Video: Can You Really Clean A Carburetor With Pine-Sol?

Carburetors are exposed to corrosive fuels, for years–sometimes decades–on end. Keeping them clean is a challenge of the highest order for a wide variety of reasons. The situation is even worse in the case of marine carburetors, as the persistent exposure to water can play havoc with the die-cast aluminum or zinc materials used in the carburetor’s construction. Between the rust and corrosion which forms on the internal and external surfaces of the material as a function of this exposure to fuel and the elements, cleaning up an old carburetor can often be a task that is frustrating, messy, and at times impossible.

The carburetor prior to the forest-fresh Pine-Sol soaking.

So when we came across this video, which claims that Pine-Sol–yes, the same Pine-Sol you use on your kitchen floor–is an acceptable cleaner to remove the corrosion from old carburetors and parts, we were skeptical about whether its use was realistic. Making Linoleum shiny and making your kitchen smell pretty is one thing, but dissolving rust and corrosion on  the surface of a metal part is another task altogether.

Twelve hours later. The difference is amazing; although the carburetor hasn’t been completely rejuvenated as it would if it were completely disassembled and re-dipped in zinc chromate, it sure does look much better.

After an overnight soaking in an old pot and the assistance of a bit of heat–although its effectiveness can be debatable–the difference in the marine carburetor after its lengthy dip in the Pine-Sol is rather impressive. The insides of the carburetor will likely need a good tuneup and debris removal in order to for the cleaning to be totally effective. In fact, we’ll go as far to say that you should probably order a rebuild kit and plan to disassemble and re-assemble your old carburetor just to be on the safe side. If you’re on a budget, and you have a carburetor that needs a serious cleaning, the effectiveness of the Pine-Sol–at least externally–can’t be debated. It works.

About the author

Jason Reiss

Jason draws upon nearly 15 years of experience in the automotive publishing industry. Collaborating with many of the industry's movers and shakers assists him in the creation of compelling technical articles and high-quality race coverage.
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