A carburetor does essential work to keep your vehicle running smoothly, and keeping your carburetor clean should be part of your standard vehicle maintenance. In fact, one of the best ways to improve your car’s gas mileage is by removing dirt and grime from the carburetor so that your engine can be fed a healthier mixture of air and fuel. Luckily it is easy to clean your carburetor so long as you have the right equipment.
Top Carburetor Cleaners
The best carburetor cleaners do the work for you and require no scrubbing or elbow grease. Carburetor cleaners are usually deployed as an aerosol spray and frequently a straw is used for targeting the spray into tight areas. Carburetors supply your engine with a precise mixture of air and fuel to maximize combustion. The carburetor regulates the flow of air into your engine and mixes it with the fuel, but dust and dirt and carbon fuel deposits can be left behind in the process and start to build up. Over time symptoms like reduced engine performance, poor gas mileage, hard starting, backfiring, and even black smoke from the exhaust can develop.
Spraying a carburetor cleaner can help to keep the fuel flowing easily into your engine. The cleaners work to dissolve and break apart buildup. As the buildup breaks away and the grime clears out, you are left with a clean carburetor. The best cleaners work fast and dry quickly.
Dip for Deep Cleaning
|Berryman Carb Cleaner||
|WD-40 Specialist Fast-Acting Carb/Throttle Cleaner||
Fast Acting Formula
|Gumout Carb and Choke Cleaner||
Low VOC Formula
|CRC Carb and Choke Cleaner||
Buying Guide: Top Carburetor Cleaners
Depending on how heavy of a cleaning job is necessary, there are several types of carburetor cleaners available.
As the name implies, “chlorinated” carb cleaners are made from chlorine. And although it is banned in California due to the number of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), it is pretty standard worldwide because of how effective those VOCs are. It does the best job at removing stubborn dirt quickly and is non-flammable for safety. A chlorinated product can be a good option because it is particularly potent and can clean thoroughly, which is an advantage to you because it will cost you less time and effort to get your engine running smoothly.
If you do not want to use a chlorinated carb cleaner for health or environmental reasons then this is a good alternative. Since they don’t contain harsh chlorine, these cleaning materials are gentler. It is inflammable and safe to use on any surface including plastic, but it doesn’t dry as fast and may be a bit less effective at removing incredibly stubborn dirt, grime, or deposits.
Manufacturers make it quite effortless and straightforward to use spray carb cleaners. The spray cans let vehicle owners just point and spray to apply the cleaner. Finding a rag that would fit in the small openings of a carburetor is difficult and dangerous, particularly when the vehicle is left on, so providing both the liquid cleaner and the air to propel it in an aerosol spray can makes the entire process more effective.
Dips provide the most comprehensive cleaning process but they are more involved and require you to completely remove the carburetor from the vehicle. Using a dip, your carburetor is immersed in the cleaner, so it can work into all the areas and remove buildup effectively. With a dip you will get a sparkling carb when finished cleaning, but dipping cans aren’t as popular as aerosol cans because they are more difficult to use.
Best Carburetor Cleaners
Each of these carburetor cleaners offers a good experience and decent value. Read below for specific information on each one.
1. Berryman Carb Cleaner – Dip for Deep Cleaning
Beryman develops and delivers a number of automotive engine cleaners, fuel additives, and lubricants. Their rich experience and broad product line gives them strong expertise in the niche. They provide both VOC and non VOC compliant products. One of their most effective cleaners is the Berryman B-9 Chem Dip.
This non-chlorinated, non-flammable carb cleaner gets to work on all the gunk and grime built up inside your carburetor. This is a simple way to clean all of your parts in one dip, and it’s safe to use on metallic, rubber, and plastic surfaces. It removes oil, grease, sludge, varnish, and more with ease. This cleaner comes with a bin, so you won’t lose any pieces when washing, and it’s perfect for hitting all of those hard-to-reach places.
One significant advantage of this cleaner is that you won’t have to scrape and scrub the parts as much or deal with the toxic fumes generated by an aerosol carburetor cleaner. However, it has its disadvantages: the component you’re cleaning must be submerged in the can for several hours for it to function most effectively.
- Effective at coating all the hard to reach areas
- Includes basket, dip etc all for easy clean up.
- Non-Chlorinated and VOC compliant in 50 states
- Made in America
- Dip cleaning is more involved then an aerosol
- Dirt and grime stays in the liquid so questionable reuse
2. WD-40 Specialist Fast-Acting Carb/Throttle Cleaner – Reliable Spray
WD-40 is a brand that people have grown to trust for lubrication jobs and increasingly for specialty aerosol sprays that coat and apply formula. In this specialist application the formula is an all in one carburetor spray with a dual-action cleaning system that break ups baked on carbon deposits and blasts away waste. This product can make the most of a few minutes if you need to clean your carburetor in a hurry as there is no scrubbing or dipping required. Most importantly, the product comes in a compact spray can with a replaceable cap, allowing you to easily reuse it.
The WD-40 Fast-Acting Carb/Throttle Body & Parts Cleaner’s only real flaw is the lack of an applicator straw as a straw helps you to target the cleaner stream for better performance. The can does have a cap that limits splash back and overspray effectively.
- Fast acting formula breaks up carbon deposits
- Powerful aerosol spray knocks loose dirt and grime
- Safe to use around O2 sensors and catalytic converters
- Easier to deploy than a dip
- Not as comprehensive a clean as a dip
- No applicator straw to guide spray
3. Gumout Carb and Choke Cleaner – Fast Acting Formula
When your carburetor is dirty, cleaning it with Gumout Carb and Choke Cleaner is a popular choice. The formulation is effective at removing dirt, grime, and buildup while also dissolving away buildup to help unclog your carburetor. The Gumout’s jet spray is a high velocity aerosol that uses force and pressure to knock off any loose parts while also delivering the cleaning formulation deep into any knooks, crannies, or recesses. Using the Gumout Jet Spray will save you time and effort by allowing you to clean your intact carburetor with a quick aerosol instead of going through the trouble of disassembling it.
Gumout is cost-effective and does the job well. Storage is also simple with a replaceable cap that provides for multiple uses. The only disadvantage is that it is not ideal for complete, deep cleanings of the whole mechanism, because the spray is inevitably a bit limited in what it can reach.
- Removes deposits from carburetor quickly and easily
- Uses a cleaning formulation in combination with an aerosol jet spray
- Attacks the causes of hard starting, stalling, rough idling, and high exhaust emissions.
- Comes with a straw for easy delivery to tight spaces
- Also effective on small engines like lawn mowers and snow blowers
- Highly flammable
- Likely to mar painted metal surfaces
4. CRC Carb and Choke Cleaner – Low VOC Formula
CRC Carb and Choke Cleaner is a low VOC formula that is safe to use in states like California that regulate volatile organic compounds. The formula has a fast acting cleaning action that works to effectively dissolve and dislodge deposits in your carburetor such as gum, sludge, dirt, and dust. CRC products have a strong reputation for quality and are often found in your nearest auto parts shop and mechanics garage.
One of the disadvantages of this product is that as a low VOC formula it lacks some of the power that other formulas contain. Still, this product is less harmful to humans and the environment while still getting the job done. The lack of straw requires that users take care during application. It’s also necessary to avoid using this product near painted surfaces, but it will not harm oxygen sensors or catalytic converters.
- Low VOC formula
- Safe to use in the State of California
- Won’t harm oxygen sensors or catalytic converters
- Less powerful cleaning action
- Some overspray due to lack of straw
Conclusion: Best Carburetor Cleaners
It is easy to keep your carburetor clean so long as you have the right products. Each of the items on this list is effective at cleaning the carbon deposits, mud, dust, and grime that accumulates in your carburetor and around your engine. By keeping your engine clean and running smoothly, your car will last longer and you will receive better gas mileage. Take a look at our list of the top carburetor cleaners and pick one that is right for you, and then get to work taking a little bit better care of what is under your hood.
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