Cleaning the Exterior
To prevent damage to the paint, immediately remove corrosive substances (bird droppings, tree resin, dead insects, tar spots, road salt, industrial fallout, etc.). Do not wait until Model S is due for a complete wash. If necessary, use denatured alcohol to remove tar spots and stubborn grease stains, then immediately wash the area with water and a mild, non-detergent soap to remove the alcohol.
Keep the exterior cameras free of dirt, condensation, or obstructions. These substances can cause unclear pictures or Autopilot and safety features to stop working (see Cleaning a Camera).
Follow these steps when washing the exterior of Model S:
- Rinse Thoroughly
Before washing, flush grime and grit from the vehicle using a hose. Flush away accumulations of mud in areas where debris easily collects (such as wheel wells and panel seams). If salt has been used on the highways (such as during winter months), thoroughly rinse all traces of road salt from the underside of the vehicle, wheel wells, and brakes.
- Hand WashHand wash Model S using a clean soft cloth and cold or lukewarm water containing a mild, high-quality car shampoo.CAUTIONSome cleaners and car shampoos contain chemicals that can cause damage or discoloration, especially to plastic trim pieces, lamps, or camera lenses. For example, some car cleaning formulas contain hydroxide or other highly alkaline or caustic ingredients that can damage exterior components. Do not use acidic products either. Damage or discoloration resulting from cleaning products is not covered by the warranty.
- Rinse with Clean Water
After washing, rinse with clean water to prevent soap from drying on the surfaces.
- Dry Thoroughly and Clean Exterior Glass
After washing and rinsing, dry thoroughly with a chamois. If necessary, dry the brakes by going on a short drive and applying the brakes multiple times.
Window Cleaning and Treatments
Clean windows and mirrors using an automotive glass cleaner. Do not scrape or use any abrasive cleaning fluid on glass or mirrored surfaces. Follow the directions in Cleaning the Exterior for best practices in cleaning the exterior glass.
To add a hydrophobic coating to your vehicle's windows, apply the coating only to the side and rear windows, not the front windshield—doing so may affect the visibility of the autopilot cameras. Follow the hydrophobic coating manufacturer’s instructions for application details.
Car Wash Mode
When taking Model S to a car wash, Car Wash Mode closes all windows, locks the charge port, and disables windshield wipers, Sentry Mode, walk-away door locking, and parking sensor chimes. To enable, touch . Your vehicle must be stationary and not actively charging.
If using an automatic car wash, Enable Free Roll keeps your vehicle in Neutral and activates free roll for the duration of the wash, while preventing Model S from applying the Parking brake if you leave the driver's seat. To enable, press on the brake pedal and touch Enable Free Roll; or shift into Neutral.
Car Wash Mode disables if the vehicle's speed exceeds 15 km/h or by touching Exit on the touchscreen.
Cleaning a Camera
To ensure a clear picture, the camera lens must be clean and free of obstructions. There are two different methods to clean a camera, depending on when your vehicle was built.
For vehicles built prior to approximately January 12, 2023: Remove any build-up of dirt or debris by spraying water onto the camera lens with a spray bottle. Do not attempt to remove dirt or debris by wiping an exposed lens with your hands or a cloth. This debris can damage the surface of the lens when rubbed against it during wiping.
For vehicles built as of approximately January 12, 2023: Remove any build-up of dirt or debris by spraying water onto the camera lens and drying it with a microfiber cloth. Clean the camera lens every week during wet weather (snow, rain, sleet) and every month during dry weather.
Cautions for Exterior Cleaning
Cleaning the Interior
Frequently inspect and clean the interior to maintain its appearance and to prevent premature wear. If possible, immediately wipe up spills and remove marks. For general cleaning, wipe interior surfaces using a soft cloth (such as microfiber) dampened with a mixture of warm water and mild non-detergent cleaner (test all cleaners on a concealed area before use). To avoid streaks, dry immediately with a soft lint-free cloth.
Do not scrape, or use any abrasive cleaning fluid on glass or mirrored surfaces. This can damage the reflective surface of the mirror and the heating elements in the rear window.
Do not allow any substance to enter an airbag cover. This could affect correct operation.
Dashboard and Plastic Surfaces
Do not polish the upper surfaces of the dashboard. Polished surfaces are reflective and could interfere with your driving view.
Wipe spills and chemical residues from interior surfaces as soon as possible using a soft cloth moistened with warm water and non-detergent soap. Wipe gently in a circular motion. Then wipe dry using a soft, lint-free cloth.
Although seating surfaces are designed to repel stains, Tesla recommends regular cleaning to maintain performance and an as-new appearance. Promptly treat dye transfer from clothing, such as indigo-dyed denim. Avoid contact with harsh chemicals, including certain cosmetics. Never use cleaners containing alcohol or bleach. Spot-test cleaners on an inconspicuous area before applying to visible surfaces.
If equipped with leather seats, note that leather is prone to dye-transfer which can cause discoloration, particularly on light colored leather. White and tan leather is coated with an anti-soiling treatment. Using detergents or commercially available leather cleaners and conditioners is not recommended because they can discolor or dry out the leather.
Vacuum seats as needed to remove any loose dirt.
Avoid over-wetting carpets. For heavily soiled areas, use a diluted upholstery cleaner.
Extend the belts to wipe. Do not use any type of detergent or chemical cleaning agent. Allow the belts to dry naturally while extended, preferably away from direct sunlight.
Wipe door seals with a damp cloth to remove any debris. Excessive debris on the door seals can cause damage when contacting surrounding surfaces. Avoid using alcohol wipes or any chemical products that can potentially deteriorate the coating on the door seals.
Touchscreen, Rear Touchscreen, and Instrument Panel
Clean the touchscreen(s) and instrument panel using a soft lint-free cloth specifically designed to clean monitors and displays. Do not use cleaners (such as a glass cleaner) or alcohol-based gel products (such as hand sanitizer) and do not use a wet wipe or a dry statically-charged cloth (such as a recently washed microfiber). To wipe the front touchscreen without activating buttons and changing settings, you can enable Screen Clean Mode. Touch . The display darkens to make it easy to see dust and smudges. To exit Screen Clean Mode, press and hold HOLD TO EXIT.
Chrome and Metal Surfaces
Polish, abrasive cleaners, alcohol-based gel products (such as hand sanitizer), and hard cloths can damage the finish on chrome and metal surfaces.
Cautions for Interior Cleaning
Polishing, Touch Up, and Body Repair
To preserve the cosmetic appearance of the body, you can occasionally treat the paint surfaces with an approved polish containing:
- Very mild abrasive to remove surface contamination without removing or damaging the paint.
- Filling compounds that fill scratches and reduce their visibility.
- Wax to provide a protective coating between the paint and environmental elements.
Regularly inspect the exterior paint for damage. Treat minor chips and scratches using a paint touch-up pen (available for purchase from Tesla, depending on market region). Use the touch-up pen after washing but before polishing or waxing.
Repair rock chips, fractures or scratches. Refer to https://www.tesla.com/support/body-shop-support for more information on repair locations and available services.
Using a Car Cover
To preserve the cosmetic appearance of the body when Model S is not being used, use a genuine Tesla car cover. Car covers can be purchased from Tesla. See Parts and Accessories.
To extend the life of your carpet and make them easier to clean, use genuine Tesla floor mats (see Parts and Accessories). Maintain floor mats by regularly cleaning them and checking that they are properly attached. Replace floor mats if they become excessively worn.