I want to clean the cylinder fins of my BMW R80GS 1991 with brake cleaner and a brush. If I am careful to not get it on any rubber parts or gaskets is it generally safe to use on the aluminum parts?

Garage door will be open because of fumes. thanks

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    Does this question answer your question? You should have no issues using brake cleaner for what you are wanting to do. It evaporates so quickly it doesn't have time to destroy parts, or gaskets, or rubber parts. Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 11:18
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    i would very much avoid using them on gaskets and rubber parts. even if they evaporate very quickly... especially if the can states not to get it on rubber. my gloves tend to disintegrate after im done with one spray clean session. Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 17:25

4 Answers 4


I use brake part cleaner on lots of things. It should be fine.

Note- this is just personal experience. If someone pops up and says it's detrimental, I'll certainly listen.


Brake clean works fine but evaporates quickly (the whole point of it), Varsol (Solvent) or something similar works better for cleaning and then wash it off with brake-clean.


Should be fine. But don't use carburetor cleaner - similar packaging, but it leaves deposits around that you don't necessarily want.

Don't let either of them sit on rubber or painted surfaces.


As others have said, you should be fine with brake cleaner, but I'd recommend trying Simple Green or some other less-toxic degreaser first. I've had good luck with Oil-Flo Safety Solvent on aluminum rims.

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