Using an engine degreaser is a necessary step in routine cleaning and maintenance of your engine. A degreaser, unlike cleaning with a standard soap or polish, will cut through some of the built-up oil and thick layers of grease that tend to collect on our cars’ engines over time. Regularly using a high-quality degreaser will help to prolong your engines life, keeping it looking and running like new.
Fortunately, there are tons of options for engine degreasers on the market, so they are easy to find and don’t cost too much. Unfortunately, with so many great brands out there, it can be hard to pick the right one.
To help you out, we have compiled a list of six of the top engine degreasers available on the market in 2019. While these are all fantastic products, some of them work better for certain circumstances than others. Read on to learn more about each of these degreasers in detail
At a Glance
- Meguiar’s D10801 Super Degreaser: a powerful degreaser from a reputable brand. Can be diluted for a range of uses and has a pleasant scent.
- Chemical Guys CLD_201_16 Signature Series Orange Degreaser: a great degreaser for engines and other automotive metals. Powerful and fast.
- Purple Power (4320P) Industrial Strength Cleaner and Degreaser: a safe and biodegradable cleaner and degreaser for a variety of household and automotive cleaning jobs.
- (Our Top Recommended) Sea Foam 32516 Extreme Marine & Rv SF-16 Seafoam Liquid: a multiapplication degreaser for use on boat and car engines. Will clean, degrease, lubricate and maintain engines.
- Gunk EB1 ‘Original Engine Brite’ Engine Degreaser: a professional-value engine degreaser from a well-trusted brand. Powerful and very affordable.
- Oil Eater Original 1 Gallon Cleaner/Degreaser: a super versatile degreaser, safe and can be diluted for use on any surface.
Remember, while these are all top engine degreasers from reputable brands, not all of them will be suited to your specific needs. For more information on selecting the right engine degreaser for you, check out our helpful buyer’s guide at the bottom of this article.
The Best Engine Degreaser on the Market 2019
#1 Meguiar’s D10801 Super Degreaser
We’ll kick off our list with a great degreaser from one of the oldest, most well-trusted automotive chemical brands out there. This Meguiar’s super degreaser is tough on grease and oil and even comes with a pleasant scent.
- Comes in 1 gallon bottle
- Strong and fast-acting chemical formula
- Will not leave behind residue or stains
- Nice herbal fragrance
- Easy to use – strong grease-fighting formula means no extra scrubbing
- Can be diluted for use on leather and other household surfaces
Who says a tough-cleaning chemical has to be smelly? This Meguiar’s degreaser is incredibly powerful, cutting through built-up oil on engines or other surfaces, and gives off a pleasant herbal scent when you use it.
Meguiar is one of the most popular chemical brands among professional detailers. They produce affordable, hard-working chemical cleaners that are easy and safe to use. This particular degreaser comes in a huge 1-gallon bottle for continuous use. Cleaning with it is easy: just dilute with water (ratio depends on what kind of surface you are cleaning, but generally 5:1) in a generic spray bottle, spray and wipe away the grease.
Not only is this degreaser great on engines, but it is also perfect for upholstery and vehicle interiors – which is where the nice smell really comes in handy. We would recommend this professional-value degreaser to anyone for regular home cleaning and detailing.
#2 Chemical Guys CLD_201_16 Signature Series Orange Degreaser
This Chemical Guys degreaser is specialized for use on industrial surfaces, including metal tools, grates and engines. It has a strong, citrus-based formula that quickly tears through engine grease. A great formula for home or professional use.
- Comes in 16 ounce spray bottle
- Cuts through thick grease, stuck-on grime and dirt
- Perfect for engines and other metal car parts
- Loosens and emulsifies tough messes and stains – just spray and swipe away
- Highly concentrated formula – can be diluted to safely use on household surfaces
Chemical Guys is another top brand in automotive cleaning solutions. This Orange degreaser is a part of their modern Signature Series, which produces specialized products for various specific needs. This degreaser is one of our favorites because it is specifically designed to tackle engine grease, so you are guaranteed great results.
The degreaser comes in a 16 ounce spray bottle, so there is no need to pour and mix it in another container before use. However, the formula is super concentrated, which has two implications: for one, it will work great on really tough, thick engine grease straight out of the bottle. And for another, if you want to use this orange degreaser on gentler messes or household surfaces, you are going to want to dilute it first.
The high concentration makes this a great formula specifically for engine grease. It will not work quite as well on your upholstery and interior, though – not to mention, diluting and mixing can be a pain. So, we definitely recommend this Chemical Guys degreaser for use on tough engine messes, but not as an ordinary household or vehicle interior cleaner.
#3 Purple Power (4320P) Industrial Strength Cleaner and Degreaser
Though not as well-known of a brand name, this Purple Power industrial cleaner is super powerful and highly effective on engine grease. Not only is its chemical formula tough on grease, it is also biodegradable, non-flammable and non-abrasive, make it a generally safe home cleaner.
- Comes in 1 gallon bottle
- Highly concentrated formula to cut through grease and oil
- Creates a barrier between a stain and surface – protecting the surface as you clean
- Fast and effective – wipes away tough stains in seconds
- Effective and safe for use on any automotive or household surface
- Biodegradable – can safely be applied outdoors and washed away into water systems
This is one of the safest chemical formulas on our list. The Purple Power degreaser is non-flammable, safe on skin, and biodegradable, making it gentle on the environment and perfect for households with pets or small kids around.
All that safety does not make it less effective – this is an industrial strength degreaser, strong enough to penetrate and dissolve the toughest grease stains in seconds. You will want to dilute it according to the instructions, and you will also want to test it out on the surface you intend to use it on before heavy cleaning – it is too strong for painted surfaces, for example, and can damage the exterior of a vehicle. One of the best features is its ability to create a barrier between a stain and a metal surface, so when you scrub away the stain, you will not be leaving scratches or nicks.
The speed of this cleaner makes it perfect for engines. We would highly recommend it for greasy engines that have not been cleaned in while. It is also great for use on marine vehicles – just remember not to use it on a painted exterior.
#4 Sea Foam 32516 Extreme Marine & Rv SF-16 Seafoam Liquid (Our Top Recommended)
This Sea Foam degreaser is a bit different from others on our list, in that it is designed with marine vehicles in mind. It still works great on car engines, though – able to clean, maintain and protect an engine with a few sprays.
- Comes in 16 ounce aerosol can
- Designed for marine or car engines – cleans injectors, jets and passageways
- Cleans and lubricates engine
- Dissolves fuel residue
- High cleaning power – 100% pure petroleum product
- EPA registered – safe for use on water
- Helps to quiet a noisy engine
This is one of the more unique engine degreasers on our list. For one thing, it is designed specifically for engines, and comes with multiple functions: it will clean, lubricate, quiet and help to maintain an engine. For another, this degreaser is specialized for boats and other marine engines – but that does not mean it will have any less quality cleaning power on cars.
The aerosol can design makes this degreaser super easy to use. Just spray on engine parts and wipe away grease with a rag or towel. Regular application will keep your engine lubricated and help to quiet noisy, older engines.
That said, the aerosol can also means it is flammable – if you live in a home with children, be careful about leaving this product around. It is EPA certified, though, so it is not toxic to breath and it is safe to use on the water.
We recommend this degreaser for use on boats, cars and larger vehicles like RVs. It will not only clean your engine, it will also help to maintain it. That said, it is designed only for use on engines, so if you are looking for a degreaser you can also use to clean your interior and upholstery, this is not the one for you.
#5 Gunk EB1 ‘Original Engine Brite’ Engine Degreaser
Next up on our list of top engine degreasers is a great value spray degreaser from a trusted, all-American family brand. The Gunk degreaser will cut through tough grease and oil stains, and it can be ordered in bulk for a great price – ideal for use in shops and for professional detailers.
- 15 ounce aerosol can (available in single or bulk packs of 12)
- Affordable price
- Easy to use, does not need to be diluted
- Specially designed for use on vehicle engines
- Cuts through thick grease, oil and built-up grime
- Safe on most surfaces
This Gunk engine degreaser is a professional-quality product at a home cleaning price. Gunk is one of the best names in the business, designing degreasers and cleaners for specific, professional needs. This engine degreaser is their original formula – effective, much-loved and well-trusted by professional detailers.
You can apply this degreaser to your engine quickly and easily. Just spray the aerosol can and wipe away grease – there is no need to dilute it. It is also strong enough that you will not need to do any serious scrubbing to effectively get rid of even the toughest, most built-on stains.
If there is one downside to this degreaser, it is the smell. Unfortunately, like a lot of powerful chemical cleaners, there is a noticeable scent when you use it. However, as it is designed specifically for engine use, the smell is not too much of a problem – just spray it outside and don’t try to use it in the interior of your car or household.
All-in-all, we definitely recommend this classic degreaser for use on engines and other heavy machinery. We would not recommend it for use on home surfaces or upholstery.
#6 Oil Eater Original 1 Gallon Cleaner/Degreaser
Last on our list is an engine degreaser that does exactly what its name implies – it eats through oil quickly, no matter how tough or thick. This chemical formula is safe, non-abrasive and biodegradable. It is also a professional quality cleaning chemical and will do the job on even the greasiest engines.
- Comes in 1 gallon bottle
- Non-toxic, non-abrasive, non-flammable and biodegradable
- Highly concentrated – should be diluted before use
- Versatile – safe for use in car interior or on household surfaces
- Powerful formula quickly cuts through grease
- Great as a household or automotive cleaner
The Oil Eater cleaner and degreaser may be last on our list, but it is certainly not last in terms of quality and effective use. People love this cleaner for its powerful cleaning formula, range of uses and safety.
It comes super concentrated, in a 1 gallon bottle, so you will want to have a reusable spray bottle available if you purchase the product. The high concentration and ability to dilute means that this cleaner is as powerful as you need it to be, so you can use it to clean the grime out of your engine or to mop your kitchen floors. A handy dilution chart on the bottle shows you how much to dilute the cleaner for a variety of uses.
On top of that, this chemical formula is incredibly safe. It is certified non-toxic for use on all non-food surfaces, non-flammable, non-abrasive, biodegradable and non-corrosive – basically, as long as you dilute it per the instructions, there is no risk of harm to yourself, the surfaces you are cleaning or the environment, so you can feel good about using this product.
Overall, we would recommend this degreaser as a reliable household and automotive cleaning product. If you are looking for concentrated engine cleaning power and a degreaser that maintains your engine, however, it will not be the best one for you.
How to Choose the Best Engine Degreaser
Now that you have had a look at some of the top degreasers on the market, lets talk about selecting the very best one for you. The degreaser you want to get depends on the versatility, power and safety you are looking for. Read on to see what you need to consider to find the right degreaser for your shop or household.
Dilution and Versatility
The first thing you need to ask yourself when shopping for a new engine degreaser is: am I going to use this on my engine only, or will I want it to clean other surfaces?
Some degreasers are great for use on hubcaps, exhaust pipe, car exterior and even interior – but the problem is, some of those surfaces are more fragile than others. For a degreaser to handle the built-up grease and grime on your engine, the chemicals will have to be powerful, which means you will want to dilute it if you want to use it on delicate or painted surfaces.
So, at the risk of oversimplifying: if you are looking for a degreaser for more than just maintaining your engine, we would recommend getting one that has a strong, concentrated formula that can easily be diluted for additional cleaning purposes. High-concentration cleaners tend to come in larger jugs or bottles, so they are easy to pour and mix and will last you a long time. A built-in dilution guide is also a huge plus.
Again, if you want to easily penetrate tough grease and oil stains, you are going to need a pretty powerful cleaner. A liquid degreaser with a high concentration, or an aerosol spray degreaser that is specifically designed for engine grease, will work best.
Some brands have a higher cleaning power than others, regardless of concentration. While there is no numerical measure for how well a formula cuts through grease, you can always take a look at customer reviews or even purchase a few samples and run a test on your own, to find out which cleans fastest. We can guarantee that every product reviewed on this list is capable of cutting through tough grease stains in a few seconds – at least on engines and other metal surfaces.
For professional detailers, engine-specific degreasers will be the best choice. They generally do not need to be diluted, they are easy to spray and cut through grease quickly. Some brands will also help to lubricate and maintain the engine.
For the average household, though, a standard, high-concentration degreaser should be just fine.
The fact that a lot of engine degreaser brands brag about their products safety and biodegradability begs the question: is engine degreaser really toxic?
Well – you don’t want to eat it. But generally, any standard engine degreaser brand will be safe to use without a mask or other cover over your mouth or nose. We do recommend wearing gloves – but that is also because engine grease can be nasty on skin.
A degreaser that is non-flammable, non-abrasive and biodegradable is a great choice for houses with pets or kids, just as an added measure of safety. Biodegradability is also recommended for degreasers that will be used on boats, to keep harmful chemicals out of public waterways. If safety plays a factor in your decision, we recommend contacting the chemical company behind the degreaser to learn more in detail.
Using an Engine Degreaser
Most of the products we reviewed on this list are pretty intuitive to use, but we can offer a brief step-by-step, just to give you a clearer idea of how they work.
The first thing you will want to do is dilute your engine degreaser – if it is a formula that needs to be diluted, that is. This is done by simply mixing one part degreaser with some parts water, according to instructions and depending on what you will be cleaning. Mix them together in a spray bottle, and you’re good to go.
Next, if you are using the degreaser to clean your engine, put on a pair of rubber gloves and spray the diluted formula over the grease stains on your engine. Wait a few seconds, then wipe away the grease using a washcloth, sponge or towel. It should come off easily.
If the grease layer does not come off quickly, you should give it another thorough spray and try again – just rubbing grease around with a towel will not help it to lift away.
We recommend doing this with any routine engine maintenance – oil changes, fluid changes, etc. The more regularly you clean and care for your engine, the longer it will last. Built up grease on an engine can cause serious damage in the long term.
An engine degreaser is an absolute necessity for maintaining a clean, healthy engine. Whether you want a degreaser that will do just that, or clean other surfaces as well, is up to you.
Remember to look for solutions that can be diluted if you want more versatility out of your product. If you are a professional looking for the highest possible cleaning power, we recommend purchasing a spray-can style degreaser designed specifically for use on engines. If you are looking for extra safety, look out for labels that describe non-toxicity, non-abrasiveness and biodegradability.
Whatever product you choose, be sure to use your engine degreaser properly and regularly. Your engine will thank you.