Water compatible carb cleaners

Discussion in 'Motorbike Technical Discussion' started by User Bp, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. User Bp

    User Bp Guest

    Does anybody have experience with water-based, or at least water-compatible
    carburetor cleaners? The old methylene chloride based materials seem to have
    gone away, at least here in California, and the replacements get mixed
    reviews at best while still being relatively expensive.

    To my great surprise, there are several reports of ordinary Pine-sol cleaner
    being useful as a carb cleaner, especially when it's heated. I did a small
    experiment cleaning a coffee machine with tarry coffee residues and it worked
    much better than detergent when heated. It also lightly etched brass and
    didn't harm an old Buna o-ring.. But, coffee tar isn't gasoline tar and
    a carb has much finer passages than an espresso group head. I let the test
    run a few hours, the etching tendency makes me hesitant to count on longer

    Turns out there are also water compatible paint removers, for example a
    product called Citristrip. The MSDS seems to indicate a decent composition
    (mostly a solvent called NMP) and it's not likely to etch metal. NMP isn't
    very aggressive when cold but it's quite good when heated and has a high
    boiling point, well over that of water.

    Other possibilities that come to mind are brake fluid or antifreeze,
    which are mostly ethylene glycol. Both are famous for wrecking paint
    slowly, perhaps they'll act faster when hot.

    If anybody's got stories to tell, please do.

    Thanks for reading,

    bob prohaska

    User Bp, Jan 11, 2014
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