10 Best Carb Cleaners in 2019 – Reviews and Buying Guide
Once your vehicle develops acceleration or starting problems, then it's time to clean out the carburetor with a carb cleaner. The carburetor is prone to getting these problems because of its design and function in mixing gasoline with air.
Gunk, varnish, and gum gather on the different carburetor parts over time, depending on how often you use the engine, so it's necessary to service it often or once you notice performance issues.
Cleaning your dirty carburetor has many advantages, like better fuel efficiency, which means your vehicle burns less fuel and produces more power. You also get improved acceleration and faster engine starts.
In this best carb cleaner review, you get a list of the best carburetors in the market, plus a guide on making a choice, as well as how to properly use a carb cleaner.
- 10 Best Carb Cleaners - Reviews
- 1. Berryman Chem-Dip Immersion Carb Cleaner
- 2. CRC 12-Oz Carburetor & Choke Cleaner
- 3. Briggs & Stratton 100042 Carburetor / Choke Cleaner
- 4. Gumout Choke & Carb Cleaner
- 5. Gunk M4814 Chlorinated Carburetor Cleaner
- 6. Berkebile B101 13-Oz Instant Gum Cutter
- 7. Gunk M4815NC 12.5-Oz Non-Chlorinated Carburetor Cleaner
- 8. Berryman B-12 Chemtool 113 Carburetor & Choke Cleaner
- 9. Yamaha Yamalube Carburetor Dip Cleaner
- 10. Ford Motocraft PM2 Carburetor Spray Cleaner
- How to Buy the Best Carburetor Cleaners
- How to Clean a Carburetor (Step by Step Guide)
10 Best Carb Cleaners - Reviews
1. Berryman Chem-Dip Immersion Carb Cleaner
2. CRC 12-Oz Carburetor & Choke Cleaner
3. Briggs & Stratton 100042 Carburetor / Choke Cleaner
4. Gumout Choke & Carb Cleaner
5. Gunk M4814 Chlorinated Carburetor Cleaner
6. Berkebile B101 13-Oz Instant Gum Cutter
7. Gunk M4815NC Non-Chlorinated Carburetor Cleaner
8. Berryman B-12 Chemtool 113 Carburetor & Choke Cleaner
9. Yamaha Yamalube Carburetor Dip Cleaner
10. Ford Motocraft PM2 Carburetor Spray Cleaner
Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)
First up is this 1-gallon immersion cleaner from Berryman. Unlike most other carburetor cleaners, the Berryman Chem-Dip has enough solvent to last you for many applications.
It is fast acting and effective on all kinds of deposits, including hard carbon, gum, sludge, oil, grease, and varnish. Simply dip the carburetor inside for 15 to 30 minutes and that's it.
The formula is non-chlorinated and is VOC-compliant across the entire United States. It's safe for use on plastic and metal parts, including carburetor parts, and other parts made of aluminum, steel, and various alloys.
You get a small container inside the can for pouring a little solvent into and dipping your carburetor part inside. In fact, it's a great solution for dipping any other car or engine parts that you'd like to clean.
Editor's Rating: (4.5 / 5)
CRC's carb cleaner spray comes in a green 12-oz aerosol can, ready to get sprayed on a range of automotive parts. You can either spray it on and wait or use a cloth or toothbrush to help its cleaning power.
It comes with a straw for those times you might need some level of precision and it works on all kinds of deposits, including sludge, gum, and varnish, among others.
CRC guarantees that it's made using a low VOC formula and is safe for use with catalytic converters and Oxygen sensors. It also meets a host of regulatory requirements, including the US EPA and the California VOC.
On the flip side, there's no guarantee that it'll play nice with your plastic parts, so if you're going to use this, just make sure you remove all plastic parts and cables on the part that you're working on.
Editor's Rating: (4.8 / 5)
Briggs & Stratton is a popular tool and small engine maker, so when they present a carburetor cleaner, it's probably worth your while.
It's offered either singly or in a pack of 12, with each can containing 16 ounces of the solvent. It cleans your carburetor, chokes, and any other metal parts very quickly, reducing the engine's downtime and improving its starting.
Briggs & Stratton doesn't, however, guarantee that it's either plastic or rubber safe, or that it's non-chlorinated. This top-rated carb cleaner has a good price though and it really does clean quickly.
Editor's Rating: (4.5 / 5)
Here's another good carb cleaner with the right amount of cleaning power to get your carburetor back in peak performance. It also cleans all kinds of unpainted metal parts, including choke valves.
This choke and carb cleaner will remove gum, varnish, and other deposits quickly and thoroughly, leaving you with a shiny and new-looking carburetor. The spray head additionally includes a straw for more accuracy when you need it.
Gumout advises to either use it while the engine is on or off, but if you have to spray down the carburetor throat, then only while the engine is on.
It is safe for use with oxygen sensors and catalytic converters, but Gumout advises to avoid spraying directly on oxygen sensors to avoid disrupting normal engine operation.
Read More: 5 Best Catalytic Converter Cleaners
This offer is for the 16-oz can, but you can as well get it in 6-ounce and 14-ounce cans. It is VOC-compliant across the 50 states.
Editor's Rating: (4.3 / 5)
Gunk is a family-owned company out of Charlotte, NC, which has gained popularity among DIY folks and other customers for their high-quality products.
The Gunk M4814 is Gunk's answer for those in search of the best carb cleaner for small engines and it comes with all the right chemicals to quickly and easily bring your carb back to life.
It will clean out sludge, dirt, gum, varnish, and carbon deposits from your carburetor, cylinder heads, as well as other metal parts that you might like to clean.
This offer is for a single can of 12.5-oz cleaner, but it's also available in 19-oz cans, as well as in cases of 12 cans. If you're avoiding chlorinated products though, then you might want to avoid this one too, because it's very chlorinated.
Editor's Rating: (4.5 / 5)
When it comes to small engine repair, here is one cleaner you might want to have around for all kinds of cleaning jobs. It does just like the name says and cuts gum and other deposits instantly.
All thanks to Berkebile Oil's fast working formula and the 13-oz can with extension tube, which helps you in pinpoint applications of the cleaner for best results.
You can use it on carburetors, chokes, choke linkages, hoses, PCV valves and lots more. This formula works its magic straight away without delays.
Like most carburetor cleaners, this one is also extremely flammable, so it's not advised for use in a hot environment or a running engine. Still, it's oxygen sensor safe.
Editor's Rating: (4.7 / 5)
Chlorinated cleaners work faster and more thoroughly than non-chlorinated ones. Gunk knows this as well, so the family-owned company also offers a non-chlorinated carb cleaner for those who live in California or just need a non-chlorinated carb cleaner.
You get a cleaning formula made from low VOC solvents, which work together to produce impressive results.
It will clean dirt, gum, varnish, sludge, and carbon deposits from the carburetor, choke, engine cylinders, and any other metallic parts that you may want to clean up.
The formula is quick-drying and leaves no residue. It's also 50-state compliant because of its low volatile organic compound formula.
Editor's Rating: (5 / 5)
Berryman's B-12 Chemtool comprises different cleaners, designed to clean one thing or the other perfectly. This Chemtool 113 cleans carburetors and chokes.
It comes in a 13-oz can, is fast-acting, quick-drying, and doesn't leave any residue. You can use it to dissolve and clean gum, sludge, and varnish from the carburetor or any other parts like the PCV valve, throttle body, and carburetor linkage.
The Berryman B-12 Chemtool cleaners are also available in different sizes to fit the kind of job you plan to do. The formula is oxygen-sensor and catalytic converter safe.
Editor's Rating: (4.3 / 5)
Cleaning an engine part by hand is not always the best solution. With carburetor jets, for instance, you'll get the best results from using a dip cleaner like the Yamalube cleaner from Yamaha.
You'll need to mix the formula with water and thin it down first, before use. A 50/50 solution works great and you'll need some patience as well because a full cleanup takes anywhere from two hours up to 24 hours to complete.
If you want the best carb cleaner for your car or tool engine parts, try a dip cleaner like this Yamalube because you'll not only get perfectly cleaned parts, they'll also be sparkling like new.
This cleaner is not guaranteed rubber safe, so it's advisable to keep all rubber and plastic parts away from the dip solution to avoid damage.
Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)
Motocraft is an OEM parts maker, founded in 1972 by the Ford Motor Company. It's well-known for making vehicle-specific spare parts, as well as cleaning products like this PM2 carb cleaner.
It removes gums, sludge, and carbon deposits, leaving you with a clean carburetor. You can also use it on other engine parts, including cylinder valves, as well as cast iron and varnished steel parts.
Its 18-oz spray-can offers enough solution to last you for a while and you also get the dip version without a spray head. On the flip side, it's not recommended for diesel engines.
How to Buy the Best Carburetor Cleaners
Every product has its peculiarities, and so too, does a carb cleaner. When choosing a particular brand, you'll need to keep the following points in mind, so you can make the right choice.
#1. Chlorinated vs. Non-chlorinated
Chlorine is a major ingredient in cleaning agents of all kinds and it helps a solvent to more easily break down dirt than without. You can either get a chlorinated carburetor cleaner or you can get a non-chlorinated one.
Chlorinated cleaners clean faster and more thoroughly but they are also quite abrasive. Non-chlorinated cleaners are milder but they do get the job done.
Another issue with chlorinated carb cleaners is that some jurisdictions have a ban on the sale of chlorinated cleaners. Still, a non-chlorinated cleaner might contain other chemicals that are more harmful.
The Eco-friendliness of a carburetor cleaner is subjective and thus, something you should consider entirely on your own.
That is, if you care about the environment, then make the extra effort to only get an Eco-friendly carb cleaner. Else, this issue doesn't matter.
#3. Ease of Use
Another consideration is how easy it is to use the cleaner. Some come in spray cans, while others come in normal containers, intended for dipping the carburetor into it.
You should know how you prefer to work and which style better suits you. You should also consider if any product that you're interested in poses a safety risk in any way.
How to Clean a Carburetor (Step by Step Guide)
Once you've decided to clean your carburetor, you should take some time to consider your kind of vehicle or tool and the type of carburetor it has installed. This is because there are so many cars and carburetor designs but they all have the same basic parts.
The step by step guide below leads you through the necessary stages of cleaning a carburetor, independent of your car's or tool's make or model.
Step 1. Wear Goggles & Gloves
You should keep in mind that most carb cleaners are harmful to both skin and eyes, so it's recommended to wear goggles and gloves when using them to clean your carburetor. In case the solution does spill on you, wash it away as quickly as possible with water.
Step 2. Remove the Carburetor
Different types of engines have different types of carburetors, with tools like lawn mowers having simpler ones than cars, whose carburetors are a bit more complex.
All the same, you' may have to disconnect the carburetor from the engine first. In that case, you'll need to remove all the hoses, linkages, springs, and separate the carburetor from the engine. Feel free to take pictures along the way, so you'll remember your steps.
For most cars, you don't really need to separate the carburetor from the engine, since you can open it up in place, while still connected to the engine.
Step 3. Dismantle the Carburetor
Once the carburetor is free or can get worked on in place, you'll need to disassemble it. The length of this step depends on your carburetor's complexity. You'll need to find and open the float chamber though.
Then remove the float, including any pins, gaskets, O-rings, or other present items, depending on your engine make. It's often a great idea to take pictures before a disassembly, so you'll know how to easily assemble it back.
You'll also need to remove any rubber or plastic parts because some carb cleaners contain chemicals that'll attack and spoil them over time.
Step 6. Cleaning
Now is the time to clean your carburetor in and out. Feel free to brush the outside with a brush, but you'll have to clean the inside with a carburetor cleaner.
You can either use the spray or the dip cleaner but if you are cleaning the carburetor in place, then you can only spray. You can clean some paths with a cloth or soft brush if you're using a spray.
If you removed the carb from the engine, then you can use an immersion solution. Just leave the entire carburetor in the solution for some minutes to get a complete chemical cleansing.
Step 7. Re-Installation
Once your carburetor is clean and properly dried, then it's time to re-assemble or re-install it. This is when those pictures will come in handy, especially if you're not familiar with the carburetor assembly.
After reconnecting everything, including all wires and hoses, start your engine to make sure it works, and that's it.
Coming to the end of this best carburetor cleaner review, you can see the different offers out there, with their different formulas, effectiveness, and application methods.
Whether you are looking for the best motorcycle carb cleaner or just something to clean your RV's engine with, there are plenty of offers to choose from.
It's your turn to make a choice now, and this rests on your exact needs and personal preferences. That's why this decision is yours alone to reach.