How to clean a Spark Plug

How to clean a Spark Plug
Image: motosport, t1000

For an internal combustion engine to operate properly it needs three main ingredients which are air, fuel and spark. The internal combustion engine carburetor mixes the air and fuel to create a highly combustible mixture and the spark plug provides the spark which ignites the mixture of air and fuel due to which engines are driven. Hence spark plug is a very vital component of an engine. But when the insulating nose from firing tips of a spark plug gets clogged with unwanted items like oil, carbon or fuel it will cause problems in the engine. Due to the dirt, the spark plug will not work properly and will make sputtering noises due to mis–firing. When this happens you can either buy a new spark plug or clean the one that’s fouled.

In this article we will know how to clean a spark plug.

Steps to follow:

The first thing you need to do in order to clean a spark plug is to use a racket wrench that includes a spark plug socket to remove the spark plugs one at a time.


Hold the spark plug in one hand and hold a clean rag in other hand. With the rag you'll have to brush all debris or dirt that is visible in the spark plug.


Now take one of the following products to clean the spark plug:

  • Mineral spirit alcohol
  • 90º alcohol
  • Carburetor or injector cleaner

Clean the firing end of the spark plug with your chosen product. These cleaners are best as they are quick when it comes to drying.

To clean a badly fouled spark plug soaking ½ inch of the firing end of the spark plug in liquid toilet cleaner. Keep it for a few minutes and then rinse it well. Brush it and remove any dirt using a small wire or symilar. Dry it well.


Now, blow out the excess particles from spark plug by using an air compressor on a low level.


Your spark plug might appear clean by now. But there may remain some dirt which is not clearly visible. To clean these parts apply a dry compound.

Once you have done this, blast the spark plug using pressurized air once more. Take a thin wire again and clean all of the threads in the spark plug.


Take a rag and clean all the grime and dirt oil from each hole of the spark plug. You can use solution used for cleaning spark plug to clean the holes in spark plug if the holes are very dirty.


Now finally put back the clean spark plugs in each of the holes and tighten it to correct the torque.


Now you know how to clean a spark plug you may also want to know how to clean car roof lining or how to remove the musty smell from your car.

If you want to read similar articles to How to clean a Spark Plug, we recommend you visit our Car Maintenance and Repair category.