How To Clean Car Door Jambs To Perfection? THE GUIDE

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car door jambs, car hinges, cleaning, washing

One of the most neglected parts of vehicles are usually door jambs. They collect the dirt over the years, and sometimes it’s extremely hard to clean them properly. In today’s article, I’ll show you how to clean door jambs to perfection so that they’re cleaner than ever. 

To clean car door jambs, you should pre-wash them, spray some APC or degreaser, agitate them with a brush, rinse and then wipe them off with a clean microfiber towel. For extremely dirty and hard-to-reach areas, you can use a steam cleaner too, which will make the whole process much easier. 

Door hinges and electrical installation are the areas where it’s very tough to clean door jambs, especially if you can’t wide open your car’s door. I’ll pay thorough attention to everything to explain this topic well. 

Once you read the whole article and learn all the tips, tricks, and techniques, you’ll be ready to perfectly clean car door jambs, no matter how dirty they are. 

There are tons of youtube videos where they show you ways of cleaning car door jambs, but most of them are showing door jambs that aren’t actually dirty. This article aims to show you how to clean door jambs, whether they’re filthy or they only require a standard clean and wipe. 

1. Pre-Wash With a Hose or Pressure Washer

Before cleaning door jambs, you should always pre-wash them by using either a hose or a pressure washer. If you’re a beginner, I advise you to use a standard garden hose. It’s easy to use, and you won’t soak the interior with water. 

If you’re more experienced, using a pressure washer (check my recommended pressure washers here) will make the job easier and quicker. Just make sure to be careful. You don’t want to mess things up. 

When possible, I always use a pressure washer, but I keep it at an almost 90-degree angle, so no water goes inside the car. 

Pre-washing car door jambs will remove most dirt from them, especially some larger dirt and grime. By pre-washing them, you’ll prevent scratching your vehicle when you proceed to other steps in this guide. 

2. Clean Them With a Brush and All-Purpose Cleaner

After pre-washing door jambs, you’re ready to start thoroughly cleaning them by spraying some all-purpose cleaner (APC) and then agitating the area with a detailing brush. One of the best APCs out there is Meguiars All-Purpose Cleaner (check the price on Amazon now).

If you want, you can use a toothbrush too, but in my opinion, it’s too harsh for the paint, which is always pretty thin on door jambs areas. 

Also, instead of an APC, you can use some degreaser such as Super Clean. Degreasers are excellent if there are oils to clean from door jambs.

However, when using degreasers, you should be careful around the door hinges since they often have grease lubricant inside. Degreasers could remove that lubrication from hinges, and the door might start to creak. 

Related: Recommended Auto Detailing Brushes

So, spray some APC (make sure it’s adequately diluted), and start agitating the area with a detailing brush. Pay additional attention to nooks and crannies around door hinges. They’re often hard to clean and full of dirt. 

A detailing brush with a longer wand can be very helpful for those nooks and crannies that are hard to reach. Keep that in mind too. 

One more thing, don’t skimp on the APC, especially if the door jambs haven’t been cleaned for a long time and the whole area is filthy. Sometimes, all you need is more cleaning power, which you can accomplish by spraying more APC on that area. 

3. Rinse The Door Jambs Off

After agitating the door jambs by using an APC and a brush, you should thoroughly rinse the area to remove all that dirt, dust, and grime from them. 

Some people like to skip this step and wipe the door jambs just after agitating them with a brush, but I think rinsing is crucial to prevent scratching the paint. 

So, take your garden hose or pressure washer again and thoroughly rinse the area. 

4. Wipe Off With a Clean Microfiber Towel

Once you have rinsed everything, you can take a clean microfiber towel (check my recommended microfiber cloths here) and wipe the area.

A microfiber cloth will pick up the left dirt and dry the door jambs, which is essential for preventing any water spots. 

For hard-to-reach areas, you can wrap the microfiber towel around your fingers or some stick, and then you’ll be able to reach and wipe them too.

Even though it’s not essential, after wiping the area with a microfiber towel, you can use an air blow gun to dry the door jambs completely, so you’re 100% sure there’s no water left there.  

5. Use Steam Cleaner To Get Even Better Cleaning Results

If you have it, a steam cleaner is one of the best tools you can use to clean door jambs. The steam cleaner has exceptional cleaning power, especially for filthy and hard-to-reach areas of the door jambs (hinges, electric installations, etc.). 

Sometimes, using an APC and a brush won’t be enough to completely clean door jambs. Even though it doesn’t happen often, it’s good to have a backup solution. 

I’ve seen it on a few cars that have never been detailed, especially on ones that are 15+ years old. Their door jambs were extremely filthy, full of oils, grease, and other specks of dirt that stuck to the paint. 

Since steam cleaners use heat, they easily lift off any dirt from the door jambs in no time. 

However, don’t start straight off by using a steam cleaner. You should always do the typical cleaning first, then, if there’s still dirt left, use a steam cleaner to clean the rest. 

If you’re a professional car detailer or you often clean cars, having a tool such as a steam cleaner is essential, not only for door jambs but for many other tasks. They aren’t as expensive as they used to be, so buying one won’t be a huge expense. 

For instance, Bissel SteamShot (check the price on Amazon now) is a fantastic and pretty cheap steamer that’s great for both beginners and professionals in the car detailing world.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a door jamb?

A door jamb is an area between the door and the car’s frame, and it acts as a seal between the interior and exterior of the vehicle.

Why are car hinges lubricated?

Car hinges are lubricated so that the mechanism for opening and closing doors can work seamlessly. If there’s no lubrication, the door will start to creak, and opening and closing them may be more difficult.

Are degreasers safe to use on door jambs?

Yes, they’re safe to use. However, make sure to avoid spraying lots of them to door hinges and door locks since it may remove lubrication from them.

Are door jambs considered interior or exterior?

Door jambs are somewhere in between. Some people claim they’re exterior, while others claim they’re the vehicle’s interior. In my opinion, you should always clean the door jambs, whether you are cleaning the interior or the exterior of the car.


If neglected, car door jambs can be tricky to completely wash and clean. However, by following the guide above, I believe you’ll be able to get them perfectly clean. It might take some time, but it’s totally worth it.

Also, cleaning door jambs on your vehicle should be done every time you wash your vehicle. That way, they’ll be easy to keep clean and maintain them well. All the dirt, dust, oils, and grime that sits there for long, may cause door hinges to creak, and may even lead to rust on door jambs. So, make sure to care for them as for any other part of the vehicle.

Properly detailing your vehicle has many advantages, and make sure to understand them, you’ll be prouder owner of your car.

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