Is Brake Cleaner a good spotter?

Have you ever used Brake Cleaner as a spotting agent?

  • Yes

    Votes: 2 5.9%
  • No

    Votes: 32 94.1%

  • Total voters
    34
Apr 7, 2009
755
5
18
Central PA (814) Area Code
Real Name
Chad Smith & Jennifer Fogleman
Business Location
United States
I have a good friend who is a carpet cleaner in my area and we were talking today. I'm trying to get him to join TMF. He does a lot of rentals at PSU ,like 300 in a week sometimes. He works for another friend but is thinking of going on his own.I asked him what he/they use for spot treatment. He was saying that sometimes he uses brake cleaner. I said "nuhuh", he was like"yea". You just spray it on a extract before it dries. He said it gets just about anything out. I laughed but hey what the hell. He's been doing this along time.
I did a little research on it and Rob Allen says its in his top 5 spotting agents, and Jason Whaley of A+ I think said he used it, 2 highly respectable members on here . How safe is this? What or is there even a ph? Anyone else use it? I never would have thought that you could. You probably don't look as professional with a bottle of brake cleaner but it is Cheap.
Thanks
 
T

TheEyeball

I don't understand why everybody is always looking for some magic elixir spotting agent when we already have perfectly good products designed for this industry.

I'm sure brake cleaner works, but why would you want to be around it or have your customer see and smell it?
 

Ara Klujian

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Jun 19, 2008
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Brake Cleaner has no ph. Its a dry solvent. And its not cheap either! If you have ever used brake cleaner you would know that one can does not go far at all. I'm lucky if I am able to use one can on two rotors. No joke. My mom complains when I use it in the shop. That stuff would seriously stink up a customers home.
 
Apr 7, 2009
755
5
18
Central PA (814) Area Code
Real Name
Chad Smith & Jennifer Fogleman
Business Location
United States
I don't understand why everybody is always looking for some magic elixir spotting agent when we already have perfectly good products designed for this industry.

I'm sure brake cleaner works, but why would you want to be around it or have your customer see and smell it?

I don't know if this is directed at me or not. I'm Not looking for magic or anything lol, I just heard this from a friend and figured I'd see what other people thought because he swears by it. You learn by asking questions. To each his own I guess.
 

Matt Strader

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Feb 7, 2009
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I don't know if this is directed at me or not. I'm Not looking for magic or anything lol, I just heard this from a friend and figured I'd see what other people thought because he swears by it. You learn by asking questions. To each his own I guess.

I think it was more of a general statement. Maybe not though
 
T

TheEyeball

I don't know if this is directed at me or not. I'm Not looking for magic or anything lol, I just heard this from a friend and figured I'd see what other people thought because he swears by it. You learn by asking questions. To each his own I guess.

Hey Chad. Now that I re-read my post it does sound a little harsh. Sorry about that, I didn't mean to come across that way.

I just imagine a fat sweaty guy with a pit stained t-shirt and his butt crack hanging out spraying brake cleaner on somebody's carpet and I think "NOOOOOOOOO!!! WHYYYYYYYY?!" Just don't want the industry to get a bad name lol.
:)
 

dirtmonger

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Jul 14, 2008
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The reason for rapid extraction is to remove the smell from the VOC's evaporating and also to prevent the stain from spreading as it is emulsified. Circling the stain in something like Pro's Choice Power Gel before treatment would help prevent spreading. I will be trying this. I could be much faster on oil/tar based spots/stains.
 
Apr 7, 2009
755
5
18
Central PA (814) Area Code
Real Name
Chad Smith & Jennifer Fogleman
Business Location
United States
I ran into another local Carpet Cleaner I know a few days who runs a 4 Van operation. I asked him what spotters he was using and the first thing he said right away was lighter fluid. Here we go again. So now 2 local cleaners I know that have been in business for over 30 years each, tell me they use Brake Cleaner, and Lighter Fluid for their top choices. It's gotta be because it's cheap and they can use them in Student Apartments.
 
Apr 7, 2009
755
5
18
Central PA (814) Area Code
Real Name
Chad Smith & Jennifer Fogleman
Business Location
United States
Lighter fluid??? REALLY?
Why, just...why? lol

I don't know man, that guy was also having trouble getting his TM running and his van was trashed. But somehow he's got 4 trucks. I think they're all trashed. I'd probably rather have 1 nice van than 4 junkers
 

wandwizard

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Nov 12, 2008
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I ran into another local Carpet Cleaner I know a few days who runs a 4 Van operation. I asked him what spotters he was using and the first thing he said right away was lighter fluid. Here we go again. So now 2 local cleaners I know that have been in business for over 30 years each, tell me they use Brake Cleaner, and Lighter Fluid for their top choices. It's gotta be because it's cheap and they can use them in Student Apartments.

I have no doubt you could get out many stains with lighter fluid and brake cleaner, but most of those same stains could be removed with a good pog or even a citrus solvent. It gives an unprofessional appearance to the customer as well as a potential liability. Let the mechanics use the brake fluid and I'll use an appropriate spot remover. A guy around my area uses WD-40 as his main spot remover and he's been cleaning longer than I have. I have used it on a very few occasions too to get up glue residue that didn't respond to my citrus spotter, but as a rule I don't use it. Right now my "go to" spotters are Hydramaster Grease Break for citrus solvent and Grand Slam mixed extra strength and boosted with Grease Break in a trigger sprayer.
 

sbsscn

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Sep 17, 2009
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NO! I would not use brake cleaner it does not work on colored stains if anything it might set the stain in. I canunderstand folks using it on grease spots but you are running a high liability risk and a health risk and hazard. Brake cleaner is extremely volatile i dont want to imagine what would happen if a vapor gets near a open flame or spark plus brake cleaner will stain and dissolve plastics. I used to work for a auto Dealer and their detail guys swore by it. I didnt know any better back then.. they tried to remove some red stain in my car and they ended making the car smell bad for 3 days and they succeeded in setting the stains in
 

Matt Strader

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Feb 7, 2009
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I ran into another local Carpet Cleaner I know a few days who runs a 4 Van operation. I asked him what spotters he was using and the first thing he said right away was lighter fluid. Here we go again. So now 2 local cleaners I know that have been in business for over 30 years each, tell me they use Brake Cleaner, and Lighter Fluid for their top choices. It's gotta be because it's cheap and they can use them in Student Apartments.

Just because he has 4 trucks does not mean he is profitable. It just means he has 4 trucks. Don't let his operation fool you.
 

Dave Y

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Jul 14, 2008
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I ran into another local Carpet Cleaner I know a few days who runs a 4 Van operation. I asked him what spotters he was using and the first thing he said right away was lighter fluid. Here we go again. So now 2 local cleaners I know that have been in business for over 30 years each, tell me they use Brake Cleaner, and Lighter Fluid for their top choices. It's gotta be because it's cheap and they can use them in Student Apartments.


I sounds like they are spreading a little BS to their local competion to see if you take the bait.

Lighter fluid, brake cleaner? Surprized they didn't tell you WD40!!

You shouldn't believe(or use) everything you hear from other cleaners.
 

shane deubell

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May 8, 2006
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I sounds like they are spreading a little BS to their local competion to see if you take the bait.

Lighter fluid, brake cleaner? Surprized they didn't tell you WD40!!

You shouldn't believe(or use) everything you hear from other cleaners.

I actually believe it dave, i know guys have told me that here also. Old school stuff, lots of specialty product out there these days
Nothing suprises me with these guys