How to Clean AC Evaporator Coils in Car? – 4 Ways

Written by Howell Crist / Fact checked by Sam Howard

how to clean ac evaporator coils

Inside a house or in the car, air conditioners play a vital role in staying comfortable, whether in hot or cold seasons.

Indeed, aside from this common knowledge, the air conditioning system offers multiple benefits. In detail, they can remove air pollutants, keep out insects due to their filter, provide comfortable sleep, avoid electrical heating, and ensure fewer sweat stains.

If you want to keep enjoying these AC perks, you should be mindful of the maintenance schedule to lengthen its life span. One way to save money is knowing how to clean AC evaporator coils by yourself.

4 Homemade Cleaners You Can Make to Replace a Commercial Solution

Below is a list of homemade solutions you can make to clean evaporator coil with built-up dirt:

1. Vinegar, Alcohol, and Baking Soda Mix in a bowl ½ cup of vinegar, ½ cup of alcohol, and baking soda.
2. Water, Dishwashing Liquid, and Baking Soda Pour out dishwashing liquid into a small bowl of water until soapy, and add a generous amount of baking soda.
3. Water and Bleach Pour one liter of water into a bucket and add 300 ml of bleach.
4. Water and Vinegar Pour an equal amount of water and vinegar into a basin and mix. Make sure that you put any of these homemade solutions in a bottle sprayer for easy use.

Ways to Clean AC Evaporator Coils


What You Need

  • Protective Gear (Glasses, Gloves, Facemask)
  • Compressed Air
  • Hand Tools (screwdriver, socket wrench, and nut driver)
  • Cordless, handheld vacuum
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Commercially Purchased Cleaner or Homemade Solution
  • Clean Cloth

Step 1: Turn off your AC and Access Evaporator Coil

Turn off your home’s on air handler. After that, remove the AC unit’s panel to gain access to the coils. To find where the evaporator coil is located, refer to the


Detach all the locks using different hand tools compatible with them. Tapes or metal foils must be unfastened as well. Secure the detached parts in place so as not to lose them.

Step 2: Inspect the Evaporator Coil

Having access to the interior parts, look for the inside furnace or fan blower because usually, the coils are near it. It is shaped as an upside-down V frame with lined aluminum fins.

Step 3: Wear your Protective Gear

Before you start the next step, protect yourself from dirt, chemicals, and possible hand cuts. Wear your protective glasses, gloves, and face mask, even if you clean it outside the house.

Step 4: Spray Compressed Air

Get rid of the accumulated dirt, grime, and hardened dust by generously spraying and covering every nook and cranny with compressed air into the dirty evaporator coil in 90-degree-angles.

Blow away pollutants down the ductwork system and avoid contact with them.

Step 5: Brush away Stubborn Dirt and Grime

Using the soft-bristled brush, swipe away the stubborn grime and dirt. Reach out to remote areas. When working with the fins, be extra mindful to avoid damage.

Be gentle. Brush dry along the folds and not across them to avoid deformation. Do not stop without removing the visible smudges and filth.

Wash the brush properly for the next use. Remove excess water by whisking the brush.

Step 6: Spritz Purchased Commercial Cleaner or Homemade Solution in a Spray Bottle


Spray commercial cleaner or homemade solution in your soft-bristled brush and wait for two minutes for the solution to sit in. Then, brush the areas that still have stubborn dirt and trash them away once removed.

Again, be gentle but very thorough at the same time. Only stop brushing after making sure the coils are spotless. Clean coils are one way of preventing AC evaporator coil frozen issues.

Step 7: Wait for the Evaporator Coils To Dry Out

Before you proceed to the next step, make sure that the evaporator coils are completely dry.

Step 8: Wipe the Evaporator Coils


For the final touch before its reattachment, wipe the coils with a clean cloth.

Step 9: Reattach the Screws and Tapes

Put back the evaporator coil near the fan blower or in a furnace. Reattach the screws and locks using hand tools. Put everything back together.

Step 10: Turn On your AC and Feel the Difference

You will know that your maintenance cleaning works if your AC is cooler than ever. If I can do it, you can! Just ten steps, and you are on your way to energy-saving, maximum cooling capacity, and prolonged AC lifespan!

How Do the Condenser Coils and Evaporator Coils Function Together in Your AC?


Unlike AC condenser coils that sip out the heat and expel it outside, the evaporator coils take away the dampness and warmth in the air to cool it.

Once the refrigerant enters the evaporator coils and travels through the copper tubing, it takes in the warm air and liquefies it into the water which then is excreted in the draining pan. Taking out that humidity decreases the temperature and gives cooler air.

The refrigerant, which is now heated, goes to the exterior unit. The heat is then released to the outside air as the refrigerant passes through the condenser coil. The process is then repeated, with the refrigerant going back inside the evaporator coil.

To clean your air conditioning evaporator coil, you need a cleaning agent to fully remove dirt and grime. One is to purchase a commercial cleaner in the market and the other is through the Do It on Your Own (DIY) project.

The Importance of Evaporator Coils

If evaporator coils are filled with stubborn grime and filth, your AC performance lowers and eventually stops to produce cold air. Evaporator coil cleaning should be done every three months to avoid the following symptoms:

  • Leaving it dirty may damage the internal parts
  • Ice build-up in the refrigerant lines
  • Decreased cooling capacity
  • Frozen evaporator coils
  • Inefficient energy use
  • Warm temperature


Whether in small confines like an inside mobile home or in attic, to larger offices or centralized houses using in-split AC, you need to constantly clean the HVAC evaporator coil to maintain its maximum health.

Remember, the more diligent you are in providing maintenance cleaning to your AC, the more you are saved from future part replacement or renewal. Feel free to share these tips on how to clean AC evaporator coils.

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Our chief editor is Sam Howard. The vast market of car care necessitates extensive research. He entered the market, experienced the service, and reported customer feedback in order to provide the best advice and content to car owners. We have faith in him to turn our website into a reliable resource for all car owners.

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