Engine degreasers are a must have in every vehicle owner’s toolbox. It helps you keep your car’s engine clean without spending hundreds of dollars on professional servicing.
Best engine degreaser are not only a cost-effective solution for vehicle maintenance but a quality product can also enhance the longevity of the engine manifold.
I will discuss more about what degreasers are and how to use them later in this segment. But before that, let’s have a look at the best engine degreasers currently doing the rounds of the market.
Best Engine Degreasers of 2018
|15 oz.||Yes||No||Inexpensive way |
to clean equipment
|1 gall.||Yes||Sprayer||Produces a deep, |
dark "wet-look" shine
|Meguiar's D108||1 gall.||Yes||Sprayer||For exterior use only;|
Pleasant herbal fragrance
|Justice Brothers||1 gall.||Yes||Sprayer||Concentrated, can be diluted|
up to 20 to 1 with water
|Schaeffer||13 oz.||Yes||No||Doesn't affect seal|
materials or coatings;
|Simple Green||1 gall.||Yes||Sprayer||Non-toxic,|
|Chemical Guys||16 oz.||Yes||No||Citrus-based formula;|
|CRC||15 oz.||Yes||No||Low volatile organic|
Petroleum distillate base
|Sea Foam||16 oz.||Yes||No||100%Pure|
GUNK EB1 – Best Engine Cleaner
However, I got lucky to hit upon one of the most efficient products in the market on the first try.
Gunk, with its misleading name, is a product that has been on the market for 55 years and has probably disappointed no one.
The most useful aspect that I discovered was the quick results. I had a meeting and was running late when I saw my gunky, greasy and stuttering engine. It took just 15 minutes to sit in before I could hose the degreaser off.
If you are particularly prone to fits of laziness and wake up one morning with the intention to clean your car engine, this would be a good product to try out. It can take off a couple of months’ worth of gunk in a single spray.
If you can sit through that, you will have one of the cleanest engine days that your car has ever seen.
It was easy for me to ignore the smell when it produced such good results. However, if you are planning to clean your engine before heading out, I would recommend a shower first. Apart from that, I cannot perceive a single flaw in this product.
Meguiar’s Degreaser – Best for Engine Bay
It is soothing and fresh to work with, and I didn’t feel the need to take a shower as soon as I was done.
Moreover, I could avoid the white residues that other degreasers often leave on plastic trims. It takes an age to clean them off. And I often do not have that kind of time.
However, I was particularly impressed to find that the Meguiar’s Degreaser leaves a clear residue that you can wipe off at your convenience, later on.
Apart from that, when it comes to performance, I trusted the product based on its brand name. The first time, I used this, I was expecting excellent results.
After you are done, you just have to wipe it off the engine. This might be a little time consuming than hosing it off. However, the results are worth it.
I truly loved the clean results that this degreaser produces. And I do not mean just a clean engine.
You can just wipe it off your engine and then drive off. You do not need to wash your car, and you certainly do not need to wash yourself.
Justice Brothers – Best Oil Degreaser
Unlike some other products, this one is really easy to use.
I could also carry this spray bottle during long road trips. If it were just an engine degreaser, I wouldn’t have bothered.
However, the JB product doubles as wheel cleaner as well.
The concentration is built to emulsify the dirt. As a wheel cleaner, it cleans out the grime in the tires and rims.
With this, you have to wait for a lesser period than even The Gunk Degreaser. I was sceptical when the instructions said that I could wash it off in 30 seconds, but I thought that it was worth a try.
And it really did clean even the most stubborn particles in half a minute.
I found this to a one of a kind product, to be honest. It cleans engines, wheels, fenders, wells and other parts of the car as well. I don’t have to carry any other cleaning product with me apart from this.
Moreover, while washing, you can go for a regular car wash but just plain water will also do.
Schaeffer – Best for Motorcycles
It works as a lubricant for rusty components, and I could use this on bolts and nuts and other parts that may not belong to cars.
This cleaner works itself deep into the metal and forms a layer of corrosive substance like rust.
It further blocks the moisture and does not allow abrasive particles to cause harm to the metal.
Unlike most solvents, the oil based cleaner is long-lasting and protects for an elongated time.
The engine life was tripled, and the moisture sealing properties of the cleaner prevented any excessive damage as well.
This is one product that no one really complains about. Though it is not limited to or particularly meant to be an engine degreaser, it is remarkable in its results.
I would gladly use this on any of my favorite vehicles. Regular use would actually cause you to use it less in quantity as well.
Other than cars, this is excellent for cleaning rusty hinges or garage components as well. It serves well for any metal services, engines being a perk.
Simple Green – Best for Engine Parts
While we do work with chemical cleaners, they are not always the safest thing to inhale.
However, using this, I didn’t feel the usual suffocation that comes with inhaling hazardous chemicals.
I wouldn’t recommend you to test this out, but just in case, this is non-flammable as well. It, moreover, doesn’t have any kind of fragrance, soothing or otherwise.
That is a good thing for people like my brother who are prone to allergies.
To my relief, the product does not cling to the surface in the form of a tint or sticky residue, unlike cheaper products.
It is good for a temporary job, but when you want a squeaky clean engine, I won’t say it is the best product money can buy.
If you have suffered any reactions due to using other stronger products, you could give this a try. After all, your health takes precedence over anything else.
However, it wouldn’t do its job adequately. If you are using this, I would suggest you to send your car to the service center within every couple of months.
Chemical Guys – Best for Aluminum
Chemical Guys adhere to the age old recipe of using lemon as a cleaning agent. And it’s not in vain either, because this gets out the stickiest grime off every surface of your garage; from the car to the floor.
In fact, I went through a phase when I used to swear by it. It could clean the engine, the wheels, the rim, the undercarriages and possibly everything else.
It has an emulsifying effect on the grime, and you could wipe the floor with this mixed in a bucket of water.
Otherwise, you can dilute this in a spray and clean the automotive parts as well. Or you can use this on your levers and other equipment.
Apart from that, I have no complaints regarding this product. This is truly one of the best engine degreasers in the market right now.
If you want something that does the job in one swipe and on more than just car engines, I would highly recommend this. This is probably not that safe around pets or children though.
However, that goes for all chemical based cleaning solvents. Still, if it can corrode a tin roof so well, I would advise caution.
SuperClean – Best for the Money
You just need to fix the correct dosage of the concentration diluted with water. This is different for different kinds of stains.
For example, algae are the toughest to scrub. So, if you are going to use this on your water-logged basement, it is better to go with a 3:1 ration.
Others like diesel stains and those tougher water stains will require an undiluted mixture instead.
This is the concentration you would need while cleaning your car engine. It might be tough to get that grime off, but this works well enough.
But it is more likely to get off any grease marks on your dresses than any usual detergent.
I couldn’t take more than a few seconds of it while cleaning out my car engine and I had to run for cloth.
Overall, this is worth a try. I am not promising that you will like it as well I do, but you just might. Moreover, it is more just an engine degreaser.
You can use it for cleaning fishing rods, laundry, vinyl, asphalt surface, bbq grill and more. There is always something special about swiping a piece of cloth through layers of dust and revealing a squeaky clean surface in an instant.
CRC Heavy Duty – Best Heavy Duty Degreaser
The CRC degreaser has a careful evaporation that does not require anything else but the spray bottle itself.
This is the reason I would always carry this with me on trips. It takes the least amount of effort. You might even enjoy the slight citrusy smell that this product has.
Maybe it is a psychological thing, but I always feel that I have cleaned better when my tools smell of lime than just disinfectants.
The 360-degree revolving valve is useful when you have less space to maneuver yourself. You can spray from any angle that is convenient and wait for it to evaporate. Then you can just shut the bonnet and be done with it.
A friend of mine had an auto-shop, and he would always be scared of an OSHA inspection. He would always choose this over all else because it was the safest product he could find that maintained its potency at the same time.
At the rate that they offer this, it really has no flaws. I have never heard any complaints from my friend who has been using it for years. Nor have I faced any myself.
I always do try to choose stuff that won’t be too harmful to the environment. That is not always possible, but this one really helped me out.
This is easy to work with and requires no cleanup, an advantage which I treasure a lot.
Sea Foam – Best Engine Treatment
This works by liquefying the deposits of varnish and gum in the engine. It even works on the internal engine contaminants.
If you want something that protects the engine components against moisture, this may suffice for you. The Sea Foam can solubilize the droplets of moisture that finds their way into the engine.
This safeguards the engine from fuel line freeze ups.
It can clean those grimy rings and lifters as well. While I do not find it as versatile as some of the other recommendations, it is not limited as a degreaser either.
However, it worked well enough for me when I wanted to try out concentrated petroleum instead of a mixture of chemicals.
This lacks the potency of a few of the other cleaners that I have tried. However, on the upside, it is easy to use.
If it did not work well enough as an engine degreaser, you could always clean something else with it. But if you are willing to try out a different product, it is not that bad a choice.
Meguiar’s D15601 – Best on the Market
You must have noticed that yucky white residue that most spray waxes leave on plastic trims. I finally got tired of scrubbing them off, often unsuccessfully, and got hold of a product that does not leave much residue.
Or at least you won’t notice the residue even if you mistakenly spray some on. The Meguiar’s D15601, when sprayed on plastic trims, dries clear instead of turning gunky.
This was a huge benefit, particularly when I didn’t have the time to wash my car.
The wax is designed with Hydrophobic Polymer Technology. This seals the car surface off from moisture. I could take my car out even during the heaviest of storms, and my paint was as pristine as ever.
It takes less time as well. Of course, it is not as sheeny or smells as good as a carnauba wax, but at a reasonable price, it serves well.
In no way is this, the best car wax that I have ever tried. But when you consider the fact that it is a spray wax and its price, you won’t be disappointed. You still have to give it a good liquid waxing at times.
But it is also a good choice if you need a quick fix for your car’s engine.
Best Engine Degreaser – Buyer’s Guide
What Is in Degreasers?
Removing grease can be an extremely tiring job. Often people are absolutely clueless as for how to go about it. So, all they do is scrub with all their strength hoping that the grease wears off.
As you can well imagine, this effort is entirely wasted. Before we get into the finer details of degreaser, we need to understand what these substances are.
A basic Wikipedia search, as most people do when confronted with an unknown word, will tell you that degreasers are solvent based chemicals used to remove grease.
The degreaser dissolves chemical substances that are insoluble in water, thus cleaning up factory floors, machines, and tools. The most common substances used in degreasers include hydrocarbon solvents like kerosene and xylene.
There are other processes like electroplating which cannot be undertaken unless the surface has been cleaned with a degreaser. Apart from this, degreasers also remove rust and thus, are widely used in treating engine parts of motor vehicles.
What Parts to Cover When Cleaning an Engine?
A healthy engine is a key factor to ensure that your car stays at the peak of its performance. But before you use any degreaser to clean out those tough grease marks, make sure you spray your engine down with water.
The water spray helps remove the loose dirt. The water also helps to dilute your degreaser solution which might otherwise leave spots on your engine due to its strong concentration.
Therefore, to minimize any chances of water seeping into your vehicle cover up the alternator, the carburetor filter, and the distributor cap. Apart from this, if your car has been driven around a lot, cover up the air intake filters, the fuse boxes, and the battery.
What happens is over daily use, these parts may get loose, and as a result, water would seep in and damage them. To clean these parts, avoid a water spray, just use a damp cloth to remove any dirt or grease stains.
Another common mistake that people usually make (and as I learned from experience) is that they spray cold water on an engine which is already hot. If you had been driving your car and the engine is still hot, then just allow it to cool down.
Also, post cleaning, it is important to dry out the engine before you unwrap all the parts you covered. Let the car sit an overnight with the hood open. That’s bound to dry it all up.
What Is Engine Detailing?
For something that has such a fancy term, engine detailing is pretty easy to understand. It involves cleaning up the exterior portion of the engine and the compartment and then using dressing which protects and beautifies the engine.
It is extremely easy to do it, and all it takes is an hour of work.
For starters, you must start with the excess dirt and mud which accumulates around the hood, grille and the vent. This process can be done more efficiently if you use compressed air. Even if you don’t, a simple brush will suffice.
Next, cover up all the sensitive areas of your car that I jotted down in the section above. As a quick reminder try not to leave any space where water might accumulate.
The coverings need not be wate-rtight, but just enough to the prevent water from going in.
You could also try keeping your engine slightly warm while cleaning out grease. The right way to ascertain what “warm temperature” connotes is to keep your hand on the warm engine.
Is Degreaser Harmful?
When you are using chemicals as strong as the degreaser, you must obviously think about how you should dispose of it. Degreasers are potent pollutants if left unchecked. For starters try using a water-based degreaser rather than an oil-based one.
Sometimes, an oil based variant may be necessary but do remember to get it disposed of correctly, or it may cause serious harm to the environment.
Also, do not mix up chemicals. This makes segregation a greater problem and the resultant mixture might also turn out to be hazardous.
What Is a Good Degreaser?
Given that degreasers are charged with the all important task of ensuring that your engine stays neat and clean. It is imperative that you understand what features a degreaser must possess for it to be called a good product?
Personally, I would recommend you to avoid using heavy duty degreasers as they stain the engines up. Ideally, a good degreaser should contain the following features:
- It should completely remove all insoluble materials
- It should be eco-friendly and not chemically hazardous
- It should not be hazardous
- The degreaser must be anti-corrosive and non-conductive
How to Clean Your Car Motor?
The process can broadly be divided into five steps.
Step 1: Prepare the engine for a clean-up
The first thing that you must do, even before you start covering up the delicate parts, is to remove any small debris particle which is bound to be stuck in the vents.
This process can also be accentuated with the help of compressed air. After that, cover up all the delicate places that you feel will be spoiled if they come into contact with water. Plastic bags ought to do the job.
Step 2: The accumulated grease must be loosened up
It is no big secret that a warm engine is bound to loosen up the oil particles on the engine. To do this, just start the car and allow the engine to warm up a little.
This, in turn, allows for the accumulated dirt on the engine to loosen up. A warm engine and a degreaser are a powerful combination indeed.
Step 3: Tips on how apply engine degreaser
If you need fast action, it is better to invest in a water-based cleaner. While petroleum based products work fast, they tend to leave behind stain marks.
It is advisable to apply the degreaser from the bottom up so that if you are cleaning your engine, the chemical won’t drip down on you.
The minimum amount of time that you need to soak the degreaser in is about three minutes. However, the time shouldn’t exceed five minutes at any cost as post that, the degreaser tends to leave stains.
Step 4: Turn on that hose pipe and wash down that engine
Step 5: Dry up your engine
Wipe down your engine with a dry cloth. As most modern engines are made with aluminum if you leave them to air dry, white spots form on their surface.
How to Remove Engine Sludge?
One of the most neglected parts of any car has bound to be oil changing. Most of the time, engine sludge is a major reason behind engine failure, and while it may not be the death knell for your vehicle, it sure is a death sentence.
There are certain steps that you can take to ensure that sludge formation doesn’t harm your engine.
The easiest way to get rid of sludge is to use a chemical engine sludge remover. While such products, over the years, have received its fair share of criticism, they remain one of the easiest ways to get rid of sludge.
Once you change the oil, the sludge is removed, and thus, you are free to use your car.
A sludge remover while being fairly efficient may not come to your rescue every time. And therefore, if you suspect that you have sludge in your vehicle, then it could be a good idea to take it to your good old mechanic once in a while.
A mechanic takes apart the engine and mechanically removes the sludge by hand. While this method may not be as cheap as the option above, it certainly is better than replacing the whole engine.
Stop and go driving and short trips are one of the biggest reasons for engine sludge formation. If you carefully analyze all the necessary trips that you need to make and cut out on the short trips, you can surely prevent sludge formation.
Can You Put Seafoam in Your Engine Oil?
Seafoam, as a fuel additive, has many functions. It is most commonly used to clean up the fuel system of varnish and other fuel deposits. Apart from this, it also cleans out carbon from the combustion chamber and helps to reduce emissions.
Not only this, you can even use it in your engine oil to clean off sludge.
You can use Seafoam in broadly three different ways.
As a fuel additive – You could just dump in a can of Seafoam into your gas tank before you go out to fill your gas. After the tank has been filled up, the Seafoam will mix in with the gas and work accordingly. Through this process, the injectors of your car get cleaned up.
As an oil treatment – Use about 1/3 of a can dumped into the oil filler tube about 100 miles (or less) before an oil change. You need to run it for a little while so it can do its thing of cleaning the internals of the engine, but not so long as to cause issues.
For intake tract cleaning – This process is a tad complicated, but all you need to understand is that it boosts your car’s performance drastically from what it used to be, initially.
The Bottom Line
If I absolutely have to highlight one product as the best engine degreaser, both in terms of value and performance, my first choice would be Meguiar’s D15601.
Apart from car’s engine, it also works like a charm on RV and boat motors. You can use it to maintain ashphalt driveway, bbq grills, floor, stove tops and what not!
Performance-wise, its closest competitor could be GUNK EB1-12PK. That’s all for today’s segment. Hope my in-depth reviews help you make an informed decision.