Is brake cleaner flammable?

This blog post will answer the question, “Is brake cleaner flammable” and cover topics like flammability of brake cleaner, and frequently asked questions related to the topic.

Is brake cleaner flammable?

Yes, brake cleaner is flammable. Despite their less harmful qualities, non-chlorinated brake cleaning compounds are very combustible. As a result, they are unsuitable for vapor degreasing and other more difficult cleaning tasks.

Is Brake Cleaner a Flammable Substance?

It’s possible that brake cleaners include combustible components that might create a fire. However, not all of these are combustible. Heptane n-Hexane, a less harmful but highly flammable chemical in non-chlorinated cleansers, is a good example. They have the potential to start a fire sooner. Chlorinated cleansers with high hazardous components, on the other hand, are less likely to catch fire. Both cleaners, on the other hand, are suited for every cleaning activity.

A brake cleaner plays an important function in the maintenance of a vehicle’s brakes and other components. All brakes, oil, dirt, debris, and petroleum-derived fluid may be cleaned with it.

A Brake Cleaner’s Definition And Types

Brake cleaner is a kind of cleaner that is mostly utilized in the automotive sector. It’s also known as a parts cleaner. It is colorless in most circumstances and is used to clean brake disks, engine compartments, and other metal parts. There will be no oily or unclean remains on the surface after using the cleaner.

Brake Cleaners come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

There are two types of brake cleaners:

  • Chlorinated water (considered as non-flammable)
  • Non-chlorinated

Is It Flammable To Use a Chlorinated Brake Cleaner?

Inflammable chlorinated brake cleaner. It has a long history of usage as a cleaning agent. As a result, the term implies that it all contains “chlorine” atoms in its chemical structure. These atoms help the cleaner’s cleaning qualities work more efficiently.

Tetrachloroethylene and methylene chloride are the most common ingredients in this type of cleaner. Producers utilized trichloroethane in addition to these two chemicals many years ago. Trichloroethane, on the other hand, has a negative impact on the ozone layer. As a result, it was outlawed indefinitely.

Chlorinated brake cleaners include:

  • Tetrachloroethylene
  • Methylene Chloride

I will now explain these. 


Tetrachloroethylene, also known as PERC, is a cleaning solvent used by most industries. It has the ability to cut greases more quickly, keeping car components clean.

A brake cleaner’s tetrachloroethylene has no fire-starting characteristics. As a result, there is no danger of a fire starting by mistake. When it comes into contact with high temps, however, it can emit fumes. It will transform into lethal Phosgene gas if it comes into touch with sparks.

It has the potential to be a hazardous substance for humans. It is classified as a Group 2A carcinogen. It may act as a central nervous system depressant and a link to Parkinson’s disease once again.

Methylene Chloride 

Dichloromethane is another name for it. It combines with PERC in a brake cleaner to boost the cleaning power of any filth, dirt, or debris from automobile components.

It’s largely non-combustible. When it gets near to intense heat, though, it quickly evaporates. When the amount in the air is significantly larger, such as 14-22 percent, it might generate fires.

As a result, if you use brake cleaner that contains it, you may experience dizziness, tiredness, vomiting, and other respiratory issues. It is also carcinogenic and has been linked to a variety of ailments.

Is It Flammable to Use a Non-Chlorinated Brake Cleaner?

Brake cleaner that isn’t chlorinated is combustible. It is a less common cleaning product on the market than chlorinated cleaning agents. Furthermore, as the name implies, it has no chlorine atoms. Even so, it may clean all of the brake and disc components as well as remove a greasy film.

Heptane and n-Hexane are among the potentially harmful components in this cleanser. These substances aren’t fully environmentally friendly. Due to the hazardous ingredients, the solvents are also combustible.

Non-chlorinated brake cleaners include:

  • Heptane
  • N-Hexane

I will now explain these.


While distilling brake cleaners from oils, some contain Heptane. Heptane is exceedingly flammable. Its toxicity may induce a variety of health problems, including nausea, stupor, and appetite loss, among others. Furthermore, if it accidentally mixes with water, aquatic life will suffer in the long term.


It is a crude oil-derived component used in the manufacture of brake cleaners. It’s also an explosive brake cleaning component. It even has a higher chance of causing fires than Heptane. N-Hexane is toxic to the nervous system. You may also have numbness, a weak physique, and reduced sensitivity issues.

Flammable vs. Non-Flammable Brake Cleaner

Non-chlorinated brake cleaners are very flammable, but chlorinated brake cleaners are not. These two kinds of brake cleaners vary in the following ways:

Both types of break cleansers may be found on the market. You can clean the brake discs, drums, linings, and cylinders with them. They do, however, provide differences that may help to address the question of “is brake cleaner combustible.”

Toxic substances may be included in both flammable and non-flammable brake cleaners. They have the potential to create significant health problems and have a long-term influence on the ecosystem.

Between the two solvents, the chlorinated (flammable) cleaner contains more dangerous compounds including PERC, Methylene Chloride, and Trichloroethylene. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are a word used to describe these chemicals (VOCs). VOCs in high concentrations may cause air quality to become unbalanced. Non-chlorinated (combustible) brake cleaners, on the other hand, might be more expensive due to their lower environmental effect. Heptane, n-Hexane, and other hydrocarbons may be present.

Non-chlorinated cleansers are very combustible due to their lack of harmful qualities. These cleaners are not suitable for vapor degreasing or big cleaning tasks. Once again, flammable cleansers take longer to dry than non-flammable cleaners. Chlorinated cleansers come out on top in this scenario.

Use a Non-Flammable Brake Cleaner

Brake cleaner is a kind of cleaning chemical that is traditionally made using components that have a flashpoint, meaning they will burn when subjected to the correct amount of heat. When a flame or a spark comes into contact with the wet chemicals, they may rapidly ignite, inflicting harm to the components they have been used to clean as well as the person conducting the work – a scenario that could cost millions in lost gear and legal settlements.

Advantages of Non-Flammable Brake Cleaner

Companies switch from flammable to non-flammable parts cleaners for a variety of reasons, including preventing damage to equipment and avoiding injury lawsuits. There are some extra, more common, and accepted benefits that workers receive when they swap from flammable to nonflammable parts cleaners, four of which are listed below.

Four Arguments for Using a Non-Flammable Parts Cleaner

Four benefits of using non-flammable brake cleaner are listed below:

  • A wider range of applications
  • It’s Easier to Follow Fire Codes
  • More Storage Options for a Cleaner Environment
  • Expenses for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are reduced.

I will now elaborate on the guidance given above.

A wider range of applications

Some tasks, such as cleaning energized electrical components in maintenance activities that demand a rapid turnaround, should never be done using flammable parts cleaner.  Since many servicing applications necessitate the use of a non-flammable components cleaner, switching to a non-flammable product that can be utilized for a broader range of cleaning applications is only logical.

It’s Easier to Follow Fire Codes

The Flammable or Combustible Fluids Code of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has been approved by many states and localities (NFPA 30). When using a combustible parts cleaning, your organization may be required to follow the code’s guidelines, which may limit how much liquid you can use and how you may use it. You may avoid NFPA 30 compliance steps by using non-flammable parts cleaning.

More Storage Options for a Cleaner Environment

Parts cleaner with a low flash point often raises questions about how it should be kept. It should ideally be placed where there are no combustibles, such as electrical network elements that might catch fire owing to an arc flash or malfunctioning electrical components. A non-flammable cleaner, on the other hand, does not pose these risks. If necessary, you may keep it near combustibles without fear of fire.

Expenses for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are reduced.

Workers must be outfitted with fire-resistant personal protective equipment (PPE) that covers them from head to toe while using combustible cleaning agents for applications that might cause them to ignite. Supplying such a high degree of PPE to a big staff that employs flammable cleansers may become rather pricey. Although non-flammable cleaners may not remove the need for personal protective equipment, they may enable you to invest in a less expensive version.

Brake Cleaner’s Various Applications

Brake cleaners are strong solvents that are intended to remove debris, filth, and grease from brake components, but they may also be used in other auto body shops and home applications. Alternative uses—and cautions your brake cleaner are included below so you can get the most out of your purchase:

  • Stain Removal on Clothes
  • Getting Rid of Ink and Paint
  • Upkeep of firearms

I will now elaborate on the guidance given above.

Stain Removal on Clothes

The chemical perchloroethylene, which is often used in dry cleaners, is also utilized in chlorinated brake cleaning. Food stains, notably oil blotches from fatty foods, maybe removed using brake cleaner. Rub a little quantity of brake cleaner on the spot and then wash the item in water to remove stubborn stains. Remember to work in a well-ventilated environment and to wear gloves since these chemicals might cause skin irritation.

Getting Rid of Ink and Paint

Sticky markers, paints, and nail polish that have gotten on countertops, tables, or walls may be successfully removed using brake cleaner. Non-chlorinated brake cleaners often include acetone as well as other chemicals that aid in the removal of markings or spills caused by you or your children.

Upkeep of firearms

Many firearm owners swear by brake cleaner to keep their rifles’ metal components clean. Though brake cleaner may remove paint, wood finishing, and vital lubrication from the handgun, it can be a less expensive option to popular gun cleaners on the market. After cleaning, apply lubrication or gun grease, and use a non-chlorinated brake cleaner for the safest alternative.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs), “Is brake cleaner flammable”

Is parts cleaner flammable?

The part cleaner is a kind of cleaning fluid that is traditionally made using components that have a flashpoint, meaning they will burn when subjected to the correct amount of heat.

How hot does brake cleaner burn?

When Tetrachloroethylene is burned to temperatures exceeding 315 ° C., it transforms into Phosgene, a very deadly gas.

Is brake cleaner a hazardous material?

Under typical usage, storage, and transportation circumstances, the product is stable and non-reactive. Under typical circumstances, the material is stable. Under usual usage, no adverse reactions have been seen.

When should I use brake cleaner?

Brake cleaner is an excellent technique to remove greasy filth off bolts, nuts, valves, and other hard-to-clean metal parts. It may also remove oil and grease stains from your vehicle’s carpet, parking floor, and driveway.

What should you not use brake cleaner on?

Avoid applying brake cleaner on polymers, rubber, or any coated surface that you want to keep looking good. Protect these surfaces by applying a tiny quantity of product at a time and applying it carefully.

Does brake cleaner evaporate?

Chemical ingredients in brake cleaner evaporate as they dry, leaving no trace behind and dissolving oil for wonderfully clean brakes. However, because of this feature, it’s also efficient in extracting oil slicks from other automobile components.


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