Reviews

Best Engine Degreasers: Best Cleaners to Keep Your Engine Sparkling

Learn about the best degreasers to remove contaminants from your engine.

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BY Heather Fishel / LAST UPDATED ON May 11, 2021

Driving your car every day means putting it through all kinds of wear and tear. And while you might notice exterior dirt and grime, your engine also deserves a glance. With fuel and oil moving through the engine, it can become a gunk- and grease-filled centerpiece under your hood. Fortunately, an engine degreaser can clean up all of that stubborn buildup.

But an engine degreaser doesn’t solely have to be used to clean up the gross, grimy residue left behind on your engine and its associated parts. These specialized cleaning solutions are pretty versatile — and you can use them on tools, equipment, and even leather upholstery. They’re particularly great for exterior car parts, surfaces, and components. So, if you’re looking for a convenient, capable cleaning product to add to your garage arsenal, an engine degreaser is the perfect pick, and we’ve got the best engine degreasers right here for you.

Best Overall
Aero Cosmetics Wash ALL Degreaser
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Summary
Summary

This is the best engine degreaser cleaner on the market. It can quickly clean all matters of grease and grime.

Pros
Pros
  • Professional-strength formula
  • Safe on paint, stainless steel, plastic, fabric, leather, glass, and more
  • Tough on streaks
Cons
Cons
  • Not very potent for tough dirt and grime
  • May damage your tires or other rubber components
Best Overall
Aero Cosmetics Wash ALL Degreaser
Best Value
Chemical Guys Signature Series Orange Degreaser
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Summary
Summary

This versatile degreaser is an all-around good heavy-duty engine degreaser.

Pros
Pros
  • Professional-strength formula that uses citrus
  • Loosens and emulsifies stubborn dirt, oil, grease, and more
  • Super concentrated straight out of the bottle
Cons
Cons
  • Not very strong and must be diluted before use
  • Becomes watery when used properly, which can make application challenging
Best Value
Chemical Guys Signature Series Orange Degreaser
Honorable Mention
Meguiar's D10801 Super Degreaser
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Summary
Summary

This degreaser is less expensive than most but still works well.

Pros
Pros
  • Fast-acting formula gets to work in seconds
  • Leaves behind no residue (and cleans up other types of residue)
  • Nicely scented without a strong chemical smell
Cons
Cons
  • Product must be diluted before it can be applied
  • May damage skin; gloves should be worn during use
Honorable Mention
Meguiar's D10801 Super Degreaser

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Benefits of Engine Degreasers

  • Keep your engine clean. The best car degreasers are designed to clean the toughest, roughest stains and built up grime. Have you been putting off cleaning your engine for years? With an engine degreaser, there is no reason your car’s engine can’t shine again. 
  • Prevent wear and tear. Dirty parts wear down faster than clean ones. Oil and grease can build up on your car’s engine and accelerate wear-and-tear, which can cost you down the road. A good engine degreaser can save you the pain of costly repairs by keeping your engine sparkling. A clean engine is a healthy engine.
  • Get rid of dirt and grime easily. There are many methods to cleaning your engine, but an engine degreaser is by far the safest, easiest, and gentlest one. Spraying your engine with a high-powered air hose or steam cleaning it can lead to damage and break sensitive parts. Degreasing an engine using this method is also easier. 
  • Versatile cleaning capability. In addition to cleaning your engine, a degreaser can also work on plenty of other surfaces, items, and parts. You can put an engine degreaser to work on your rims, exterior paint, interior leather and different kinds of fabric, and many more automotive items. It’ll even work on tools and other gear. Some degreasers are all-purpose cleaners that are safe for removing grease and grime on just about anything.

Types of Engine Degreasers

Environmentally Friendly

Just because a product is environmentally friendly and gentle doesn’t mean it won’t work. Many of the best degreasers are made out of natural materials such as vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda. These types of degreasers are usually safe and easier to use than some others. Plus, there is little chance that they will mess up any of your engine components. This category also includes non-toxic degreasers.

Liquid

Liquid degreasers are strong and powerful. They usually require dilution and can burn bare skin. For tough grime, however, there isn’t a much better option. These degreasers are usually the strongest, but also come with the biggest chance of accidental damage and injury. Some are so strong they’ve been known to eat through tires and containers when not diluted properly. These are truly heavy-duty engine degreasers that are sure to give you a clean engine. 

Ammonia-Based

Ammonia-based degreasers aren’t as powerful as other options and are mostly designed for interior use. They are great for cleaning glass and chrome but can leave something to be desired if you put them directly on your engine.

Foam

A foam degreaser is a popular option for electrical applications because it doesn’t require rinsing with water. Sadly, it’s often not as powerful as other choices and difficult to use when spot-cleaning. 

Petroleum-Based

Petroleum-based degreasers are a popular option for engines because they’re great at dissolving grease left behind by gasoline, oil, and other lubricants. They make wonderful oil degreasers. However, they are not as good at cleaning dirt left behind by other substances and aren’t as versatile as some other options. 

Top Brands

Meguiar's

Meguiar's is a well-established company that focuses on automotive care. It doesn’t make cars — it makes things that clean cars. Because of this highly specified purpose, its products are very popular, powerful, and are simply a joy to use. It originally started as a simple furniture polish company, but quickly grew to include other surface cleaning products in its lineup. This company has a true love for cars and supports over 3,500 car club events each year. Its Super Degreaser is very popular.

Aero Cosmetics

Aero Cosmetics is another company that focuses almost exclusively on car cleaning products. It has a smaller number of products than other companies, but the ones it does have are very effective. It is currently based in San Antonio, Texas. Many of its products were originally designed to be used in high-performance aircraft and work quite well on automobiles as well. It is particularly well known for its White Wax All

Chemical Guys

The Chemical Guys are focused on producing the best products available to the highest quality standard in California. It promotes itself as a lifestyle instead of just a brand and has a worldwide following on social media. It prides itself in high-quality products, an innovative nature, and a passion for cars. It also makes quite a few different engine-detailing sprays and a variety of other products. It is particularly proud of its Orange Degreaser

Engine Degreasers Pricing

  • Under $10: These degreasers are typically average in their power and ease of use. They typically don’t contain extremely strong ingredients and are best for light to average cleaning jobs. For anything tougher than that, you should likely upgrade to a stronger solution. These degreasers are also typically usable on things besides engines, such as tools and bathrooms. 
  • $10 to $20: In this range, you’ll find your ordinary degreasers. Many of them can handle most of your tougher cleaning jobs and work very quickly. Some of the better degreasers in this category can be truly exceptional. Most will likely need to be diluted and come in one-gallon jugs. 
  • $20 and up: Most of these degreasers are designed for shop use, and not necessarily by a single person at home. They usually come in large containers and need to be heavily diluted, which is not always practical for at-home use. They can also be quite powerful, and some might even require special protective equipment to use. These are truly powerful cleaners that are going to give you a clean engine.

Key Features

Ingredients

The most important feature to consider when purchasing an engine degreaser is the ingredients inside. What an engine degreaser is made out of greatly influences how powerful it is. A product that isn’t very powerful isn’t going to do you much good. On the other hand, one that is too powerful is going to require a lot of diluting and can even be dangerous without the correct equipment. For home use, your best bet is going to be to choose something in the middle. 

Fragrance 

Many degreasers have added fragrances built in. All degreasers are going to smell. If you plan on driving your car anytime soon, you should choose one with at least a tolerable smell. Truthfully, some cleaners smell absolutely awful and will require you to drive with the window down for weeks. However, others smell mildly of citrus, which can be a welcome change depending on what your car smelled like before. 

Surface Suitability

Engine degreasers can be pretty versatile — but some are more capable in this area than others. Every individual degreaser is formulated to be safe for use on certain kinds of surfaces, so it’s essential to look for a product that has wide-reaching surface suitability. Some may only work on plain metal surfaces—others may be safe for painted surfaces, too. Some are also safe for plastic and rubber, though this is more rare than common.

Other Considerations

  • Size. Many engine degreasers are available in bulk, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should buy more. When given enough time, most degreasers will eat through the container. You’re better off choosing an option that is just the amount you need. Remember to take into account whether or not the solution needs to be diluted when choosing what size to buy. 
  • Versatility. While engine degreasers are appropriately designed for engines, many can also be used in other tough cleaning situations. They can be used to remove grease from tools, equipment, and even your bathroom. If you’re planning to use a degreaser as an all-around, heavy-duty cleaner, be sure to choose one that is designed for such a job.
  • Fragrance. While you might not be too worried about how an engine degreaser smells, some offer more pleasant scents than others. Instead of highly chemical fragrances that can burn or bother your nose, consider options that provide herbal or fresh fragrances. These are often easier to work with, especially if you’re putting them to use in your garage rather than outdoors.

Best Engine Degreasers Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Aero Cosmetics Wash ALL Degreaser

Aero Cosmetics Wash ALL Degreaser can be bought in a number of different sizes, including bottles as small as 16 ounces. If you don’t need many degreasers, this can prevent you from overspending on more product than you need. Plus, this cleaning degreaser works great and is surprisingly easy to use. 


It is much safer than many other industrial-strength degreasers and can be used as both a wet and waterless cleaner. All you have to do is spray it on and wipe dry; no diluting necessary. You can also use it when wet for it to simply rinse off. Our favorite feature is the handy spray bottle this cleaner comes in, which helps tremendously when you just want to clean a small spot on your car.


Of course, because of its high safety level, this product does not work as well as some others. It can handle normal cleaning jobs fine but is not suitable for heavy, set-in grease. It can also damage tires, so we recommend not using it on rims or wheels,

Best Value
Chemical Guys Signature Series Orange Degreaser

While it isn’t our favorite, the Chemical Guys Signature Series Orange Degreaser is a wonderful product worth considering. It is an industrial-strength, citrus-based formula that is tough on grease and grime. It is a powerful, multi-surface cleaner. It can work on engines, tools, tires, rims, and undercarriages. You can even use it on wrenches and other tools. Its versatility makes it a great product to have in any shop or garage. 


Our favorite thing about this product is its efficiency. It works very quickly and very well in terms of overall results. Plus, it also makes a great overall cleaner for tools, the bathroom, or any tough stains. 


We do have a few complaints, however. The container really isn’t strong enough to handle the solution inside. The cleaner will eat through the bottle if left to sit long enough, so it really needs to be used as soon as possible. You also have to dilute this cleaner, and it is quite watery as it is. 

Premium Pick
Meguiar's D10801 Super Degreaser

Meguiar’s is a well-known company that specializes in car cleaning and detailing. Their D10801 Super Degreaser is designed to be fast-acting and work on even the toughest grease, while also not leaving behind those pesky white residue stains. 


This industrial-strength cleaner can instantly dissolve tough soot and grease. It works wonderfully on engine bays, wheel wells, and even leather seats. Unlike some other cleaners, it has a mild, pleasant smell that won’t make you want to drive with the windows down for months. 


The only complaint we have is that it has to be diluted to be used properly. It does not come ready to use straight from the bottle and requires a little bit of prep work. You can also damage your skin if you get splashed by the cleaner, so it is important to wear protection while using it. 

Honorable Mention
Purple Power Degreaser

This cleaning product is tough and highly capable, and it’ll get right to cutting through any deposits, residue, and other grime on your engine. Powerful and potent enough to tackle even long-standing, built-on messes, this engine degreaser will become a staple in your garage.


Suitable for automotive use, Purple Power comes in a 1-gallon container and can be used on your engine, its associated components and systems, and other areas of your car. You can put it to use inside and outside your vehicle, tackling everything from the interior surfaces and seats to your rims, hood, and more. It’s highly concentrated, so you can even use it diluted to achieve just the right mix of cleaning power for all kinds of surfaces and items.


You can also put this degreaser to work around the house: it’s excellent for countertops, faucets, bicycles, tools, and so many more common household items. Just keep in mind that its industrial-strength formula may be too tough on delicate materials.

Honorable Mention
WD-40 Specialist Machine and Engine Degreaser Foaming Spray

This 18-ounce cleaning product is designed to work quickly, eating away at the most frustrating residue, gunk, and grime without requiring you to put in a ton of scrubbing or scouring. It’s a fast-acting engine degreaser that starts working as soon as it touches your engine.


One of the biggest advantages of WD-40’s degreaser is it’s specially formulated for machines and engines—it can handle oil, fuel residue, and other kinds of engine-specific messes. You can use it under your car’s hood, on work surfaces, and any other kind of machinery or automotive equipment. The deep penetrating foam will get to work in all of an engine or machine’s nooks and crannies. The nozzle can spray degreaser up to 5 feet in total. 


This degreaser is hard on residue and gunk, but it’s gentle on your engine’s metal. It’s formulated to work without causing damage to aluminum and carbon fiber, meaning you can use it on various automotive parts.

Honorable Mention
Gunk Engine Degreaser Original

If it's been a while since you last cleaned your engine, you're going to want to use Gunk Engine Degreaser Original, a cleaner that's specifically created to get to work on long-neglected engines. This degreaser is incredibly popular, and that's all thanks to its hardworking, heavy-duty nature.


This spray-on product can remove tough oil and grease in just minutes, getting rid of buildup and cutting through years of grime. Just spray it where it's needed, then rinse your engine clean with nothing but water—no scrubbing or scouring required. Using a combination of powerful degreasing solvents and a fast-acting formula, it takes just 10 to 15 minutes to get your engine sparkling again.


However, you may not want to use this engine degreaser if you have a newer vehicle. It's made for older and greasier engines, so you could get too deep of a clean — or too harsh of a formula — if your engine hasn't experienced a lot of grime.

Honorable Mention
CRC Heavy Duty Pro-Strength All-Purpose Degreaser

Another highly versatile engine degreaser is the CRC Heavy Duty Pro-Strength All-Purpose Degreaser. This single cleaning product can do it all — break down grease, dissolve oil deposits, eliminate streaks and marks, and get rid of virtually any stubborn dirt or grime. 


Though it’s water-based in its formula, this degreaser also foams up when applied. And it’s that foaming action that aggressively breaks down all kinds of contaminants. Perfectly safe for your engine and all of its various components, this heavy-duty degreaser is also gentle enough for more delicate materials. It’s safe for use on paint and plastic, though you’ll want to be cautious about applying it on rubber. It’s also easy to apply. 


Unlike other foaming cleansers on our list, this one doesn’t have to be rinsed away after application. No matter what you need cleaned or degreased, this product can handle it — and it’ll become a valuable tool in your household and garage cleaning arsenal.

Honorable Mention
Permatex Eliminator II Engine Degreaser

If you’re working primarily with greasy, grimy metals, you’re going to love how effective the Permatex Eliminator II Engine Degreaser is. This 15-ounce cleaning product is designed specifically for car engines, but it’s also the perfect product to tackle stubborn grease and oil on machinery and equipment. Considering it can be used to clean iron, steel, aluminum, magnesium, and copper, this degreaser is also wonderfully versatile. 


In addition to applying the degreaser to your engine, you can also use it on rubber, plastic, and concrete. Whether you’re using it in the garage or around the house, all you have to do is spray the cleaner on, let it sit, then rinse it off with water. 


However, before you start applying this tough degreaser to everything in need of cleaning, make sure to test it in small amounts first since it can potentially cause damage to more delicate items. As such, you’ll want to use it sparingly until you determine if it’s safe.

Honorable Mention
Johnsen's 4644 Engine Degreaser

This reasonably priced engine degreaser isn’t too expensive, but it is made with premium active ingredients. Designed to make your engine sparkling clean with very little physical labor involved, you can spray on this product, let it work, and move on in minutes.


This engine degreaser features a self-emulsifying formula with two active ingredients that can pull oil and grease off surfaces. That means the product can break through layers (and years) of grime that’s built up. It foams while it works, and you need nothing more than a spray of water to get the cleaner rinsed away when it’s finished. 


Though it’s a hardworking product, it still meets all new EPA regulations and is VOC compliant across states, so it’s safe for use anywhere. Whether your engine is old or new, it’ll deliver promising results and improved performance with every application.

Tips

  • Double-check that you correctly dilute your degreaser before you use it. 
  • Wear gloves and other safety equipment. It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry. 
  • Be sure to follow all directions. Some engine degreasers are very specific with how they are used.
  • Degrease your engine regularly to prevent oil and grease build-up, which can make cleaning more difficult. 

FAQs

Q: Do I need an engine degreaser?

Car engines get dirty. All the dirt and grime can build up over time and cause wear-and-tear on your engine. To avoid unnecessary repairs, you need to clean your engine. The best way to degrease an engine is with an engine degreaser. They're safe to use on engines and have a lower chance of causing accidental damage. If you have a car, you need to make sure you're using an engine degreaser regularly to keep it in tip-top shape. 

Q: Can engine degreaser hurt your car?

When you follow the directions, an engine degreaser will not harm your car. However, it is really important that you follow all the directions and dilute the mixture appropriately. If you put a mixture that’s too strong on your engine, it can cause damage. If you put a weak mixture on your engine, it likely won't do anything at all. Luckily, most cleaner degreasers are easy to use and don't have complicated instructions. 

Q: How do you get grease and oil off an engine?

Grease and oil are unavoidable foes for any engine. And because these substances are slick and sticky, they’re nearly impossible to remove with typical cleaning products. You need something that’s specially formulated to break them down, dissolve them, and get them off your engine’s surfaces. Fortunately, engine degreasers are formulated to do exactly that, made with ingredients that react with oil, fuel, and grease. All you have to do is spray one of these solutions, and you’ll watch it break down your most stubborn problems.

Final Thoughts

Engine degreasers will help keep your car running well and help you avoid costly repairs. Out of all the degreasers available, the Aero Cosmetics Wash ALL Degreaser is the best overall option and is biodegradable. It works well and quickly. 

For a cheaper option, the Chemical Guys Signature Series Orange Degreaser is also a good choice.