How to clean spark plugs

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by Pecker, Dec 14, 2004.

  1. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,454

    Just wondering if you guys know of any "spark plug cleaner" that is available specifically for this. I'm referring to something to use instead of carb cleaner.

    My 2 strokes tend to require an extra pull to cold start when the plugs get dirty and since I don't put really that many hours on them per season I hate to put a new plug in for the small amount of hours (solo operator working about 2 full days per week). This brings up a good question also: hour many hours can you expect to put on a spark plug for a 2 stroke?
  2. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    There is a small cleaner available that uses compressed air. I think Harbor Freight sells them.

    It has a rubber bushing where you put the plug and a bag with glass beads. The compressed air bead blasts the plug and does a great job.

    The CAUTION with using one of these is to make DARN SURE that you have ALL the beads off the plug before reinstalling in the engine. Blow the daylights out of it with compressed air AFTER the cleaning.

    I've had one of these for about 20 years and it has served me well. It now needs a rubber bushing and I know how to replace it. For $10 or $12 I will replace it the next time I see one of the catalogs.

    Good luck and Merry Christmas,
  3. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,213

    Plugs are cheap and not worth the time to clean. Your oil mix is too rich or your using cheap oil if the plugs are black.I put in new plugs every spring and run every day all season.

  4. Mikes Machines

    Mikes Machines LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    The plug cleaner that MBDiagMan mentioned works very well. It requires an air compressor so its kind of hard to use in the field. Your plugs should not be going bad in two days of run time. I would suspect some type of problem. Clogged exhuast screen, (it doesnt take much) clogged air filter, wrong oil mix, wrong oil type, carb being way out of adjustment etc. etc.
  5. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,454

    I know my oil/gas mix is correct and am using a quality oil, they all start on about the fourth pull and run great. . .but I haven't cleaned the air filters lately and I've never cleaned the exhaust screens. . .That's what I'll do.

    Thanks to everyone for yer help.

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