Can You Clean A Catalytic Converter? How To Clean?

Can You Clean A Catalytic Converter? How To Clean?

Can you clean a catalytic converter? Of course, you can clean a catalytic converter. If your car has a functional catalytic converter, pollution and your carbon footprint are significantly reduced. Carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and other exhaust engine emissions are converted by catalytic converters into less hazardous compounds, protecting both you and the environment.

You should be aware of when and how to clean a catalytic converter if you want to keep your vehicle efficient and environmentally friendly.

How to Clean Catalytic Converter?

Here are two methods for you to clean a catalytic converter.

Without Removing

Our first technique for cleaning a soiled converter is simple, inexpensive, and doesn’t involve disassembling it or getting dirty. Your fuel system, oxygen sensors, and exhaust system are all cleaned using this technique.

However, if your catalyst honeycomb is broken or your exhaust system is excessively dirty, this method won’t work.

Use a mallet or wrench to tap the converter to see if this cleaning technique will work for you. A light tap will cause it to the jar, but avoid breaking or denting it.

If you hear rattling on the inside, you may have broken components or heavy sediments, which you can only fix by removing and cleaning the converter.

If you don’t hear any strange sounds, proceed with the following steps:

  1. Obtain enough catalytic converter cleaner and fuel. Purchase some fuel in a can and a catalytic converter cleaner of good quality that is appropriate for your car. Diesel or gasoline engines are the only ones that some cleaners can work on, while others can work on both.
  2. In your fuel tank, pour the cleaner. You will find all the directions you require for pouring the cleaner and how much fuel to put in the car on the cleaner’s label.
  3. After adding the solution, start your car and go for a drive. Driving will help the cleaner circulate throughout your exhaust system. The best driving distance will be specified on the cleaner’s label.

To get the catalytic converter hot enough to burn out any clogs and residue, we advise driving with an RPM over 3000.

With an automatic transmission, it’s a good idea to shift it into “Sport” mode or the like. Simply hold it in each gear a little bit longer when using a stick shift before moving on to the next gear.

To prevent overheating, keep an eye on the temperature gauge on your car. Less exhaust smoke, quicker acceleration, and fewer engine misfires are signs that the cleaning process was successful.

Removing It

The catalytic converter needs to be taken out and cleaned if the first method doesn’t produce the desired results due to the debris in your exhaust system.

If you have the right information and equipment, the procedure is simple, but as with other exhaust components that are exposed to the elements, removing the bolts is typically the most challenging part of the job.

To start, you’ll need:

  • Automotive degreaser
  • A large container to soak the converter
  • Penetrating oil, such as B’laster or WD-40
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • A wrench that matches the converter’s bolts (or better yet, an impact wrench)
  • Oxygen sensor wrench
  • Pressure washer

Once you have everything you need, follow these steps:

  1. Before you start, allow the exhaust system of the car to cool.
  2. The car should be jacked up until it can easily slide under. The car should be held in place using the jack stands.
  3. The oxygen sensor wrench should be used to remove the oxygen sensor(s).
  4. Locate the converter, then apply penetrating oil to the bolts to loosen them. Let a qualified mechanic handle the cleaning if the catalytic converter is welded onto or joined to the turbo.
  5. Remove the converter and inspect it after loosening the bolts. You need to replace the catalytic converter if it shakes with a loud rattle, which indicates that its internal parts are broken.
  6. Clean the converter’s body and then use a low-pressure washer to pressure wash the interior if there is little to no rattling.
  7. Fill a container with hot water and degreaser after power washing the inlet and outlet pipes.
  8. Spend no more than an hour soaking the converter in hot water and degreaser solution.
  9. After the unit has soaked, rinse it with a pressure washer set to low, then let it drain until it is completely dry.
  10. Reinstall the system and the oxygen sensor(s) after the system has dried. Then go for a drive to see if it gets better.
can you clean a catalytic converter

Does Catalytic Converter Cleaning Really Work?

It sounds too good to be true that there is an all-in-one catalytic converter cleaner that you can pour into your gas tank and drive away. But it actually does. If you want more information and accounts, there are dozens of testimonials on YouTube. Your car will run more smoothly and pass emissions tests with ease if you use catalytic converter cleaners.

It might be necessary to replace your catalytic converter if it is particularly clogged with carbon and other debris. However, catalytic converter cleaners will work well for routine maintenance and preventative cleanings.

What NOT to Do?

To avoid damaging your catalytic converter during cleaning, avoid the following:

  • Soaking the component in grout-eating gel, bleach, or similar corrosive chemicals that can damage the catalyst
  • Pouring paint lacquer or thinner in your gas tank
  • Using a catalytic converter that’s incompatible with your vehicle
  • Trying to saw off a welded catalytic converter yourself, as you’ll damage the vehicle or hurt yourself

Learn how to clean a catalytic converter by using these techniques. Please post your inquiries in the comments section.

Is Catalytic Converter Cleaner Safe?

Fuel, engine, and exhaust systems on gasoline- and diesel-powered cars can be cleaned with catalytic converter cleaners. They are therefore completely safe for your car, regardless of the brand or model. As long as you follow all of the instructions, the catalytic converter cleaning liquid won’t harm your car in any way.

Can I Put Cataclean in a Full Tank?

In order to create a cleaning solution while your engine is still running, cetacean must be mixed with the gasoline in your fuel tank. It is essential to start your clean with the fuel and Cataclean ratios close to the ideal level. Never putting Cataclean in a tank of gas that is fully fueled would be beneficial.

According to Cataclean’s instructions, you should first reduce your gas tank’s fuel level to about 1/4 of its maximum capacity. This comes to about four gallons. Pour the Cataclean into your gas tank once you reach that point.

How Quickly Does Cataclean Work?

It won’t take long to complete the cleaning process if your gas tank is already filled to the proper level when you are ready to begin. Only 10 to 15 miles of regular driving are required after adding Cataclean to your gas tank. Refuel after that, then carry on with your day. If you are traveling at a normal speed of approximately 40 miles per hour, the entire process will take about 30 minutes.


Catalytic converter replacement is an expensive auto repair. Always attempt to put it through a cleaning cycle if your car is having issues with it before changing it. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to clean a catalytic converter.