Top 8 Best Solvents for Removing Carbon in 2022

A carbon-removing solvent removes the unwanted deposits through dissolving to wipe out all the residues, stains, and dirt.

With the best solvent, you can remove even the heaviest carbon accumulations without suffering from any poisoning.

As a by-product of vehicle and machinery combustion, carbon always ends up on the surface of metal equipment.

The dark black residue build-up on these metal equipment results from the carbon emission.

But, these carbon accumulations on the metal surfaces don’t just produce stains and dirt buildup.

Increased carbon accumulations affect the performance and durability of the equipment.

On the other hand, oil consumption significantly skyrockets! On a firearm, the buildup may lead to jams and poor functioning.

Quick Comparison: Best Solvents for Removing Carbon

Best Solvents for Removing Carbon

1. Discovery Heavy Duty Carbon Cleaner

Discovery Heavy Duty Carbon Cleaner

The Discovery Carbon Off Gel functions as a powerful gel to dissolve carbon buildup on metal surfaces.

The solvent-based cleaner works by saturating the surface and dissolving the heaviest accumulations. Its powerful formulation means that you don’t have to scrub off the surface.

Apply the carbon remover on the surface, let it sit, wipe off the cleaner and rinse the surface with water.

The formula also integrates a strong detergent formula profile. Thus, it doesn’t only dissolve the carbon accumulation on metal surfaces.

Ultimately, it leaves the surface sparkling too. The solvent for removing carbon also features a fast-acting formula, effectively removing residues in just 15 minutes.

Alternatively, you can add it to the surface you want to clean and leave it overnight for maximum results. 

Nonetheless, the fast-acting gel still features a safe formula, making it ideal even for materials such as aluminum

In fact, the liquid carbon remover’s versatility makes it great on different metal equipment.

These include vehicle engine blocks, deep fryers, popcorn kettles, and barbeque grills, amongst the few items.



  • Saturating solvent-based gel with powerful detergent formula

  • Cleans different equipment, such as engines, boilers, grills, and pots and pans

  • Gentle formula makes it safe to use on aluminum

  • Effective formula eliminates the need for scrubbing

  • Fast-acting formula

  • Has a chlorinated odor which may be unpleasant for some people

  • Non-biodegradable formula

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2. Bore Tech 16 oz Carbon Eliminator

Bore Tech 16 oz Carbon Eliminator

The Bore Tech Eliminator Solvent for Removing Carbon integrates an applicator cap, making it easy to apply on any surface.

The applicator prevents wastage by ensuring you apply only the amount that’s needed on the surface.

When it comes to the formula, the carbon off cleaner features a revolutionary and patented formula with biodegradability, leaving the environment safe after use.

The safe formula allows the carbon remover to dissolve carbon and copper aggressively without posing any toxic or safety hazards.

The solvent for removing carbon starts by targeting the surface using chemical surfactants, loosening, and releasing carbon deposits.

The same chemical surfactants neutralize corrosive residue to leave the surface clean and clear.

Next, the remover rapidly oxidizes copper and carries it in its solution, preventing any chances of re-depositing.

Ultimately, this formula ensures total dissolving of the unwanted deposits and the elimination of foul odors.

The proprietary formula especially dissolves carbon, copper, lead, and other corrosive residues.



  • Barrel safe formula allows it to soak in a container overnight

  • Short term rust prevention solution - you can use it to clean the bore of firearms

  • Formulated to work on carbon, copper, lean, and other corrosive residues

  • The odorless and ammonia-free formula makes it ideal for all types of users

  • 100% biodegradable formula

  • It May take some time to remove heavy carbon deposits

  • You need to wear gloves if you have minor injuries as it can be irritating on small cuts and injuries

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3. Slip2000 Gun Cleaner & Solvent for Removing Carbon

Slip2000 Gun Cleaner & Solvent for Removing Carbon

The Slip2000 Gun Cleaner and Degreaser feature a highly potent formula that sheds through the heaviest and thickest deposits.

The solvent cleaner comes housed in carbon remover spray to make applications easy, quick, and convenient.

Simply spray it on your gun’s surface and barrel, let it sit for a while, and wipe it clean.

While the carbon cleaner features a highly potent formula, it remains safe to use. Unlike other cleaners and greasers, this Slip 2000 solvent integrates a petroleum-free formula.

This makes the carbon cleaner free of toxic or hazardous ingredients.

However, safety and ease of use are not the only perks this gun cleaner offers. The solvent-based carbon off cleaner comes with great versatility too.

Using this solvent cleaner, you can thoroughly remove the toughest carbon, magnesium, and aluminum deposits.

Furthermore, the cleaner effortlessly targets grease, grime, gum, and gunk, leaving the metal surface sparkling clean.

Additionally, the solvent cleaner’s formula allows it to work on all types of weaponry and equipment systems. 

However, you can also use it on other tools, such as air compressors, fishing rods, oven metal racks.



  • 2-in-1 gun cleaner and degreaser carbon solvent

  • Petroleum-free water-based formula makes the solvent cleaner safe for anyone to use

  • Dissolves the toughest carbon, magnesium, and aluminum deposits

  • Cleans out grease, grime, gum, and gunk

  • Packed in an easy-to-use spray bottle

  • You need to use a lot of it for heavy deposits

  • Not as effective for copper coupling

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4. Discovery Carbon Off Cleaner

Discovery Carbon Off Cleaner

The Discovery Carbon Offer Cleaner comes in a 19-ounce aerosol can for easier application on different surfaces.

The aerosol can packaging makes the carbon off a cleaner, ideal for small to medium-sized items. These include equipment such as pots and pans, grills, ovens, broilers, and items of similar size.

Nonetheless, the cleaner is designed to function as a heavy-duty carbon remover.

After all, you can also use the aerosol cleaner for removing carbon from cylinder heads and pistons in your engine. What makes the carbon cleaner stand out is its innovative and versatile formula.

Using this formula, you can tackle carbon accumulations in different scenarios. You can use the cleaner to dissolve carbon accumulations in your engine caused by emissions.

Alternatively, you can use it on kitchen equipment to remove baked-on carbon and grease.

The best part is during either cleaning session; there’s no scrubbing involved.

Simply spray the surface with the cleaner and let it sit for about 15 minutes or overnight.

When done, wipe off the hard carbon remover from the surface and rinse it with water!



  • Easy-to-use aerosol spray can

  • Targets heavy duty carbon grease

  • Works on different surface needs from carbon emissions buildup to baked-on carbon and grease

  • The fast-acting formula works in just 15 minutes

  • No scrubbing is required when using the solvent cleaner

  • Gives off a chemical smell that may be unpleasant to some

  • You need to wear gloves as the cleaner may contain some toxic chemicals

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5. Subaru Genuine Carbon Cleaner

Subaru Genuine Carbon Cleaner

If you are looking for the best carbon cleaner for engines, you can’t go wrong with the Subaru Genuine Carbon Cleaner.

The carbon remover is specially formulated to work on the engine and related components. In fact, the cleaner combines a mix of solvents, emulsifiers, surfactants, and lubricants.

Combined, the chemicals in the cleaner dissolve carbon build-up, gum, and other deposits in the combustion chamber and fuel system.

The carbon cleaner’s formula helps to totally dissolve carbon, grease, and grime from metal components.

The remaining residue and rust build-up is carried into the cleaner solution and flushed out.

With this effective clean-up, the engine and fuel system clean helps to boost engine performance.

Additionally, the solvent for removing carbon restores lost power while preventing pre-ignition and carbon knock.

Using the carbon remover, you can finally say goodbye to the toxic and irritating black emissions.

The formula is specially designed for optimal effectiveness in fuel injector and carburetor engines.



  • Designed to carbon deposits from combustion chambers and fuel systems

  • Works best in fuel injector and carburetor engines

  • Combines a blend of solvents, emulsifiers, surfactants, and lubricants

  • Boosts engine performance, restores power, and prevent pre-ignition

  • Pairs well with other engine cleaning products

  • Designed to work for gasoline engines only

  • You need a top engine cleaner tool to use the carbon cleaner

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6. Orison 1 Gallon Solvent for Removing Piston Carbon

Orison 1 Gallon Solvent for for Removing Piston Carbon

The Orison Kleen Carbon Remover was initially formulated for removing carbon from pistons and other engine components in US Army vehicles.

However, the formula has grown on the car owners to become one of the most popular carbon removers.

The carbon cleaner for engines uses a water-based formula that is free of petroleum or other hazardous ingredients.

The cleaner uses solvent chemicals to remove carbon, oils, greases, and other souls from tracked vehicles and engine parts.

The carbon cleaner is also recommended for use in soak tanks, ultrasonics, cabinet washer, and through-put machines.

Furthermore, the biodegradable vehicle and engine clean features a pretty simple application thanks to its no-scrub formula.

All you have to do is simply soak the cleaner with the engine parts for about two to twenty hours.

The soaking duration depends on the intensity of the buildup. During this time, the solvent dissolves carbon and other components.

When done, simply remove the parts and rinse them if you want to. While this is not mandatory, the carbon remover solvent soak time decreases in 90 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit.



  • Comes in a generously sized one-gallon bottle

  • Non-toxic and biodegradable water-based formula with no VOCs

  • Safe to use on aluminum

  • Requires no scrubbing – simply soak it with the carbon baked parts

  • Formulated to remove carbon, oils, grease, and soils

  • It takes some time to work thoroughly

  • A little weak on some surfaces

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7. Chemical Guys Fabric Carbon Remover

Chemical Guys Fabric Carbon Remover

Using the Chemical Guys Foaming Cleaner helps to maintain a clean car and home. The carpet cleaner is formulated to work on indoor residential and office floors, carpets, upholstery, and cars.

The cleaner’s formula integrates powerful solvent chemicals to remove carbon, grease, and other stubborn stains.

The upholstery and floor cleaner incorporate high suds foaming action that lifts the surface’s most stubborn dirt and stains.

The formula then carries the dirt and stain residues away in its solution. Its fresh citrus scent, on the other hand, leaves a pleasant after-aroma, eliminating foul odors. 

Nonetheless, the formula is still free of toxic chemicals, ammonia, bleach, or other quality compromising ingredients.

However, the best part about the carbon remover solvent is you needn’t hard rub or scrub the surface during cleaning.

All you have to do is add it to a spray bottle and dilute it with water so you can use it as a carbon remover spray. Apply a few spritzes on the surface and use a soft-bristled brush in light strokes to clean.

The carpet and floor cleaner is filled in a bottle with a spout applicator to make application easy and convenient. The spout applicator also prevents wastage.



  • Designed to clean fabrics, upholstery, carpets, and cars

  • The citrus-scented formula removes foul odors and eliminates new ones

  • The formula contains high foaming suds that lift dirt and stains

  • Safe to use on any fabric color or type

  • Doesn’t require scrubbing or rubbing

  • Scented formula is not the best option for households with babies

  • Extremely strong and potent when undiluted

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8. GKG 4 oz Solvent for Removing Carbon

GKG 4 oz Solvent for Removing Carbon

The GKG 4 oz Solvent for Removing Carbon works wonders for cleaning your firearms and weapons. The carbon remover effectively cleans powder rifles, rimfires, centerfires, auto, and grass-assisted firearms.

The solvent for removing carbon comes in a 4-ounce applicator bottler to make the application smooth, quick, and accurate. The applicator bottle helps to reduce wastage too.

The carbon remover combines a proprietary formula with highly potent solvent chemicals to remove carbon in the barrel.

The carbon cleaner works by breaking down the carbon residue inside the bore and breaching after a weapon is fired. It then melts any carbon traces remaining on cylinder faces or bores. 

While the carbon remover targets even the toughest accumulations, it’s still quite safe to use.

Unlike other firearm cleaners, this carbon cleaner is free of ammonia or other similar hazardous ingredients.

Furthermore, the carbon remover features a pH-balanced formula. So you don’t have to worry about it ruining the inside of your barrel!



  • Designed for cleaning different types of weapons and firearms

  • An easy-to-use applicator bottle reduces wastage

  • Safe formula with no ammonia composition

  • It can be combined with other products of a gun cleaning kit (used as the first step)

  • The solvent functions as a cleaner and degreaser

  • It is not as effective at cleaning some elements such as copper

  • You will need to hard scrub some spots during cleaning

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Things to Consider before Buying a Solvent for Removing Carbon


The first factor to consider when choosing a solvent for removing carbon is the application. You have to ask yourself how you intend to use the carbon remover.

Deciding how you intend to use the carbon remover allows you to pick a more effective formula.

For example, the KG KG-1 Carbon remover is specifically formulated for removing carbon in firearms. It is more effective when integrated into your firearm cleaning kit as the first step cleaning solvent.

But, you can also find carbon removers with a versatile formula, allowing you to use them on multiple types of equipment.

Instead of focusing on the equipment, these cleaners focus on the type of metal surface to be cleaned.


Go for a safe carbon remover formula.  In this case, you want to go for a carbon remover made from a non-petroleum, water-based formula.

Try as much to avoid chemicals that are corrosive and flammable.

Additionally, look out for formulas that don’t contain hazardous ingredients such as ammonia and VOCs.

But, in reality, it is impossible to avoid some hazardous or potent ingredient completely.

For the most part, carbon removers intended for vehicles or industrial use tend to have more potent ingredients.

On the other hand, carbon removers for kitchen equipment tend to be a little more forgiving.

The bottom line is you want to pick a product that is effective and reliable. But, at the same time, it shouldn’t damage your equipment. There has to be a balance!

Scent and Odor

When it comes to the scent or odor, this feature depends on preferences. Some users don’t mind the chemical smell or added scent, while others don’t like it.

If you are asthmatic or suffer from allergies, it’s best to avoid scented carbon remover solvents.


You have to consider the application time when picking the solvent for removing carbon. Some formulas such as the

Discover Carbon Off Cleaners require about 15 minutes (mostly for thin to medium-sized layers) to remove carbon.

However, some formulas require overnight soaking. So, you have to consider which scenario works for you.

Keep in mind, when choosing a product, you have to be practical as well. Try to move past the marketing gimmicks and exercise your own judgment.

Sure, one brand can be more effective and fast-acting than the other.

But, it is also impractical to think that you can find a formula that will remove a thick layer of carbon from your engine parts in just 15 minutes.


When choosing a solvent for removing carbon, you want o go for an option that offers good value. In this case, examine your usage frequency and cost.

Ideally, you want to opt for a solvent that can be used in more than one cleaning session.

You don’t want to invest in an extremely expensive solvent only to use it once.

Types of Carbon Solvent

There are several types of carbon solvents. However, the most common types are liquid and aerosol forms. 

Generally, you can opt for a carbon remover spray or liquid.

Again, the consistency you go for when choosing a solvent for removing carbon highly depends on your cleaning needs.

You have to think of what you need to clean when choosing consistency.

Aerosol/Spray-type Carbon Solvents

Spray-type removers are typically filled in an aerosol bottle. For equipment such as guns, carbon remover sprays or applicator bottles are a better option.

This is because; cleaners packed in these bottles can easily be dispensed into narrow or hard-to-reach spaces.

Liquid Carbon Solvents

On the other hand, in liquid form, carbon removers are housed in a dipping can, regular bottle, or applicator bottle.

Liquid carbon removers work when you need to clean larger surfaces or parts.

You can even use removers by soaking the equipment in them. Similarly, you have to think of the circumstances.

When regularly cleaning an engine, a standard carbon remover bottle is just fine.

But, this may not be the same for when you are putting together and assembling an engine.

In this case, you want to go for a packaging option that accommodates removing carbon from cylinder heads, pistons, and other smaller components like ball joints.

How Carbon Can Damage a Car

Efforts in removing carbon from pistons and other parts of your vehicle engine and fuel systems aren’t just for the appearance. Sure, keeping your vehicle clean is a good practice.

However, removing carbon from your car plays a more significant role than just appearance and aesthetics. There are plenty of ways carbon can damage a car.

But, ultimately, uncleaned carbon deposits in the car will affect its durability and lifespan. When a car burns fuel, carbon begins to build up in the combustion chamber and fuel system over time.

In the form of black soot, carbon typically forms around the cylinder head, cylinder wall, piston, and valves. Over time, it hardens and causes a host of different problems.

Fuel Inefficiency

Amongst the effects of carbon build-up include fuel inefficiency, causing your car to use up more fuel per mile.

This is because, due to the carbon build-up, your car has to burn more fuel than usual to get the engine working.

Engine Overheating

Heavy deposits around the engine exhaust valves and ports result in increased heat buildup.

This build-up causes the engine to “struggle to breath” as it becomes congested. Ultimately, it begins to overheat.

Engine Knock

As carbon builds up and hardens inside the combustion chamber, it takes up the surface space.

This increases the engine compression ratio and causes hot spots of carbon chunks when the vehicle is on.

Ultimately, this leads to pre-ignition and engine knock.

Why It’s Important to Clean Carbon Regularly

The primary purpose of cleaning carbon regularly from a vehicle is to remove the black soot build-up to boost engine durability.

Using carbon cleaner for engines brings multiple advantages to the engine and car. These include;

Decreased Carbon Emissions

Regularly using carbon remover solvents keeps the engine combustion chamber and fuel systems sparkling clean. This makes the combustion process and the running of the vehicle smooth.

Additionally, fuel in the chamber combusts efficiently without carbon buildup.

With a reduced carbon build-up, the vehicle doesn’t release any dark emissions when it is running.

Increased Performance

Cleaning carbon from your vehicle regularly improves engine performance. Without the black hardened soot, your vehicle will not suffer from engine vibrations or decreased engine torque.

Furthermore, without the carbon build-up blockage, the engine enjoys adequate air circulation to prevent overheating.

Improved Fuel Efficiency

Maintaining a clean combustion chamber and fuel system ensures fuel is adequately burnt.

This, in turn, means that your vehicle will be burning the right amount of fuel per mile.

Ultimately, you will enjoy better fuel consumption.

How to Clean Engine with Carbon Remover

Using a solvent for removing carbon incorporates three key steps. The first one is to remove the engine components, remove the carbon, and reassemble the engine block.

Step 1: Taking Apart the Engine Components

Start by unhooking the spark plug wires, muffler, its accessories, and cylinder head bolts. When done, simply pull up the cylinder head.

If it fails to come off, give it a gentle stroke with a heavy hammer. Doing so should allow it to loosen up.

You can follow your engine manual guide for instructions on how to do so.

After removing the cylinder head, you will have access to the gasket. Remove it from the block and discard it.

Make sure you have a clear skeletal outline of how the engine block looks before taking it apart.

This allows you to efficiently and effectively put it back together when you are done cleaning.

Step 2: Clean Up the Carbon Deposits

Pull the pistons and valves together to begin the cleanup process. Meanwhile, soak the metal parts you removed in the solvent as it dissolves carbon build-up depending on the solvent type.

You can soak up the metals anywhere between 15 minutes and 24 hours. If the carbon build-up on these metal parts is too thick, opt for a hard carbon remover.

When done soaking the metal parts, wipe them with a clean cloth and rinse them with water. Let them air dry before reassembling them.

On the other hand, use a soft bristle brush or scraper to remove carbon on the main engine block. Move on to the pistons, valves, open crankshaft.

When done, soak a small part of the cleaning cloth with the carbon-removing solvent and give the cylinder block a good clean.

 Step 3: Reassemble the Engine

When done, the next step is to reassemble the cylinder head. First, observe all the metal parts in the cylinder block so you can replace damaged ones. When done, return the metal parts.

Start by placing a new gasket on the engine block and putting the cylinder head on top.

Make sure you align the cylinder head, gasket, and engine. Make sure every part is properly bolted and tightened with a torque wrench.

How to Make Carbon Remover at Home

If you are strapped for cash, you can DIY your carbon remover solvent with ingredients readily available in your home.

After all, using ingredients available in your home means you don’t have a toxic formulation. Nonetheless, it still offers adequate potency.

In fact, you can even curate a hard carbon remover formula to target any metal equipment.

You can clean out carbon from pots and pans, appliances, and even your engine using homemade carbon remover.

There is a myriad of different homemade carbon cleaner recipes. Here’s a simple one;

Cream of Tartar

Cream of tartar mixture can thoroughly remove carbon build-up in metal items such as aluminum pots and pans.

To make this mixture, mix a large pan with one tablespoon of cream of tartar, a tablespoon of lemon juice, and a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar.

Add the item you want to clean into the pan and fill up the pan with water, ensuring the carbon marks are covered.

Before adding the item to the pan, scrub any loose debris with clean water and soap.

Set the pan on a stove and bring the pan to a simmer. Let the pan sit for about 30 minutes, and you should be done.


1. Is Carbon Solvent Toxic?

The toxicity of a carbon solvent depends on the ingredients used. Generally, any carbon solvent must have some kind of chemical.

But, the severity of its effects varies amongst the solvents. To avoid highly toxic carbon solvents, look out for water-based ones with zero ammonia.

2. Why Do We Have To Remove Carbon From Surfaces?

Carbon removal is important for keeping the surface clean. It also has varying benefits depending on the circumstances.

For example, in a car, it improves the engine lifespan, fuel economy and reduces carbon emissions. For kitchenware, it improves cooking efficiency, food safety, and quality.

3. What Are Carbon Solvents Made Up Of?

Carbon solvents are primarily made up of surfactants. These surfactants are primarily tasked with breaking down and dissolving the carbon.

Most surfactants are made of alkaline ingredients such as sodium or potassium hydroxide.

4. Does Acetone Remove Carbon?

Acetone can most definitely dissolve carbon.

This is because; its powerful potency dissolves the carbon and damages the surface the carbon builds upon.

5. What Gets Rid Of Carbon Build Up?

There are plenty of ways you can get rid of carbon buildup. You can opt for the traditional soap and water scrubbing.

Alternatively, you can develop homemade recipes for carbon removers.

However, for the most effective and reliable solution, use a commercial solvent for removing carbon.


Our carbon killer review offers a one-stop solution for finding cleaners and removers you want.

Using the best solvent for removing carbon, you don’t have to worry about damaging your equipment when cleaning out carbon buildup.

After all, you don’t have to spend hours scrubbing the surfaces with brushes or putty scrapers.

While they thoroughly clean off carbon from metal surfaces, the solvents maintain the quality of your equipment. I prefer Discovery Carbon Off Gel.

The robust carbon removing gel offers all the perks of a good quality cleaner.

First, its versatility allows you to use it anywhere, whether on your car, firearms, kitchenware, or air tools.

The fast-acting carbon remover cleans out metal surfaces in just 15 minutes without needing any scrubbing done. Furthermore, the formula is safe to use, even on aluminum surfaces.