Can You Use Brake Cleaner to Clean the Carburetor

can you use brake cleaner to clean carburetor
can you use brake cleaner to clean carburetor

Can You Use Brake Cleaner to Clean the CarburetorNo, you should not use brake cleaner to clean a carburetor. Brake cleaner and carburetor cleaner are made from different chemicals. Using brake cleaner can leave oily stuff that can damage parts of the carburetor, like plastic and rubber. Always use a carburetor cleaner to safely clean your carburetor. What makes them different from each other and why should you avoid using a brake cleaner on your carburetor? Let’s explore the answers:

What is a Brake Cleaner and Carburetor Cleaner

What exactly is a Brake Cleaner and Carburetor Cleaner? Let’s start with a brake cleaner. If the name doesn’t make it clear is a type of cleaning product meant to specifically clean the brakes. It contains a substance that is designed to dissolve and remove any grease, oil, brake fluid, stains, or rubbish from your brakes. When it dries, it leaves no residue behind.

A brake cleaner can be either chlorinated or non-chlorinated. A chlorinate brake cleaner tends to clean more thoroughly but can be harmful both for humans and your car components. Non-chlorinated brake cleaners, on the other hand, are usually safer and good at dissolving grease. The downside is that they do not clean as thoroughly.

When describing a carburetor cleaner, it contains a mixture of strong chemicals designed to destroy dirt, varnish, and grime that accumulate on the carburetor. You need to be extra careful when handling this cleaner because it can include ethylbenzene, xylene, acetone, and other toxic compounds. Compared to a brake cleaner, it tends to dry longer and is usually oil-based. No matter what tool you use, it’s important to check the label.

Can You Use Brake Cleaner to Clean the Carburetor: Explained

Why is it not advisable to use a brake cleaner on your carburetor? There are some break cleaners that contain substances that can damage and dissolute almost any other material than metal, including plastic, rubber, and paint. Since most carburetors have plastic caps and rubber o-rings, you’d best keep the cleaner away from them.

If the brake cleaner is non-corrosive, non-staining, and safe for brakes, ignitions, engines, and carbs, then you can use it as a substitute for carb cleaners. Unfortunately, in exchange for this versatility, you get a rather expensive cleaning product.

With how different the formulas of brake cleaners and carburetor cleaners tend to be, it costs far less to buy a can of each. If you are not careful and do not properly read the labels, you can end up damaging your vehicle.


Brake cleaners and carburetor cleaners are separate products for a reason. Depending on their mixture, it can be an extremely strong substance that can end up damaging your vehicle if you’re not careful. While there are certain brake cleaners you can use on a carburetor, they are usually rather expensive. Basically, you should avoid using a brake cleaner on your carburetor for safety reasons.

If you want to explore other questions, you can see “What Size Dirt Bike Do You Need For Your Height?” or you can check out optional actions like “Painting a Dirt Bike.”

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