Removing Carbon Deposits.

A the topic tiltle suggests, I’m investigating the ways in which carbon deposits on valves and combustion chambers can be removed safely and with the minimum of effort!!
I’ve stripped down my cylinder heads and wish to clean them up as this is the ideal opportunity. I also intend to lap in the valves at the same time, so clean combustion chambers and valves will make this process much simpler and less messy! I’ve heard about people using oven cleaner(is it not dangerous on alloy?), gasket remover and even soaking the heads in deisel to soften up the carbon before removing it. Anyone got a safe and effective way that doesn’t involve scratching and scraping away at it for hour after hour??[xx(]

I believe its Sodium Hydroxide in caustic products that eat into Aluminium, I’v been experimenting with Hydrochloric acid for rust on mild steel, saves a massive amount of time, I have not tried anything with carbon yet, might give it a go when I can get into the garage.

I would be interested in the results if it works(anything to reduce the time /effort). Would I be right to use a caustic soda solution to clean the steel valves of carbon deposits(like it was once used to decoke 2 strike exhausts)

I left some mild steel nuts, bolts and brackets in a solution of caustic soda which I forgot about for approximately 3 months, there was’nt any visible effect to the steel, they never rusted or anything, I never thought of trying valves to get rid of the carbon, but I would imagine they may need soaking in solvent to remove any oil residue first otherwise it would probably be a barrier, problem is I cannot get into the garage to play for now because I’m on crutches and need to move the bikes to get in.[V]

Crutches? Nothing serious I hope. I reckon Caustic soda should be OK, it was safe on 2 stroke pipes and they were only chrome plated steel. It cleared all the old gunge out of them OK, oil and all, just bung up one end and pour hot water into the other with the soda already poured in! Fizzed away merrily for a few minutes then you hosed it away down the drain(before all this tree hugging got popular!) I can state with a degree of knowledge that botht types of oven cleaner I have tried have made no impact on the carbon stuck on the exhaust valves!!! If the soda fails what next? Paint stripper? Acetone? Dremmel!!

Yes, crutches, I broke my ankle…[xx(] I have a confession to make, I could’nt remember how I decoked my heads last time[:I] I have a bead blasting cabinet and used that with well used glass grit[8D]