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Jan 23, 2008
East York, Canada
What is the best degreaser in a can?
I need something that will loosen and break up a thick gunky mess on my engine.
Simple Green, slightly diluted, worked pretty well and is environmentally safe, though the gunk coming off of the block probably is not.
"Purple Power" is pretty good too.
I like the Zep Orange from Home Depot. Not sure if it's available in your area.

Purple power and Zep are both good. 3M brake aerosol brake cleaner is very strong. It'll cut through just about any grease (and discolor plastic), but the cans can empty fast. I buy it by the case.
I find that these products are great at removing light grease but aren't too effective when it comes to super heavy and thick gunky built up oil and grease.
There must be something, or at least some way of cleaning all the gunk....
Whatever happened to a little elbow grease? :meh:
NAPA carries a heavy duty degreaser designed for industrial equipment. I usually cut it 50/50 with diesel. Spray it on, let it soak and use a steam jenny or pressure washer to remove. Repeat until clean. It works much better than brake cleaner since it doesn't evaporate in 2 seconds which allows it to soak into and cut the grease.

***Edit - If you're talking about an engine that is removed, have it hot tanked. Just make sure the machine shop that tanks it for you is capable of making you a new bushing.
Gunk and then powerwash....if you don't have a washer try coin operated.....always kept my engines clean.....Go to searchsite and type in powerwash,there's acouile of good threads.....castrol .02
I powerwash regularly. Just be careful around electronics, wiring and such. Never had a problem.
the aerosol Gunk works really well. Autozone has their own brand and it works just as good. if you can find a detail shop that has a steamer wand, those work really well when used with a degreaser.
Before you use any degreaser on your engine, try in on a small area of your engine.

Many degreasers will discolor and leave "water marks" on the aluminum valve cover and anything else that is not metal.

If it is nasty, you may have to do it several times.
Simple Green barely diluted .. if at all. And a good brush.
Side note: simple green tends to "evaporate" fairly quick, even on a cold motor ... so I usely spray it without being shy, and let it "soak" for 5 minutes, then spray again , wait 5, spray again, wait 5, then brush where it needs, and hose down. And I hose down for a sloid 5 minutes. Always keep the stream moving from one part to another, don't let it sit in one spot to long. Like a sweeping motion or something.

Thats what I do, and it works really well.

For plastics, wipe down with VinlyX, it's a great "dressing" agent and doesn't leave a greasy residue or come off with heat.
I found that Purple Power is okay. It doesn't remove caked on brake dust though. And it just makes grease more slimy; doesn't really break it up and cause it to go into solution.

I found a turkey baster very helpful to blast out grease with Purple Power (or any cleaner) from bearings and tight spots. I'm sure there is something better but it's what I had at the time.
Castrol Super Clean or Gunk Foamy Engine Brite work well.
I use Simple Green undiluted and Elbow Grease. The latter's effectiveness depends on the condition of the user...:D;)
I use odorless mineral spirits which breaks down heavy grease really well. This works well enough to replace degreasers, but I use Simple Green to give my parts that clean, fresh scent.

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