Will Brake Cleaner Remove Paint? How To Use It Properly?

Brake cleaner is one of the very powerful cleaners that can remove oil, dirt, residue, and contaminants. Many drivers also use brake cleaners to clean other parts of the car such as removing engine grease, cleaning tires, cleaning the chassis, stains on the car, or other parts.

However, does brake cleaner have such a versatile effect? Does it cause damage to other parts when cleaned with a special chemical composition?

In particular, there’s a question we often received most about the connection between brake cleaners and car paint. Does cleaning the stains on the car affect the paint? Will brake cleaner remove paint? Join us to find out the answer to this problem.

1. How Does Brake Cleaner Work?

First, to answer for the relationship between brake cleaners and the paint on cars, we need to learn about the composition and uses of brake cleaners to give the most accurate answer.

Not just for brakes, brake cleaner is a quick-drying solvent-based cleaner that’s good for most car cleaning jobs. Brake cleaners contribute a lot to vehicle maintenance. Car brakes are often exposed to grease, debris, dirt, and other contaminants found on the roads.

Brake cleaner is a strong cleaner that, when applied, immediately dissolves and absorbs dirt or contaminants. It will quickly remove oil, grease, and brake fluid. It will then evaporate leaving a transparent surface.

There are two types of brake cleaners – chlorinated and non-chlorinated. Chlorinated brake cleaners are made with methylene chloride, which is faster and stronger than non-chlorinated brake cleaners.

However, the reason it’s not as popular today is that the EPA has regulated its use and some states have banned the chlorinated version entirely.

Additionally, if you use chlorinated brake cleaner on parts that are being soldered or freshly soldered (which are still hot), it can release phosgene gas, a dangerous gas that can kill you.

Chlorine-free brake cleaning isn’t quite as effective, but it still works well. Made from Heptane or Hexane, non-chlorinated brake cleaners are safer, but you still need to avoid getting on your hands and skin as it will cause skin problems.

2. Will Brake Cleaner Remove Paint?

Brake cleaners work quickly and effectively to remove dirt and any other surface components. Its formula is very strong on contaminants, so it is not safe for car paint. The exterior paint of a car, the interior paint, and a layer of wax will be severely damaged if brake cleaner gets on it.

While the ingredients found in brake cleaners vary between brands, they all contain acetone, methanol, isopropanol, ethanol, and other solvents that will strip the paint off your car.

All these ingredients are mixed to a high degree and each of these chemicals has a very bad effect when it comes into contact with car paint.

When you spray brake cleaner on your car’s paint, all of the ingredients above react immediately on the paint. And after the solution evaporates, you’ll see a foul-smelling substance and layers of paint flake off the metal surface.

An important note with brake cleaners is that you should NOT spray anything that has been powder coated. The chemicals in the brake fluid will soften the paintwork, making it sticky and will damage the paintwork.

In addition to the paint on the car, brake cleaners can also damage the plastic. That is why it is stored in a metal spray bottle. It can also cause harm if it gets on the skins of car seats.

If there are other parts of the vehicle that are dirty, you can use brake cleaner as long as the part is made of metal. Don’t forget to always use gloves when handling brake cleaners to protect your skin.

3. How To Clean The Car And Still Protect The Paint?

Protecting car paint is one of the extremely important parts of car care, especially when you just bought a car and must know to keep it shiny and durable.

The beauty of a car depends mainly on the exterior paint color that not everyone knows and does properly protect this paint, if not well maintained the car is easy to discolor and get old.

There are many causes that directly or indirectly affect the paint color of a car. For example, over time, the paint on the outside of a car will be corroded and peeled off due to being soaked in rain for too long but not being washed thoroughly.

Or the paint layer is affected by the external environment such as dirt, insect corpses, dirt, or fuel accumulated daily, the car is exposed to the sun continuously for a long time or due to collisions leading to the destruction of the paint color.

Or a case that most people suffer from is using the wrong type of cleaning cloth, which leads to scratches gradually losing the original paint color of the car.

You should actively wash your car periodically and should not wait until the car is too dirty to clean it because dirt, car oil, or some other compounds can damage the car’s paint if left on for too long.

You should also note that the soap will adhere firmly to the body and paint the surface of the car if washed while the car is still hot, absolutely do not use strong detergents such as bleach, brake cleaner, but use specialized car cleaning water for paint. In addition, you should not use a faucet with too high a pressure that will cause paint peeling on metal surfaces.

Notes during car wash:

  • The car’s paint is very easy to peel and scratch when subjected to high temperatures, so avoid washing the car under the direct influence of sunlight.
  • Use specialized soaps for car washing, use soft rags to avoid using rags with too large hard objects that can lead to scratches and peeling of the paint.
  • Should wash the car briefly with water and spray water thoroughly every corner before using specialized soap to clean and avoid rubbing too hard when wiping.

4. Summary

Paint on cars is very easy to peel or damage under the effects of external factors. Therefore, you absolutely should not use brake cleaner to clean the paint because it will cause serious damage to the paint.

You should use specialized products to clean the paint periodically and avoid rubbing too hard to affect the paint on the car.

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