Top 4 Best Rated AC Coil Cleaners (**2019 Review**)

Want to ensure your A/C is functioning properly as the temperature rises?

Besides monitoring your AC with a refrigerant leak detector (here's my favorite) --- it's also important to periodically clean the A/C coil to maintain efficiency and performance.

For those hoping to get started with the cleaning process, we have put together a detailed guide on the best A/C coil cleaners.

In this review, you will learn about:

  • The advantages of using an evaporator coil cleaner
  • How an A/C coil cleaner works
  • What to consider before purchasing an A/C coil cleaner
  • Our top-rated pick for the best A/C coil cleaner

Let's get started with this guide!

best ac coil cleaners

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

nu-brite condenser coil cleaner
  • Biodegradable (Safer Than Acids)
  • Commercial-Grade Cleaning
  • Remove Grime & Deposits
  • Easy to Use
  • Foaming Action For Deep Cleaning
  • Alkaline Based (Cleans Better Than Acid)

The Nu-Brite A/C coil cleaner is a world-class, alkaline-based product ideal for managing modern-sized coils. It is efficient, easy to use, and is formulated using state-of-the-art substances.


The quick-penetration formulation is ideal for handling dirt and grime that continues to accumulate through regular use. This U.S.D.A certified A/C coil cleaner is a must for those wanting to remove unwanted grime.

Our Top 4 Picks For Best AC Coil Cleaners...

Are you short on time and want our top picks now? Check out my list below to quickly find the top a/c coil cleaners.

If you want to read our full guide on the best A/C coil cleaners, then continue reading...

  1. Nu-Brite A/C Coil Cleaner (My #1 top choice)
  2. Nu-Calgon 4171 A/C Coil Cleaner  (A close second)​​​​
  3. Nu-Calgon 4168 A/C Coil Cleaner (No Rinse)  (A no rinse solution)​​​​
  4. Lundmark A/C Coil Cleaner

What Are Evaporator Coil Cleaners?

The A/C coil comes in two forms – evaporator coil and condenser coil.

In general, the A/C coil is responsible for controlling the unit’s cooling process and ensuring the air is appropriately regulated. With the evaporator coil, it is designed to emphasizing cooling the air, while the condenser coil focuses on completing the cooling process. This is a quick process, which is managed by the A/C unit as soon as it is turned on.

Keeping these details in mind, it’s time to look at what an air conditioner coil cleaner does.

When an A/C unit is put to use for an extended period, it’s going to start to wear down and accumulate debris. This can hinder its performance and impact how well it cools the incoming air. To ensure the heat is being extracted properly, the A/C coils need to be appropriately and effectively cleaned using a specialized product such as an A/C coil cleaner.

The A/C coil cleaner works by removing the debris and making sure the coil is back to how it was originally. Depending on the formulation, the coil cleaner works by settling onto the coil and quietly working away at the material until it’s clean. This is a comprehensive process, which is simplified for users hoping to keep things clean without having to replace the coils.


The average property owner is highly recommended to consider setting up a scheduled routine using this type of cleaner. When employed regularly, the A/C coils continue to remain in good shape year-round and will ensure the unit doesn’t start to lose its quality. Otherwise, the cooling process does get impacted and that’s something you don’t want to deal with.

What Are The Benefits Of Using An AC Coil Cleaner?

Investing in a high-end A/C coil cleaner can make or break how well the unit is cleaned. It can ensure the debris and/or waste that collects around the coils doesn’t get in the way of how the A/C performs.

Most buyers understand the importance of keeping the A/C coils clean but don’t know how to approach the task. This is when it’s time to consider spending money on a brand-new AC coil cleaner to help with the process.

To make sure you invest in the right cleaner, here are the advantages of using a highly rated coil cleaner.

These benefits include:

  • Comprehensive Cleaning and Maintenance
  • Reduced Wear and Tear
  • Improved Performance
  • Quieter Cooling
  • Consistent Output

According to Energy.gov, simply cleaning the A/C coils can go a long way in keeping the unit in working at peak efficiency. Otherwise, the unit will start displaying signs of wear and tear, which result in reduced cooling and a considerable waste of energy. To avoid these problems, it’s best to focus on buying a well made air conditioner coil cleaner.

By understanding these benefits, it becomes easier to find the right A/C coil cleaner. You will know what to look for and what to avoid.

cleaning a dirty ac condenser

Read Also: Top 5 Best Rated Washable AC Filters (*2019 Review*)

How Do You Use An A/C Coil Cleaner?

The A/C coils should be inspected in detail before any solution is applied. This helps determine potential issues, good access points, and how to make sure the cleaning is done the right way.

So, what does a person have to think about when it is time to clean the coils?

It starts by recognizing where the coils are and then developing a plan of action. You will have to be selective and careful during the cleaning session to avoid damaging surrounding parts.

When applying the AC coil cleaner, it’s best to focus on where the coils are and remaining gentle during the application phase. The coil cleaner will come with specific instructions, which can vary depending on whether it is a “rinse” or “no rinse” version. During the application process, make sure to avoid bending the fins of the coils because they are fragile. If they bend and/or break, the unit is going to stop functioning and that renders your cleaning process useless. 

Please note, you should always clean the A/C AFTER turning off the electrical supply.

How To Pick the Best Air Conditioner Coil Cleaner?

1. Usability

When selecting an A/C coil cleaner, it’s important to determine whether or not it’s easy to apply. There’s nothing worse than investing money in a cleaning solution that’s impossible to apply and simply takes away from the process. As a result, it’s best to read the reviews, determine how the evaporator coil cleaner works, and then spend your hard earned money. 

To assess the usability of a cleaner, focus on the sprayer and how well it distributes the formulation in tight spaces. Remember, each A/C is going to have a unique layout and a challenging sprayer can make things unnecessarily difficult. Keep it simple with a user-friendly AC condenser cleaner. It will save you a lot of trouble as time goes on.

Also, focus on how much is needed per cleaning session. If it takes the entire bottle per session, you’re using a watered down formulation. This isn’t good enough and will lead to mediocre results.

2. Well Tested

The U.S.D.A is the gold standard for assessing an evaporator coil cleaner and how well tested it is. They have specialized guidelines in place to analyze the formulation, how it works, and whether or not it’s safe to use.

Having this information on hand is essential while cleaning the A/C coils. You always want to use a high-rated solution to ensure it doesn’t damage the coils nor does it get in the way of its ability to perform well year-round.

Look for the U.S.D.A authorization, as it will be labeled on the bottle. There are several examples of poorly formulated products that contain poisonous substances and can be a significant risk to your health. 

3. Alkaline-Based

Each formulation will vary depending on the company, how it’s applied, and whether or not the product has to be rinsed post-cleaning. In general, these details are listed on the label and should be assessed before making a purchase.

While doing your research, look at what the core substance is in the formulation. For example, the average product will be an acid-based solution, which means it is going to be made of an aggressive substance that’s tough on the A/C coils. Don’t go with something that is acid-based because it will gradually harm the coils and ruin their top surface.


Instead, you want to go with a solution that is specifically alkaline-based. An evaporator coil cleaner that’s alkaline-based will do a far better job of managing A/C coils and isn’t going to damage the top surface. Plus, this type of substance does a good job in keeping the A/C clean.

4. Ideal for Different Materials

To the surprise of many, you may not always clean the A/C coils throughout the year. Instead, the average person will only clean the coils once or twice when it’s time to check the unit and ensure everything is working properly. Since this is a reality for most people, it’s important to find a cleaner that works with other machines too.

For example, you can easily invest in an coil cleaner that works with different materials and can do a wonderful job in removing dirt/grime from engines. This is when you can use the same product in multiple situations without having to invest in a brand-new solution each time.

4. No Risky Additives

Unfortunately, some AC coil cleaners are made without an understanding of what the damage can be like if inferior additives are used. Manufacturers don’t realize the risk associated with these additives or they simply don’t care. As a result, it’s best to avoid harmful additives at all costs.

This includes chlorinated solvents, which are horrible for the environment even if they clean faster.

You are taking a real risk with your health by using the wrong type of AC condenser coil cleaner. Keep an eye on this and make sure to stay far away from chlorinated solvents.

Read Also: How To Prevent Mold in Air Conditioners (What To Do?)

How Are AC Coil Cleaners Different Than Other Cleaners?

  • Design

Beginning with the design, an AC condenser coil cleaner is specifically designed to work with coil-like materials and will do a great job in removing dust/grime. This is something other cleaners don’t offer as they work with other materials such as plastic.

When the goal is to keep the A/C coils clean, it’s highly recommended to only invest in a solution that’s designed for the task at hand. Otherwise, the coils will get damaged, as they’re already fragile and shouldn’t be aggressively cleaned. With an A/C coil cleaner, it’s possible to gently work away at the coils and watch as the grime slips away. 

  • Specialization

According to experts, there’s nothing more important than looking for an A/C specific cleaner, which is composed of the right substances and will work well with the entire unit.

This has to do with how the AC coil cleaner is formulated and how it responds to the various components inside the unit. A well designed cleaner isn’t going to stress the unit nor is it going to get in the way of how it performs. In fact, it will make things better almost immediately.

  • Efficiency

How efficient is the cleaner? A traditional cleaner may work on the coils but it’s not going to be as efficient as you want. Instead, it’s going to take a long time to dry, will ruin the coils’ performance, and even pose a safety risk.

These are legitimate concerns people have as they look at different options on the market.

  • Safety

Contemporary evaporator coil cleaners are tested to work with A/C units, which makes them considerably safer compared to traditional cleaners. These specialized solutions are well tested with modern systems and will not ruin other components during the cleaning process.

Plus, the U.S.D.A tests these products, which ensures you end up with an AC coil cleaner that’s worthwhile.

  • Odor

Since HVAC specialists formulate A/C coil cleaners, it simplifies how the substance interacts with the coils and how it smells. The scent is often an underrated component of the cleaning process but the best options don’t leave an odd odor that lingers forever.

Traditional cleaners may not have the right odor and can make things worse when they don’t respond well to the A/C unit’s materials. A lingering smell coming from your A/C is always unwelcome.

Read Also: Top 6 Best Space Heaters For Large & Drafty Rooms (2019 Review)

Where Do I Buy The Best AC Coil Cleaners?

As you scour the market looking for a great air conditioner coil cleaner, there will be several options to choose from.

If you want to purchase the best A/C coil cleaner, it’s time to head over to Amazon. This online retailer is well regarded among enthusiasts and experts because of its choices and how easily you can compare features.

Look at this retailer’s inventory, read the reviews, and end up with a top-rated A/C coil cleaner in no time at all.

Anyone that’s serious about finding a world-class A/C coil cleaner needs to begin with Amazon.

What Are The Best A/C Coil Cleaners?

Here is my list of the best AC coil cleaners with each of their pros and cons...

Best-Quality Pick:  Nu-Brite A/C Coil Cleaner

The Nu-Brite A/C coil cleaner is a world-class, alkaline-based product ideal for managing modern-sized coils. It is efficient, easy to use, and is formulated using state-of-the-art substances.

The quick-penetration formulation is ideal for handling dirt and grime that continues to accumulate through regular use. This U.S.D.A certified air conditioner coil cleaner is a must for those wanting to remove unwanted grime.

  • Commercial-Grade Cleaning
  • Easy to Use
  • Fast Results
  • Minimal Foaming Action
  • Requires a Large Amount per Cleaning

Best Priced Pick:  Nu-Calgon 4171 A/C Coil Cleaner

The Nu-Calgon 4171 A/C Coil Cleaner is a power-packed solution with an incredible rinse-friendly formulation.

It’s effective, user-friendly, and can clean away considerable dust and grime without a problem. 

This U.S.D.A approved product is a perfect addition to anyone’s cleaning setup.

  • Well-Priced Cleaner
  • Easy to Use
  • Consistent Results on Different Materials
  • Comes in Can Form
  • Can Run Out Quickly

When it comes to a modern-age formulation, the Nu-Calgon 4168 A/C Coil Cleaner is an intriguing addition to the manufacturer’s selection of products.

It’s a “no rinse” variation, which can be applied and allowed to sit without having to use water.

This U.S.D.A approved solution is ideal when it comes to cleaning the coils.

  • High Concentration
  • Exceptional Cleaning Quality
  • Wonderful Instructions
  • Strong Odor
  • Takes Long Time to Work

Best Tested Pick:  Lundmark A/C Coil Cleaner

For those looking to invest in an eco-friendly solution, the Lundmark A/C Coil Cleaner is a respected addition to the market and is well tested by experts.

It is noted to help reduce electric bills by approximately 40% and comes with a powerful sprayer.

  • Comprehensive Cleaning
  • Consistent Results
  • Safe and Well-Tested
  • Strong Scent
  • May Require a Large Amount per Cleaning

My #1 Top Pick For Best Heater

nu-brite condenser coil cleaner

1. Easy to Use

The Nu-Brite A/C Coil Cleaner is easy to apply and takes no more than a few minutes to clean unwanted dirt/grime.


Even in the tightest of spots, this A/C coil cleaner gets to work and removes accumulated “gunk” quickly.

2. Comprehensive Cleaning

Studies show a well-cleaned A/C unit can increase its lifespan by several years, which makes the idea of cleaning the coils essential. This is why the Nu-Brite cleaner is a must as it’s comprehensive, effective, and safe.


3. Fast Results

No one likes waiting around and that’s not a problem here. In a matter of minutes, the cleaner will get to work on the dirt and grime. This allows A/C users to focus on other components rather than waiting around for the cleaner.


4. High Safety Rating

Since this is approved by the U.S.D.A, it is among the finest and safest options on the market right now. It’s also alkaline-based with biodegradable additives ensuring the formulation isn’t going to harm anyone or the coils.

 

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Arie Van Tuijl

Arie Van Tuijl

Arie is a licensed home inspector who owns a residential and commercial inspection company in the state of Virginia. He also does specialty testing such as radon gas, termites, air quality, and mold.

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