Completing any work on your braking system tends to be a dirty job. Dirt, oil, and brake dust builds up over time, and the more time you spend on the road the more you add to the layers of grime. When the time comes that you need to swap your brake rotors or pads, brake cleaner is essential for cutting through those layers of grime before reassembly.
There are many different components that make up your braking system. On early vehicle models you may have drum brakes on the front and/or rear, whereas later vehicle models include four-wheel disc brakes comprised of rotors and calipers that also have sensors for safety features such as antilock brakes. The best brake cleaners work on various brake types, and in this article we feature our favorite brake cleaner.
The Best Brake Cleaner
CRC Industries has produced market leading products over the last 60 years (since 1958 to be exact). Through the years of development and adapting to changing automotive technology, their Brakleen aerosol spray has been refined to continually work well with most types of braking system components and materials. Brakleen cleaner comes in a 20 fluid ounce aerosol can and is a chlorinated non-flammable spray designed to effectively remove grease, brake dust, brake fluid, and other oils on braking surfaces without leaving a residue on the part surface. It can be easily used to clean parts removed during brake system work whether your car runs drum or disc brakes. Each can is approximately 10 inches tall and just over 2.5 inches in diameter, so it can be easily stored as it doesn’t take up much space. Due to the fact that it is an aerosol, we recommend storing it in a well ventilated area as this is generally best practice for any aerosol.
Brakleen can be purchased in individual 20 ounce cans or bought by the case which includes 12 cans in total. Be mindful of your location when purchasing as the chlorinated version of Brakleen cannot be sold in some states such as California (although Brakleen makes a non-chlorinated low VOC version that meets regulations in most of these more highly regulated locales). More information on the specifics of each type can be found on the CRC website. Both products perform admirably so there’s no need to worry if you live in one of the more heavily regulated states as you don’t make any sacrifice in cleaning ability, although a non-chlorinated can can might cost you a tiny bit more.
As far as available purchasing options, Amazon’s competitive pricing makes it the place we’d start our search for a fresh can of Brakleen. Overall, we think you’ll be very pleased with Brakleen as it is one of the best brake cleaners on the market. Whether you’re just bleeding your brakes and want to tidy your brake parts up or doing a full blown brake swap, your parts will be very clean after using it. As such, we give Brakleen a strong recommendation. Happy wrenching!