How to Clean Brakes without Taking Tires off? Best Ten Ways!

Cleaning your brakes is a tricky task. Brakes are one of the most important components of your car, and they need to be taken care of so that you can maintain safety. Some people say that taking off the tires is necessary for cleaning brakes, but it’s not true. Check out this article on several ways on how to clean brakes without taking tires off:

1. Use WD-40

Using a liberal amount of WD-40 on your brake pad will make them like new again quickly and easily. Just spray it on, let it sit for a couple of minutes to penetrate, then wipe away the excess product with a clean rag. Do not use WD-40 on disc brakes or drum brakes; however, only use this on regular brake pads since these are just mild steel plates that come into contact with the rotor when you’re stepping on the brake pedal. If you have rust issues, use CLR (Calcium, Lime & Rust) cleaner instead of WD-40 first.

2. Try Using Steel Wool

This one is very simple yet sometimes surprisingly effective if your brakes are rusty and squeaky. Just take some steel wool and scrub away, being careful not to scratch the rotor or surrounding areas. If you’re using an electric drill, it should be set at the lowest speed possible for best results.

3. Use sandpaper

If you don’t want to try steel wool, then sandpaper is another option that might do the trick in reducing that squeaking noise while also filing down any rust or dirt build-up on your brake pads. It’s best if you use sandpaper instead of sanding blocks since they can create more friction; different types of sandpapers (coarse, medium, fine) are great for different kinds of jobs like sanding wood or metal surfaces, so make sure to use coarse grit sandpaper first to remove any rust or dirt in your brake pads before going in with finer grit sandpaper.

4. Try using baby powder

Some mechanics have been known to use baby powder on their brakes when they’ve got squeaky, rusty brakes to help reduce the noise and add some slip so that the steel pad can easily glide onto the rotor for a proper fit. You could also try this method if you’re trying to avoid putting too much pressure on one brake pad which might end up causing damage to it due to uneven weight distribution from your car’s suspension system. Just sprinkle a liberal amount of baby powder into the wheel well, and then press down firmly on your brake pedal a few times until all of the excess product has been soaked up.

5. Get rid of rust using metal sandpaper

Metal sandpapers are thick and abrasive, making them great for taking care of rust (they can also be used on rusty screws that won’t loosen or on rusty door hinges). Just keep in mind that it might take some elbow grease to get the job done right, but you’ll want to start with coarse-grit sandpaper first, then go in with fine-grit sandpaper afterward to smooth everything out. There are also some power tool attachments available online if you’d prefer not to use your hands while performing this task.

6. Try using baking soda paste

While not everyone has baking soda paste sitting around their house, it’s another handy household product many people might not think of using when it comes to rust removal and brake cleaning. To make a paste, mix in an equal amount of baking soda and water, then apply it to the rusty area and let it sit for about ten minutes before rinsing it off with warm water; this will help remove any leftover grime or gunk you could be dealing with by leaving behind nothing but clean metal surfaces.

7. Try using a can of compressed air or brake cleaner

In situations where you have a lot of cruds build-up from rust, mildew, dirt, and grease, it might be best to try using a can of compressed air or brake cleaner instead of WD-40 first since these products are specially made for cleaning out messy surfaces like your brakes after they’ve been sitting around idle for too long without any maintenance. Don’t go overboard with the amount you spray since you don’t want to end up freezing your brakes either (which could happen if the product ends up dripping onto them).

8. Get rid of moisture by applying a thin coat of engine oil

If water has gotten into your brake calipers, you’ll want to clean it out thoroughly to prevent corrosion. One method is to use a wet-dry vacuum cleaner to suck up all the liquid before washing the area with brake cleaner or rubbing alcohol. You can also try using an old cotton rag which you’ve dipped in some motor oil in case there’s still moisture left over after all that; the oil will act as both a lubricant and anti-rust agent while removing any existing rust since it’s fairly acidic. Just make sure not to get any on your skin (or eyes) since this stuff stings if it comes into contact with them.

9. Clean out the dirt by using a cheap paintbrush

If you have a tiny bit of dirt or rust on your brake pads, it might be possible to get rid of it using a cheap paintbrush. Just place some motor oil onto the bristles and rub them against your brake pads so that the metal particles are pushed into the teeth of the brush before being carried away from your calipers.

10. Clean up old or dried out brake fluid by using rubbing alcohol

If the brake fluid you’ve been using for several years has started to turn darker, giving off a sweet smell, this is one of the best times to replace it since it might be possible that these properties are due to moisture build-up. You can clean any leaks with some paper towels and then use a bit of rubbing alcohol to help dry off the surrounding area just before applying new brake fluid, or you can even leave all this excess liquid sitting in your calipers for now if you still have enough braking power leftover; make sure to apply some new brake fluid (using the same brand as before) if you start noticing any weak spots on your brake pads again.


Brakes are one of the most important components of your car. If you neglect them, they can wear out quickly and cost you a lot in repairs down the line. It is also difficult to diagnose an issue if it’s not caught early enough due to a lack of experience with cars and brake systems. The best way on how to clean brakes without taking tires off is by using compressed air, which will blow away any dirt that has accumulated over time while giving your brakes a good scrubbing at the same time.