxed, don’t go for the extra days; wash the car every ten days.

How To Wash Salt From Under Car-FAQs

Does vinegar cancel salt?

Yes, vinegar can be used to dissolve salt from your car. But remember, Vinegar is a mild acid that cannot remove the road salt completely.

How do you counteract too much salt?

The best way to remove the salt from your car is to use a natural, biodegradable product. The best way to do this is by washing your car with a high-quality car wash soap. We recommend Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash Shampoo which contains cleaning agents that break up salt and other contaminants without damaging your paint.

Should I wash the undercarriage of my car?

Unless you’re driving a brand-new car, there’s no reason to wash your undercarriage.

The undercarriage of your car is exposed to all kinds of things: rain, dirt and mud, road salt in the winter, leaves and other debris in the fall, and more. It’s not a bad idea to clean it occasionally — but there’s no need to do so every time you wash your car.

How long does it take for salt to ruin a car?

The amount of time it takes for salt to ruin a car depends on several factors, including:

  • How much salt has come into contact with the car’s bodywork?
  • How long has it been exposed to salt?
  • Which parts of the car have been corroded?
  • Type of the car, age and quality of the paint job


Cars are an important possession, both financially and personally. It costs us a decent amount of money and brings comfortability and convenience to our lives. With proper knowledge and care, a decent car can last for decades.

It may be arduous and worrisome to wash the salts out of the car regularly- but doing this will add years to your car’s lifetime. On the contrary, leaving the car be in such a condition will eventually cut you extra money and deteriorate the overall performance.

Do a bit extra, and your car will take you a lot of extra miles.

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