carb cleaner vs brake cleaner

Carb Cleaner vs Brake Cleaner 2023: Best Cleaner for your car

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Last Updated on September 9, 2022 by John Robinson

There are several different components in your car. All of them are supposed to build up dirt with time. Many essential car parts demand the cleaning of their components at regular intervals. While many people suppose that a carb cleaner can be used as a brake cleaner, it is not actually true. 

Each component of your car requires a unique solution for its adequate maintenance. Your brakes require a quality brake cleaner and your carburetor needs an appropriate carb cleaner. The use of the wrong solution on any particular part of your car may cause irreparable damage. You might have to then spend a ton of money on the repair and the trailing maintenance. 

It may seem to be an expensive bargain. But the use of the right solution on the right portion of your car will cost you much less than otherwise. A brake cleaner is not the same as a carb cleaner and shouldn’t be exchanged in use.  

Brake cleaner is meant to clean your vehicle’s brakes

Carb Cleaner vs Brake Cleaner

Brake cleaners are specially made to adequately clean the braking system of your car. They serve to remove any impurities that may disturb the normal functioning of your car’s brakes. This solution can perfectly clean brake shoes and brake pads of dirt. Dust, and debris. It can also remove brake fluid, oil, and grease very easily. 

Note that brake cleaners dry very fast on the surface they are exposed to. This same cleaner can be employed to clean your brake drums, brake pads, and shoe brakes. The spray form of this cleaner is also very convenient to use. 

You’ll find chlorinated and non-chlorinated brake cleaners in the market. Both of them can be safely utilized to clean the braking system of your car and some specific components of your engine. However, chlorinated cleaners are harmful in nature and may cause aggressive chemical reactions on your skin. 

This is owed to the presence of tetrachloroethylene that results in chemical congestion. It is relatively safe to use a non-chlorinated brake cleaner, especially if you aren’t putting on gloves. Although, note that a brake cleaner will not be able to act on a surface that is covered with powder. The powder would get sticky and make the finish less smooth. 

Carb cleaner is meant to clean your vehicle’s carburetor 

Carb cleaners are typically employed to clean carburetors. Your vehicle’s carburetor serves to adequately mix air and fuel inside your combustion chamber. This mixing is performed in a properly balanced nature so the combustion process would be more effective. Note that carburetors are located differently in different cars. Although, it is always situated somewhere close to the intake manifold. The fine lines attached to this component might make it easier to spot.

Carb cleaner

Many modern vehicles have replaced the carburetors with new fuel injection systems. But if your vehicle still has a carburetor, it is essential that you maintain it well. It is important that your carburetor is only cleaner with a quality carb cleaner for the best performance. Note that many new mechanics may not be able to repair this component if it fails. In place of a proper carb cleaner, you can only use a throttle body cleaner, never a brake cleaner. 

Your carburetor may possibly get clogged with dirt and debris. It is essential that the hardened carbons be removed before they interfere with the normal functioning of your engine. This cleaner must be employed carefully near the painted portions of your car as it may peel off the paint. The aggressive nature of the chemicals in a carburetor can easily clear built-up debris and carbons, but they may be harmful to your skin. 

Carb cleaners and brake cleaners have quite different chemistries

Carb cleaners and brake cleaners have quite different chemistries 

While you can certainly employ a brake cleaner with patience, you ought to act on time with a carb cleaner or it would ruin your process. A brake cleaner removes dirt and oil to render the surface of your brakes clean and dry while a carb cleaner works adequately upon hardened carbons and debris and may leave some oil at the end. 

Brake cleaners are not suitable for seals and gaskets because they make the surface completely dry. On the other hand, carb cleaners can be reliably employed in these areas because the oils they leave would only prolong the life of these components. Also, carb cleaners can be safely used on vinyl, neoprene, and rubber. Brake cleaners are not appropriate for these areas. 

You cannot assume that carb cleaners and brake cleaners are the same. The use of a brake cleaner in place of a carb cleaner may cause severe damage to your carburetor. However, you can actually employ a no-residue carb cleaner to clear your braking system. Although, it wouldn’t be as effective as a regular brake cleaner. Moreover, it may even be more expensive. 

Carb Cleaner vs Brake Cleaner

 Know about some reliable brake cleaners

Some very reliable brake cleaners will certainly enhance the life of your brakes. The removal of harmful debris on time could save you a braking system repair or replacement. Also, your brakes will be rendered free of unwanted squealing noises owed to the presence of impurities. This is also a dependable method of removing the unattractive brake dust that may have discolored your wheels. 

1. 3M high-power brake cleaner3M high-power brake cleaner

The multi-purpose brake cleaning formula by 3M is absolutely reliable. This non-chlorinated cleaner leaves behind no residue and performs excellently owing to its high-pressure flushing action. There is no unwanted and unpleasant odor and no residue at the end. While it may be more expensive than most cleaners, it is simply the best when it comes to quick and efficient cleaning.

2. Permatex non-chlorinated brake cleaner Permatex non-chlorinated brake cleaner

This amazing non-chlorinated brake cleaner comes with a special precision straw that makes it easier to access tight areas. Also, this is an aluminum safe formula that leaves behind no residue. Also, no runoff is created during use. However, this cleaner is flammable and must be handled with care. 

3. CRC Brakleen Brake Cleaner CRC Brakleen Brake Cleaner 

This fast and effective brake cleaner evaporates quickly and leaves behind no residue. Even the toughest grime will be gone in no time. This may not be the most expensive contender, but it certainly isn’t cheap. It is available in both chlorinated and non-chlorinated versions. Also, this cleaner is non-inflammable in nature. 

4. Gunk non-chlorinated brake cleaner Gunk non-chlorinated brake cleaner

This brake cleaner is very convenient to use and can easily unclog the braking system of your vehicle. The non-chlorinated nature of this cleaner makes it very easy to remove dust, oil, and fluid. Also, no residue is left behind. There are no harmful chemicals and the dissolution of this solution is rather fast. This cleaner must not be employed over painted surfaces.

Know about some dependable carb cleaners 

Fast-acting and utmost effective carb cleaners are a realized dream. Our selected quality carb cleaners are very convenient to use and don’t act hard on the surrounding materials that may not sustain chemical damage. It is best to go for low odor variants that can be easily sprayed on the site that needs to be unclogged. 

1. WD-40 Specialist carb cleaner WD-40 Specialist carb cleaner 

This is the ultimate fast-acting and convenient carb cleaner. Best of all, it doesn’t require any scrubbing or dipping to act. It can also be reliably used as a throttle body cleaner. This cleaner comes as a spray with an easily replaceable lid. There is a straw that helps in directing the cleaner towards tight parts for the best results.  

2. Gumout jet spray carb cleaner Gumout jet spray carb cleaner

This excellent carb cleaner is known to improve the performance of your engine in terms of ist fuel economy and horsepower. Moreover, its fast-acting formula is meant to save you time. The spray begins action immediately and dries the components clean. The replaceable cap makes it very convenient to store. However, this spray may not be safe to use on all sorts of materials. 

3. CRC carb cleaner CRC carb cleaner 

CRC makes a very effective and VOC compliant carb cleaner. Any stubborn impurities can be quickly dissolved and washed away. However, it would have been better if this product came with a straw to direct the spray. Also, it may ruin any painted metal surface adjoining the carburetor.

4. Berryman 0996 chem-dip carb cleaner 

Berryman 0996 chem-dip carb cleaner 

This VOC compliant carb cleaner works on most metals and alloys. It can also be safely used on painted surfaces, rubber, and plastic. Any oil, grease, varnish, or sludge will be quickly and effectively removed. The non-chlorinated and nonflammable nature of this product is a further bonus. Unlike other cleaners, this one does not cause rusting.


Brake cleaners and carb cleaners are different and cannot be utilized for similar purposes. However, both these products can be potentially dangerous because of their strong chemical nature. It is recommended that you maintain adequate precaution during their use. You must always wear gloves while working with them and try to minimize any possible damage. It is important to stay safe while prolonging the life of your essential car components.