Carb Cleaning Goes High Tech With Household Cleaners

Carburetors have been around about as long as the internal-combustion engine, but they have had their share of improvements and evolution over the years. While improvements in today’s fuel delivery will likely involve more electronics than a carburetor can provide, that doesn’t mean our lowly fuel squirters can’t benefit from today’s technology when it comes to getting the word out on keeping them clean.

Case in point is this video posted by Mike’s Carburetor Parts where he tests alternative methods for cleaning decades of use from some old carburetors he has laying around. Sure, it doesn’t revitalize throttle response or give your carb ultimate self-tuning capabilities, but when you’re rebuilding a carb for like-new performance, it’s definitely a concern.

Okay, soaking IS low-tech, but the benefits of submerging a carb in cleaner is obvious by the clean-line pointed out in the second image. As with any chemical, you want to be sure not to soak the carb longer than necessary.

In the video (and the accompanying comments section), there are various solvents discussed. Everything from common household cleaners to carb-specific chemicals get mention, and Mike gives his honest evaluation of each. Mike compares price per gallon and the effectiveness of several different cleaners. Which one worked best according to Mike? We’re not going to steal his thunder; you’ll have to watch the video!

Soaking also gets into the carb and cleans years of varnish and old fuel from the ports and components. There are some comments about chemicals that might harm seals and O-rings and Mike chimes in on those concerns in the comments section.

We’ve all marveled at those refurbished Q-jets and wondered what it takes for them to go from gunky to shiny. While there obviously is some spray-resto going on for that better-than-new appearance, this video shows how you can, at a minimum, bring those factory-applied finishes back to the surface in the best way possible.

Give the video a view, and if you’ve got a favorite method for making your carbs shimmer, feel free to share them in the comments below so we can all benefit from your experience!

About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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