Is Brake Cleaner Safe on Rubber? Answered!

is brake cleaner safe on rubber


When it comes to using brake cleaner on rubber parts, the question of safety arises. So, people often need clarification about whether they should use brake cleaner on rubber or not.

So, is brake cleaner safe on rubber?

When it comes to using brake cleaner on rubber parts, the answer is not straightforward. Because of safety issues, it is not recommended to use on the rubber surface.  While brake cleaner helps remove dirt, oil, and filth from rubber surfaces, it can also harm the rubber itself over time. 

To know more about the safe cleaning procedure of rubber components keep reading this article.

Is Brake Cleaners Safe On Rubber?

Most brake cleaners are suggested not to spray over rubber surfaces. Rubber may be harmed by brake cleaners, particularly ones that include strong chemicals like acetone or toluene. 

Over time, these chemicals may cause the rubber to expand, soften, or degrade. Which results in leaks, cracks, or other types of damage in your tier.


Standard brake cleaners are mainly divided into two categories. Such as, 

  • Chlorinated cleaners include chlorinated solvents, such as trichloroethylene or methylene chloride.
  • Non-Chlorinated cleansers are made with less harmful solvents, such as acetone, ethanol, or isopropyl alcohol. 

But both types are not recommended to use on rubbery materials. If you are wondering how to wire garage lights in series, we have covered that as well. 

What Happens If You Use Brake Cleaner On Rubber? 

Putting brake cleaner on rubber might result in a number of issues and damage, such as:

Swelling & Softening:

The abrasive solvents in brake cleaner may make rubber swell, which makes it more challenging to fit or install on a component. Rubber can get softer from using brake cleaner, which makes it more prone to tearing and other types of damage.

Deterioration & Discoloration:

Long-term exposure to brake cleaner can cause the rubber to degrade, which can eventually result in leaks, cracks, or other types of damage. 

Certain brake cleaners have the ability to change the color of rubber, which might diminish its value and affect its appearance.

Decreased Lifespan: 

Putting brake cleaner on rubber might reduce its life expectancy. It increases the likelihood that it will break down or need to be replaced sooner than expected.

Breathing Toxic  Fumes:

The fumes from brake cleaners may be unhealthy for you to breathe, which is another reason to avoid using them. Breathing issues like bronchitis and asthma may be brought on by the chemicals in brake cleaners.

Sometimes we also got confused about using the actual products in aluminum conductor connections. But noalox- antioxidants can help in this situation.

How Do You Clean Rubber Instead Of Using Brake Cleaner?

So here are a few alternatives that we can use to clean rubber components without damaging them.

is brake cleaner safe on rubber


Soapy Water: 

Warm water and a light soap can be used to make a cleaning solution for rubber. How to clean tires like a pro using only dish soap


Use white vinegar, a powerful natural cleanser to clean the rubber surface. 

Rubbing Alcohol:

Rubbing alcohol are also used to clean rubber surface, especially if they have greasy or oily residue. 

Baking Soda: 

A natural abrasive that can assist in removing stains from rubber is baking soda. 


Another typical home ingredient that you may use to clean your tires is WD-40. Just spray it on and wipe away any buildup, dirt, or grime. 

Lemon Juice: 

We can also use lemon juice which is an excellent natural cleaner. Its mild cleaning element does not affect the surface harshly. It may require more time than other products to clean the rubber surface properly. 

How to Clean Rubbery Surface Safely with Home Ingredients 

Here’s the step-by-step process for cleaning a rubbery surface safely with home ingredients:

Materials needed:

  • Mild soap or detergent
  • Warm water
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon juice
  • Isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol
  • Soft-bristled brush or sponge
  • Clean cloth

Step 1: Prepare the Cleaning Agent

For a soapy-water solution combined some warm water with a few drops of mild soap or detergent in a spray bottle.

For the white vinegar solution, the water should be combined in an equal ratio. After that put the solution in a spray bottle or a bowl.

For baking soda solution, make a paste by combining a few teaspoons of baking soda with warm water. Then place it into a plastic bowl.

For making a lemon juice solution, combine equal volumes of lemon juice and water In a spray bottle.

To make an alcohol solution, pour some isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol into a container. 

Step 2: Test on an Inconspicuous Area

After making the mixture it is recommended to do a test in an inconspicuous area of your  floor mats, door seals, and tier. It will help you to understand whether the solution is accurate for your surface or not.

Step 3: Apply the Cleaning Solution

A soft-bristled brush or sponge should be used to apply the cleaning solution to the rubber surface. To get rid of dirt, stains, or grime, gently scrub the surface. Always avoid soaking the rubberized surface with too much water.

Step 4: Water-Based Rinsing

A few minutes after applying the cleaning solution rinse the surface with water to get rid of any cleaner residue. Ensure that the surface is free from any remaining soap, vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, or alcohol.

Step 5: Use a Clean Cloth to Dry.

To fully dry the rubbery surface, use a clean towel. Make sure to remove any moisture or dampness from the surface to avoid the growth of mold or mildew.

Step 6: Repetition if required

You might need to repeat the cleaning procedure if the rubber component is not properly cleaned to get a fully fresh surface.


Is It OK to Wash Your Hands with Brake Cleaner?

No, brake cleaners are not recommended use for cleaning hands. They can be absorbed through the skin. Direct skin contact with it (like washing your hands) can expose your body to carcinogens. 

How Long Does Brake Cleaner Last?

Brake cleaner has an average lifespan of at least 72 months when stored properly and can be kept at usual room temperatures. Always store these cleaners below 50 OC and away from open flames and direct heat. 

Is Brake Cleaner Safe on Plastic?

No. It is not suggested to use brake cleaners on plastic surfaces since they may harm the surfaces, materials, or appliances made of plastic. Methyl acetate and aliphatic hydrocarbons in a brake cleaner can cause damage to the plastic.


Now you know if the brake cleaner safe on rubber or not. Therefore, It is recommended to avoid using brake cleaner directly on rubber parts, particularly if they are not meant to be cleaned with solvents.

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