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Subject: Sea Foam - useful, or snake oil?

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Matt G    Posted 12-09-2020 at 05:24:38 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Sea Foam - useful, or snake oil?
  • Has anyone tried Sea Foam (or similar treatments) in the oil or gas of an 8n? It is supposed to clean up sludge, though I'm not sure how effective it would be on 70-year-old deposits!

    I've used it on a few neglected motorcycles and usually noticed a modest improvement.

    John in Mich    Posted 12-11-2020 at 18:03:56 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Sea Foam - useful, or snake oil?
  • I have talked to several people who swear by Sea Foam for small engines. I have an
    older Craftsman 21" self propelled walk-behind. I left gasoline treated with Sea Foam in it and then had not used it for two years. I started it this year. 2 pulls. Just sayen'.

    Jimmyjack    Posted 12-10-2020 at 11:08:21 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Sea Foam - useful, or snake oil?
  • All the proof I needed that it works started with a weed whip I fought starting for years. After adding Sea Foam to my gas, it starts on the first or second pull every time. My wife can even start it. The same goes for my ice auger and all the other small engines I maintain. If you dont want to use it dont!

    Ultradog MN    Posted 12-10-2020 at 07:22:14 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Sea Foam - useful, or snake oil?
  • The guy I hunt with was a small engine mechanic for many years. He swears by the stuff. For fuel parts tho - carbs, etc.
    I doubt he uses it in his oil.

    TheOldHokie    Posted 12-10-2020 at 06:51:43 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Sea Foam - useful, or snake oil?
  • It's fundamentally a petroleum solvent with a health dose of Isopropyl alcohol. The engine treatment isn't going to make much of a dent on sludge or heavy engine deposits but used as a preventative may help slightly at preventing deposit buildups. The fuel treatment is an upper cylinder lubricant and decent but not great as a gas stabilizer and water remover. There are lots of products in both categories.


    Sea Foam Marine Fuel Treatment
    IngredientsCAS #Wt %
    Pale Oil64742-54-740.00 - 60.00
    Naphtha64742-49-025.00 - 35.00
    IPA67-63-010.00 - 20.00
    Sea Foam Engine Treatment
    IngredientsCAS #Wt %
    Petroleum Distillate**
    Hydrocarbon Based Solvent**
    IPA67-63-010.00 - 30.00
    * Chemical ingredient identity and/or concentration information withheld for
    some or all components present is confidential business information.

    Zeke(OR)    Posted 12-10-2020 at 12:03:45 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Sea Foam - useful, or snake oil?
  • My only experience with it is in a Ford F-350 with the 6.0 diesel. Changed a balky. PITA into a starting fool even at the low temps we get here in Central Oregon

    Jim    Posted 12-09-2020 at 11:17:20 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Sea Foam - useful, or snake oil?
  • Only mechanic in a can I swear by!

    Kevin    Posted 12-09-2020 at 13:42:26 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Sea Foam - useful, or snake oil?


    Jimmyjack    Posted 12-09-2020 at 14:08:52 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Sea Foam - useful, or snake oil?
  • I use it in all small engines, and put it in every can of gas I use, including boats, and tractors.

    steveVa    Posted 12-09-2020 at 10:13:07 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Sea Foam - useful, or snake oil?
  • Sea Foam seems to help keep my boat motor carbs clean and helps preserve gas in the tank from year to year. Also seems to counteract the carb sludge from ethanol in gas. I use it as a gas preserver as much as anything.

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 12-10-2020 at 06:02:34 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Sea Foam - useful, or snake oil?
  • How do you know? Simply saying it works is only opinion, not factual data. Yeah it is going to thin out gas, oil, molasses, but don't believe it eliminates sludge altogether -where does it go? Mineral spirits is petroleum based. It won't harm internal workings of an engine or hydraulic system. It'll almost run an engine on straight mineral spirits. Same thing with Stabil and MMO (NO mystery involved) and all the other stuff. Thins it out. Do this, take your product and spray a section of a really greasy/dirty external engine part on it and place can or jar under it and watch how it loosens up, cleans, and runs off, but it doesn't dissolve all the dirt and sludge. Your money, your machines. I prefer the real stuff and never have used anything internally nor had a need to.

    steveVa    Posted 12-11-2020 at 08:50:27 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Sea Foam - useful, or snake oil?
  • All I can tell you is that the carbs in my boats and in my chipper shredder get gummed up with a jelly-like substance because they sit for several months each year.. The sea foam stops that from happening and the same tank of gas is good for next year.. Works in my John Deer mower at the river too. Saves me from pulling carbs and cleaning them every year. Your results may differ from different climate and humidity, but it works for me. I use it in my generators too. Saying it doesn't work is only opinion too.

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 12-09-2020 at 07:30:17 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Sea Foam - useful, or snake oil?
  • Matt-
    There is a thread in our SAFETY forum --- see LINK below --- on many products sold today. You can do your own research for any product by typing in the product with 'MSDS' in the subject and get the products' contents listed with hazards and what not. If the product won't specify and it says 'proprietary information' they are hiding something and further proof to avoid it altogether. Now, as I state in the thread, almost every one of these so-called 'sludge cleaner' products contains as much as 98% plain mineral spirits as their main ingredient. Mineral spirits is an excellent dirt, grease and oil cleaner and thinner but there is nothing that will clean out sludge in an engine other than a complete tear down, cleaning, and rebuilding. Think about it. How does one determine if a product cleans out engine sludge? If you pour some in your engine, where does it go? Folks will believe/buy anything. It's the old PT Barnum adage. Now you can buy whatever you want, it's your money, and mineral sprits is a great cleaner, but I buy it in bulk 5 gallon buckets. Oh, it has multiple uses as well. Its the same stuff in paint thinner and charcoal lighter fluid. As far as anything removing sludge from an engine, well, only one way to do that.

    Tim Daley(MI)

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