Engine degreasers rid your motor of grease and grime. Most engines should be cleaned every three months to prevent buildup. When you have a cleaner engine, it’s easier to spot possible trouble like oil leaks. There are many DIY options out there, but it’s ideal to use the best engine degreaser to get the job done right. Much like our list of best engine cleaners, the degreaser is strong enough to give a complete clean while still protecting your expensive parts.
We’ve put together our top ten options as the best engine degreasers so you’ll be able to make the best choice for your needs.
What’s in a Degreaser?
Many people tackle engine grease by attempting to scrub it off. This is a fruitless effort that simply won’t work. You must have the solvent-based design of an engine degreaser to get the job done properly.
The degreaser dissolves the chemical substances that won’t break down from the water. That’s what makes it a great option to use on engines, tools, machines, and floors.
The most common products used in degreasers are kerosene or other hydrocarbon solvents, and xylene.
Why You Need To Use An Engine Degreaser
There are a number of benefits to using an engine degreaser for your car detailing and they include:
Effective And Safe: These products are specially designed to break down grease easily and clean the toughest stains and build up dirt. Using a degreaser vs. blasting your engine with a high-pressure water hose or air hose, which can cause damage to electrical connections and sensitive parts, is a safer and more gentle cleaning method.
Easy To Use: All you need to do is spray and wipe the engine. Especially, solvent degreasers require less elbow effort to rub away grease compared to their water-based competitors.
Help Spot A Leak: Spotting a small oil leak in the engine is like trying to find a needle in a haystack! A clean engine will make it easier for you to find and check how recent a leak has been so you can quickly have it fixed before it becomes big. Apart from leaks, other issues such as cracks can also be more easily spotted.
Multi-Purpose: Many of those degreasers are designed to be multi-cleaners for various surfaces and can be used for floors, tools or other equipment.
Cosmetic Appeal: A clean engine is more pleasing to the eye and can keep your hands and clothes clean if you regularly like to check the oil level or other parts of your engine.
Environmentally-Friendly: A lot of these products require minimal use of water or no water at all, which benefits the environment in two different ways. First, you are not spending valuable water and second, using water makes it easy for those chemicals to run off to the ground, killing the grass or escaping into a storm drain and causing pollution. Using a product such as a foam engine degreaser that does not need to be rinsed with water but just wiped is a more eco-friendly solution.
Good Value For Money: With concentrated products, you can often get 4-5 bottles of cleaning product out of 1 bottle of degreaser, which makes it a very economical solution. Just remember to follow the dilution ratios of each product.
For safe use, always remember to wear plastic gloves and follow the instructions the manufacturer provides.
How to Degrease a Car Engine
Once you’ve purchased a good engine degreaser, you need to know the steps to clean your motor.
1 – Prepare the engine. Remove any debris with compressed air. Then, cover your delicate areas that shouldn’t come into contact with water.
2 – Loosen up the grease and oil particles. You do this by allowing the engine to get slightly warm. The combination of a warm engine and high-quality degreaser is a great tool.
3 – Start applying the degreaser from the bottom up. This prevents chemicals from dripping on you while cleaning.
4 – Allow the degreaser to soak. Read the instructions on the product you’re using, but generally, it’s at least a couple of minutes.
5 – Spray down the engine to clean off the degreaser. Be careful not to hit any sensitive areas.
6 – Wipe down the motor with your dry cloth. If you allow an aluminum engine to air dry, you’ll end up with white spots on its surface.
Engine Degreasing Tips
While the instructions for each product might be different, some general degreasing tips will help you out.
- Shield all the parts that shouldn’t be touched by water before beginning.
- Disconnect your battery.
- You want the degreaser to soak in but not dry onto the motor.
- Don’t degrease your engine in sunlight.
- Keep microfiber cloths handy.
- Dispose of all chemicals responsibly.
Choosing the Best Engine Degreaser – Complete Buying Guide
If you want to get rid of all the grease and grime, you’ll need to pick the best engine degreaser. Consider these factors to find the motor degreaser that’s right for you.
You’ll find two main options when looking at degreasers. They are the aerosol can variety and foam degreaser. You can use either one that suits you better, but most spray cans help you to hit the hard to reach areas better.
Size of Product
You’ll also find a wide variety of sizes on the market. Depending on how often you’ll use the degreaser, you may not want a large can. Professionals or mechanics have a greater need for the product and therefore might want to invest in something larger.
Read the label to determine what other surfaces the product is good for. If it’s safe for painted surfaces, plastics, and other materials, you won’t need to exercise so much caution while using. In addition, if you can use the spray for other projects in your garage and home, you’re also getting a better value.
Petroleum-based degreasers have a unique scent that’s not attractive. If this might bother you, opt for something without a smell instead.
Most prices are affected by things such as the size, brand, and quality. Frankly, they are all fairly affordable, but there are some that are clearly cheaper. If you must operate on a budget, it’s still possible to get something effective at a lower price.
Your engine isn’t cheap. It’s important to ensure that the product you’re using is specifically made for use on a motor; otherwise, you might be replacing some parts.
Most concentrated solvents evaporate easily once exposed to the air. That means you won’t have much time to clean. Instead, you might want a vapor-proof degreaser.
Types of Engine Degreaser
There are two main types of engine degreasers on the market. Both have their own set of pros and cons, so you’re the only one who can decide what works best for your engine needs.
The petroleum-based option is cheaper than a water-based formula. It’s also a stronger cleaner, but they’re more abrasive. You have to be cautious when using these, especially if they end up on plastics, painted surfaces, aluminum, and chrome.
A water-based product is milder and gentler. They are effective at cleaning, but they require a high-tech formulation to cut through oil and grease. You might be able to use them on a wide range of materials, so you won’t need to worry as much about them touching other parts of your car. Many of them are also environmentally-friendly, but they come at a higher price.
Top 10 Products Reviewed
Here are our top ten favorite engine degreasers, in no particular order.