Carb Cleaner vs Brake Cleaner vs Throttle Body Cleaner (What’s The Difference?)

When taking a visit to the local parts store, motorists are presented with a good sort of cleaners and chemicals to settle on from. For many, this presents a problem of sorts, because it are often difficult to work out the differences between each of those agents, and their particular uses.

Of these various products, brake cleaner, carb cleaner, and throttle body cleaner tend to be among the foremost widely used.

However, there also tends to be a big amount of confusion surrounding the intended purpose for every , also as whether or not these chemicals are often substituted to be used outside of their intended purpose.

If you’ve got ever been faced with an identical quandary, or just wish to find out more about the uses of every of the above mentioned products, the subsequent will answer your every question. Read on to find out the differences between carb, brake, and throttle body cleaners.
Carb cleaner is specifically designed to wash carburetors and carburetor-related components. A cleaner of this sort is meant to interrupt down built up varnish deposits within a carburetor.

This varnish comes as a natural byproduct of stale or water-logged gasoline, because it breaks down into a less volatile form. With time, this varnish clogs carburetor jets, thereby inhibiting fuel flow.

In reference to other cleaning solutions, carb cleaner tends to be less harsh on non-metallic surfaces. In most cases, carb cleaner won’t damage rubber or plastic, nor will it break down paper or fiber gaskets. this is often of serious value, especially when attempting to quickly clean a carburetor, in absence of an entire rebuild.

Carb cleaner are often purchased in both aerosol and bulk liquid forms, providing multiple solutions for any cleaning job. In its aerosol form, carburetor cleaner is most ordinarily used for light cleaning jobs, when one is just attempting to get rid of varnish build-up from an assembly’s jets.

On the opposite hand, carb cleaner in its bulk liquid form is usually used for larger jobs, where a carb has been heavily soiled by varnish, requiring a lengthy soak.

What Is Brake Cleaner?

As its name would suggest, brake cleaner is primarily designed to get rid of dust, oil, and debris from brake-related components.

Brake cleaner comes in two popular forms, chlorinated, and non-chlorinated. For years, chlorinated brake cleaner served because the industry standard, though it’s been slowly phased out thanks to environmental concerns. Approximately 2/3 of today’s brake cleaner products are of a non-chlorinated variety.

Brake cleaner’s most precious attribute is that its base chemicals quickly evaporate, often in seconds. As a result, no residue is left behind following an initial application.

This is of immense importance, as optimal friction between a brake system’s pads and rotors, or shoes and drums is completely vital. This action would be inhibited by any cleaning compound that leaves behind residue after use.

As with any cleaning compound, brake cleaner should only be utilized in a well ventilated area, where fumes can readily dissipate. Additionally, many sorts of brake cleaners are highly flammable, and care should be taken to eliminate any open ignition sources before use.

What Is Throttle Body Cleaner?

With time, an engine’s throttle body begins to accumulate carbon deposits, as a natural byproduct of combustion. These deposits can wreak havoc on a throttle body’s ability to accurately meter incoming air, as throttle plate actuation is impeded, which frequently leads to slowed or erratic throttle response.

Throttle body cleaner is meant to get rid of carbon fouling from the throat and butterfly of a throttle body, so as to revive uniform functionality.

The beauty of throttle body cleaner is that it’s specifically engineered to penetrate and break down stubborn carbon deposits, which are otherwise extremely difficult to get rid of .

The use of throttle body cleaner allows such deposits to be removed with minimally invasive means, and sometimes eliminates the necessity for throttle body removal, so as to facilitate deep cleaning.

While carb cleaner reacts aggressively to deep seated carbon deposits, it’s not overly harsh in many regards, this sort of cleaner is usually considered sensor-safe, and also tends to be safe to be used on many sorts of coatings.

This is of vast importance, as many more recent throttle bodies now come coated with a protective lining. Many consumers also use throttle body cleaner as a substitute for starting fluid, though this practice isn’t advisable.


Can They Be Substituted for every Other?

One of the foremost commonly asked automotive questions is that which relates to the substitution of varied cleaning chemicals, to be used outside of their intended purpose. To preface, it’s always best to pick your chemical of choice, based upon the work at hand.

All three of those cleaning agents are readily available at any auto parts store and are offered at prices that are highly like each other . However, each of those chemicals are often substituted for extra uses, on a case by case basis.

Carb cleaner and throttle body cleaner are often used interchangeably during a pinch. it’s important to understand that every of those chemicals is specifically designed to interrupt down a specific substance.

Throttle body cleaner is right to be used on carbon, while carb cleaner is capable of destroying varnish. Therefore interchanging these chemicals can reduce cleaning efficiency.

Brake cleaner, however, isn’t as suitable for an alternate . of those three cleaning chemicals, brake cleaner tends to be the harshest and is sort of capable of damaging gaskets, plastic surfaces, and rubber grommets.

Therefore, brake cleaner can cause adverse effects when sprayed around a plastic manifold , or onto rubber-tipped needle valves found in carburetors.

In limited instances, brake cleaner are often wont to clean carburetors, as long as any non-metal components are first removed.

Likewise, carb and throttle body cleaners aren’t suitable to be used on brake-related components. Each of those solutions is capable of leaving a light-weight , oily residue, which may negatively impact brake operation.

When cleaning brakes components, brake cleaner is that the only product for the work . Brake cleaner, thanks to its aggressive formula also tends to be quite effective at cleaning other components of an all-metallic construction.

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