Home > Buying Guides >  

Best Motorcycle Carb Cleaner [Buying Guide]

Get The Best Carb Cleaners To Keep Your Motorcycle In Good Working Order

Best Overall Choice
Genuine Ford Fluid PM-2 Carburetor Tune-Up Cleaner - 18 oz. Aerosol

Genuine Ford Fluid PM-2 Carburetor Tune-Up Cleaner

Check Latest Price

Best Budget Choice
Gumout 800002231 Carb and Choke Cleaner, 14 oz

Gumout Jet Spray Carb Cleaner

Check Latest Price

Best Premium Choice
Berryman Products 0996-ARM B-9 Chem Dip Parts Cleaner with Basket

Berryman ChemDip Cleaner

Check Latest Price

Best Motorcycle Carb Cleaner Brands Lined Up

If you ride an old-school bike with a carburetor, you’ll need the best motorcycle carb cleaner to keep your bike in tip-top health. While almost all modern motorcycles use fuel injection technology, there are plenty on the road that don’t. And these aren’t just older models. Some new, small capacity machines still depend on carburetors to function.

10 Best Motorcycle Carb Cleaners

Since your carb controls your fuel and air mix and flows directly into your motorcycle’s engine, a dirty carb can cause a whole host of problems. The best way to avoid these problems is to keep your carburetor nice and clean. A good cleaner will do more than just clean your parts. It can also improve engine performance too! Luckily, there are plenty of excellent carb-specific products available. Here are the best carb cleaner products on the market.

Best Overall Choice

1. Genuine Ford Fluid PM-2 Carburetor Tune-Up Cleaner

Genuine Ford Fluid PM-2 Carburetor Tune-Up Cleaner - 18 oz. Aerosol

Check Latest Price

If you’re happy to spend a few more dollars, the Genuine Ford PM-2 Carb Cleaner is a great choice. Since it’s a genuine product from the Ford Motor Company, you can trust the quality of this solution. Available in an 18-ounce aerosol spray, this carb cleaner is easy-to-apply and excellent at cutting through grime.

As a carb cleaner, it’s ideal for removing gum and other nasty deposits that often build up in your carburetor. It’s particularly good for tackling stains that are caked onto cast iron or varnished steel parts without causing any damage.

What makes this a great investment is that the formula is incredibly versatile. It’s not just a carb cleaner. This Genuine Ford Fluid PM-2 Carburetor Tune-Up Cleaner can also be used for cleaning inlet systems, inlet valves, port areas, choke valves, and it can also be used for extracting stubborn spark plugs too.

Pros

  • Versatile formula
  • Easy-to-apply aerosol

Cons

  • More expensive than other similar products
Best Budget Choice

2. Gumout Jet Spray Carb Cleaner

Gumout 800002231 Carb and Choke Cleaner, 14 oz

Check Latest Price

This stuff is seriously cheap. Depending on the vendor, you can pick a can up for next to nothing, and while it’s cheap in price, it’s not cheap in quality. Gumout has a few different carburetor-specific cleaning products on the market, but this one offers the best bang for your buck.

This aerosol product can breakdown grease and grime that forms in and around your carburetor. It can clean gum, varnish, dirt, and oil. Like most of these aerosol products, it’s great for quick results, but if you want to thoroughly clean your carb, you’re going to have to get your hands dirty and take the thing apart. However, for quick dirt unclogging jobs, you can’t beat this cheap and affordable spray.

Gumout’s Jet Spray Carb Cleaner also works on other parts of your motorcycle. It can help to improve hard starting and rough idling and keep your engine running smoother. For the price, there’s no reason not to have a can of this nearby.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Cleans all unpainted metal surfaces easily

Cons

  • Can damage some non-metallic surfaces
  • Spray nozzle has a lack of precision

3. WD-40 Specialist Fast-Acting Carb/Throttle Body & Parts Cleaner

WD-40 Specialist Carb Cleaner, 13.5 OZ can

Check Latest Price

If you’ve never heard of WD-40, then you probably have no business taking a carburetor apart! The WD-40 brand is world-famous and every home should have a can of their famous water-displacing solution. This product, however, is not the usual WD-40 lubrication and degreasing stuff. Instead, it’s a solution that has been formulated specifically for cleaning carburetors.

This dual-action formula uses a combination of solvents to cut through stubborn, baked-on carbon deposits and other damaging grease and grime. Simply spray it where it needs to go. The spray action of the can will displace any waste, blasting it away from your motorcycle’s sensitive areas.

It’s not just for carburetors either. It can also be used for cleaning throttle bodies and for cleaning and protection of unpainted metal parts. This product is a must-have. It’s not motorcycle-specific either, so you can confidently use it on your car, lawnmower, truck, weed trimmer, and more.

This WD-40 Specialist Fast-Acting Carb Cleaner won’t damage any oxygen sensors or your catalytic converter. It’s 50-state VOC compliant too!

Pros

  • Affordable and practical
  • 50-state VOC compliant

Cons

  • Not as strong as old-school, solvent-heavy products

4. Berryman B-12 Carb Cleaner

Check Latest Price

Next up, we have another product that leans towards the more expensive end of the carb cleaning aerosol spectrum. This is the Berryman B-12 Carb Cleaner. Unlike many other products on the market, this one uses a high-solvent formula that cuts through grime, removes grease, and more. As a high-solvent formula, it’s not VOC compliant in many areas of the U.S.

If you want a heavy-duty cleaner, this could be the product for you. It can make short work of gum, carb deposits, varnish, grease, grime, and oil. This product can also be used on a wide range of components, including the carburetor, throttle bodies, choke, and other valves. It’s particularly good for motorcycles that have a tendency to lose power or stall.

There are downsides though. Apart from being non-compliant in a number of states and regions, the high-solvent solution can also be pretty aggressive on some parts. Rubber seals and gasket have been damaged by it in the past. So, do take care!

Pros

  • Ideal for motorcycles with idling and stalling issues
  • High-solvent product for maximum effect

Cons

  • Not VOC compliant in CT, DC, IL, IN, MA, MD, ME, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VA, DE, NH, UT, CA

5. CRC Carb and Choke Cleaner

CRC Carb and Choke Cleaner, 12 oz Aerosol Can

Check Latest Price

CRC is a well-respected brand, and its products can be found in most auto shops around the country. The CRC Carb and Choke Cleaner is a great product, particularly for those on a budget. It’s an aerosol carb cleaner that comes in a 12-ounce can, with a reputation for no-nonsense carb cleaning action.

This fast-acting product can tackle anything from light contaminants to really heavy build-up. It simply dissolves them, allowing you to wash them off easily. It’s as simple as that.

What makes this a great product is the fact that it’s a low volatile compound formula (VOC). It’s powerful enough to tackle grease and grime, but it won’t harm other parts of your motorcycle, such as your oxygen sensors or catalytic converters. Be careful on painted areas though! Also, because of the low VOC formula, this carb cleaner meets all U.S. EPA and California requirements.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy-to-use aerosol
  • Can be used in California

Cons

  • No straw attachment
  • Can damage paintwork
Best Premium Choice

6. Berryman ChemDip Cleaner

Berryman Products 0996-ARM B-9 Chem Dip Parts Cleaner with Basket

Check Latest Price

Next, we have another product from Berryman. This is the Berryman ChemDip Carb Cleaner. As the name suggests, it’s an immersive chemical dip cleaner, designed specifically to tackle tough grime on small motorcycle parts.

All you have to do is place the part in question on the drip tray and dunk. The formula can comfortably cut through oil, grease, varnish, and surface rust too. There’s no monotonous scrubbing required!

Though it’s an aggressive formula, it’s actually VOC compliant, and it’s safe to use on plastic, rubber, and some painted components too. If a part is a metal or alloy, it’s also completely safe. It’s non-chlorinated, non-flammable, and won’t cause any premature oxidation of parts.

Like all immersion cleaners, there is a downside. It’s not fast-acting and will require time for it to work its magic. And, of course, large parts aren’t compatible with this kind of cleaning method. For a carburetor though? It’s absolutely perfect.

Pros

  • Efficient heavy-duty carb cleaner
  • VOC compliant

Cons

  • Not fast acting
  • Pricey when compared to aerosol products

7. Liqui Moly Jectron Fuel System Cleaner

Check Latest Price

This cleaning solution from Liqui Moly is mainly aimed at modern motorcycles with fuel injection systems, but it will also clean your good old fashioned carburetor too. In fact, we highly recommend using something like this in conjunction with a standard cleaner for the best results.

Unlike the aerosol carb cleaners listed above, this product is a fuel additive. By mixing it with your fuel, this cleaner works through the entire fuel delivery system, cleaning hoses, valves, and the whole carburetor in the process.

Since it flushes through the whole system, this product can remove carbon and other dirt and grime from the inside of your carb with ease. Plus, it can also provide long-term protection for your fuel system, since the additives will also protect your parts from premature oxidation and aging.

If you use this in partnership with other conventional carb cleaners, you’re going to have a very happy carburetor — and engine too!

Pros

A unique additive formula for long-lasting protection
Cleans without needing to remove carb

Cons

Cheaper solutions are available
Doesn’t clean instantly

8. Gunk CC3K Carburetor & Parts Cleaner

Check Latest Price

Gunk has a number of high-quality carb cleaning products on the market. The most popular of these include a pair of aerosols, available with or without chlorine additives. They’re both good, but if we had to choose one product, we’d choose something else altogether: the CC3K parts cleaner. It’s not an aerosol. Instead, it’s a can that you can drop your parts into for a thorough clean.

As an immersion cleaner, CC3K can cut through carbon, grease, and oil. Just drop your parts in and let it do the work for you. What’s more, this Gunk CC3K Carburetor & Parts Cleaner is environmentally-friendly, non-corrosive, non-chlorinated, and features no ozone depleters.

The major downside to this product is that you’re limited to the dimensions of the can and drip basket, though you can easily transfer the contents into a more accommodating receptacle if need be. And that’s hardly a negative point — it’s just something to keep in mind.

Pros

  • Efficient immersion 96 oz immersion cleaner
  • Ideal for small engine parts

Cons

  • More expensive than most other carb cleaners
  • Not ideal for large parts

9. Berkebile Instant Gum Cutter

Check Latest Price

Berkebile’s B101 Instant Gum Cutter Carb Cleaner is an efficient aerosol cleaning formula. This product uses a lot of strong chemicals, so make sure you use it in a well-ventilated area! It’s a little toxic, but the result is a powerful and effective cleaner that can dissolve carbon and clear away any build-up that’s giving your carb trouble.

In fact, this cleaner is a good product for other parts too. It’s particularly efficient for cleaning up combustion chambers with caked-on carbon that other products won’t shift. This product is also good for lighter-duty work too, cutting through varnish, gum, grease, and oil with ease. And it’s fast-acting, so you can see results pretty quickly!

This carb cleaner is oxygen sensor safe and won’t damage your catalytic converter. However, we must point out that this product cannot be shipped to California, so please take note of that.

Pros

  • Fast working formula
  • Excellent general parts cleaner

Cons

  • Expensive when compared with similar products
  • Not available in California

10. 3M Throttle Plate and Carb Cleaner

3M Throttle Plate and Carb Cleaner, 08867, 7.5 oz

Check Latest Price

3M is another brand that you can trust. This American company has made a name for itself in multiple industries. It just so happens that the brand manufacturers some of the best auto-care products on the market. The 3M Throttle Plate and Carb Cleaner combo is one of our favorites.

There are cheaper aerosol carb cleaners out there. That’s a fact. However, this 3M product comes equipped with a precision nozzle and an ergonomic trigger, allowing you to spray the solution directly where you need it. It even works upside down!

It’s a solvent-heavy solution, but it’s actually made from less than 20% VOC. Despite that, the solution is tough on grease and grime and can cut through gum and oil with ease. The high acetone content does mean that you have to be careful about how you apply it. It can cause damage to some plastics and paintwork, and you should definitely wear solvent-resistant gloves when you use it.

Overall, it is ideal for carburetors, throttle bodies, and more. And you get all that with a fairly respectable price tag.

Pros

  • Precision nozzle
  • Ergonomic trigger
  • Low VOC content

Cons

  • High acetone content
  • Can damage plastics and paint


The Best Carb Cleaner: A Buying Guide

If you have a carburetor on your motorcycle or car, then you should have some carb cleaner in your garage. In fact, even if you don’t have a carb on your vehicle, carb cleaner is still a great product to have on hand. You can use it to clean a wide range of small parts and components, and some products can also work wonders on your modern fuel injection systems too.

Why Use Carb Cleaner?

If you’re on the fence about buying some, here are a few key benefits of using a carburetor cleaner.

Mixture Improvements

A clean carburetor will function as it was originally intended to, producing the correct air and fuel ratio. The wrong mixture can cause engine problems and sluggish performance. The correct mixture can boost performance and keep your motorcycle in tip-top condition.

Quick Troubleshooting

If you’re experiencing engine problems, then a carburetor clean should be at the top of your troubleshooting list. Cleaning a carb is quick and easy, and it might solve your problem. But even if it doesn’t, your time hasn’t been wasted. You’ll still have a clean carb!

Versatile Cleaner

Almost all carburetor cleaners can be used for more than just the carburetor. Sure, the formula is designed for carbs, but most of the time it can be used to clean other parts of your vehicle or engine. For a few dollars, you can have a heavy-duty, versatile cleaning solution.

Easy Cleaning

A really filthy carburetor will need to be dismantled and cleaned by hand. However, if you’re just shifting small build-ups of grime, then a quick blast of carb cleaner can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. If you’re meticulous with your maintenance and clean your carb regularly, the occasional spray may be all that you need to keep things running smoothly.

A Cheap Solution

Lastly, it’s the right product for the job, and it’s not expensive to buy. Some products are as cheap as $4. With prices as low as that, there’s no reason not to have some in your garage. It’s an inexpensive formula that can make your car or motorcycle run better.

The Different Types of Motorcycle Carb Cleaner

Before you buy any old carb cleaner, you should familiarize yourself with the different types of products on the market. There are some significant differences, and some products can’t be used in certain regions.

Chlorinated Carb Cleaner

Chlorinated carb cleaners are banned in California. That’s the first thing you need to know. Why? They’re banned because of the higher percentage of volatile organic compounds (VOC) used as ingredients. Chlorinated cleaners with high VOC content are generally stronger and more aggressive than non-chlorinated versions. They can cut through grease and gum with ease, but the aggressive ingredients can harm plastics and other parts.

Non-Chlorinated

Non-chlorinated cleaners are an excellent alternative to chlorinated products. They’re non-toxic (or rather, less toxic), safe to use with other components, and widely available. The lack of chlorine does mean they’re not as tough as chlorinated cleaners, but if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, they’re just as capable. Unfortunately, the lack of chlorine does make them more flammable, so you still need to take care when using this less-toxic alternative.

Aerosol Cleaners

No matter whether you decide on a chlorinated or non-chlorinated formula, it will likely arrive in an aerosol format. These spray cans are ideal for getting the solution into hard-to-reach places, particularly through small inlets and into the smaller components. Aerosols are great but don’t think they’ll do all of the work for you. Since most of the grime that builds up on a carburetor is on the inside, you will still have to take the carb apart for a thorough cleaning.

Dipping Can Cleaners

Dipping cans are another popular carb cleaner types. Many automotive enthusiasts would claim that dipping cans are the best carb cleaner type, but that’s down to personal opinion. Instead of being deployed as an aerosol, dipping cans are filled with carb cleaner and come with a drip tray that you dip into the solution. The part is completely immersed and left to sit, giving the cleaner time to do its work. They are very effective but time consuming and expensive.

Important Features

Before investing in a new cleaner, make sure you take the following points into account:

Material

Carburetors are often made from a combination of materials. While they have metal casings, the inside can feature rubber, plastic, and soft metal parts. The last thing you want to do is buy a cleaning solution that harms these parts. Some formulas can even damage metals, so make sure you buy a product that won’t damage your carburetor. If in doubt, buy a non-chlorinated cleaner.

Safety

As with all strong cleaning solutions, there may be harmful ingredients in the mix. Some of these chemicals can be irritants, and in some cases, they could cause allergic reactions. Always read the ingredients and take proper care when using these chemicals. And, of course, keep them out of reach of children.

Ease Of Use

For the best results, your carb cleaner needs to be easy to use — and we don’t just mean the application. Sure, having something that’s easy to apply is great, and that should be a priority. But don’t forget the other practicalities such as the time it takes to take effect, the storage conditions, and the preparation time required before you can apply it.

Check if you’re buying a fast or slow-acting product and whether you can simply apply it whenever you feel like or if your need to prepare your motorcycle in advance. Lastly, check that you can easily open, use, and store your product. You don’t want it to go off or evaporate after the first use!



Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use WD-40 as carb cleaner?

Regular WD-40 won’t be very good as a carb cleaner. It will lightly lubricate, but it won’t clean. You can use it to help you clean your carb by hand in a pinch, but we don’t recommend it. WD-40’s specific carb cleaner is highly recommended though.

How do I know if my carb is dirty?

Hard starting, popping sounds, black exhaust smoke, flooding, and poor performance are all good indications that your carb is in need of a clean. The carb may not be responsible for these problems, but it’s a sensible place to start troubleshooting.

Can you use vinegar to clean a carburetor?

Yes, it is possible, but it’s not recommended. Vinegar can help to cut through grime, but the acetic acid in the vinegar can make metal components vulnerable to rust.

Can I use motorcycle carb cleaner on other carburetors?

Yes. A carb cleaner will work on all carburetors. A motorcycle-specific product will be fine to use on your lawnmower, chainsaw, and almost all automotive carburetors.



Joe Appleton
About Joe Appleton

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…