Brake cleaner is a specific product that is designed to clean off brake pads and brake discs. The solution is sprayed on the object and then wiped off. It is particularly good at removing stubborn dirt, cleaning of grease and oils and removing brake dust.
A brake cleaner
Google Books says on the make-up of a brake cleaner:
The brake cleaner compositions comprise about 5% to about 30% by weight methyl acetate; about 25% to about 50% of a hydrocarbon according to the formula CnH2n+x, where n is 5 to 8 and x is 0 or 2; and about 25% to about 55% by weight acetone.
A brake cleaner usually comes in a spray can. This is used to spray the liquid on the object, it can be wiped off immediatly without letting it dry up. It doesn’t have a very strong chemical smell, but can harm your skin if exposed to the liquid for to long. It is advised to use older, more worn cloths to wipe it off. It might affect a towel beyond repair.
What can it be used for
It can be used for cleaning an engine bay, suspension parts and obviously any brake parts. Remember that it is designed to remove oils and grease, when a certain moving part relies on oil or grease, you need to re-apply the grease after using this product. A brake cleaner is also very suitable to remove silicon and comparable material. When cleaning radiator hoses or other plastics, a brake cleaner can be a good way of preparing the surface for thorough cleaning. Be careful with paintwork, some paints may react different to a brake cleaner.