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The Disadvantages Of Using Petroleum Cleaning Solvents

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

Several industries such as automotive, aerospace, bio medical and general manufacturing are required to meet parts cleaning regulations. Many of these industries seek the most effective and inexpensive way to meet the parts washing criteria and for years have used petroleum solvents as the solution. However, as new solutions have arrived many of the industries realize that petroleum solvents have more issues than they do value. Read this article further to learn more about the disadvantages of using petroleum cleaning solvents for your parts cleaning process. 

What Are Petroleum Solvents?

Simply put, solvents clean parts by dissolving away the dirt. They contain mineral spirits, VOCs and other chlorinated solvents like trichloroethane, trichlorethylene, benzene, and xylenes. These are used for parts cleaning because they quickly dissolve oil, grease, grime, and burnt- on carbon. However, although these solvents are very effective, they continue to raise significant environmental, health and economic concerns. 

What Are The Issues Of Using Petroleum Solvents?

Manufacturing industries are increasingly becoming more aware of the many hazards that are the result using petroleum solvents in the parts washing process. The following are some of these hazards you should be aware of:

  • Many believe petroleum solvents to be cost effective. However, petroleum solvents can be costly and potentially toxic to dispose of making it an effective solvent for cleaning but hazardous during the aftermath.
  • Also, the start up costs for petroleum are significantly less than other cleaning solutions. However, these solvents don’t always effectively clean the first time, requiring the parts to be cleaned again using more of the solution to do so. 
  • The chemicals are toxic enough to increase the risk of cancer for the people who are involved. Employers can try and control the exposure but petroleum solvents evaporate quickly making the process difficult.
  • Petroleum solvents are also highly flammable, which is a major concern for many industries. 

What Is The Most Effective Alternative?

With several issues associated with petroleum solvents, what is the most effective parts cleaning solution? Aqueous solutions are water based cleaners that, unlike petroleum based solvents, are typically nonflammable and contain little or no VOCs. Instead of dissolving grease and solids, aqueous cleaners rely on heat, agitation, and soap action to break dirt into smaller particles. Although they clean differently, aqueous cleaners perform as well as solvents. A lot of businesses have switched to aqueous cleaning solutions because it provides a safer work environment and the disposal process is simpler and less hazardous than other solvents and mineral spirits. These cleaning solvents have a higher start up cost but save money overall with effective cleaning and easy disposal process. 

Jenfab | Aqueous Cleaning

Since 1960, JenFab has developed innovative technology for aqueous cleaning solutions. With a versatile product selection, JenFab has what you need to get started on a safer and cost effective cleaning parts path.

Wondering how the systems work? Check out our detailed videos on our YouTube Channel.

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