How To Use Brake Cleaner? You Don’t Have To Remove the Tire!

How to use brake cleaner is essential to learn for your safety on the road and for proper maintenance of your car’s brakes. Your brakes’ stopping power may be lowered as a result of brake dust and debris building up on your brake rotors, brake pads, and other brake parts.

Use Brake Cleaner

Maintaining clean brakes is possible with the aid of a brake cleaner, and you don’t even have to remove the tires! You may apply brake cleaning without removing tires by following the detailed instructions in this step-by-step guide.

How Do You Properly Use Brake Cleaner?

To properly use brake cleaner, you need to set the car on flat surface, prepare brake cleaner, use spray cleaner to remove dust, wipe wheels and soak excess cleaner, apply cleaner to calipers and parts, remove rust from rotors, and finally apply brake fluid.

1. Set Car on Flat Surface

To guarantee that your automobile is stable and won’t roll or move while you work on it, you should always set your car down on a flat surface. Choose a level place that is free of any obstacles or dangers if you want to park your automobile on a flat surface.

Put the parking brake on and turn off the engine to stop the car from moving. Make sure the car is in gear (if it’s manual) or park (if it’s automatic). After applying the parking brake, be sure the automobile is steady and won’t roll.

Use wheel chocks or tilt the front wheels toward the curb if you are operating on steep terrain to prevent the automobile from moving. To prevent any mishaps, it is important to select a level surface.

Working on irregular terrain might cause the automobile to shift, which could result in accidents or vehicle damage. Consequently, before moving on to the next phase, take the required measures and make sure that your automobile is on a sturdy and level surface.

2. Prepare Brake Cleaner

The second step in cleaning brakes without removing wheels is to get the brake cleaner ready. This step entails selecting the appropriate brake parts cleaner and ensuring that it is prepared for usage. Brake cleaners come in two varieties: chlorinated and non-chlorinated.

Cleaning Brakes on Wheels

While chlorinated brake cleaners can harm rubber and plastic parts, they are more successful at eliminating grease and oil. For rubber and plastic parts, non-chlorinated brake cleaners are safer to use, but they might not work as well at getting rid of stubborn filth.

It is crucial to thoroughly read the manufacturer’s instructions before using the brake cleaner. To make sure the ingredients are thoroughly blended, give the can a good shake. Inspect the nozzle to make sure it is functioning properly, and if required, modify the spray pattern.

To prevent contact with the skin or eyes while using the brake cleaners, be sure to wear gloves and eye protection. Spray the cleaner on the braking components and give them some time to dry. After that, wipe away any leftover cleaner and brake dust with a clean towel.

Because that brake cleaner is very flammable, it is crucial to keep it away from heat sources and fires. Keep the can out of the direct sun and other heat sources in a cool, dry location.

3. Use Spray Cleaner To Remove Dust

Applying the brake or wheel cleaner to the brake components and removing the dust and grime are the steps in using the spray brake cleaner to remove dust. Spray the brake cleaner on the caliper and rotor first, being careful to get all the crevices where the dirt and grime have gathered and covered.

For the cleaner to effectively break down the oil and filth, give it some time to settle. Wipe away any extra brake cleaner and dust using a clean cloth or paper towel. The used towel or rag should be disposed of appropriately since they could be combustible.

Continue until the brake components are clean and free of dust and grime. Spraying the brake cleaner on any plastic or rubber parts might result in damage, so take care not to do so. Before using the brake cleaner, remove any rust from the braking components with a wire brush.

The cleaner will be able to enter deeper and clean brake rotors more thoroughly if the rust is removed. It is crucial to observe safety measures when using the brake cleaner, such as using protective eyewear and gloves and keeping the cleaner away from fires and heat sources.

4. Wipe Wheels and Soak Excess Cleaner

It’s crucial to wipe the wheels and soak up any extra brakes cleaner after using the brake cleaner and removing the dust from them. This will guarantee a clean finish and avoid any harm to the braking components. Start by cleaning the wheels with a fresh rag or paper towel.

Wiping Car Wheels

This will aid in removing any collected brake dust that may be excessive. To remove any dirt and grime, be careful to wipe in a circular motion while applying little pressure. Then, blot up any extra cleaning fluid with a different rag or paper towel.

Be careful to properly dispose of the old rag or towel because they could be combustible. Before going on to the following stage, let the brake components thoroughly air dry. By doing this, you can prevent moisture from remaining on the brake components, which might lead to corrosion.

While cleaning your brakes, it’s crucial to use a non-flammable solvent to avoid harming any braking components. Moreover, steer clear of using soap or soapy water since they might create a residue that makes the brakes screech.

5. Apply Cleaner to Calipers and Parts

Apply brake cleaner to the calipers and other braking parts after you’ve cleaned the wheels and wiped off any extra cleaner. Locate the brake calipers and other necessary cleaning equipment first. The majority of the time, calipers are found behind the wheels and are visible through the spokes.

Via the wheel well, more braking components could be seen. Spray the brake cleaner directly onto the calipers and brake components, being careful to completely coat all surfaces. All spots where there may be accumulated filth or grime warrant additional care.

Give the cleaner some time to work on the calipers and components so that it can break down any accumulated dirt or grime. This will make it much more simple to get rid of the dirt and guarantee complete cleaning brake rotors.

Cleanse the calipers and their components using a clean brake rotors rag or paper towel while applying light pressure to get rid of any dirt and grime. To ensure that all surfaces are fully and thoroughly cleaned, be sure to wipe in a circular motion.

Let the calipers and other components thoroughly air dry after cleaning them before continuing with the process. By doing this, you can prevent moisture from remaining on the brake components, which might lead to corrosion.

6. Remove Rust From Rotors

To avoid rotor damage and guarantee smooth brake function, it’s critical to remove brake rust buildup you observe on your brake rotors. On the rotors, which are often visible through the wheel spokes, look for any obvious indications of rust.

Removing Rust From Rotors

Spray the corroded parts of the rotors with the brake cleaner you used before. For the cleanser to effectively dissolve the rust, give it some time to settle. When the cleaner has set for a short while, scrape the corroded areas with a wire brush.

To make sure that every area is thoroughly washed, move circularly. After cleaning the rusty spots, dry the rotor with a clean gentle cloth or piece of paper. Repeat steps 2-4 until all of the rust has been eliminated if it hasn’t already.

When the rust has been eliminated, let the brake rotors thoroughly air dry before using the vehicle. By doing this, rust on the rotor will not be brought on by any moisture. It’s crucial to remember that if the rotor has extensive rust or is bent, it could need to be replaced. It’s preferable to get advice from a qualified mechanic in this situation.

7. Apply Brake Fluid

It is essential to add brake fluid once you have cleaned the rotors of any rust and let them completely dry. To ensure that the braking system operates as intended, brake fluid is necessary. The car comes to a stop as a result of it helping to transfer the force from the brake pedal up to the brake caliper.

Applying Brake Fluid

Your vehicle’s owner’s handbook will specify the type of brake fluid that is needed. For best effectiveness, use the specified brand of brake fluid. When applying brake fluid, find the brake fluid reservoir, which is normally found under the hood on the driver’s side.

Before removing the cap, remove any dust or debris from the area to stop contamination from getting into the braking system. Check the brake fluid level and add extra if needed, being careful not to overfill it. Fill the reservoir with fluid using a funnel, and maintain doing so until the level is at the desired level.


Cleaning your brakes using brake cleaner is an essential element of car maintenance. You can make sure that your car brakes are clean and in excellent condition by carrying out the procedures in this how to use brake cleaner guide.

Summing up the key concepts we’ve covered:

  • Before starting, position your automobile on a level surface.
  • Make sure to utilize the proper type of brake cleaner for your needs while preparing it.
  • To clean the brake rotors and surrounding regions of dirt and dust, use spray brake cleaner.
  • To prevent any brake cleaner damage, wipe the wheels and blot up extra cleaning.
  • For your brakes to work smoothly, apply brake fluid where it is needed.

Always be sure to use the right kind of brake cleaner for your needs and to take the essential safety precautions.

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