Brake cleaning is as easy as a few sprays from a can, but the bulk of the work lies in the preparation. These powerful solvents require some extra attention to the mechanical and safety equipment that is used, as well as an awareness of the environment that you are working in, so that simple upkeep can stay just that—simple.
The most important complication to avoid is a health complication. Inhaling toxic vapors is the chief danger of working with chlorinated and non chlorinated solvents. Set up shop in a ventilated area, preferably outside, and you will prevent side effects like nausea, dizziness, neurological damage, and liver dysfunction. You should also plan on wearing gloves, boots, or protective eye gear to prevent skin irritation and rashes. Fresh air and reliable barriers between you and the solvent, or between flammable solvents and sources of extreme heat, will allow you to do the job most effectively.
Once you have supplied protective gear, it is time to protect the car. Before you have removed the tire to access the brake parts, or immediately after removal, you should protect all non-brake parts. If you would like to maintain the paint job on your car, then it is best to cover the car’s exterior closest to the area that you will be spraying. Not only can brake cleaner strip paint, it can also damage your garage floor if a covering is not put in place to catch excess brake cleaner.
So, you got out the wrench, used the jack to lift your vehicle, and removed the tire. But before you start spraying, you should have a plan for disposing of extra brake cleaner. The easiest thing to do is wipe excess brake cleaner with a lint-free cloth, or let the solvent evaporate on its own. Never dump brake cleaner down drains or in sewers, as this is harmful to the environment and may go against local regulations. It is best to look up your area’s suggested methods of disposal before doing any maintenance work.
Now that you have your safety gear, the proper equipment, and a disposal plan, the rest is smooth sailing. If you prepare your environment and keep the right tools handy, you can clean your brakes with the ease of any professional.
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