Industrial manufacturing companies need to practice parts cleaning to protect all components of essential machinery. Since this machinery costs thousands of dollars to acquire, companies should not overlook the parts cleaning process. The easiest way to complete parts cleaning is by using degreasers, which are chemicals that remove grease and other contaminants from the surface of machine parts. Once degreasers have been applied to these parts, they will be ready to undergo painting or electroplating. There is a wide range of chemicals produced by different manufacturers and businesses will sometimes find it too time-consuming to research the advantages and disadvantages of using certain chemicals, and will simply go with the least expensive chemical available. Failing to properly research these products before making a purchase not only jeopardizes the condition of the company’s machines but can also hurt the environment.
An environmentally friendly alternative is to use organic solvents. Unlike degreasers and inorganic solvents, these solvents are made entirely from natural ingredients and are therefore environmentally friendly. The product’s eco-friendly properties are not the only thing that makes solvents a better parts cleaning tool, as even inorganic solvents perform better than degreasers when it comes to adequately cleaning machine parts. Below are a few advantages of using chemical solvents for parts cleaning:
- Solvents have less airborne emissions than vapor degreasers.
- Less ventilation is needed for parts cleaning, which means that it is easier to set up a cleaning operation.
- Solvents are much safer for employees to work with and be around compared to vapor degreasing agents.
While inorganic solvents offer advantages like the ones noted above, there are also some disadvantages to using these chemicals for parts cleaning. Among them:
- Petroleum-based minerals, which are frequently included as an ingredient in solvent formulas, pose a fire hazard.
- Solvents give off less airborne emissions, yet will still emit trace amounts of toxic substances into the environment. Individuals who work with these chemicals in a poorly ventilated area can be exposed to health risks.
- Complex government regulations restrict certain disposal methods, meaning that getting rid of solvent waste is complex and costly.
However one does not encounter these disadvantages when using organic solvents. Since organic solvents are only made from natural materials, an employee can apply these chemicals to dirty machine parts, wait for contaminants to be removed, and then wash it away with water. This saves the company money because it does not have to pay expensive disposal fees.
The company also avoids expensive lawsuits resulting from worker illnesses caused by exposure to unsafe chemicals. Inorganic solvents have been shown to include substances that cause cancer and might also contain volatile organic compounds. Even workers that do not suffer a serious illness can come down with a minor side effect and call in sick to work, resulting in lost workplace productivity. On the other hand, using organic solvents keeps employees safe.
Organic solvents are the only degreasers that are safe for employees and the environment, and they also work better than other cleaners. Companies that need to complete parts cleaning should check to make sure that all cleaning agents are organic before beginning the cleaning process.