Last Updated on May 6, 2022
If you own a vehicle, you know the effort you need to make to keep it as efficient as possible. Most of the owners take care of their vehicles as their children. To keep it running smoothly, you have to examine every part of your car. As they can get dirty, buildup starts to appear. Therefore, each component needs a different treatment and a different cleaner.
We often confuse most common things even if there is clear information given. The same is the case with different types of cleaners. We tend to think the purpose is to clean the surface. Therefore any cleaning product will do the job. Well, that is not true. Each cleaning product is designed specifically for cleaning a particular surface type. Cleaners contain various chemicals to lift off dirt, grease, and other buildups from different surfaces. Some cleaners are safe to use on plastic, vinyl, rubber, or paint, but some may damage these surfaces.
Here, we will discuss carb cleaners VS brake cleaners and why you should not use one cleaner on everything.
What is carb cleaner?
Carb cleaner is a chemical available for cleaning carbs with plastic jets. These are made to remove tough grease and dried gases. That has turned into varnish with time. It loosens up the contaminates and dirt stuck even in tiny parts and crevices. That affects the performance of the carburetors with time. These cleaners are safe for usage on surfaces like vinyl, rubber, and neoprene. It leaves residue behind on the cleaned area that can ruin the finish. Never use it on plastic and painted surfaces as it can damage it.
What is brake cleaner?
Brake cleaner is a liquid used for cleaning brakes and other related components. In contrast to carb cleaners, it does not leave residue while keeping the parts of your vehicle clean and dry. Like any other part of your car, brake components also get dirty and need proper cleaning for effective performance. These parts require a dry and oil-free surface for efficient working, which is possible only through brake cleaners. But you have to be extremely careful while using it because it is harmful to surfaces like rubber, paints, plastics, and electrical components.
Types of brake cleaners
Chlorinated brake cleaners are way more powerful and hazardous than other cleaners. If you are a newbie, you have to take extra precautions and supervision from a professional before using this chemical. However, lt is highly effective in doing its cleaning job. There is one ingredient in this cleaner that makes it harmful to humans. But aggressive for dirt removal, which is tetrachloroethylene. Such a combination of these chemicals makes it a heavy-duty and fast-drying method for cleaning sessions.
Non-chlorinated brake cleaners are also effective for cleaning, but they are not as powerful as chlorinated ones. But if you are new to this and want to test your cleaning skills, it will do the job for you. Here, one thing is essential to remember mostly non-chlorinated brake cleaners are safe to use on plastic. As no acetone is present, that eats the plastic or rubber surfaces. Still, you must check beforehand that there is no acetone in the product.
Difference between carb cleaner and brake cleaner
|Carb Cleaner||Brake Cleaner|
|You have to use it to remove tough buildups, carbon, and dried gases accumulated on carburetors.||You have to use it to eliminate dirt and debris from the brake and other components.|
|Carb cleaners are formulated with chemicals. A few such chemicals are acetone, xylene, benzene, and propane.||Brake cleaner contains harsh chemicals such as acetone, methanol, ethanol, and isopropanol.|
|Surfaces to use on|
|You can easily use it on surfaces like metal, rubber, neoprene, and non-painted areas.||Brake cleaners are safe to use on various metals and glass surfaces.|
|Surfaces to avoid|
|Keep the carb cleaners away from plastics and painted areas.||A Vinyl, neoprene, seals and gaskets, and rubber and paint finishes are some surfaces you should avoid.|
|There is one type of carb cleaner.||There are two types of carb cleaners available in the market. One is a Chlorinated brake cleaner, and the other is a non-chlorinated brake cleaner.|
|Carb cleaners leave a thin layer of residue, which is a plus thing for your vehicle as it provides lubrication.||Brake cleaners do not leave any residue. It makes the surface squeaky clean with no dirt or oil, making it easier for the brake to perform perfectly.|
|After the cleaning process, you have to rinse the carburetors to remove leftover dirt and oils.||There is no need for rinsing with water while using brake cleaners because it leaves no leftover oils.|
How is carb cleaner residue beneficial for carburetors?
While cleaning carburetors and their components, the excess dirt, grease, and buildup come to the top, leaving behind a layer of residue. This leftover residue works wonders for some of the carburetor’s parts. It ensures its long life. And it also helps in the smooth working of each segment throughout the time. Therefore it is beneficial for the carburetors and other similar components, which love lubrication for effective working.
Why is carb cleaner not a good choice for cleaning brakes?
The brake and its other parts should be free from oil, dirt, and debris. So it can perform quickly and efficiently. By mistake, if you use carb cleaners on such areas. It will not only leave residue on its various parts but also ruin the surface. That can lead to another disaster because any lubrication or moisture is harmful to the brakes. That is why keep the carb cleaners away from these parts of your vehicle.
The above information shows the difference between carb cleaner and brake cleaner. It should be clear that you should never use carb cleaner instead of brake cleaner and vice versa. Otherwise, you will end up with a mess, and you will need to spend more money to repair that mess. Needless to say that both cleaners are now easy to use as they come in a spray bottle. But still, take precautionary steps before the use of any chemical.