Tesla Cleaning Guide

Tesla Cleaning Guide

As a Tesla driver, I'm not only amazed by the performance of my Tesla, I also enjoy looking at it when it's parked in my driveway. However, like all cars, it needs maintenance to keep it looking its best. Especially the white Tesla seats made of vegan leather need regular cleaning and care. In this article we will show you how to clean and care for your Tesla so that it stays beautiful for many years to come!

How do I clean my Tesla with the least amount of effort?

Of course you can clean your Tesla until every millimeter shines and look for information in the manual until all questions have been answered and you have found all the settings. But do you want that? Most of us want to achieve a solid result with the least amount of effort. After all, long cleaning times usually do not fit into everyday life. So how can you get your Tesla clean in a short amount of time?

Very simple: First drive your Tesla through the car wash and then dry the paintwork with a drying cloth. While you are in the car wash you can clean the screen to save time. Then vacuum the interior, wipe the Tesla seats with wet wipes and you're done.

Clean the outside of your Tesla in 2 steps

  1. Drive the Tesla through the car wash
  2. Final drying


Yes, you can take your Tesla to the car wash! Even if the manual only recommends contactless washing and only this information can be found on the website. However, there are 2 things to consider: 1. Put your Tesla in car wash mode. You can find this under Vehicle settings -> Service -> Car wash mode . If this is activated, windows are closed, doors and charge port are locked and the parking sensors are deactivated. 2. Avoid brush washers. The paint that Tesla uses is quite soft and otherwise micro-scratches can easily occur.

If you drive to the same car wash regularly, you can have your mirrors folded in automatically. To do this, drive your Tesla to the car wash and go to Vehicle -> Mirrors -> Auto-fold mirrors in the menu. In this way, your Tesla remembers that it should always fold in the mirrors at this location and you no longer have to do it manually next time. Don't worry, the Tesla mirrors fold out again automatically when you drive away.


Once you've gone through the car wash, it's worth drying your Tesla. It is best to get a drying cloth with a lot of water absorption capacity. This is given in GSM (grams per square meter). We recommend using a cloth with 1,400 GSM. Often water accumulates in some places. If the water then dries on the black trim, for example, limescale can form that makes your Tesla look dirty.

Clean the inside of your Tesla in 4 steps

  1. Vacuum cleaning
  2. Wipe seats
  3. Wipe surfaces
  4. Clean screen

1. Vacuuming

In order to clean the inside of your Tesla with little effort, vacuuming the surfaces is definitely part of the program. Footwells, trunk and floor mats can be cleaned excellently with it. Tip: Avoid beating the floor mats. Usually there is more dust on the floor mats afterwards than before, because the knocking device at gas stations is rarely emptied. Instead, give them a quick vacuum. Avoid touching the surface with the vacuum cleaner, especially with white seats. Unfortunately, the vacuum cleaners in self-service systems are often dirty and then soil the white seats.

2. Wipe down seats

In the second step you clean the seats. The seats of the Tesla are made of vegan leather and are rather insensitive to everyday dirt. However, what you should avoid at all costs is the use of cleaning agents that contain alcohol or oils. Instead, only use baby wipes. These baby wipes are great for removing dirt from Tesla seats. You can also use it to get stains from grass, mud and even stains from jeans off white seats in the Tesla without any problems.


You can easily use a Swiffer to wipe surfaces. This removes the dust and prevents scratches on the plastic surfaces of your Tesla. Of course, this only helps against dust, but it is perfectly sufficient for everyday use.


Finally, we recommend cleaning your display. In order not to accidentally open all possible sub-menus of your Tesla, every Tesla has a screen cleaning mode. You can find this under Vehicle settings -> Display -> Screen cleaning mode . This locks the screen and you can end it by holding the only visible button for 3 seconds. The fact that the screen goes black also gives you a better view of where fingerprints are left on the display. It is sufficient to wipe the screen dry with a cleaning cloth .

How much time do I have to plan for the Tesla cleaning?

You don't have to plan more than 15 minutes for the outside wash. If you follow the steps above, you'll usually be done in 10 minutes. The interior cleaning takes about 10 minutes. Tip: You can save screen cleaning time by cleaning the screen while it's in the car wash.

Is an underbody wash safe for my Tesla?

We conducted several surveys and interviewed over 300 Tesla drivers. Among them were 63% Model Y and 36% Model 3 drivers. The rest were proud Model S and X owners. The answers were very clear.

216 Tesla owners say very clearly: Yes, washing the underbody is no problem for your Tesla. Especially after winter, you should do an underbody wash to wash away the salt.

Conclusion: there you have it. Everything you need to know to get your Tesla clean in 20 minutes with the least amount of effort.

Cleaning a Tesla like the pros

But what applies to those who spare no effort and attach great importance to the care and cleanliness of their Tesla? Of course, we also have tips and tricks for you on what you can do to keep your Tesla sparkling clean.

tesla cleaning like professionals

Clean the outside of your Tesla like a pro in 5 steps

  1. Pre-treatment
  2. Clean surfaces
  3. Remove residual dirt & dry
  4. To seal
  5. Clean glass

1. Pre-treatment

Especially with white paint and light rims you can see every bit of dirt on the Tesla. Insect residue and dirt from the road can be very stubborn and high-pressure cleaning is often not enough to really get the car clean. You should therefore carry out a pre-treatment before the high-pressure wash. To do this, spray the rims with wheel rim cleaner and use insect cleaner anywhere insect residue has accumulated. Now you can leave it on for 5 minutes.

cleaning tesla

2. Clean surfaces

Next, take the pressure washer with foam and spray your Tesla all over with it. Be careful not to get closer than 30cm to the paint. Once your Model 3 or Model Y has been soaped up, we recommend using a microfiber cleaning glove . You can use it to clean all surfaces without scratching the paintwork. You should also use a rim brush to reach every little spot.

3. Remove residual dirt & dry

Now it's time to set the pressure washer to rinse. Then you can see where there are still dirty spots and can clean them again. Then it's time for drying. It is best to use a drying cloth with 1,400 GSM (grams per square meter absorbency).

4. Seal

Now that your Tesla is perfectly clean, you should use a sealer every 4-6 months to give the paintwork a nice shine and protect it against micro-scratches. There are many different types of sealers so you can choose the one that best suits your needs and budget. We use Detailer for this. When applying the sealer, work in patches to get the best result.

Read the directions for use carefully before applying any sealer, as over-applying can cause streaks or other problems. We recommend mixing the detailer with water at a ratio of 70/30 for better coverage.

5. Clean glass

Tesla Model 3 and Model Y already have a lot of glass surface that needs to be cleaned. Model S and X have even more. Here you can save yourself a lot of time when cleaning with a good glass cleaner . To do this, take a waffle towel and clean the panes evenly and with circular movements.

Extra tip: You can also seal the windshield glass . As a result, the water rolls off the windshield and you hardly have to turn on your windshield wipers when driving in the rain. In addition, your wiper blades will last longer due to the lower abrasion.

In 5 steps, clean the Tesla interior like a pro

  1. vacuum cleaning
  2. Clean & seal seats
  3. Clean screen
  4. wipe surfaces
  5. clean the windows

1. Vacuuming

First vacuum the entire interior of your Tesla. We recommend using a handheld vacuum or an extension hose for the regular vacuum. This way you can reach even the smallest stains and crumbs. Be careful not to rub the hose of the vacuum cleaner over the paint. When vacuuming the seats, make sure the vacuum isn't dirty or has any sharp edges that could damage the leatherette.

2. Clean & seal seats

The Tesla interior is available in black and white. Especially the white Tesla seats made of vegan leather make your car stand out from others. But how can you take care of the white seats in the Tesla?

The Tesla Model 3 and Model Y seats are fairly impervious to normal dirt. According to the manufacturer, not even stains from the jeans are a problem for the right care product. However, you should not use cleaning products that contain alcohol or oils. Instead, only use baby wipes that contain no oils for cleaning. Wet wipes for babies are suitable for all types of stains. To avoid permanent stains, you should especially seal white seats in the Tesla. This will make it easier for you to clean the white Tesla seats in the future.

3. Clean the display

Next you need to clean the display. You don't need a special cleaner for this. Instead, you can use a simple screen cleaning cloth . In every Tesla there is a screen cleaning mode that prevents you from accidentally opening all submenus on the display. You can find it under Vehicle settings -> Display -> Screen cleaning mode . This mode locks the screen and can be exited by pressing and holding the visible button for 3 seconds. You can clean the screen comfortably while sitting, which is why it is also advisable to simply wipe the display quickly in between when you are waiting in the car. You don't need any care products for it.

4. Wipe surfaces

After that, you should wipe down all plastic surfaces with a 600 gsm microfiber cloth . So in the Model 3 and Y interior, you wipe the dashboard, steering wheel, center console, door panels, and other areas that collect dirt and fingerprints. If you want to clean something more thoroughly, you can use a slightly damp microfiber cloth and surface cleaner . This is particularly recommended for removing stains from the plastic surfaces in the footwells and on the backs of the seats.

5. Clean windows

Last but not least are the windows of your Tesla. Use the waffle towel again and spray some glass cleaner on it. Then clean the panes evenly and in circular motions to avoid smearing. If the glass cleaner is well distributed, it creates a lotus effect on your windows, which means that they fog up less.

How often should I clean my Tesla?

It is best to clean your Tesla inside and out at least once a month . In particular, you should clean the Tesla seats. While the vegan material is easy to clean, you shouldn't risk permanent stains on the leather by skipping the quick wet wipe cleaning.

It depends on the season

Of course, how often you should clean your car also depends on the time of year. It is particularly important to wash the salt off the bodywork in winter, as it attacks the paintwork and can lead to corrosion. As for the Tesla seats, you should also make sure that you are not wearing a fabric winter coat that could rub off. Since you still have snow on your jacket when you get in, the dye tends to dissolve slightly and then settles on the material of the artificial leather seats. This causes discolouration that cannot be removed.

Bonus tip: Door seals smear in the Tesla

Every 6 months you should lubricate the door seals of your Tesla. As a result, the rubber remains soft and supple and does not become brittle. All you have to do is run a rubber care stick over the seals.

Do you have any tips for caring for a Tesla ? Let us know in the comments below! Thank you for reading!

Your Tesla outfitter team


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published