I have some hydraulic disc brakes, and for one reason or another they get contaminated. My dad (who's worked on cars for ages) told me to use engine starter fluid, but I'm kind of skeptical about this. I know they make some brake cleaners, but would starter fluid accomplish the same task without negative side effects?
Seeing that starter fluid could contain any number of things, I wouldn't.
You can simply use isopropyl alcohol. Very cheap, typically most grocery stores would stock it and you want to get as simple and pure as possible. ie. don't buy the scented ones.
In liquid form, you can easily use a toothbrush and give them a good clean. It will decrease and get most grime out and put you back to step 1 of bedding in the pads. I have use this a number of times to clean off even DOT 5 from pads.
With isopropyl alcohol it doesn't matter if they are sintered or organic pads and any excess isopropyl alcohol will simply evaporate with minimal residue. The key is to brush and 'wash' of as much as possible and not to simply soak them.