Brake Cleaner Ingredientsby Jason Unrau
Brake cleaner is a skin and eye irritant. Don safety clothing and eyewear when using brake cleaner.
Brake cleaner is toxic. If ingested, contact a poison control center immediately. Do not eat or drink when using this product.
Chlorinated Brake Cleaner
Chlorinated brake cleaner is nonflammable; however, it is harsh on your skin and is known to be a possible carcinogen. It is made of two components:
This solvent -- also known as perchloroethylene -- is the primary ingredient in this kind of brake cleaner. It is used to remove materials from metal that are not water-soluble. This includes grease, oil, brake fluid and brake dust.
Carbon Dioxide is used as a propellant in the aerosol format of brake cleaners.
Non-Chlorinated Brake Cleaner
Comprised of different chemicals than chlorinated brake cleaner, this version is extremely flammable but is less harsh on your skin. It contains:
This chemical distilled from oil is used primarily as a solvent to clean contaminants from metal parts and is not water-soluble. It is safe for use on ABS brakes, as well as disc and drum brakes.
This solvent is used to clean contaminants from parts. It is particularly useful in removing water-based contaminants, as it absorbs water.
This gas is used as the propellant in non-chlorinated brake cleaner.
Non-chlorinated brake cleaner is flammable. Use it in a well-ventilated area away from open flames, hot surfaces and sparks. Do not smoke around brake cleaner.
Jason Unrau is an automotive writer with 15 years experience in the automotive dealer environment, including 10 years as and automotive service consultant. He is a Certified Technology Expert, a regular contributor to Gearheads.org, and operates AutomotiveCopywriter.com.