How to Use Brake Cleaner: The Only Guide You Need!

The roads we drive our cars on can be dusty and muddy sometimes. Or we should say always!

The friction that occurs when we pull off the brakes and when some fluid from the brakes leaks out and crystalizes on the solenoid makes our brakes look awful.

To solve this sort of problem, we need brake cleaner. But how to use brake cleaners properly? Cleaning your brake areas with a brake cleaner is as simple as it sounds.

Although you have to keep some aspects in mind. Preparations are key to successfully use a brake cleaner. If you don’t clean your brake areas regularly, the brakes might fail in the middle of the road.

Where can you use a brake cleaner

Well, of course, the main purpose of a brake cleaner is to clean your brakes. Cleaning the brake means removing dust and dirt from around the brake areas such as the brake rotors, brake disks, calipers, slider pins, brake hose, brake reservoir, and many more parts.

Although these aren’t the only parts a brake cleaner can be used on. You can use a brake cleaner on any metallic surface and even on plastic materials. But brake cleaners contain methyl acetate and aliphatic hydrocarbons, so you shouldn’t use them on plastic materials or surfaces.

It can clean fats, tar, dust, oils, resins, etc. from metallic surfaces and materials, so you can use them in the kitchen, vents, chimneys, and many other things.

Preparations before applying a brake cleaner

Before you get started with the brake cleaner and try to clean out your brake areas, you should know how to handle and apply them. If you don’t know how to do it, no need to worry we are here for you.

Apply it in the daytime

We must be aware that brake cleaners have toxic substances that might harm your car’s paint and you already know that it would damage plastic materials. If you apply it outdoors, you need to apply it in the daytime. It’s because if any wind blows at night and makes the spray scatter around your car, it would harm the other parts of your car.

Cover other parts before applying it

Well, the spray obviously would damage other plastic parts of your car, so you need to cover the parts before you apply it in the brake areas. You can use a cloth or tape to cover the areas outside the brake.

Make sure to cool down the brake areas

You must cool down the entire brake area before applying the spray to it. It’s because when you apply this spray on a hot metal the combust brake cleaner is most likely to emit toxic substances in the air and make it more poisonous than before.

No need to disassemble the brake parts

Disassembling the brake parts can wear you out for no absolute reason. You can easily apply the spray on the brake parts when they are intact and attached. The common parts people use this pray on are brake drums, rotors, caliper units, linings, pads, etc.

Let’s find out how to clean your brakes

Once you know how to apply brake cleaner, you are good to go and well prepared for the real deal. Cleaning the brakes is simpler than it looks and you can clean your brakes all by yourself without breaking any sweat.

Park your car in the proper area

The best place to clean your brakes with a brake cleaner is none other than an area where the airflow is steady to dry out the spray quickly. A strong winded area might be trouble for you as the spray that contains toxic chemicals might scatter around your car and damage them.

Insert the plastic tube

Now, you need to remove the cap from on top of the brake cleaner. And then, insert the plastic tube that was included with the brake cleaner into the spray nozzle.

Spray it to the brake areas

You need to spray the brake cleaner thoroughly on the entire area of the brake. That includes the brake rotors, brake pads, calipers, brake discs, and the other areas. You might need to spray the cleaner on the wheels if you notice accumulated brake dust on them. 

Repeat the process a few times until you see no single debris or grease on the brakes. And be careful not to spread the spray to the other parts of the car, especially the car’s exterior. That will ruin the car’s paint.

Wipe down the wheels

Wipe your wheels without missing a spot and then soak them up until you completely clean the entire area. You can use a clean cloth to remove any extra brake cleaner from the wheels or the brake.

Now, you just need to dry out the cleaner on your wheels and the brakes for a few minutes and then you can drive your car with a clean-up brake.

You can use any sort of brake cleaner here, although the best brake cleaner would be the best one to use. There are a few companies like CRC BRAKLEEN, 3M, Permatex, Gunk, Throttle Muscle, MAG1, Johnsen’s, etc. that use brake cleaners, and you can purchase from any of them.

Guide to use a brake cleaner Infographic

Final Words

Alright, we are at the end of this short journey. We doubt you had any fun with all the gibberish and boring descriptions we’ve spread here. But we hope that you’ve gotten the piece of information you were looking for.

We did tell you to stick with us till the very end, didn’t we? And now, you are one of the experts in using brake cleaner to clean your brakes perfectly.

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William Baldwin

This Is William Baldwin, The Founder & Managing Editor of this website. Me and my team share automotive tips, tricks, and news

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Talha Atta

Talha Atta, a Mechanical Engineer and experienced technical content writer and editor at with a passion for the automotive industry.