Carb Cleaner

Discussion in 'Technical' started by Hoghead, Mar 24, 2017.

  1. #1 Hoghead, Mar 24, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
    The old nasty carb cleaners that we are no longer allowed to buy was composed of:
    Methylene Chloride (Dichloromethane) 55-65% You will find that this is the active ingredient in paint stripper and usually the right concentration out of the can here in Thailand
    In Thailand we an also get trichloroethylene or perchloroethylene but I am a bit leery to use either due to health risks.

    Cresols 10-15% Cresol is a mixing additive used to keep the chemicals in solution. It is also in Lysol and is why some commercial carb cleaners smell similar to Lysol. It is methylphenol, and helps keep greases dissolved and mixed with the chemicals so you can uses the carb dip over and over. Not necessary for short term if you are making your own brew

    Mixed xylenes 20-30% The mixed xylenes are mainly a mixture of xylene (the main ingredient in paint thinner), and used to keep the solubility and flashpoint high to slow evaporation.

    Sodium bichromate less than 4% This is hydrated sodium dichromate, and is VERY TOXIC. It is also known as dichromic acid, and an oxidiser that simultaneously creates corrosion inhibitors. This is the caustic part of old style carb cleaner.

    If these chemicals are not available, to get a very good homebrew carb cleaner you can use:
    2 parts of MEK (methyl ethyl ketone)
    1 part xylene. To keep the flash point down and keep it mixed well. If there is a choice, buy medium xylene.
    1 part methylene chloride IE paint stripper but check the label.

    Use this outdoors, do not breathe, do not drink.........
    It will expand with heat, so store appropriately
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Sounds dangerously awesome.
    Is that stuff in the spray cans any good?
    Always wondered its composition.
    Seems okay on my carbs.
    & those 100ml cans dumped in
    ceeber tank cured high galloping idle prob.
    Whatever it is ?
  3. If you have the time, those ultrasonic cleaners work very well. Mostly can use water - I use distilled so no minerals. Cleans corrosion really well. Dissolves old gas. Safe for plastic and rubber too.
  4. BTW this cleaner is for soaking, not for use in fuel or dumping down the throat of a running engine. It does not like rubber or some plastics so immerse the metal parts only
    I have used the home brew version in an ultrasonic cleaner and it really works!
    Similar if not identical to the carb cleaners we could buy back in the day, before the Greenies dictated what one could buy. Far better than what comes in a spray can these days.
    Only dangerous if you handle it like an idiot
  5. Home brew version ? This peaked my interest.
  6. Read the end of my post
  7. Thought you meant a home brew ultrasonic cleaner
  8. Thank you Hoghead, very interesting.
    I was never able to find a suitable carb cleaner in a can here.
    But I started cleaning carburettors, by putting them in a pot of boiling water for 20 minutes. That works fine for me. Cleans the jets and leaves a pretty good finish outside.
  9. It is even a problem in Canada as the old stuff that would make you winge like a 12 year old girl if some got on your hands is no longer available, and the "green" version is not so great.
    The winging component is Sodium bichromate

    The home brew works pretty good and will clean out an inaccessible and uncleanable Amal idle jet
    If I did more of this I would buy or build an ultrasonic cleaner
  10. Well, I have been considering an ultra sound cleaner for a while, but have doubts about their effectiveness.
    However, water does work. Amal Concentric Mk1 pilot jets is exactly what I was cleaning for my '52 BSA. You don't need any of those nasty chemicals. People think that is what you need, but agitation with boiling water will do the job. You should try it sometime.....
  11. HogHead: Did you say: MEK? Yes, where can we get ours hands on that stuff in the Kingdom? Most Auto Body Supply shops I have stopped at sell the same old thinner and turpintine..... occasionally stripper..... But I would almost beg Borrow and Stel for a couple of gallons, liters whatever of MEK.
    The Ultimate in Electrical and small parts cleaner....

  12. I have had this conversation with others. But it seems that no-one believes that boiling water can work to clean carbs and so have to find nasty chemicals........
  13. Yes, I believe you!!!! 5555
    If we all had a Bunsen Burner, Small electric stovetop, or cooking burner (the area of sq. footage) and Container for the Boiling water, yes that does work. For a commercial shop application however (and not a classic MOTORCYCLE carbureator man), The MEK would be magical with Safety Gear and proper disposal and handeling. Certainly would be better for our bsiness needs than Hardware Store Solvents.
    You keep preaching about Boiling water ....... Or my favorite Linseed Oil!!!! Woot Woot!

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