How to Fix and Clean FPV Drone Motors Like a Pro?

RCHobby Lab’s Author: Daniel Henderson
Reviewed by Kristen Ward
Updated on
Reviewed by Kristen Ward

Crashes in grass, dirt, or dusty environments can leave motors gummed up with all kinds of debris. Anything sticky that gets wound around the bell magnets or stuck in the bearings will grind away performance.

Here are the most effective techniques for removing mud, dirt, sand, or any other stubborn debris from your motors, based on my extensive hands-on experience over the years.

Alright, let’s get down to business!

Disassembling the motor

Dry cleaning

Before introducing any liquids, try to clean up as much loose debris as possible with simple tools. Here are a few methods that work well:

  • Compressed air – Use short, quick blasts inside the bell and around the base to dislodge particles.
  • Toothpicks or cotton swabs – Gently scrape any clumped material away from the motor internals.
  • Tape – Wrap sticky tape around your finger and dab it inside the bell to remove debris.
  • Small brushes – Soft brush bristles can whisk away dirt from the windings and crevices.

Be methodical and work slowly to clear out as much as you can before proceeding to the wet cleaning steps.

Wet cleaning in the shower

For mud, dirt, and debris that can’t be blown away, it’s time to break out the scrub brushes and give your motors a bath. Just be sure to dry them afterward thoroughly.

  • Remove the props and bells to fully expose the windings and internals.
  • Use an old toothbrush or cotton swabs to scrub away the remaining gunk. Focus on cleaning out the grooves between windings where particles love to hide.
  • Rinse under hot running water, using a focused jet to blast away any loosening grime.
  • Thoroughly dry motors with compressed air and/or a fan for at least 1-2 hours before reassembling and powering up. Any moisture left behind can short out windings.

Pro Tip: Add a drop of dishwashing liquid to your scrub brush to help lift greasy residue from a muddy crash site.

With some diligent scrubbing and drying, you can often renew motors caked with dirt and debris and get back to flying in no time.

Final checks and reassembly

Thoroughly examine the motor to ensure that all traces of debris have been effectively eliminated through the cleaning procedure. Take your time and inspect every nook and cranny, paying close attention to any hard-to-reach areas or crevices where residue might have accumulated.

If you happen to spot any lingering dirt, mud, sand, or other contaminants, don’t hesitate to repeat the cleaning process. It’s crucial to achieve a satisfactory level of cleanliness to maintain optimal motor performance and longevity.

Putting it all back together

Once you have successfully cleaned the motor and ensured it is free from any debris, it’s time to put all the components back together carefully.

Please note that handling the motor parts with care, making sure not to apply excessive force during the reassembly. This will prevent any accidental damage to delicate components.

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Written By Daniel Henderson

My name is Daniel Henderson and I'm an avid FPV pilot and videographer. I've been flying quadcopters for over 5 years and have tried just about every drone and FPV product on the market. When not flying quads, you can find me mountain biking, snowboarding, or planning my next travel adventure.

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