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Can you use brake cleaner as carb cleaner

Can You Use Brake Cleaner to Clean a Carburetor? [Easy Guide]

When you plan to go and just get a bottle of carb cleaning when you’re in your workshop cleaning, you discover that you really are completely out. However, you do indeed have throttle body & brake cleaner readily available. You may therefore be wondering if you can substitute brake cleaner for carb cleaner rather than washing up and going to the parts store.

Each one of these items has an unique arrangement and purpose for cleaning and maintenance, despite the fact that they are normally accessible at any auto parts store. Some things can be substituted for others depending on the type of task you’re performing, while other circumstances call for these specific items. In a pinch, knowing their functions and alternatives will be useful.

Let’s see and answer if brake cleaner be used as carb cleaner or not.

Will brake cleaner damage a carb?

Using a brake cleanser typically doesn’t harm the carb. These brake cleaners won’t cause any issues even if you are optimizing them for a short period of time.

Furthermore, since the brake cleanser has been comprised of alcoholic components, much the same as the carb cleaner, utilizing it is pretty risk-free.

Avoid brake cleaner for carb if you want to prevent poor contact with particular surfaces, such as paint, rubber, and plastic ones. It really is advised that people tread cautiously while using these kinds of materials and also that we read the product safety warnings while using the item.

Reasons you can use brake cleaner to clean carburetor

As mentioned, you can use brake cleaner for carb instead of a carb cleaner on several occasions as an alternative in case of emergency or a cheaper option. Some of the benefits of using brake cleaner to clean carb are listed below; 

Cleaning purpose:

Just for proper cleaning, we generally use a brake solvent to clean the carburetor. Your carb may be thoroughly cleaned using brake cleaners.

After using the brake cleaner for carb, you will observe that your carburetor is cleaned of grease, oil, dirt, & detritus. 

Fast cleaning:

The alcoholic composition of the brake cleaner is strong enough to clear up all the grease gathered on brake parts. This composition could be very suitable for cleaning a carburetor, and this alcoholic composition could eventually lead to a very regular cleaning of oil and dirt which resembles its readily action on brakes.

Temporary cleaning:

If as an alternative you want to, you could use brake cleaners to carb unless another carburetor cleaning solution is available or if you prefer a cheap cleaner.

It works well for short-term carb cleaning. But in the end, it would be essential to mention that we should always use a carburetor solvent for such if you want a long-lasting cleaner.


This brake cleaning fluid, when used to clean the carburetor, often doesn’t harm the carb. This won’t generate significant issues even when using it for a while.

Furthermore, since the brake cleanser is composed of alcoholic components, just like the carb cleanser, utilizing it is risk-free.

Brake cleaner vs carburetor cleaner – What are the differences?

If you think, are brake cleaner and carb cleaner the same? There is a small difference between composition and other parameters of both the cleaners. To answer the debate of carburetor cleaner vs brake cleaner, some of the significant differences are listed below:


Both the products are masters in their respective fields and serve different functions, regardless of the fact that cleaning is their primary goal.

Black stains of grease and carbon on disc brakes, as well as other components, are often removed using brake cleaners. However, if we look on the other side, the carburetor cleaners may remove residues, grime, fuel stains, and other debris.

Manufacturing material:

We all are very well aware of the fact that these two types of cleanup methods require alcohol. Acetone, however, is indeed the principal component of brake cleanser. In addition, various other alcohols are utilized. But on the other side, chlorine components, alcoholic solvents, & quasi components are usually employed for said carburetor cleaning.

Oil removal:

There is a very subtle difference in the cleaning action of both the cleaners; on the one hand; Brake cleaners are considered to be concentrated and generally used for cleaning hard stains, while on the other hand, Carb Cleaners are a bit mild with their cleaning action and are only suitable for carburetors.  

Alternative use:

As we discussed above, Brake systems, due to practical and challenging cleaning, could be used for cleaning other components. Still, on the other hand, carburetor cleansers are only suitable for cleaning carburetors due to a low rate of cleaning.  

Rate of evaporation:

Both the liquids have a tendency to evaporate due to the presence of alcoholic chemicals. But as the concentration of Brake cleaners is relatively high in nature, they usually evaporate with a much higher tendency in comparison to that of carb cleaners.

What can you use to clean a carburetor? What is a good substitute for carburetor cleaner?

In case of emergency or as an alternative there are various things that could be used as an alternative of carburetor cleaner.

Brake cleaner:

For a change or as an alternative, if you think about the question, can you use Brake Cleaner to clean a carburetor. 

Then, In place of carburetor cleaning, brake cleaners could be used to remove grease and dirt that prevents ignition on the carburetor.


There are mixed opinions of experts on the same; some suggest that A carburetor cannot be cleaned with vinegar because its acid might erode the metal parts of the carburetor. While on the other hand some, on the other hand, appreciate its natural tendency to clean. 


As we are aware of the fact that the most critical component of the carburetor cleaning solutions is acetone. Additionally, we have seen acetone to be used for cleaning. Therefore, acetone could also be used to cleanse a carburetor.

White spirit:

As having the same properties that of acetone, white spirit is widely used around the globe for cleaning hard surfaces. So, the same could be used to clean the carburetor as well. It could be readily accepted as one of the adequate substitutes for carburetor cleaner in daily life.


Are contact cleaner and brake cleaner the same?

A straightforward example might help you understand the differences between the two. Electrical connections are cleaned with the contact cleanser. Another robust solution called brake parts cleaning eliminates brake dust. Rather than contact cleaners, brake cleaners can be used to pull the traces off the pcb & dirt.

Is throttle body cleaner the same as carb Cleaner?

This question is very subjective in nature based on circumstances so the answers could differ. In an emergency, carb cleaner & throttle body cleaner are considered to be synonymous. It is indeed critical to understand each of these compounds is intended to break down a particular material. Although carb cleaner can remove varnish, throttle body cleaner is best for use on carbon.

Can you use a paint thinner to clean the carburetor?

Another solution that could be used to cleanse the carburetor comprises paint thinner. Paint thinner should never be used inside the carb since it could disintegrate anything composed of rubber or plastic components—both aerosol solvent & pressurized air work best for cleaning a carburetor.

Can you use Wd40 instead of carb cleaner?

Although WD-40 is an oil trademark, it can also be used to cleanse the carburetor. Whenever the cleaners remove any unwelcome debris, this could improve the efficiency of the automobile because the region won’t become jammed / blocked as quickly. It can just take a few minutes to spray, and it should be simple to clean up thoroughly.

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Final Thoughts

It could be concluded that one of the very few substances that could be used to wash a carb includes brake cleaner. Due to the dangerous fumes, it should only be done outdoors. It would be best if you were using carb cleansers with safety equipment since they contain hazardous and combustible compounds.

Carburetor cleaning, which would be made to get rid of deposits, would work. Due to the scent and debris the cleaner leaves behind; this might not be the best option for cleansing several automobiles. In the given blog, we have mentioned all the relevant information about the Can you use a brake cleaner to clean a carburetor. Thank you for reading 🙂

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