How to use a carburetor cleaner

Updated July 20, 2017

Carburettor cleaner is designed to remove heavy varnish and gunk from the inside and outside of a vehicle's carburettor. If the carburettor is not cleaned periodically, it will begin to affect the vehicle's mileage and performance. The carb should be cleaned a couple of times a year to prevent build-up and keep the engine running smooth.

Remove the air cleaner unit from the engine by unscrewing the wing nut. You might need pliers to turn the wing nut if it is very tight.

Vacuum off the top of the engine area to prevent dirt and debris from being sucked into the engine while the air cleaner is not in place.

Spray the entire carburettor inside and out with carburettor cleaner to loosen the gunk and varnish. Use shop rags to wipe up any heavy grease and gunk loosened by the carb cleaner.

Start the vehicle. With the vehicle running, spray carburettor cleaner down the throat of the carburettor and around the outside. The engine will pick up a bit as the vehicle burns the carburettor cleaner. Wait a few minutes and shut off the engine.

Spray the outside and inside of the carburettor again heavily. Start the vehicle again and spray more carb cleaner around the outside and inside while the engine is running.

Spray the entire air cleaner inside and out with carburettor cleaner. Wipe the air cleaner dry with shop towels. Install a new air filter element and reinstall the air cleaner unit onto the carburettor.


You can also brush the top of the carburettor with a small wire brush. Be sure the brush is new and that the bristles are not coming out of it. Vacuum after brushing.


A;ways wear eye protection when working on or around automobiles. Stand over the bumper to stay clear of the fan and fan belts while the engine is running. Wear gloves when using any solvents. Wear a dust mask when using solvents, and stop frequently for fresh air

Things You'll Need

  • Safety glasses
  • Work gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Pliers
  • Air filter element
  • Shop rags
  • Vacuum cleaner
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About the Author

Teeter Allen Morrison has been writing for more than 20 years. His work has appeared in Peterson Publishing's "Stock Car" magazine's Technical section and he has authored some popular articles for various websites. In earlier years Morrison accepted an engineer apprenticeship with the Local Iron Workers Union. He is a graduate of Writer's Digest University.