Can You Use Engine Degreaser as Brake Cleaner ? | Maintenance/Repairs Tips

If you own a car and are used to cleaning the parts of your vehicle yourself, you might ask if you can interchange a few cleaning products for others, probably when you run out of them. If you know how to work your way around your engines and brakes, you might be asking, “Can you use engine degreaser as brake cleaner?”

The best advice anyone can give you is that you should use the right cleaning product for the right job to avoid accidents as different cleaning products are made with different ingredients suitable for what they will be working in

Your engine degreaser is supposed to get rid of oil, grease, and other debris that might have accumulated in your engine of parts of your engine. Engine degreasers have specific ingredients that break down these greases and oils and make them easier to clean. Unlike your engine degreaser, your brake cleaner is made with isopropyl alcohol. 

Isopropyl alcohol is the main ingredient in its content. It makes cleaning your brakes quite easy because the isopropyl alcohol evaporates after you have used the brake cleaner to clean your brakes. The different ingredients used in making the products are not relatively interchangeable, as you can see.

Can You Use Engine Degreaser as Brake Cleaner

It is quite advised that care has even to be taken when using a brake cleaner to clean your brakes because if the cleaner comes in contact with part of your car that might be made of rubber and plastic, it might be damaging to them. Imagine using an engine degreaser with other ingredients in it. It might harm your brakes in the long run. It is better to stick to what you have been using than to try the engine degreaser on your brakes.

When used to clean your engine parts, your engine degreaser usually leaves a very shiny covering in your engine because it is made with petroleum products. Your brake doesn’t need this extra shine for any reason. It is almost useless trying to clean your brakes with an engine degreaser because you want to make it shiny. You will end up ruining your brakes. A carb cleaner is better when compared to an engine degreaser. It doesn’t break down the materials of your brakes in the long run, and it is quite safe for use if you run out of brake cleaners in your workshop.

Can You Use Engine Degreaser as Brake Cleaner

We all know that engine degreasers are quite cheap. It could be quite tempting to grab them than to waste some money on an expensive brake cleaner. You will be doing yourself a favor if you invest in the right cleaners for the right parts of your vehicles because when those parts eventually get spoilt, you will be wasting more money trying to have them fixed. Petroleum-based engine degreasers are more common and are quite cheap compared to other cleaners, but they can be harmful on your brakes when you use them.

If you must use an engine degreaser to clean your brakes, you should go for a water-based degreaser as it doesn’t have toxic or harmful chemicals and ingredients that may be damaging to your car brakes. It would be best if you used this sparingly and not often so that a long term effect won’t be seen at the end of the day. The downside to using a water-based degreaser is that they are quite expensive. They are often more costly than even your regular brake cleaner. Isn’t it then better to purchase a brand cleaner than a degreaser?

It is quite easy to use brake cleaner. You only need to spray it on your brakes and use a cloth to wipe the dirt off. There are two types of brake cleaners: Chlorinated brake cleaners and non-chlorinated brake cleaners. Chlorinated brake cleaners are easy to use, environmentally friendly, and not flammable, but they are banned in some areas like California. Then on chlorinated brake cleaners are not on the environmentally friendly side and are flammable but they are cheap and are not prohibited anywhere. You have these two options to pick from rather than using a degreaser.


Can you use engine degreaser as brake cleaners? No, you can’t. Your brakes are at risk of getting faulty and even contaminated you decide to use an engine degreaser. It is better to be safe than sorry.

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