DIY Homemade Carb Cleaner: How Easy Is It?

The combustion process that occurs in your motorcycle engine can leave heavy varnish, gunk, and sludge buildup on the inside and outside of the carburetor. If this buildup isn’t taken care of, it can end up affecting your bike mileage and performance.

This is where a carburetor cleaner or engine cleanser comes in. It comprises of ingredients that melt the gunk and other buildup in your bike engine, leaving it clean and running at optimal levels.

You might have heard of bikers who claim to make their own carburetor cleaner, which works just as well as off the shelf ones. But how easy is it to come up with your own cleaner? Is it even possible?

Can You Make Your Own Carb Cleaner?

It’s absolutely possible to come up with a homemade carb cleaner for your motorcycle that helps cleanse your engine and bring it back up. It’s also a straightforward procedure that involves mixing the right ingredients to come up with a motorcycle carb cleaner.

Before you make a DIY carb cleaner, you’ll need to understand the TOP ingredients used in making the commercial formulas. This will give you a clue of what ingredients to use to come up with a homemade engine cleaner.

What Ingredients To Use?

There are multiple ingredients used in the best motorcycle carb cleaners to come up with a formula that helps dissolve all the gunk, gum, varnish, and any other deposits present in different parts of your carburetor.

The key ingredients you’ll get in the commercial cab cleaning products include:

  • Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK): this is one of the most popular compounds used in commercial carb cleaners. It boasts of outstanding degreasing and cleaning properties, which explains its use as the main ingredient in the commercial carb cleaners.
  • Acetone: This substance also finds its usage in carb cleaner owing to its excellent solvent properties. Keep in mind, however, that it’s highly combustive, so you should not use it near any ignition source. it’s also high in vapor pressure and should be used in a well-ventilated area.
  • Xylene: this clear chemical liquid is derived from petroleum and cold tar and has a sweet odor. It’s used alongside other solvents as a cleaning agent, paint thinner, and in varnishes.
  • Toluene: Toluene is also often used as a major component in additives for carb cleaners. The colorless, pungent-smelling chemical is, however, marked as a carcinogen, so you should be careful when using it.
  • Ethyl Benzene: this is a liquid hydrocarbon that excellently cleans the resins present in dirty carburetor. Note that this liquid is highly flammable and should be handled with care.
  • 2-Butoxyethanol: this is another cleaning solvent that you can find in carb cleaners. However, this compound can have various effects as it can cause anemia, impaired fertility, and developmental toxicity.
  • Propane: we all know that propane is a natural gas and aby-product of the petroleum purification. When mixed with other ingredients, propane does a great job of cleaning your carburetor.

Now that you know the main ingredients used in commercial carb cleaners. You can use them to come up with your own cleaner in the comfort of your garage. But how exactly do you mix them? let’s find this out next.

How To Make DIY Homemade Carb Cleaner?

For you to obtain an effective carb cleaner, you ought to know what ingredients to mix. In this section, we’ll provide you with some recipes that you can follow to come up with 100% working cleaners for your motorcycle carburetor.

DIY carb cleaner recipe 1

Probably the simplest method of making a carb cleaner involves mixing any of the primary ingredients we have mentioned above with premium gasoline or diesel to create a carb cleaner.

For instance, you can mix methylene chloride/MEK/acetone and premium gasoline or diesel.

Though you can soak your carb in acetone alone, mixing it with gasoline or diesel makes it even more effective and long-lasting.

DIY carb cleaner recipe 2

Mix 1-quart alcohol or acetic acid, 1-quart acetone, and 1-quart Xylol in a 1-gallon paint thinner can to create a carb cleaner that works pretty well to dissolve the gum and heavy varnish that has built up inside and outside your motorbike.

DIY carb cleaner recipe 3

Mix 10% Methyl Chloride paint thinner and 90% kerosene (diesel can work too) in a metal tin.

For this recipe, you’d want to use the highest concertation paint thinner you can find (if you can get 90gm per liter Methyl Chloride, go for it).

Also, keep in mind that you should use concentrated thinner as the diluted one will not mix with kerosene (you know the water and kerosene tale?)

If you want the resulting carb cleaner to last long, be sure to cover the metal tin with a tight lid.

DIY carb cleaner recipe 4

Mixing Methyl Ethyl Ketone MEK with xylene or alcohol (90% isopropyl) will also make a decent carb cleaner that helps dissolve the gunk buildup on your motorcycle carburetor.

WARNING: Most of the ingredients used in carb cleaners are dangerous chemicals. They can be carcinogenic, flammable, etc. You should observe maximum caution when working with them. Some also come with sweet smells and can attract your curious kiddos or pets, so you should be careful how you store them.

Where To Buy The Ingredients?

Most of the above ingredients are classified as “common chemicals,” which means they’re readily available in local auto parts store, and getting them will not be a hassle.

If you don’t find these chemicals in your local stores, you can also try ordering them online from chemical supply companies or big online stores such as Amazon.

However, keep in mind that some of the chemical products aren’t easy to access as you might need a permit to use them.

Final Verdict

Coming up with your own DIY homemade carb cleaner for your motorcycle is easier than you can think. You just need to know the key ingredients used in making the commercial cleaners and how they’re mixed. This way, you can easily come up with a cocktail that works just as well as the off-shelf products but at a lower price.

Having outlined the top ingredients used in carb cleaners and samples of recipes you can use to make a homemade carb cleaner, we’re hopeful that you’ll have an easy time cleaning your motorcycle carburetor.

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