other uses for brake cleaner and ISO heet?

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So i've inherited other old mechanic stuff, dozens and dozens of cans and bottles of things.

Two things i'm not sure if i'll ever use - dozens of cans of brake cleaner, and a dozen plus cans of ISO heet.

AFAIK the latter is pointless if I use ethanol gas, which is all they sell in minnesota anyways and I wouldn't want any more than the 10%.

The former I think can be used as another type of carb'n'choke or throttle body cleaner... maybe? Heck what do I do with it... it's mostly alcohol right? Can I just spray it on my windshield to clear ice in the winter?? : P I mean i've seen a sprayable rapid-ice melting alcohol for just that use and used it once before to good effect... maybe i'm a little uncertain spraying ULTRA flammable high test alcohol all over everything buuuuut i'm sure it would melt the ice and evaporate pretty fast too! Yes i'm being a little toungue in cheek here, I just don't know what to do with it because i'm never going to do this many brake jobs in the next few years.
 

FCD

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Brake cleaner is usually a combination of things and I wouldn't use it on glass. It is an excellent degreaser though. Most people that DIY repairs go through a fair bit of it as we use it to clean lots of things other than brakes.
At my shop we always joke that it usually cleans anything but brakes lol
 

FCD

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Brake cleaner is an excellent degreaser, i often get a couple cans and just spray it all over the engine top and bottom, cleans up any small oil weeps very nicely and it dries almost immediately.
 

columnshift

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Is there anything under the hood of a car that its UNSAFE to spray it on like electrical sensors or such to be careful of? (when it's not running of course)
 
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Brake cleaner is dry cleaning fluid, so you could plausibly spot-treat your fancy clothes. There's likely a technique so you don't wreck said clothes.

Iso-heet would be good windshield washer booster.
Yep- its PCE, used as dry cleaning fluid, but there is a safer, non-chorinated product. I have used the PCE version to clean spots off clothes. Dont breath it, use it outdoors-nasty stuff.
 
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Brake clean has a ton of uses. I’ve used it as wasp/insect killer, weed killer, and fabric stain remover when nothing else will touch it.

The flammable stuff can be used as starting fluid.
 
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I use brake cleaner on a lot of things such as oil spills on the driveway, installing rubber exhaust hangers... Quickly lubes the rubber to push them on over the steel ball/hanger and then dries before it can do any chemical damage to rubber. And for tight fitting O-Rings.
 
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Some good uses are mentioned. One not tossed out there yet is brake cleaner as a gun cleaner. I use it all the time for AR type rifles. Excellent in the bolt group and cleaning out the chamber area and feed ramps. Really a big boost cleaning out H&K MP5's and Sig variants. Hold over a garbage can and spray the gunk away!

Caveat: I do not use it near wooden stocked rifles and I use care not to find out if a particular "plastic" would be affected.

I also use brake cleaner to spray my hood lock area as it gets gunked up. I do this once a year and re-lube with white lithium grease.
 

D60

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Is the brake cleaner chlorinated or non-chlorinated?

Chlorinated is arguably the best degreaser and far and away the best insect killer. The fumes can be brutal and it takes longer to dry. Don't clean weldments with it prior to welding and don't do a lot of hot works in an enclosed building that smells strongly of the stuff.

Chlorinated CAN craze some plastics including acrylic or polycarbonate sheet so THINK about where you spray it!! I would test it on wiper arms and windshield cowls, etc

Non-chlorinated -- I've always been told -- is essentially acetone and my experience backs that up. It's more gentle in general but can damage some paint, esp homebrew rattle can jobs. I personally wouldn't let it sit for more than a few seconds on any paint I cared about, including automotive OEM.

Just two nights ago I was trying to figure how to remove aggressive junkyard paint pen from a hood. The interwebs overwhelmingly said acetone, so I tried non-chlorinated brake cleaner (I use an SQ brand from Amazon because it's relatively affordable) and it worked great.

20221107_210153.jpg


The right non-chlorinated (there are slight differences in formulations) will take permanent marker off aluminum and anodized aluminum like nothing else I've ever found. In contrast, chlorinated will barely touch it.

Now, all bets are off if you were given some hippie 50-state stuff. I honestly don't know why anyone would buy 50-state, even in the LAnd of Governor HairSpray. It's literally spraying your $$ into thin air. I've had better luck with just scaring the grease away with harsh language and dirty looks.

Finally, dunno if it's true but I was always told to not use anything but tb cleaner on throttle bodies. Allegedly they get a non-stick coating that can be stripped away. Urban legend? Again, I don't have data or citations either way.
 

columnshift

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Finally, dunno if it's true but I was always told to not use anything but tb cleaner on throttle bodies. Allegedly they get a non-stick coating that can be stripped away. Urban legend? Again, I don't have data or citations either way.

Wow, SO many good answers and ideas here, i'm glad I asked.

To using as a cleaner, I once had nothing else to try so used brake cleaner to start a carbureted engine - I noticed that it cleaned it at the same time so it got me curious. I've never been sure whether 'carb cleaner' (rare these days, still have this too) is just as safe for injection sensors or not.

Still wondering how sensor-safe and electronic/electrical safe it is I guess as my last question...
 

D60

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Wow, SO many good answers and ideas here, i'm glad I asked.

To using as a cleaner, I once had nothing else to try so used brake cleaner to start a carbureted engine - I noticed that it cleaned it at the same time so it got me curious. I've never been sure whether 'carb cleaner' (rare these days, still have this too) is just as safe for injection sensors or not.

Still wondering how sensor-safe and electronic/electrical safe it is I guess as my last question...
I use Berryman's which claims to be a carb cleaner and specifically says it is also a throttle body cleaner.

As for electrical, I'd be worried (or irrationally paranoid if you like) about damaging certain plastics in the connector, the weather seals, or wire insulation.

Another old school thing I was taught was to use WD40 for cleaning wire harnii and it's never given me a problem
 
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Wow, SO many good answers and ideas here, i'm glad I asked.

To using as a cleaner, I once had nothing else to try so used brake cleaner to start a carbureted engine - I noticed that it cleaned it at the same time so it got me curious. I've never been sure whether 'carb cleaner' (rare these days, still have this too) is just as safe for injection sensors or not.

Still wondering how sensor-safe and electronic/electrical safe it is I guess as my last question...
Never burn chlorinated brake cleaner- it emits phosgene gas. This was widely used in WW1 chemical war fare
 
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