How To Clean Car Door Jambs?

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One of the most neglected parts of vehicles is usually the door jambs. They collect dirt over the years, and sometimes, it’s extremely hard to clean them properly. In today’s article, I’ll show you the method I use to clean door jambs, even if they’re extremely filthy.

Key Takeaways:

  • Door jambs and hinges are usually a bit tricky to clean.
  • You should use a combination of a pressure washer, an all-purpose cleaner or decreases, a detailing brush, and even a steam cleaner.
  • Car door jambs should be cleaned whether you’re detailing the car interior or exterior since they belong to both to a certain degree.

1. Pre-Wash With a Hose or Pressure Washer

car door jambs, car hinges, cleaning, washing

To start off, pressure wash car door jambs by using a pressure washer or a garden hose. That’ll remove most of the dirt and dust from door jambs. That’ll help to prevent scratching the surface on the following steps.

If you’re a complete beginner, I suggest using a garden hose to make sure you won’t soak the car interior with water.

If you’re more experienced, using a high pressure washer 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. 

2. Clean Door Jambs 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 Meguiar's All Purpose Cleaner.

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.

SuperClean Multi-Surface All Purpose Cleaner Degreaser Spray, Biodegradable, Full Concentrate, Scent...

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

The exact steps I do to clean car door jambs with an APC and a brush:

  • Spray all-purpose cleaner all over the car door jambs
  • Agitate the area with a detailing brush
  • Thoroughly agitate nooks and crannies around door hinges as 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 and also to remove any all-purpose cleaner residue. 

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 quality microfiber cloth 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.

Optional: Steam Cleaning Car Door Jambs

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. 

From my experience, Bissel SteamShot is a fantastic and pretty cheap steamer that’s great for both beginners and professionals in the car detailing world.

Bissell SteamShot Hard Surface Steam Cleaner with Natural Sanitization, Multi-Surface Tools Included...
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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 on 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.

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