Chlorinated vs Non Chlorinated Brake Cleaner | Difference

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Brakes are an essential part of a car. They are critical for safe driving, as they allow you to slow down and stop the vehicle when needed. Therefore, complete maintenance should ensure that its performance is always the best. Rust and debris stay on the pads and rotors over time, damaging them. On the market, we can find mainly two types of brake system cleaners: chlorinated vs non chlorinated brake cleaner.

There is a small distance between the car brake rotor and the brake pads. So it would be best if you kept the rotor clean. The biggest problem with brake discs is that they are often exposed on the road to dirt, grease, or bad weather. Over time, the build-up of debris can disrupt the normal functioning of the tablets.

One of the most effective ways to remove excess dirt around your brakes and ensure that nothing gets in the way of your brake system is to use a spray brake cleaner.

car brake

Why do Brake pads get dirty?

Vehicles are driven under different road conditions. These road conditions can be dusty, dirty, and muddy environments. Moreover, cheap brake pads can cause excessive friction and result in brake dust, which can stay on the brake pads. Old brake fluid that has deteriorated during braking can accumulate and collect around the brake pads. So over time, grease, brake dust, brake fluid, oil, and other contaminants accumulate on the brake pads and brake lining.

Unlike other auto repairs, cleaning your brake system with a spray cleaner is less expensive and does not require significant time to repair or disassemble essential components in your vehicle.


What is Chlorinated Brake Cleaner?

Chlorinated brake clears contain chlorine atoms; this chemical has solvent properties. Therefore it can easily dissolve contaminates on the surface. Chlorinated brake cleaner can quickly remove brake fluids, dust, and other soils on brake parts and CV joints. It quickly dries entirely without any residue, and it is not flammable.

Chlorinated brake clears make of perchloroethylene and carbon dioxide. On the safety side, chlorinated brake cleaners are highly toxic, and they can be harmful to the human respiratory and nervous systems. For safety reasons, some parts of the United States banned this product. It is a non-flammable brake cleaner.


What is Non-Chlorinated Brake Cleaner?

Non-chlorinated brake cleaners do not contain any chlorinated solvents. It uses alternative solvents agents; therefore, it does not necessarily mean it is an environmentally safe product.  Alternative solvent agents are also toxic. Non-Chlorinated made of Acetone, heptanes, and carbon dioxide, and it is flammable and dries slower than the chlorinated cleaners.


Chlorinated vs Non Chlorinated Brake Cleaner

The main difference between chlorinated and non-chlorinated brake cleaner is chlorinated solvents agents. Chlorinated brake cleaners can easily remove sticky, dirty parts more than non-chlorinated ones. Therefore you have to use more liquid for non-chlorinated cleaners.

These two products can easily remove dust, rust, grease, motor oil, and power steering fluid on metal brake parts.

Chlorinated cleaners are non-flammable, and non chlorinated cleaners are flammable. However, it would be best if you do not use either of these products in a closed environment, on hot surfaces, and near open flames.

With a single spray, chlorinated brake cleaners may remove the majority of filth from brakes. Chlorinated brake cleaners do not leave any residue and evaporate faster, and Non-chlorinated brake cleaners leave little residue and slow down the drying process. You will need to use more spray repeatedly to clean the surface.


Chlorinated Brake Cleaner. Non Chlorinated Brake Cleaner.
Cleaning Efficiency. Quickly remove dirty parts.Need more spray to remove dirty parts.
ToxicHighly toxicToxic
WeightHeavier liquidLighter
Residue Little leftoversMore leftovers
FlammabilityNon flammableFlammable
Spray patternPowerful spray patternNot powerful spray pattern
SafetyToxinLess toxin


Which is better non-chlorinated or chlorinated brake cleaner?

When compared to non-chlorinated brake cleaners, chlorinated cleaners are more effective and it is easy to clean up with only one spray shot. Leaving no residue, drying faster, and removing more dust, dirt, oil, and grease from brakes are advantages of chlorinated brake cleaners. Both of these products are toxic, but non-chlorinated cleaners are a bit safer.


How to use Brake cleaner.

These brake cleaners should not use hot surfaces. These brake cleaners should use in a well-ventilated area; if you are using them in a garage, open windows and doors to get more air and use a proper respirator to prevent inhaling vapor buildup. Use chemical-resistant goggles and solvent-proof gloves. Store the remaining cleaner in a cool and dry place.

chlorinated vs non chlorinated brake cleaner to clean rotor
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  • Turn off the engine.
  • Let the brake parts cool down. Do not apply on a hot surface.
  • Cover or disassemble rubber and plastic parts, seals, and painted surfaces.
  • Spray the cleaner until contaminants flush away from the surface.
  • Keep the spray distance 12-18 inches.
  • Let the cleaner air dry or wipe with a clean cloth.



Do you really need brake cleaner?

Yes, it is essential to clean the car braking system, including the rotor and brake caliper. Because when driving different road conditions it deposit dust, oil, grease, mud and much more dirty parts on it. These contaminated particles generate problems like squeaking or grinding sounds and car shakes at high speed.


What’s the difference between chlorinated and non-chlorinated brake cleaner?

The main difference is the chlorinated chemical on the product (main ingredients). As the name suggests, the chlorinated cleaner does not contain chlorinated solvents; instead, it uses alternative cleaning solvents to do the same job.


Is brake cleaner safe on paint?

Brake cleaners contain extremely powerful solvent properties to remove hard stains, dirt, metal dust, and oil on metal parts. Most car brake cleaners are safe to use on paints, but not power coated pants surfaces. Especially non-chlorinated cleaners. However, always check the manufacturer’s instructions before using the product. Some manufacturers use special solvent chemicals that can be harmful to paint.


Is brake cleaner safe on rubber?

All brake cleaners are not safe to use on rubber and plastic surfaces, and Non-chlorinated brake cleaners are safe to use on rubber and plastic surface. However, different manufacturers use various powerful solvents in their products, and it is strongly advised to refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations before using brake cleaners on plastic or rubber surfaces.


What does chlorinated mean in brake cleaner?

The name chlorinated means the brake cleaners are manufactured using chlorinated atoms or solvents. There are several chlorinated solvents like dichloromethane, tetrachloroethene, trichloroethane, and trichloroethylene. This chemical effectively cleans hard stains and dirty oils, waxes, and resins because of their unique characteristics.


How long does it take for brake cleaner to evaporate?

Brake cleaners are manufactured to evaporate quickly. However, non-chlorinated brake cleaners dry for less than 2 or 3 minutes, and it is a lot faster than the chlorinated cleaners.


Is It OK To Get Brake Cleaner On Pads?

Yes, it is OK to use brake cleaners on brake pads, discs, drums, linings, caliper units, rotors, clutch discs, and other metal parts of the brake system. These special cleaners are exclusively used to clean the entire braking system.


Is non-chlorinated brake cleaner safe on paints?

It is not advisable to use non-chlorinated brake cleaners on the paint surfaces. These products contain solvents that will remove the car’s powdery coated paint. Before use, the cleaners read the manufacturer’s instructions. Some of the manufacturers are not recommended to use paint surfaces.


Is non chlorinated brake cleaner safe on rubber?

Most non-chlorinated brake cleaners are safe on rubber. However, it depends on the solvent that uses. Therefore before using brake cleaner, carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions before damaging your vehicle parts. If the manufacturer is not explicitly mentioned, you can use it on rubber and plastic surfaces.

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