How To Clean Exhaust Tips + What They Do (Cheap Method)

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Written By Michelle Sutton

If you’re like most car enthusiasts, you love the sound of a good exhaust system. And if you’re like most people, you may not know what an exhaust tip is and what it does.

An exhaust tip is a small part of your car’s exhaust system that improves the sound and look of your vehicle. To clean exhaust tips, spray Lime-A-Way cleaner or your preferred limescale remover around and inside them, then scrub them with a non-scratch sponge. Degreasing cleaner also works very well on exhaust tips.

This blog post will show you how to clean your exhaust tips and tell you what they do. I’ll also give tips on keeping your exhaust system in good condition. Read on to learn more!

An Exhaust Tip Is a Cosmetic Upgrade

As I pointed out, an exhaust tip is a cosmetic upgrade to the look and sound of a car. It does not improve the exhaust system’s performance; it is simply an aesthetic addition.

Exhaust tips are attached to the end of the tailpipe and serve as its visible portion. They come in various shapes and sizes and can be made from different materials, including chrome and stainless steel.

On the other hand, an exhaust system serves an important function in a car. Its purpose is to route exhaust gasses away from the engine, where they can do damage, and out through the tailpipe.

Tip: When choosing an exhaust tip, it is important to ensure that it is compatible with the rest of the exhaust system. Otherwise, it could create problems or even cause damage.

How To Clean Exhaust Tips

Now that you know what an exhaust tip does. Let’s talk about how to clean them. Here are the steps:

Park Your Car in a Safe Spot

First, you’ll want to park your car safely so that you can work on it without worry. The Lime-A-Way cleaner is corrosive, as well as any other limescale remover you choose to use, so you’ll want to be careful not to get it on anything you don’t want to damage. That includes your driveway or garage floor.

Extra Tip: If you’re working on your car’s exhaust system, putting down a drop cloth or some old towels is a good idea. If you accidentally spill something, it will be easier to clean up.

Get your limescale remover, a spray bottle, and a scrubbing pad

Next, you’ll need to get the necessary supplies for the job, including:

  • Lime-A-Way cleaner/Limescale remover
  • A spray bottle. You can use an old cup or container if you don’t have a spray bottle.
  • A scrubbing pad. I recommend using a non-scratch sponge, like these Scotch-Brite Non-Scratch Scrubbing Pads from They’re perfect for this job because they won’t scratch the surface of the exhaust tips. Besides, they’re fast and effective.
  • A microfiber towel.

Spray Lime-A-Way on the Tips

Once you have everything you need, it’s time to start cleaning. Begin by spraying the Lime-A-Way cleaner on the tips. You’ll want to saturate them completely.

Let the cleaner sit on the tips for a few minutes to start breaking down the build-up. However, ensure it doesn’t dry before you move to the next step.

Scrub the Tips With a Non-Scratch Pad

After a few minutes, take your scrubbing pad and begin scrubbing the tips. For the best results, use the abrasive side of the sponge.

Scrub until all of the built-up debris has been removed. You may need to apply the cleaner and scrub the tips a few times to get them completely clean.

clean exhaust tips

Wipe the Tips With Microfiber Towel

Once the tips are clean, use a microfiber towel to wipe them down. That will remove any cleaner left on the tips. Repeat the process as necessary to keep your tips clean and looking their best!

After that, clean up any mess you made while working on your car. That includes disposing of the used cleaner and wiping down any surfaces it may have come into contact with.

Here’s a cool video that shows how to get the best results cleaning your exhaust tips:


And that’s how you clean exhaust tips! It’s a pretty simple process, but it can make a big difference in the look of your car, so don’t neglect these tips!

Remember, though, that the entire exhaust system is important for the health of your car. So, if you’re having any problems with it, take your vehicle to a mechanic.


What else can I use to clean my exhaust tips?

You don’t have to use Lime-A-Way cleaner. You can use any good quality limescale remover from your local supermarket/store or any good quality degreaser fluid. These are great for removing a build-up of almost any type of debris.

How do I make my exhaust tips shine after cleaning them?

If your exhaust tips are clean but aren’t quite shining. You can use a cheap metal polish and a microfiber cloth. Any metal polish should help to get your exhausts shining and sparkly clean. Just make sure you clean your exhaust tips before polishing them.

Can I use WD-40 on my exhaust tips?

It’s not recommended to use WD-40 on exhaust tips, ever. Your exhaust will burn any remaining leftover residue inside the exhaust tip. Resulting in burn spots within the exhaust.

What causes carbon buildup on exhaust tips?

Like soot collects inside a chimney, carbon will buildup inside your exhaust tips. Carbon buildup is a by-product of incomplete fuel combustion and, over an extended amount of time, will always build up within your exhaust tips.

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