The 11 Best Brake Cleaners 2019

It is necessary for brakes to function smoothly if there be any hope of driving safely. Because of the side effects of irresponsive brakes are too numerous too and adverse to be even contemplated.

You can only slow down the buildup of dust and grime by making use of a reliable brake cleaner. Our review and buying guide that follows endeavors to provide the necessary direction to that effect.

11 Best Brake Cleaner Reviews

#1: CRC 05084 BRAKLEEN

CRC 05084 BRAKLEEN

Do you stay in an environment where chlorine is banned? Get your hand on this chlorine-free product. Apart from being free of the harmful chemical, it is still a great possession for the handling of all vehicle cleaning needs.

Chlorine-free Formulation

As stated above, this cleaner is devoid of any chlorine. As such, it is safe and unlikely to inflict burns on your skin. At the same time, the product is less likely to corrode your lungs even if you inhale it in sufficient amounts.

Potent Formulation

Generally speaking, this cleaner has a potent formulation indeed. This stems from the fact that it is formulated to get rid of all the undesirable debris within the realistic shortest time possible. You will not have to wait for too long to have your way as such.

45% less VOC

It contains 45% less volatile organic compounds. With regards to this, the cleaner is less likely to corrode your lungs as it hardly turns into gas. This goes the extra mile to guarantee your overall safety and well-being at all times of use.

Pros

  • Leaves no residue behind
  • Dries faster than most other kinds of cleaners
  • Non-chlorinated and is hence safe to inhale
  • Handles brake linings and pads equally well
  • Quickly removes brake debris

Cons

  • Extremely flammable
  • Harmful or fatal if swallowed
  • Eye and skin irritant

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#2: CRC 05089 BRAKLEEN

CRC 05089 BRAKLEEN

Do you have many vehicles to handle at a time? Simplify your cleaning process by your laying hands in this cleaner. Moreover, the cleaner’s manufacturer is a global leader in the manufacture of such kinds of products.

Strongest Brakleen Formula

It features the revolutionary Brakleen formula. This is known to be potent enough to handle all kinds of dirt more so those which cannot be removed by normal cleaners. By use of this cleaner, you end up getting much more than you pay for.

Faster Cleaning Actions

On the whole, this cleaner takes the shortest realistic time to clean the various surfaces on which it is applied. This stems from its potent formulation which also handles all kinds of dirt and contaminants. You yet again have the pleasure of limited time wastage.

Reputable Company

CRC is a globally-renowned leader in the manufacture of specialty chemicals. Its range of products is great for repair and maintenance tasks such as brake cleaning. You will hence be certain of nothing but the best outcomes with this cleaner.

Pros

  • Degreases instantly
  • Cleans faster
  • Non-flammable and hence safer to use
  • Takes the shortest realistic time to act
  • Handles numerous kinds of equipment

Cons

  • Vapor harmful
  • Contents under extreme pressure
  • Cannot be sold for use in California and New Jersey

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#3: 3M 08180 High Power

3M 08180 High Power

If you own a trailer or any other heavy commercial vehicle like buses and Lorries, you cannot guarantee the cleaning of your brakes except by using this powerful cleaner. Indeed, this high power brake cleaner is your best bet for such tasks.

High-pressure Flushing Action

This cleaner operates using the high-pressure flushing actions. This one gets rid of the most stubborn of all stains while at the same time neutralizing their chemical strengths. You get to enjoy the attendant benefits after less effort.

Multi-purpose Formula

Courtesy of its multipurpose formula, this cleaner is capable of getting rid of many kinds of contaminants. These include but not limited to grease, tar, oil, and dust. You have the benefit of higher value for money awaiting you with this cleaner.

Thorough Cleaning Action

Compared to other kinds of cleaners, this one has a pretty thorough cleaning action indeed. This contributes towards the elimination of chatter and squeal which are ordinarily not removable by everyday cleaning agents.

Pros

  • Handles the toughest brake parts with relative ease
  • Gets rid of the toughest deposits diligently
  • Impacts all kinds of dirt and debris in one compact entity
  • Possesses versatile cleaning properties which work on diverse braking components
  • The formula dries quickly and leaves no residue behind

Cons

  • Restricted to non-shiny surfaces
  • May easily corrode hands
  • Potentially carcinogenic when inhaled in sufficient quantities

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#4: CRC 05016 Disc Brake Quiet

CRC 05016 Disc Brake Quiet

Are you a mechanic who occasionally has to clean many brakes at a time? Your answer lies in the acquisition of a specially designed cleaner like this one. Given its optimization for commercial applications, you have no better friend.

Water-resistant High-temperature Film

When applied onto a surface, this cleaner forms a water-resistant and high-temperature film. This one absorbs all the noise and is hence great for quieting squeals and squeaks. You hence get much more than you pay for by using this cleaner.

Effective Lubrication

All factors considered this brake cleaner is an effective lubricant. It dampens vibrations which are responsible for the brake noises. Your brakes hence become quieter and smoother after the application of this cleaner.

Maximum Versatility

By using this cleaner, it is possible to impact a wide range of car parts. These include disc brake pads, brake pad contact points, backing plates, and non-shimmed disc pads. Apart from maximum convenience, you also get higher value for your money.

Pros

  • Silences squeals and squeaks
  • Effectively absorbs all the brake noises
  • Usable on just about every other brake job
  • Easy to apply to the various parts
  • Handles a vast array of tasks and chores

Cons

  • Moderately bulky to carry around
  • Complex application procedures
  • Potentially dangerous formulation

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#5: Permatex 82450 Non-Chlorinated

Permatex 82450

A multipurpose brake cleaner is absolutely necessary if you have all kinds of vehicles in your possession. You might want to try this out. It has the ability to impact all braking systems, farm equipment, tools, C.V joints, and machinery.

Non-Chlorinated Brake & Parts Cleaner

This cleaner contains no chlorine. With regards to this, it is safer and less likely to inflict any burns on you at all. On the contrary, it dissolves all dirt and oil to remove them from the surfaces they are applied. In the course of this, it impacts every dirt well.

Aluminum-safe

You can also apply this cleaner on Aluminum with no adverse impacts forthcoming. That is because it is Aluminum-safe. What’s more? It also generates almost no contaminants or chlorinated solvent run-offs. This means your surfaces are cleaner and ready to go!

Easy Applications

You need not to master and utilize complicated application procedures with this cleaner. In fact, you need not even disassemble the brake units given that the cleaner does penetrate deep and fast. The pleasure of greater outcomes and faster turnaround are yours to leverage.

Pros

  • Applicable to all kinds of car parts
  • Falls within the safe EPA halide limits
  • Works faster than most brake cleaners do
  • Safer for aluminum
  • Leaves behind almost no residues

Cons

  • May cause skin cancer
  • Irritates the skin and the eyes
  • Blocks the nose when inhaled excessively

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#6: Throttle Muscle TM8487

Throttle Muscle TM8487

Do you change locations every now and then? This is the brake cleaner to use. That is because it is compliant with the rules and regulations that govern the cleaning of such parts in all the 50 states. You are hence less likely to confront any undue restrictions on use.

50-state Compliant

As has already been stated, this cleaner is compliant for use in all the 50 states that make up the union. You will hence not incur any restrictions at all regardless of where you prefer to make use of it. This is mainly due to its non-chlorinated formulation.

High-power Spray

To apply this brake cleaner on the affected part, you only need to engage the nozzle to spray the cleaner. The nozzle is easier to engage and also discharges the sprays in high power output. This leaves no dirt or stains un-impacted or half-removed.

Ultra-low VOC

Generally speaking, the cleaner’s formulation contains excessively low levels of volatile organic compounds. This makes it less likely to inflict any cancer and other respiratory tract infections due to the low emission of gases at room temperature. Your safety is hence upheld at all times.

Pros

  • Extremely fast drying
  • Cleans and degreases brake all movable parts of cars
  • Leaves no residue behind for extremely clean outcomes
  • Formulated to act faster and deliver the desired outcomes within the shortest realistic time possible
  • Does not pose any damages to the braking system

Cons

  • Too potent a formulation
  • Easily compromised by strong winds
  • May inflict secondary damages and infections

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#7: Gunk M720-12PK Clear 19 Ounce, (Case of 12)

Gunk M720-12PK

Do you have limited financial resource base at your disposal? This is the cleaner you want to make use of. It has some simple formulation yet still reliable enough to handle the general forms of dirt. You have to give it some try at least.

Non-flammable

This cleaner has a non-flammable formulation. It is less likely to burst into flames or catch fires. This makes it safer to store in even the most congested of homes or households. It hence gives you some added peace of mind while engaging it.

Powerful Spray Pattern

The application of this cleaner is by means of a powerful spray pattern. This one sees to it that the spray penetrates even the ordinarily hard-to-reach areas with ease. It also guarantees better cleaning outcomes than is ordinarily achievable.

Aggressive Cleaner

In all, this is an aggressive cleaner indeed. It tackles that dirt that has hardened on the surfaces of the car with ease. At the same time, it also requires minimal effort on your part not to mention that it takes a shorter duration of time to act.

Pros

  • Removes dust faster without any residues behind
  • Dissolves the extremely stubborn stains for maximum impact
  • Combats chatter and squeals effectively
  • Delivers better cleaning outcomes
  • Comes in an easy-to-store Aerosol can

Cons

  • Weaker potency
  • Cannot handle some kinds of dirt
  • Performs fewer operational cycles

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#8: CRC 5089T Brakleen

CRC 5089T

Heavy equipment like machinery, mechanical parts, and motors are generally harder to clean and impact. To be able to be guaranteed greater outcomes, you have to make use of a heavy duty brake parts cleaner such as this.

Non-staining and Non-corrosive

This cleaner neither stains nor corrodes the surfaces on which it is applied. It is hence safer and great for use on just about any other part or system. For this reason, the cleaner is great for use on surfaces that are resistant to dirt.

Superior Cleaning and Degreasing Properties

Generally speaking, this cleaner brings about superior cleaning end results and also possesses great degreasing properties. It also finds applicability in many areas that are way beyond the scope of the ordinary braking mechanisms.

Excellent Formulation

The formulation of this cleaner comprises numerous base ingredients and characteristics. These include selected solvents, low surface tension, controlled evaporation, and high density. It is the sum total of these ingredients that ensure greater-than-average results.

Pros

  • Prevents harmful buildup of debris on surfaces
  • Safely settles and removes brakes dust
  • Eliminates the possibilities of clutch slippage
  • Great for the removal of grease and contaminants
  • Offers protection to all rubber parts from overspray

Cons

  • Calls for some expertise to engage properly
  • May inflict some burns when in contact with the skin
  • Persistent inhalation predisposes you to cancer

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#9: Mag 1 409 Non-Chlorine Re-formulated

Mag 1 409

Do you want to accrue some faster outcomes while cleaning the brakes? Save yourself a bit of time and effort by placing your hand on this cleaner. Its powerful formulation and faster actions combine to make this dream a reality.

Premium Brake Parts Cleaner

This brake cleaner is premium in formulation and potency. That is because only those ingredients that are tough and effective have been used to make it up. It is for this reason that the cleaner generates faster outcomes and takes shorter to do so.

Superior Chemistry

Other than being potent, the formulation also comprises some superior chemistry. In all, this chemistry is basically very strong and reliable in dissolving and neutralizing the effects of hardened dirt. It is also courtesy of this chemistry that the cleaner acts faster.

Superior Cleaning Power and Speed

With this cleaner, you will gain from a combination of superior cleaning power and amazing speeds. Its powerful potency combined with superior chemistry work-in-hand to guarantee robust outcomes. You have the peace of mind and the utmost convenience for your enjoyment.

Pros

  • Dries quickly and completely
  • Exudes sufficient quantity when sprayed
  • Handles all kinds of vehicles
  • Brings about higher value for money
  • Simpler to engage and handle

Cons

  • May cause a flash fire
  • May be harmful if inhaled
  • Can lead to premature deaths when exposed to for longer

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#10: Dr. Beasley’s S31D32 Matte Wheel Seal

Dr. Beasley’s S31D32

Are your braking parts made of matte material? You might have to consider using this cleaner. That is because it is specially formulated with the ability to clean such surfaces well. Other than this, the cleaner does not also interfere with the final appearance of these surfaces.

High-tech Synthetic Protective Coating

The cleaner comes in the form of the high-tech synthetic protective coating. It operates pretty much by preventing the buildup of any brake dust. As such, it is highly unlikely that your brakes will develop some friction and even crash down while being engaged.

High Heat Resistance

Generally speaking, this cleaner is pretty resistant to heat and other forms of damages or deterioration. In light of this, the cleaner is guaranteed to last regardless of where exactly you might intend to ride your cars. The same applies to the time of day or year.

Matte Wheel Seal

Its formulation, as stated, is in the form of the matter wheel seal. This one forestalls any possible damages which might arise by reasons of road tar, brake dust, and a couple of road contaminants. It hence assures you some fair degree of peace.

Pros

  • Shields the wheels against any potential environmental hazards
  • Protects the brakes from the buildup of dust
  • Blocks the wheels from exposure to paint erosion, pitting, and etching
  • Pretty reliable for 3M matte finishes
  • Does not damage the surfaces of the wheels at all

Cons

  • Weaker potency
  • Fewer operational cycles
  • May not impact some parts

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#11: Mag 1 2409 Premium Non-Chlorinated

Mag 1 2409

For general purpose use and applications, you have to lay your hands on equally general purpose cleaner. Look no further than this one as it is a great companion for such kinds of applications. Its formulation is comprehensive to allow for this.

Non-carcinogenic

The chemicals used are non-carcinogenic. They are highly unlikely to cause cancer and are hence very safer for your use. Even when inhaled for long, they are less likely to inflict cancer and other respiratory tract infections on you.

Effective Formulation

As part of this cleaner are some hot ingredients like chlorine-free ingredients and high-power pressure. When released from the can, they easily spread onto the surface they are used and eliminate the undesired debris within the shortest time possible.

Superior Chemistry/Superior Performance

Its ingredients come in the form of superior chemistry which in turn give off superior performance. They take shorter to impact the areas on which they are applied. This is not to mention that they leave behind almost no debris intact.

Pros

  • Degreases instantly
  • Non-chlorinated and hence safer on your skin
  • Eco-friendly due to non-ozone depleting ingredients
  • Dries completely with no residue behind
  • Cheaper to afford

Cons

  • Restricted for use in a couple of jurisdictions
  • Has additional shipping restrictions
  • Cannot clean certain parts well

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What is a Brake Cleaner?

How To Clean Brake Parts

This is a cleaning agent which is designed to eliminate dirt, marks, stains, and debris from brake discs, brake pads, and several moving parts of vehicles.

It generally comes in the form of a solution which is often sprayed onto the affected surface. It operates principally by dissolving the dirt and making it easier to wipe off later.

Benefits of Using Brake Cleaner

Make Your Car Run Better with a Little Spray Cleaner

Clothing Stain Removal

Some cleaners may serve the role or eliminating stains on clothes. They are softer in the formulation and are hence less likely to damage the fabrics. You have to confirm this first though as most cleaners are very potent and damaging to clothes.

Cleaning Floors

Other than cleaning brakes, these cleaners can also get rid of dirt off floors. For them to discharge this role, the cleaners have to be very potent and appropriately applied. At the same time, they have to remain atop the affected portions sufficiently longer.

Removal of Inks and Paints

Quite a number of these cleaners can also remove paints and inks from off surfaces. They basically dissolve these unwanted marks and stains. They thereafter dry leaving no residue behind for better appearances of fabrics.

Gun Maintenance

You will also find the cleaners very reliable in the maintenance of guns and a host of other household equipment. That is because they eliminate corrosion of parts which is chiefly responsible for the deterioration of the said equipment.

Lubrication of Moving Parts

There are some brake cleaners which can also lubricate the moving parts of vehicles and equipment. They dampen shocks and vibrations not to mention neutralizing squeals and squeaks. In light of this, they ensure smooth operations and limited noise levels.

How to Use Brake Cleaner

CRC BRAKLEEN® Brake Parts Cleaner Instructional Video

Follow the procedures below to use the brake cleaner effectively:

Park your car in a properly ventilated area

Start off by parking your car in a properly ventilated area. This should preferably be outdoors. If you must use indoors, be sure to open the windows and if possible, engage the fan and air conditioner. These are to guarantee the smooth flow of air in the room.

Prepare the cleaner can

Now prepare the can for the subsequent role of cleaning. Remove the cap that seals the can and thereafter insert the plastic tube which comes along into the spray nozzle. This step is to enable the discharge of the cleaning agent conveniently later.

Apply the cleaner on the surface

You thereafter have to apply the cleaner on the surface using the relevant method. You may spray, pour some cleaning agents, or even use a piece of cloth to do the job. Repeat the procedures until all debris is eliminated.

Spread the cleaning agents appropriately

Lastly, spread the cleaning agent on the entire surface. This will normally have to take place using a small piece of very clean cloth. Allow drying by leaving it untouched for some time before re-engaging the car later.

Tips Tricks and Safety

Place cardboard underneath the item to be cleaned

As has already been hinted, brake cleaners are extremely powerful solvents which can leave behind some permanent stains in your floor or cleaning surface. You should hence place cardboard underneath the item to be cleaned to catch off any runoff.

Put on a gas mask while cleaning the brakes

Given that most cleaners exude some fumes which are toxic, you want to protect yourself from such fumes. This can only happen if you put on some gas masks. They shield your nose from any exposure to such gases and hence guarantee your overall safety.

Wear some gloves too!

For the sake of your hands, you want to put on some gloves too! Many cleaners are way too potent to allow for direct contacts. You do not want to sustain any burns or permanent alterations of the quality of your skin, do you?

Be sure to properly ventilate the area

Needless to say, you have to make sure that the place you intend to use to wash your brakes is well-ventilated. You should try as much as possible to wash your brakes outdoors where there is sufficient air. If that cannot happen, open all windows and engage the fan.

Beware of any flames around

Lastly, you have to beware of any flames around the area you are intent on cleaning your brakes. That is because most of these cleaners are highly flammable and hence more likely to catch fires. Keep off matches and lighters away from where these cleaners are kept.

Brake Cleaner: Non-Chlorinated vs Chlorinated

What to Look For When Choosing a Brake Cleaner

Chlorinated vs. Non-chlorinated

These cleaners come in two main kinds i.e. chlorinated and the non-chlorinated types respectively. While chlorinated cleaners are harmful, they are more potent and hence more likely to do a thorough job. They are however restricted in scope and may not be allowed in many areas.

Brand

It is no secret that some brands are more potent and reliable than others. That is why you want to also be sensitive to the brands. Some of the most reliable manufacturers which might do you some good are CRC Brakleen, 3M, Permatex, Throttle Muscle, and Gunk.

Mode of Application

How exactly do you intend to apply the cleaner? Is it through spraying? Using a piece of cloth to spread the cleaner on the surface? Or pouring the cleaner on the affected portion of the surface? You have to pick a can which you are comfortable with for convenience sake.

Potency

This refers to the strength of the chemicals and active ingredients which make up the cleaner. A good cleaner, needless to say, has to be very potent to handle the hardest of dirt. You should be mindful though of the safety of your skin as potent ingredients are harmful.

Safety

Lastly, you also have to care for a number of safety aspects. These include the damages they pose to children, whether they are flammable or not, and whether they easily convert to gas at room temperature or not. You want to uphold your safety and wellbeing at all times.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Can the brake cleaner damage paint?

YES! However, you have to acquire that one which is specially formulated for such painted surfaces. Most cannot handle such surfaces and will instead corrode the paints and eliminate them from the surfaces wherein they are applied.

Q2. Is the brake cleaner able to remove oil?

YES, it is! The typical brake cleaner comprises some chemical compounds which dissolve the oil and dry in such a manner as to leave no residue behind. They are hence indeed capable of eliminating oil from off surfaces.

Q3. Can I spray the brake cleaner on the brake pads?

YES, you can! Indeed, it is possible to spray the brake cleaners on the brake pads and a couple of other parts like caliper units, rotors, drums, brake shoes, brake linings, and many more other relevant parts and area of the car.

Q4. How do you remove oil from the brake pads?

You have to use the degreaser to do this. In the absence of the degreaser, you have to use alcohol. Simply apply the degreaser or alcohol on the affected part of the surface. It shall dissolve the oil and make it easy to wipe off.

Q5. What is the difference between the chlorinated and the non-chlorinated brake cleaners?

As the designation suggests, chlorinated cleaners contain some chlorine whereas the non-chlorinated versions lack them. The former are hence safer to apply and use as they are less likely to inflict on you the various health issues.

Conclusion

MY FAVORITE IS CRC 05016 Disc Brake Quiet. That is because I am a career mechanic who occasionally has to clean many brakes at a time? The extremely potent formulation of this cleaner coupled with its high quantity makes my work a breeze.

The Team That Worked On This Review
Kathy Padgett Kathy Padgett
Senior Editor
James Moore James Moore
Web Researcher
Edward Johnson Edward Johnson
Content Manager
Margaret Dow Margaret Dow
Writer
Katherine Cruz Katherine Cruz
Web Researcher
William Morrison William Morrison
Writer

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