FYI seafoam

My car a 2000 Toyota Camry ran rough when I started it. After about 5-10 minutes after warming up the engine it would run fine. I checked the engine code. it gave me an engine misfire. I looked on the internet to solve the problem. I read about seafoam. I used seafoam in my Camry, it only costs $10. Now my engine does not run rough no more when I first start it. Also I notice that the car drives and accelerates better. I thought seafoam was gonna be some snake oil or something, but its not it really did work. Its been a month now since I’ve had this problem.

Seafoam is a good product but not a miracle product. Its good for cleaning injectors, fuel systems, and throttle bodies.

Another product that sometimes works for those symptoms is Techron. Tom and Ray used to mention it by name - a rare instance where they recommended a specific product.

To clean the throttle body where the throttle plate touches (and sometimes sticks to residue) you need to directly apply a cleaning solvent and use a rag and maybe a toothbrush.

Those of us in the auto repair industry have known about SeaFoam for years. And the benefits it can provide.


Techron is great in the gas tank. Seafoam is great in the tank to clean injectors or Seafoam is great sucked right into a vacuum line while the car is running to de-carbon the engine. It is not a miracle cure, but it is well worth the $10 every once in a while.

SeaFoam is a great product but it’s not the answer for every problem. It’s also possible that all of this could be coincidental and the problem may return.

When was the last time you changed the spark plugs?
Did any of the plugs have wet oil on them?
How did the plugs look overall?
How much oil are you using?

Things like contamination buildup (oil ash, oil on plugs, varnish from gas, etc.) can sometimes be corrected, often only temporarily, by “cleaning” additives, but it’s important in my mind to find out exactly why the engine is misfiring first.

For example, it isn’t uncommon in overhead cam engines (Camry uses OHC engines) for the rubber “O” ring at the bottom of the spark plug tube to begin to allow oil to get to the spark plugs at the base and interfere with the spark. It is possible that a leaking “O” ring was allowing oil to get drawn into the business end of a plug and interfering with the spark, and the SeaFoam cleaned the plug’s end temporarily “fixing” the problem. These “O” rings in Toyotas are part of the valvecover gasket. It’s also possible that you had oil ash or carbon buildup on the plugs and the SeaFoam cleaned enough off to effect a temporary fix.

In short, the types of things that SeaFoam and other additives “fix” often have root causes that need addressing.

By the way, I’m glad the SeaFoam worked for you.

How can an additive with a name as dumb as Seafoam possibly be any good?

LOL, good point.
I suspect the name is intended to conjure up visions of cleansing foam. It may have actually been a stroke of genius. Other cleansing products using more logical names aren’t as easily remembered and never became “household names” around auto shops and among backyard mechanics the way Seafoam has. The name seems to have worked as intended.

The product dates back to the 1930s, and in those days the name probably made more sense to consumers than it seems to at this point. Marketing was very different in those days, as compared to today.

Odd name it may be but it’s a great product. I seldom use additives but when one may be needed I always grab SeaFoam or Berryman B-12 for one simple reason; they work and they’re much cheaper than many other additives on the market.

The strongest cleaner I’ve ever worked with has a name that I can’t even pronounce due to its chemical name length. It’s used in firefighting foam at the air base and called CB for short. I had several gallons of that stuff given to me with a warning and believe me; that warning should be heeded.

The first time I popped the cap off of a gallon can (outdoors) I saw a white flash and felt like someone had whacked me with a bat. Recovering my senses and rotating to take advantage of the wind, I poured a little over and through some badly grunged up fuel injectors (CIS) and in seconds they looked like they had just rolled off the assembly line.
That being said, I would not advise using anything like that even if available as it is downright hazardous to deal with.

Here’s the story on the name from their website:

"Sea Foam was actually developed for the outboard motor and marine market back in the 1930′s. The inventor, Fred Fandrei, owned an outboard motor and it seemed as though every time he went fishing he would have engine trouble. The problems always stemmed from the gas and oil mixture, which became gummy and formed varnish between uses.

The thought of spending more time fishing than working on the motor prompted Fred, who was a District Manager for the Sinclair Refining Company at that time and had a good knowledge of fuel, to invent a product that would stop the gas/oil mixture from becoming stale. He worked with quite a few formulas before he finally found one that gave him the right results. His first test market was at Lake Freeman, in Indiana, near where he lived. When he went fishing, he would take along his formula in beer bottles and quart jars to sell to other fishermen.

Inspired by the products popularity, Fred decided to give it a name and put it on the market. His search for a name ended when a fellow fisherman who had moved to Florida called him and asked him to send some of that “Sea Foam” stuff. Fred liked the sound of it, so he christened his formula Sea Foam."

I knew it was something like that but couldn’t remember. I thought he was from Minnesota though.

Carburetor cleaner and Ocean Spray were taken so Sea Foam had to be the next choice. I might have named it something else but Jurassic Spit and Arctic Slush don’t sound as good. Colon Blast or Gopher Grease might work. Ethel Breath is just repulsive.


I like to use Berryman throttle and carb cleaner

Ethel Breath is just repulsive.
Yes, especially if she hadn't cleaned her dentures recently.

Thanks for the laugh @pleasedodgevan.

30k on the spark plugs I did not pull the spark plugs so I don’t know what condition they are in I am not burning any oil

Originally used for boat engines hence the name sea foam

Capacitor Discharge (CD) ignition was introduced in the late 60s and this alone significantly reduced spark plug fouling and gum formation. In the 30s ignition systems on outboards were primitive to say the least.

I worked for Outboard Marine (Johnson and Evinrude) then (mid to late 60s) and ski boats had the most problems with fouling because of the start stop operation. We also introduced CD ignition on Lawn Boy mowers.

The other advance was the introduction of Low Ash oils for 2 cycle engines reducing greatly the formation of combustion deposits.

Seafoam got it’s name because it was originally made for marine engines stored over the winter.


The “active” ingredient in Sea foam is 10-20% anhydrous isopropyl alcohol. This allows small amounts of water to become soluble in the gas tank. The rest (naphtha and pale oil) is light petroleum distillate.