How to Clean a Carburetor

Cleaning a carburetor doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does require care and attention. A carburetor is one of the most important, yet least understood parts of a car. The good news is that keeping them clean is easy.

Disassemble the carburetor

  • Disassemble the carburetor. Remove the air cleaner and fuel line from the carburetor.
  • Remove the screws holding the carburetor to the intake manifold, then remove the carburetor. If there is a gasket between the carburetor and intake manifold, clean it thoroughly before installing it on a new carburetor.
  • Clean all parts of the carburetor with a spray solvent and rag. Don’t use an electric drill or power tool on any part of your carburetor; this may damage internal components and make them unusable. Thoroughly clean the inside of each bowl with a rag soaked in solvent, such as kerosene or gasoline.
  • Use caution when working with these chemicals; they can be dangerous if not used properly.
  • Remove all dirt from around where each float valve seats into its seat, using a small brush dipped in solvent or kerosene if necessary. Blow out any dirt using compressed air, but don’t spray compressed air directly onto any component; doing so could result in damage to some parts of your carburetor.

Wash the carburetor with carburetor cleaner

Wash the carburetor with carburetor cleaner. Use a brush to scrub off all of the gunk and grime, including the throttle plate and throttle shaft. Remove any parts that have been loosened by cleaning.

These may include the float bowl cover, float bowl, fuel pump diaphragm and gasket, idle mixture screw and spring, idle stop screw and spring, pilot jet diaphragm and gasket, main jet diaphragm and gasket, air filter element and air filter bowl gasket.

Use compressed air to blow away any dirt or debris from these components before reinstalling them in their respective positions. Install a new fuel line to the fuel tank if necessary. Remove the old fuel line from its connection point on the tank’s cap or filler neck using pliers or vice grips; then remove any fittings or clamps holding it in place at other points along its length.

Cut off any extra length with wire cutters; then thread on a new fitting for attaching it to the tank’s filler neck or cap using pliers or vice grips. Secure this fitting with clamps at both ends if necessary; then prime it by pushing.

Spray the carburetor with brake cleaner to remove any grease, oil or dirt residue

Spray the carburetor with brake cleaner to remove any grease, oil or dirt residue. Fill the sprayer bottle with water and pour it into the carburetor through its throttle valve. Let it sit for about 30 minutes before draining it out.

This helps dissolve any remaining dirt or grime inside the carburetor, allowing it to be flushed out easily. Use a rag to wipe out any excess water from around the outside of the carburetor before replacing it on your vehicle’s engine block.

Blow compressed air through the jets to dislodge stubborn dirt

Remove the Air Filter. Before taking apart any part of your carburetor, remove the air filter from the intake manifold. This will give you access to all of the jets in your carburetor.

Remove the Jets. Remove each jet by turning it counterclockwise with an adjustable wrench until it comes out completely. Clean them with compressed air or an old toothbrush dipped in carburetor cleaner before reinstalling them.

Blow Out Dirt With Compressed Air. Use compressed air to blow dirt out of all areas of your carburetor by pointing a hose at each area and spraying until it’s clean.

Dry the carburetor thoroughly

Dry the carburetor thoroughly. Ensure there is no moisture left inside your carburetor before starting work on any other steps in this process. Moisture can cause rusting or corrosion inside your carburetor and could lead to further problems down the road if not dealt with promptly. Use compressed air (or blow it out yourself) to remove any water from inside.

Inspect the gaskets for damage, replace them if needed

To clean your carburetor, first remove it from the vehicle and drain all fluids from it. Then inspect all gaskets for damage or wear, replace them if needed. Take apart any parts that are stuck or corroded and clean them thoroughly with a wire brush or sandpaper. Blow out all passages with compressed air, then put everything back together again in reverse order of disassembly.

Reassemble the carburetor and reinstall it on your vehicle or lawn mower as appropriate

The carburetor is the heart of your vehicle or lawn mower. It supplies fuel to the engine, which in turn powers the pistons, crankshaft and other components. With proper maintenance, your carburetor will last for years. Reassemble the carburetor and reinstall it on your vehicle or lawn mower as appropriate.

Allow the engine to sit for a few minutes to allow all of the air bubbles to escape before attempting to start the engine. If you are using a lawn mower, check that no fuel is leaking out of the carburetor before starting it.

If you discover that there are still problems with your carburetor after performing these simple steps, you may need to get it professionally serviced by an auto repair shop.


Having your own tools and being able to do some handy work around the house is very rewarding. The main purpose of running a carburetor cleaning is to remove the carbon deposits from it. This usually helps out considerably in terms of its efficiency and performance.

Although I have just given you a broad overview on how you should be proceeding with this, there are some more complicated steps involved in the procedure. A failure to follow the right order of steps can affect the operation of your carburetor in a negative way too.