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Keeping your carburetor clean is one of those things you need to consider as being important in your life. For a healthy engine, your carburetor needs to be in great condition and with product brands such as Berryman, they get the work done.

One thing we have come to learn about carburetors is that while they work great, they are in need of constant cleaning to ensure the engine is running at its peak. When deposits, sludge, gum, carbon deposits, varnish or dirt builds up, we get engine issues such as rough idling and stalling. So really, cleanliness is important.

That’s why we have listed what we have found to be the best carburetor cleaners in the market. Before we get into it, let’s see what carburetors are.

For a car to be in motion, it requires combustion to take place, where combustion is the process in which fuel burns in air. Gasoline engines need a precise amount of air for the fuel to burn perfectly. Trying to get this mixture of air and fuel at the right balance for proper burning is done by the carburetor.

Carburetors have actually been around for quite a while; since the 19th century where Karl Benz the automobile pioneer as well as Mercedes founder, developed them. However, with the introduction of throttle bodies and fuel injectors, we no longer see modern vehicles with carburetors. This doesn’t stop us from appreciating the genius behind Karl’s work.

Best carburetor cleaner table comparison

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Now then, let’s get into cleaning


Berryman 0996 Chem-Dip Carburetor Cleaner

Sale
Berryman 0996 Chem-Dip Carburetor, 0.75 Gallon, (Single Unit)
  • Fast-acting immersion cleaner
  • Effective on gum, varnish, sludge, hard carbon, oil, and...
  • Safe for use on plastic, rubber, and most painted components
  • Compatible with most metals and alloys
  • VOC compliant in all 50 states

Last update on 2021-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This Berryman Chem-dip is our top pic because of its ease of use and efficiency. It does an incredible job of cleaning any gum, oil, varnish, carbon deposits, sludge, grease and any other dirt that may be hiding in your carburetor, transmission and any other part that you may consider hard to clean.

Berryman Chem-dip comes in a 1-gallon container and it contains a small dip basket where you place your parts for immersion in the non-flammable formula. This formula is non-chlorinated and it is actually Volatile Organic Compounds(VOC)-Compliant in the US. It is completely safe for parts including metal, plastics, alloys and rubber and even better is that it doesn’t cause any rust.

Time taken to thoroughly clean your car is between 15 to 30 minutes and the solvent is sufficient enough to carry you through many more applications.

Pros

  • Quick and efficient
  • Safe for metals, plastics, rubber and alloys
  • Time efficient (15-30min)
  • Cleans sludge, varnish, hard carbon and oil
  • 1-gallon container enough for many applications

Cons

  • A little pricey
  • Dipping is only for smaller parts

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CRC 03077 Carb and Choke Cleaner

Last update on 2021-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The CRC Carb cleaner is the best choice for the everyday driver and it doesn’t require much effort. If you don’t have time and need a quick fix for your misbehaving car, CRC ought to do the trick. It comes in a 12-ounce aerosol can composed of low VOC that is sure to be gentle on your carb.

Important to note is that the CRC Carb Choke meets both California’s VOC as well as the United States EPA regulatory requirements. These certifications simply imply that this product will care for your catalytic convertors or oxygen sensors.

You can choose between a clear or limited edition and you can either spray it on and wait or you could help the cleaning power by using a toothbrush or a washcloth. In case you need precision on where you want to clean, it comes with a straw and takes care of deposits such as gum, varnish, sludge, etc.

While it’s great with deposit removal, you need to be careful to remove any plastics and cables as it might not be as kind to these parts.

Pros

  • Meets California VOC as well as US EPA requirements
  • Quick and Efficient in dissolving deposits
  • Formula does not harm catalytic convertors or oxygen sensors
  • Low VOC formula for boost in fuel economy, carb performance and improved fuel system

Cons

  • 12-oz won’t last you long
  • Not to be used on rubber or plastics

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Gumout 80000223 Carb and Choke Cleaner

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Gumout 800002231 Carb and Choke Cleaner, 14 oz.
  • Helps overcome hard starting, rough idling, stalling, and...
  • Quickly removes deposits from the inside and outside of the...
  • Cleans gum, varnish, and dirt from clogged carburetors and...
  • Effectively cleans unpainted metal parts and is quick drying

Last update on 2021-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Gumout Carb and Choke Cleaner is another good option that will clean your carburetor and restore it to its peak performance. It is a VOC-compliant product across all states and in its composition you will find carbon dioxide, toluene and acetone.

It’s great at cleaning unpainted metal parts as well choke valves and will remove varnish, gum and other deposits leaving your engine looking brand new. It helps overcome toxic emissions, rough idling as well as hard starting by how fast it is able to get rid of these deposits.

As was the case with the CRC, the Gumout comes with a straw to allow precision whenever needed. It is safe to use on catalytic converters as well as oxygen sensors. It is advised that you do not spray the oxygen sensors directly as this could bring about disruption of the normal engine operation and in its composition.

Something else to take note of is that you can spray while the engine is on or off. However, if you’ll be spraying down the carburetor throat, then it’s advised you do it with the engine on.

Gumout is environmentally friendly, releasing lesser emissions into the atmosphere and you don’t necessarily need to use the straw for the cleaning to be highly effective.

Pros

  • Quick at removing deposits improving fuel economy and engine performance
  • Helps minimize exhaust emissions, stalling and hard starting
  • Great at cleaning unpainted metal parts
  • Non-chlorinated cleaner
  • Quick-drying formula

Cons

  • Repetitive and prolonged contact with skin can lead to dry skin
  • Not ideal for printed surfaces
  • Contents are highly flammable
  • Users have reported issues controlling spray stream

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Gunk M4814

Gunk M4814/6 Chlorinated Carburetor Parts Cleaner, One Each, 12.5...
  • Compatible with vehicle type: marine-personal-craft
  • The package length is 6.604 centimeters
  • The package height is 19.812 centimeters
  • The package width is 6.604 centimeters

Last update on 2021-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Gunk is family owned and is based out of Charlotte, North Carolina. This brand has become quite reputable among people due to their high quality products.

It is perfect for small engines and has been engineered perfectly with the right chemicals needed for restoration of your carb. Like others, it clears out gum, varnish, sludge, carbon deposits and any other dirt in your carb, cylinder heads and other metal parts.

It comes in 12.5-oz, 19-oz as well as 12-oz cans so you can pick your poison. If you are an anti-chlorinated products kind of person then you want to avoid this product because it is highly chlorinated.

Pros

  • ­Cleans valves, chokes among other parts
  • Affordable
  • Cleans out sludge, gum, varnish, carbon deposits as well as dirt

Cons

  • Chlorinated
  • Not for sale in California

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Berkebile Oil 2+2 Instant Gum Cutter and Carb Cleaner

Berkebile Oil 2 + 2 B101 Instant Gum Cutter - 13 oz.
  • Removes varnish, gum and other deposits instantly; works...
  • Oxygen sensor safe
  • Fast working formula
  • Use less than most brands

Last update on 2021-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This product is engineered in the US and it has a concentrated formula which is quick and effective in cleaning the carb among other metallic parts. The Berkebile oil and carb cleaner is great at small engine repairs with its gum and deposit cutting abilities; it definitely lives up to its name.

The Berkebile comes in a 13-oz can which one might consider small but it is highly effective and you don’t require to use a lot of it. It has an extension tube which aids in precision during application. It is highly flammable and should therefore not be used in hot environments or when your engine is running.

Berkebile can be used on your carburetor, PCV valves, chokes and choke linkages just to mention a few.

Pros

  • Formula with instant results
  • Cleans deposits
  • Reliable metal part cleaner
  • Safe on oxygen sensor

Cons

  • Not ideal for rubber and plastics
  • Slightly expensive

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Berryman B-12 Chemtool Carburetor Choke Cleaner

Berryman Products 0120 B-12 CHEMTOOL Carburetor, Choke & Throttle...
  • Contains 100% High-Energy Solvent Technology
  • Helps Keep Injectors, Carburettors, Intake Ports, and Valves...
  • Quickly Dissolves Gum, Varnish, and Other Fuel Residues
  • Disperses Moisture In Conventional Gasoline
  • Catalytic Converter and O2-Sensor Safe

Last update on 2021-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is the second Berryman we have here on this list and that’s not shocking because their products do deliver. With this B-12, it works really fast, dries equally fast and it leaves no residue behind.

It can be used in dissolving and cleaning out sludge, varnish as well as gum from parts such as the obvious carb, throttle body, PCV valve and the car linkage. This is thanks to its high energy solvent technology which is sure to improve your fuel economy and boost performance.

The formula used is safe on the catalytic convertor as well as the oxygen sensors and comes in different sizes.

Pros

  • VOC-Compliant across all states
  • Fast in dissolving deposits leaving behind no residue
  • 100% High Energy Solvent Technology
  • Variety of sizes
  • Quick in dissolving deposits
  • Efficient cleaner
  • Improved fuel economy, drivability and engine performance
  • Safe on catalytic convertor and oxygen sensors
  • Works on unpainted metal parts

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No straw for precision application
  • Highly flammable

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Yamaha Yamalube Extensive Cleaning Immersion Solvent

Yamalube Carburetor Cleaner Dip 32 oz.
  • Defects in Workmanship 30 Days

Last update on 2021-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Yamaha Yamalube not only has a fun, trendy name but it has been made to specifically cater to those heavy duty vehicles that have carburetors requiring a ton of extra cleaning.

Sometimes cleaning your engine by hand won’t give you the best results and that’s why you need a dip cleaner like Yamaha’s Yamalube.

To use it, you mix the formula and water together and then thin it out first. For maximum results ensure that the mixture is 50/50. All great things need commitment and it’s no different with this cleaner as it will take you anywhere from 2hrs up to 24hrs for a whole cleanup to take place; the end results are well worth the wait.

Keep rubber and plastics away from Yamalube as it won’t be so nice.

Pros

  • Immersion cleaner
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • End result is shiny new metal parts

Cons

  • Takes time for complete cleaning
  • Formula needs dilution

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Buyer’s Guide

When it comes to buying a cleaner for your carburetor you need to understand that it’s not just about choosing any cleaner that looks good in writing; it needs to cater to the issues in your carb. That’s why we have prepared a buyer’s guide for you so that you have a rough idea on what you’ll be looking for.

Chlorinated vs Non-Chlorinated

Whether or not a carb cleaner contains chlorine is actually a huge determining factor for most. What’s the difference you ask?

Chlorinated cleaners tend to be more thorough in cleaning and do so in no time. However, they are quite abrasive and some jurisdictions actually have a ban on their sale. So while the cleaning might be thorough, it’s quite an aggressive cleaner.

Non-chlorinated carb cleaners on the other hand are much milder but still get the job done effectively. Some non-chlorinated cleaners however have chemicals that could cause more harm so really it boils down to your decision and effect you wish to achieve on your carburetor and other parts.

Eco-Friendly

This point is subjective and you get the last say. If you’re all about caring for mother earth, then you should go the extra mile in getting a product that is eco-friendly. If you could care less about mother earth constantly cares for you, then this point doesn’t really apply to you; but still, be eco-friendly; it might not hurt you but it does the environment.

Ease of Use

You need to figure out what you’re more comfortable with; do you prefer spraying or dipping? For some they find it easier to use the same pray cans while others won’t know where to start when it comes to dipping.

However, some parts may call for dipping and if you aren’t comfortable with that, then you could always take your car to your mechanic or alternatively, have the mechanic come to you. Either way you get the job done.

How effective it is

How effective the carb cleaner is is important and while buying the cheapest brand in the market might save you some cash then, it could have long term implications that will cost you more. If you to keep buying the same product over and over again and there is a better, stronger option that can get the job done in one application, then it’s time to rethink some things.

Materials used

You need to make sure you check the material used in your engine. Some carb cleaners are really strong and could end up damaging your car as they tend to be reactive with rubber and plastics.

If you’re not sure what materials have been used, then you’re better off buying a multi-fabric cleaner that is mild on the parts and will give you some peace of mind.


Cleaning the Carburetor

After choosing the right cleaner and have finally decided to clean your carb, take some time to consider the set of wheels you own and most importantly, the kind of carb it has. Different cars come with different carburetor variations although the basic parts are pretty standard.

The steps required when it comes to cleaning your carb.

Step 1. Protect yourself

As we had mentioned earlier, most carburetor cleaners are actually harmful. Areas to keep safe are your eyes as well as your skin and as such, be sure to wear gloves and goggles before starting on any cleaning process. Should any spillage happen on your skin, then you are to immediately wash it off with water.

Step 2. Removing the carburetor

Other tools such as lawn mowers have carburetors that are less complex compared to what you will find in a car.

First things first, disconnect the carburetor from the engine and then proceed to remove all the linkages, hoses, springs and now detach the carb from the engine. If you have poor memory or get easily confused, then you’re at liberty to take pictures for reassembling purposes after you are done cleaning.

Note here that you don’t necessarily need to remove the carb from the engine in most cars as you can easily open it up when it’s still connected.

Step 3. Dismantling the Carburetor

Here’s the tricky bit so stay with us.

You’ll need to remove the float bowl from the carb which you will find located at the bottom and has got four screws that hold it in place. Be careful with this part as unscrewing the wrong way can easily lead to damage.

If the float pin is being a bit stubborn and didn’t come out with the bowl, use those long-nose pliers looking things to remove it.

Observation time – no, really. Look around as well as the inside of your carburetor and familiarize yourself with the small jets; the hexagon shaped parts. These can and should come out for clean; yes, every one of them.

Other parts to be removed are air screw, idle screw, choke if it can be removed, O-rings and gaskets. In case there’s any rubber or plastic part, let it or them come off as well. With every part you open make sure you place safely and mark where they all came from.

Step 6. Cleaning

Time for a thorough cleaning. You can use a brush for the outer part of the carb but when it comes to the interior, we let our carb cleaners to do their job.

Depending on what you’re more comfortable using between the spray or dip then you can start cleaning. If the carburetor is still attached to your engine, then the choice is made for you i.e. you can only spray.

A soft cloth or soft brush can be used for cleaning of some parts. If you have everything disassembled, then why not use immersion if you have the product? It’s easier and more effective. Leave the parts dipped in the formula for a few minutes or as recommended by the instructions on your carb cleaner and shortly after have your shiny new parts ready to go.

Step 7. Re-assembling

Make sure you leave the parts to fully dry up and then re-assemble as per the picture steps you had taken; hopefully you did take some so that you’re not left with that one screw that doesn’t seem to belong anywhere.

Once everything is back where it belongs, give your engine a start to see if it still works and you’re done. Congratulations.


FAQs

Do I have to detach the carburetor from the engine in order to clean it?

No, this is not a requirement. It’s the reason why so many carb cleaners come in spray cans so that you can directly spray the cleaner on your carburetor. Make sure you have rags covering the surrounding areas before you spray to avoid any runoff cleaner landing where it shouldn’t.

How often do I need to clean my carburetor?

It is advised that you clean your carburetor basically every time you have an engine oil change. On most cars, they require an oil change once they hit the 30,000 miles mark but modern cars are surpassing that mark and reaching up to 100,000 miles.

However, try and clean your carb more often instead of waiting for oil-change day. Heavy duty vehicles and cars left sitting for long periods of time will especially require more cleaning due to more deposit build-up.

Do modern cars have carburetors?

No. Carburetors are pretty old dating back to the 19th century. With modern engines, they have a throttle body and fuel injectors. The injectors are responsible for spraying the required amount of fuel.

All these three combined i.e. carburetor, throttle body and fuel injector are a part of the fuel system in a vehicle and all play a major role in fuel efficiency. Modern cars will therefore use fuel injector cleaners which goes into the gas tank, in the place of carburetor cleaners.

What are the signs of a dirty carburetor?

When it comes to your engine, the right mixture of air versus fuel is very important to the performance of your vehicle. Dirty carburetors will affect this air-fuel ratio resulting in noticeable issues such as rough idling, stalling, a decrease in horsepower among others. If you do experience some of these symptoms, clean your carburetor.


Conclusion

To get the most deposits removed without harming any engine part is a dream we are sure we share with a lot of you. Ours is to only hope that by giving you some of the best carburetor cleaners in the market, it will go a long way in ensuring you drive clean.

We’ll now leave you with a short video from Scotty Kilmer to learn more about carbs. Follow the link below: