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What types of solvents can be used with solvent-based parts washers?

Solvent-based parts washers are designed to clean parts using solvents as the cleaning agent. The choice of solvent depends on the specific application, the type of contaminants to be removed, and any regulatory or safety considerations. 

Here are some commonly used solvents in solvent-based parts washers:

  • Mineral Spirits: Also known as Stoddard solvent or white spirit, mineral spirits are petroleum-derived solvents widely used for general cleaning purposes. They are effective in removing greases, oils, and many other common contaminants.
  • Hydrocarbon Solvents: These solvents, such as naphtha, are derived from petroleum and are often used for cleaning parts that are not sensitive to the solvent. They are effective in removing oils, greases, and heavy residues.
  • Chlorinated Solvents: Solvents like trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), and methylene chloride have been traditionally used for parts cleaning due to their strong cleaning capabilities. However, their usage is increasingly regulated or restricted due to environmental and health concerns.
  • Alcohol-Based Solvents: Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) or ethanol are commonly used solvents in parts cleaning for electronics, medical devices, and delicate components. They effectively remove contaminants like flux residues, fingerprints, and light oils.
  • Glycol Ether Solvents: Solvents like butyl cellosolve or propylene glycol ether are used for cleaning applications that require a balance between cleaning power and low toxicity. They can remove various contaminants such as oils, greases, and certain adhesives.
  • Aromatic Hydrocarbon Solvents: Solvents like toluene and xylene are aromatic hydrocarbons used for specific cleaning applications. They are effective in removing paints, varnishes, adhesives, and other stubborn contaminants.

It’s important to note that the choice of solvent should be made with consideration for safety, regulatory compliance, and the specific materials being cleaned. Some solvents may have flammability or health hazards associated with them, so it’s essential to follow safety guidelines and regulations when using solvent-based parts washers. Additionally, check with local regulations and environmental guidelines to ensure the proper handling, disposal, and recycling of solvents used in your parts cleaning processes.

Solvent Recycling Systems, LLC