Is Brake Cleaner Flammable? Can Brake Cleaner Kill You

Are you wondering if brake cleaner is flammable and if it can potentially harm you?

Well, picture this: imagine you’re working on your car and you accidentally spill some brake cleaner on the ground. You immediately start to wonder if it’s safe to use near open flames or if it can even cause serious injuries.

In this brief guide, we’ll explore the flammability of brake cleaner and its potential risks to your health. By understanding the properties of brake cleaner and taking necessary precautions, you can ensure your safety when using this common automotive product.

So, let’s dive in and find out if brake cleaner is truly flammable and if it can pose any dangers to you.

PropertyBrake Cleaner Flammability
Flash PointTypically below -40°F (-40°C)
Potential RiskHighly flammable
Common UseAutomotive maintenance
UsageCleaning and degreasing brake components, engines, and machinery.
Environmental ImpactMay release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) harmful to the environment. Proper disposal and ventilation are important.

What Is Brake Cleaner?

Brake cleaner is a solvent used to remove dirt, grease, and other contaminants from brake systems. It’s a crucial tool in maintaining the performance and safety of your vehicle’s brakes.

However, it’s important to be aware of the potential hazards associated with brake cleaner. One of the most significant concerns is whether brake cleaner is flammable. The answer is yes, brake cleaner is flammable. It contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can ignite when exposed to an open flame or spark.

Therefore, it’s essential to exercise caution when using brake cleaner near any potential sources of ignition. Additionally, it’s crucial to avoid inhaling the fumes or allowing direct contact with your skin, as prolonged exposure can lead to health issues and even death.

To minimize these risks, always use brake cleaner in a well-ventilated area, wear protective gloves and a mask, and dispose of the used product properly.

It’s worth noting that non-flammable brake cleaner options are available on the market, which can be a safer choice if you have concerns about flammability.

Is Brake Cleaner Flammable Or Not?

The flammability of brake cleaner should be taken into consideration when using it. Brake cleaner is highly flammable, and it’s important to handle it with caution to avoid any potential dangers. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Brake cleaner is flammable, both in its liquid form and after it dries.
  • The flammable nature of brake cleaner is due to its high concentration of volatile solvents.

CRC Brakleen Brake Parts Cleaner is a popular brand that offers a non-flammable option for safer use. Non-flammable brake parts cleaners use alternative solvents that are less volatile and pose a lower fire risk. CRC Brakleen Non-Flammable Brake Parts Cleaner is a specific product that provides effective cleaning without the flammability concerns.

Is Brake Cleaner Flammable

Understanding the Chemical Composition of Brake Cleaner

Brake cleaner is indeed flammable, so it’s important to understand its chemical composition.

Brake cleaner is typically composed of a mixture of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as acetone, toluene, and hexane. These chemicals have low boiling points and evaporate easily, which makes them highly effective in removing grease, oil, and other contaminants from brake parts.

However, their high volatility also means that they have a high potential for flammability. The chemical properties of the components in brake cleaner make it highly flammable.

Acetone, for example, has a flash point of -20°C (-4°F) and can easily ignite when exposed to an open flame or spark. Toluene, with a flash point of 4.4°C (40°F), and hexane, with a flash point of -26°C (-14.8°F), are also highly flammable.

These low flash points indicate that even a small ignition source can cause the vapors of brake cleaner to ignite, leading to potential hazards such as fires or explosions. Therefore, it is crucial to handle brake cleaner with caution, ensuring proper ventilation and avoiding any potential sources of ignition.

Flash Point and Ignition Sources

To avoid potential fires, you should be aware of the flash point and potential ignition sources of brake cleaner. The flash point is the lowest temperature at which a substance can ignite when exposed to an open flame or spark.

It is important to note that different types of brake cleaner may have different flash points, so it is essential to check the product label for specific information. Flash point testing is conducted to determine the safety of a substance and to provide guidelines for its storage and handling.

Additionally, it is recommended to store brake cleaner in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Proper ventilation is also important when using brake cleaner, as the fumes can be flammable.

Flash Point TestingCommon Ignition Sources
ASTM D56Open flames
ASTM D93Sparks
ASTM D92Hot surfaces

Safety Precautions When Using Brake Cleaner

Safety Precautions When Using Brake Cleaner

Ensure your safety by following these precautions when using brake cleaner. Proper ventilation is essential when working with brake cleaner. Make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area or use a fan to circulate the air.

The fumes from brake cleaner can be harmful if inhaled for a prolonged period. It’s crucial to wear protective gear such as gloves and safety glasses. Brake cleaner is a chemical substance that can irritate the skin and eyes, so it’s important to protect yourself from any potential contact.

In addition to proper ventilation and protective gear, it’s also important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Different brake cleaners may have specific guidelines on how to use them safely. Make sure to read and understand these instructions before using the product.

It’s also important to avoid smoking or using open flames when working with brake cleaner, as it’s highly flammable. Any spark or ignition source can lead to a fire or explosion.

By following these safety precautions, you can minimize the risks associated with using brake cleaner and ensure a safe working environment.

Does Brake Cleaner Burn?

Be cautious, as brake cleaner can ignite and cause burns.

Brake cleaner is a highly flammable substance that poses a significant risk if mishandled or used improperly. When exposed to an open flame or spark, the flammable components in brake cleaner can ignite, leading to fires and potential burns.

It’s crucial to handle brake cleaner with care and follow proper safety precautions to minimize the risk of burns. Additionally, brake cleaner contains toxic chemicals that can further exacerbate injuries if they come into contact with the skin.

It’s important to wear protective gloves and clothing when working with brake cleaner to prevent direct contact and potential burns. Always ensure proper ventilation to reduce the risk of inhaling toxic fumes and follow all safety guidelines to prevent accidents and injuries.

Can Brake Cleaner Kill You?

If mishandled or used improperly, the flammable components in brake cleaner can pose a significant risk to your safety, potentially leading to severe injuries or even death. It’s crucial to understand the potential dangers associated with brake cleaner and take appropriate precautions when handling it.

Here are some key points to consider:

  • Brake cleaner is highly flammable and should be stored and used away from open flames, sparks, or sources of heat.
  • There are both chlorinated and non-chlorinated brake cleaners available, with the former being more flammable than the latter.
  • Inhalation of brake cleaner fumes can be harmful to your health, causing respiratory problems and even poisoning.
  • Direct contact with brake cleaner can irritate the skin and eyes, leading to chemical burns or other serious injuries.
  • Brake cleaner should never be used as a substitute for brake fluid, as it can damage the braking system and compromise your safety on the road.

Always prioritize safety and follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using brake cleaner to avoid any potential risks.

Is Brake Cleaner Always Flammable?

Make sure to handle brake cleaner with caution as it can always ignite easily.

When it comes to brake cleaners, it’s important to consider their flammability. While there are various brake cleaners available on the market, not all of them are flammable.

One example of a non-flammable brake cleaner is the CRC Brakleen Non-Flammable Brake Parts Cleaner. This particular brake cleaner is designed to effectively clean brake parts without the risk of igniting. It’s available in different sizes, such as a 14 wt oz aerosol can.

It’s essential to carefully read the label and product specifications to determine if the brake cleaner is flammable or non-flammable. Always prioritize safety when using any brake parts cleaner and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper usage.

What Are The Potential Risks Of Using Flammable Brake Cleaner?

Using flammable brake cleaner can pose potential risks to your safety. It’s important to be aware of these risks to ensure that you take the necessary precautions when using this product.

  • Flammability: Flammable brake cleaner contains volatile solvents that can easily ignite when exposed to open flames or sparks. This poses a significant fire hazard, especially in environments where there’s a high concentration of flammable vapors.
  • Health hazards: Inhalation or skin exposure to the chemicals in brake cleaner can lead to various health issues. The solvents present in the cleaner can irritate the respiratory system and cause dizziness, headaches, and nausea. Prolonged exposure may even result in organ damage.
  • Brake dust ignition: Brake dust, which is highly flammable, can accumulate on various surfaces in your workspace. The use of flammable brake cleaner near brake dust can lead to ignition and potentially cause a fire.
  • Environmental impact: Improper disposal of flammable brake cleaner can harm the environment. The chemicals can contaminate soil, water bodies, and harm wildlife.
  • Chemical reactions: Mixing flammable brake cleaner with other substances, such as bleach or ammonia, can lead to chemical reactions that produce toxic fumes or even explosions.

To ensure your safety, it’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, use the product in well-ventilated areas, and store it properly.

Are There Non-Flammable Alternatives Available?

There are non-flammable alternatives available for brake cleaner. One such alternative is CRC Brakleen Non-Flammable Brake Parts Cleaner. This product is specifically designed to clean brake components without the risk of flammability. It comes in a convenient 19 oz can, making it easy to use.

Unlike chlorinated cleaners, which are flammable and can pose a danger when used on metallic surfaces, CRC Brakleen Non-Flammable Brake Parts Cleaner provides a safe and effective solution for cleaning brake components. It effectively removes brake dust, oil, and other contaminants, ensuring optimal brake performance.

With its non-flammable formula, this brake cleaner offers peace of mind without compromising on cleaning power. When it comes to maintaining brake systems, choosing a non-flammable alternative like CRC Brakleen Non-Flammable Brake Parts Cleaner is the smart and safe choice.

Handling and Storage of Brake Cleaner

Caution should be exercised when handling and storing brake cleaner, as its volatile nature can pose a potential threat. To ensure safety, it’s important to follow proper procedures and guidelines.

Here are some key points to consider:

  • Proper ventilation: Always use brake cleaner in a well-ventilated area to prevent the buildup of flammable vapors. Open windows or doors to allow fresh air to circulate, or work in an outdoor space if possible. Adequate ventilation helps to minimize the risk of inhaling harmful fumes and reduces the chance of an accidental ignition.
  • Protective equipment: When handling brake cleaner, it’s crucial to wear appropriate protective equipment. This includes safety goggles to protect your eyes from splashes or fumes, gloves to prevent skin contact, and a respirator or mask to avoid inhaling vapors. Make sure the protective equipment is in good condition and fits properly before starting any work.
  • Storage: Store brake cleaner in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and any sources of ignition, such as open flames or electrical equipment. Keep it in its original container and make sure the lid is tightly sealed to prevent evaporation and maintain its effectiveness. Don’t store brake cleaner near heat sources or in areas with high temperatures, as this can increase the risk of a fire or explosion.
  • Keep away from incompatible materials: Avoid storing brake cleaner near other chemicals or materials that may react with it. This includes substances like oxidizers, acids, or strong bases. Mixing brake cleaner with incompatible materials can lead to dangerous chemical reactions, releasing toxic fumes or causing fires. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific storage recommendations and possible chemical incompatibilities.
  • Dispose of properly: When it comes to disposing of brake cleaner, follow local regulations and guidelines. Don’t pour it down the drain or throw it in the regular trash. Look for designated collection points or recycling facilities that accept hazardous waste. Improper disposal can harm the environment and pose a risk to human health.

By adhering to these precautions, you can minimize the risks associated with handling and storing brake cleaner. Remember to prioritize safety at all times and consult the product’s safety data sheet or manufacturer’s instructions for specific guidance.

How Can Users Minimize The Risks Of Brake Cleaner-Related Fires?

To minimize the risks of brake cleaner-related fires, you can take certain precautions. Here are some steps you can follow to minimize the risk of fire when using brake cleaner:

  • Ensure proper ventilation: Always use brake cleaner in a well-ventilated area to prevent the build-up of flammable vapors.
  • Avoid open flames and sparks: Keep all sources of ignition, such as open flames, sparks, and smoking materials, away from the area where you’re using the brake cleaner.
  • Use in small quantities: Only use the amount of brake cleaner necessary for the task at hand. Using excessive amounts can increase the risk of fire.
  • Store properly: Store brake cleaner in a cool, dry place away from heat sources and direct sunlight. Make sure the container is tightly sealed to prevent leakage.
  • Dispose of properly: Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for proper disposal of brake cleaner containers. Don’t dispose of them in regular trash bins.

What Safety Precautions Should Be Taken When Using Brake Cleaner?

To ensure your safety when using brake cleaner, it’s important to take certain precautions. Brake cleaner is a highly flammable solvent that can pose serious risks if mishandled.

First and foremost, always work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling the toxic fumes emitted by the chemicals in the cleaner. It’s crucial to wear protective gloves and safety glasses to prevent any contact with your skin or eyes.

Additionally, keep the brake cleaner away from open flames, sparks, or any other potential sources of ignition. When using the brake cleaner, make sure to carefully read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

After use, dispose of the empty canister properly, as it may still contain traces of the flammable solvent.

Fire Safety Measures and Emergency Procedures

Safety Precautions When Using Brake Cleaner

Stay prepared for any potential fire incidents by familiarizing yourself with fire safety measures and emergency procedures.

When working with brake cleaner, it’s crucial to have fire extinguishers readily available in case of an emergency. Make sure to have Class B fire extinguishers on hand, as they’re specifically designed for flammable liquid fires like those involving brake cleaner. These extinguishers work by smothering the fire and cutting off its oxygen supply.

Familiarize yourself with the proper use of fire extinguishers, which typically involves the PASS method: Pull the pin, Aim at the base of the fire, Squeeze the handle, and Sweep from side to side. Remember to aim at the base of the fire rather than the flames themselves.

In addition to having fire extinguishers, it’s essential to know the evacuation procedures in case a fire becomes uncontrollable. Familiarize yourself with the layout of the building and identify the nearest emergency exits. Make sure these exits are always clear and accessible.

When evacuating, stay calm and avoid using elevators. Instead, use the stairs to exit the building safely. If you encounter smoke, stay low to the ground where the air is clearer.

Once outside, move to a designated assembly point away from the building and follow any instructions from emergency personnel.

By being prepared and knowledgeable about fire safety measures and emergency procedures, you can help ensure the safety of yourself and others in the event of a fire involving brake cleaner.

Alternatives to Flammable Brake Cleaner

Looking for alternative options to the fiery brake cleaner? Consider trying safer solvents that swiftly and securely remove grime from your brakes. When it comes to environmentally friendly options, there are several non-toxic substitutes available in the market that can effectively clean your brakes without posing a risk of fire or harm to your health.

Here are five options to consider:

  • Isopropyl alcohol: This common household solvent is a safe and effective alternative to flammable brake cleaner. It evaporates quickly without leaving any residue behind, making it ideal for cleaning brake components.
  • Citrus-based cleaners: These cleaners are derived from natural citrus extracts and are known for their powerful cleaning properties. They can remove grease, oil, and grime from your brakes without the need for harsh chemicals.
  • Biodegradable brake cleaners: These cleaners are specially formulated to be environmentally friendly. They are made from biodegradable ingredients that break down naturally without harming the environment.
  • Water-based cleaners: These cleaners use water as the main solvent, making them non-toxic and safe to use. They are effective at removing brake dust and other contaminants without the risk of fire.
  • Vinegar: Believe it or not, plain white vinegar can be an effective brake cleaner. It can dissolve grease and grime without leaving any residue behind. Just make sure to dilute it with water before using it on your brakes.

By opting for these environmentally friendly and non-toxic substitutes, you can maintain the cleanliness of your brakes without compromising safety or harming the environment.


Is Brake Cleaner Highly Flammable?

Can brake cleaner ignite easily?

The answer is yes, brake cleaner is highly flammable. It contains chlorinated solvents, which are known to be highly flammable substances. When exposed to heat or an open flame, brake cleaner can easily catch fire and cause a dangerous situation.

Here are five key points to consider regarding the flammability of brake cleaner:

  • Brake cleaner is a common parts cleaner used to remove dirt, grease, and debris from brake components.
  • It typically contains chlorinated solvents such as trichloroethylene or perchloroethylene, which are highly flammable.
  • The flammability of brake cleaner makes it important to handle and store it properly, away from any potential ignition sources.
  • When using brake cleaner, it’s crucial to follow safety precautions, such as working in a well-ventilated area and avoiding any sparks or flames.
  • In case of a fire involving brake cleaner, it’s essential to use appropriate fire suppression methods, such as a dry chemical extinguisher, to extinguish the flames safely.

Is Brake Cleaner Corrosive?

Brake cleaner can cause corrosion on certain materials. While it’s primarily known for its flammable properties, it’s important to understand its corrosive nature as well.

When brake cleaner comes into contact with certain surfaces, such as brake pads or other metal components, it can lead to corrosion. The chemicals in brake cleaner can penetrate and degrade the protective coatings on these surfaces, leaving them vulnerable to rust and other forms of deterioration.

This can compromise the performance and lifespan of the affected parts. To prevent corrosion, it’s crucial to avoid prolonged exposure of brake cleaner to these materials.

After using brake cleaner, it’s recommended to thoroughly rinse the surfaces with water and apply a protective coating to prevent corrosion from occurring.

Is Brake Parts Cleaner Flammable?

What are the flammability characteristics of brake parts cleaner?

Brake parts cleaner, like brake cleaner, is highly flammable. It contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that evaporate quickly, leaving behind a residue. The flammability of brake parts cleaner poses a significant risk if not handled properly.

Here are some important points to consider:

  • Brake parts cleaner is classified as flammable and should be stored away from open flames, sparks, and heat sources.
  • The aerosol propellant used in brake parts cleaner is also flammable and can contribute to the overall flammability of the product.
  • When using brake parts cleaner, it’s important to ensure proper ventilation to prevent the accumulation of flammable vapors.
  • Brake parts cleaner should never be used on hot surfaces, such as brake linings, as the heat can cause the cleaner to ignite.
  • Contaminants, such as oil and grease, on brake parts can also increase the flammability of the cleaner.

Remember to exercise caution when using brake parts cleaner to minimize the risk of fire or injury.

Is Crc Brake Cleaner Flammable?

To address concerns regarding flammability, it’s important to understand the properties of CRC brake cleaner.

CRC Brakleen is a flammable aerosol product that contains a mixture of solvents such as benzene, tetrachloroethylene, and acetone. These solvents are highly volatile and can easily catch fire or explode if exposed to an open flame, sparks, or heat sources.

It’s crucial to handle CRC Brakleen with caution and avoid using it near ignition sources. Additionally, proper storage and disposal of this product are essential to prevent accidents.

To reduce the risk of fire, it’s recommended to use CRC Brakleen in well-ventilated areas and to allow sufficient time for the solvents to evaporate before working on brake components.

Always read and follow the safety instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure safe usage.


In conclusion, brake cleaner is indeed flammable and can pose serious risks if not handled properly. It has the potential to cause fires and should be used with caution in well-ventilated areas.

While there are non-flammable alternatives available, users must still exercise caution and follow safety precautions to minimize the risks of accidents and injuries.

Remember, a little attention and adherence to safety measures can go a long way in preventing brake cleaner-related mishaps.

karl-rock fire fighter

Karl Rock

Hey there, I'm Karl Rock, a dedicated firefighter with a passion for safety. Through my blog, I'm here to share crucial insights about the nature of flammability and effective ways to safeguard both lives and homes. With years of experience on the frontlines, I'll bring you valuable tips and knowledge to help you understand fire's behavior and how to prevent its devastating impact. Join me on this journey to empower yourself with life-saving information and create a safer environment for you and your loved ones. Together, we'll conquer the flames and ensure a secure future.

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