Expand To Show Full Article
Top 5 Throttle Body Cleaner Alternative. Get Two Jobs Done By One!

Top 5 Throttle Body Cleaner Alternative. Get Two Jobs Done By One!

The throttle body is one of the essential parts of a car engine. The throttle body of your car needs regular cleaning. Otherwise, your engine will serve rough idle. 

There are many options for a throttle body cleaner available. But, a professional and good throttle body cleaner is too pricey. Is there any alternative to throttle body cleaner?

Carb cleaner, also known as carburetor cleaner, can be a throttle body cleaner alternative because crab cleaner can clean both carburetor and throttle body.

However, some cleaners come with both throttle body and carburetor cleaning ability. This article will show you how carb cleaner can clean your throttle body too. Also, we will see some of the best spray cleaners for your service.

Crab Cleaner As Throttle Body Cleaner Alternative

Surely throttle body cleaner and carb cleaner are two different parts Cleaner. Throttle body or TB cleaner cleans soot & oil particles. In contrast, carb cleaner cleans resin layers. 

Then how can you use them interchangeably? Because they have a similar chemical function.

Throttle body cleaner and carb cleaner have 20% to 30% acetone. Both are natural byproducts and can clean any hydrocarbon. As a result, you will get two cleaning jobs done by one product. Also, you will save time & money.

Let us break down the functions. So, you can understand why you can use carb cleaner as an alternative to TB cleaner.

Throttle Body Cleaner

A throttle body has a ventilation system with air flow. Accordingly, this air flow assembles carbon deposits. These deposits can ruin the parts of the throttle body.

TB cleaner solution uses slow-acting and less aggressive xylene. It deep-cleans the throttle body without wrecking the sensitive parts. Also, it brakes heavy oil and carbon deposits. 

Carb Cleaner

On the other hand, a carb cleaner breaks varnish deposits on a carburetor. These varnish deposits come from water-logged gasoline. They prevent natural fuel flow.

However, carb and Tb cleaner have acetone which is an all-purpose solvent. It is suitable for all kinds of hydrocarbon deposits. So, you can use it to clean the dirty throttle body.

Here are the reasons why you can use carb cleaner as an alternative to TB cleaner.

  • Contains 20-30 percent acetone
  • Works against carbon deposits
  • Not overly harsh on engine parts 
  • Safe for any throttle body sensor
  • Considered as an all-purpose solvent 
  • Can be used on many kinds of coatings 

Top Alternative Throttle Body Cleaner 

As we mentioned, many cleaners work as both TB and carburetor cleaners. We presented some best of them before you. It will help you decide which one is perfect for you. 

Let’s see some cleaners for both your carburetor and throttle body. 

1. Berryman B-12 Chemtool Carburator & TB Cleaner

Berryman B-12 Chemtool Carburator & TB Cleanerir?t=moto0f6 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B0002KKIE6


  • Cleans carburetor, throttle body, linkage, PCV valve & choke 
  • Contains suitable solvent technology 
  • Removes varnish, gum, carbon, and fuel residue 
  • Polishes distributor shafts 
  • Has low range VOC compliant for all 50 states 
  • Comes with different sizes 


  • Does not leave any residue
  • Solvent technology has 100% high energy 
  • Removes varnish quickly 
  • Fast and complete drying system 
  • Doesn’t harm the catalytic convertor
  • Safe for oxygen sensor


  • Tend to work late in a warmer environment 
  • Works like most other carb cleaners 


2. WD-40 Specialist Carb Or TB & Parts Cleaner


  • Cleans unpainted metal parts, carburetor & throttle body
  • Uses effective solvent formula for cleaning
  • Removes carbon, grime & oil deposits
  • Suitable for cars, tractors, boats & other gas-powered devices
  • Provides attachable spray precision straw
  • Has low range VOC compliant for all 50 states 


  • Offers dual action cleaning process 
  • Safe for oxygen sensor & catalytic convertor 
  • Makes the engine fast and smooth  
  • Works excellent with old or new vehicles
  • Develops poor engine performance at high RPM
  • The formula is tested and proven 


  • Tend not to clean stubborn carbon deposits 
  • Needs extra tools to clean properly 


3. Gumout Carb & Choke Cleaner

Gumout Carb & Choke Cleaner


  • Cleans carburetor, throttle body, intake valves & choke 
  • Removes varnish, dirt, gum, and carbon deposits 
  • Comes in different sizes 
  • Suitable for cars, tractors & boats 
  • Quick cleaning & no residue formula 


  • Prevents rough idle, hard starting & stalling
  • Develops fuel economy 
  • Improves poor engine performance
  • Fast-drying system 
  • Prevents high exhaust emissions 
  • Removes deposits quickly 
  • Reduces friction and heat 


  • Tend to melt plastic parts 
  • Takes off paint or color
  • Can design is not durable 


4. Permatex Motor Muscle Carb, TB & Choke Cleaner



  • Spray formula with high pressure 
  • Suitable for gasoline engine equipment
  • Cleans air intake, choke PCV valve & carburetor
  • Removes dirt, carbon residue & varnish 
  • Safe oxygen sensor technology 


  • Develops performance of the engine 
  • Has OME certificate
  • A quick dirt cleaning system
  • Cleans heat risers and vacuum leak 
  • Works excellent with old or new vehicles


  • Comes out as liquid or gas rather than foam 
  • Low efficiency in cleaning stubborn carbon deposits 


5. CRC TB & Air Intake Cleaner 

CRC TB & Air Intake Cleaner 



  • Removes varnish, carbon deposits & gum 
  • Cleans air intake, carburetor & throttle body
  • Uses 50 state formula system
  • Available in aerosol spray cans with 5 wt oz
  • Suitable for a gasoline engine with fuel injection


  • Makes the engine easy to start
  • Improves gas mileage performance
  • Cleans intake manifold effectively 
  • A fast deposits cleaning system
  • Doesn’t harm the oxygen sensor 


  • Bottle size and fluid amount are inadequate 
  • Needs extra tools to clean properly 


Consideration Regarding TB Cleaner Alternative

You can clean the throttle body with a carburetor cleaner. As you are using an alternative that is made for another purpose, you have to make some compromises. 

They are,

  • You have to give more time to clean.
  • You can not hope for proper cleaning. 
  • You should not think of doing it forever.

Carburetor deposits are less stubborn than throttle body deposits. So, the manufacturer does not use a strong chemical in carb cleaner. And it affects the efficiency of cleaning the throttle body.

You must use more fluid spray than usual while cleaning the throttle body with carb cleaner. Also, you need to give more time to the Cleaner to work. 

Carb cleaner may clean your throttle body, but it won’t be durable. Eventually, carbon deposits will clog the TB valve and air filter. 

However, throttle body cleaner will clean the TB properly and prevents deposits from attacking soon. So, you can use carb cleaner to clean the throttle body for emergencies, not forever. 

Brake Cleaner As A TB Cleaner Substitute- A Myth!

Many people think brake cleaner is an alternative to throttle body cleaner. It is a total myth or false information. 

Primarily, brake cleaner cleans dust, debris, and oil from brake-related parts. It uses solid chlorinated or non-chlorinated chemicals. 

So, it works initially after applying even in seconds. You can use it only in a well-ventilated area. It proves that this Cleaner is for its specific metal use only. 

However, a throttle body has many components made of rubber and plastic. The use of brake cleaner ruins those fragile parts. So, brake cleaner can not be an alternative to Throttle body cleaner.

If you use brake cleaner to clean your throttle body, you will have to spend massive amounts of money repairing the parts. To save money by not buying TB cleaner, you may lose more than that for this mistake. 

How To Clean Throttle Body By Carb Cleaner 

Carb cleaner is a substitute for TB cleaner. So, their application system is similar. 

You can clean your car’s throttle body with carb cleaner easily.

If you have used TB cleaner before, it is a piece of cake. If you are new, it is not that complicated too. 

Let’s see how the process goes. 

  • Firstly, you need to unplug the air duct & spark plug from the body. 
  • Secondly, locate the throttle body and make it accessible for work.
  • Thirdly, Spray the carb cleaner. Let it sit for a little longer than usual. 
  • Fourthly, wipe off or rinse the TB with a clean towel or fabric. 
  • Fifthly, clean it again if you are not satisfied with the result.
  • Finally, close the intake cover and replug all the wires. 

You can check if the cleaning works or not. To do it, hit on the gas pedal. If the engine starts smoothly, the cleaning is perfect. 

People Often Ask

Is Cleaning A Throttle Position Sensor Safe?

You can clean the throttle body with TB or carb cleaner. But, you should avoid washing the throttle position sensor. The cleaning process may cause wire damage or contamination.  

Which Is Better, TB Cleaner Or Carb Cleaner? 

You can use carb cleaner as an alternative to TB cleaner. But they work best in their suitable places. A throttle body cleaner can remove stubborn carbon more quickly than a carb cleaner. 

When Does My Car’s Throttle Body Need Cleaning?

You need to follow the signs of a dirty throttle body. Engine rough idle, uneven engine acceleration, and check engine lights turn on are the signal of a dirty throttle body of your car. 

Can You Use Carb Cleaner On The MAF Sensor?

No, you can not. MAF sensor or mass air flow sensor is very particular. Using carb cleaner to clean the MAF sensor may burn the tiny wires inside it. So, use MAF cleaner to clean the MAF sensor.

Is A Throttle Body Cleaner And A Carb Cleaner The Same? 

Both TB cleaner and carb cleaner are used for cleaning parts of a fuel injector engine. But TB cleaner is for cleaning the throttle body while carb cleaner is for cleaning the carburetor. 

The Ultimate Alternative

Modern manufacturers try to offer us vehicles with less maintenance trouble. But, throttle body cleaning is a must for good engine performance. Due to the high price of the cleaner, we tend to search for a throttle body cleaner alternative. 

Carb cleaner is the ultimate substitute in this case. It works for both carburetor and throttle body. So, you get one cleaner to clean two engine parts. But, you need to spray a little extra to get the job done.

Still and all, avoid using brake cleaner to clean your throttle body. It will harm the parts and engine. 

We now have cleaners that are made for both carburetors and throttle bodies. You can choose one from the products we mentioned. As a result, you will save time and money.


Related Post: