About Me

Angela's Articulate Collection of Car Service Secrets, Tips and Tricks

Hi, my name is Angela, and as the wife of a mechanic, I was constantly tripping over car parts and complaining about the rows of project cars lining our garden. However, after a few years, I quit complaining and actually found joy in the art of auto repair. Inspired by that classic book, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", I decided to start working on cars with my husband. This blog is the culmination of everything I have learned and more. I hope you enjoy reading it and that my tips and ideas guide you toward a healthier car and a happier, safer driving experience.


Angela's Articulate Collection of Car Service Secrets, Tips and Tricks

A Bit Rusty: How to Clean Rust From Your Exhaust

by Keith Simpson

While exhaust pipes on most modern cars have been designed to be rust resistant, this tends to only slow down the inevitable. If rust is allowed to develop on your exhaust pipe it can lead to much more serious and costly problems and repairs. Below are a few tips to help you keep your exhaust pipe clean.

Brillo Pads

If the amount of rust is relatively small, you should be able to remove it using a Brillo pad which has been dipped in warm soapy water. You should apply a little bit of pressure and rub the affected area until the rust is removed. This method can lead to scratching, so if you want to maintain the perfect finish on every part of your motor, it may be best to use another method.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is perfect if you have any concerns about scratching the exterior of your exhaust. The acid in vinegar will help to break down the rust while leaving your exhaust pipe untouched. You should take a piece of old cloth or a rag and soak it in white vinegar. Wrap the cloth around the rusty part of the exhaust and leave it in place. The longer you leave the rag in place, the better your results will be. Once it has rested for a while, you should remove the cloth and wash the exhaust pipe with water to clear away the rust. You should never drive with the rag attached to your exhaust pipe as this could be dangerous.


As well as being a tasty drink, Coca-Cola is also a great exhaust cleaner. Coca-Cola contains acids which, like white vinegar, can eat into rust without damaging your exhaust pipe. For the best results you should remove the pipe and place it in a large bucket of Coca-Cola for a few hours. You should then remove the pipe and wash it down using water. Any rust should fall away during the rinsing.

These cleaning techniques should allow you to remove a significant amount of rust from your exhaust; however, the end results are likely to depend on how severely your exhaust pipe was rusted to begin with. If a large amount of rust has developed, it may not be possible to remove it all. If this is the case, when next having your car serviced, you should ask the mechanic to take a look at your car exhaust pipe so they can advise you on the best course of action.