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Considerations for choosing the best Solvent Cleaner and Degreaser

Most manufacturing companies evaluate the many potential solvent cleaners and degreasers based on two very common factors: performance and cost.  Although these are very important considerations, there are several other aspects and differences that should be taken into account when selecting your final brand.  

EPA Regulations

Even if you are not particularly interested in “green” technologies, you should always be aware of the EPA’s stance on the types of chemicals that are legally allowed to be contained within your solvent cleaners and degreasers. There is a growing national concern regarding environment awareness, and the EPA is following suit by banning or prohibiting the use of several types of hazardous chemicals contained within these substances. As the regulations continue to tighten, be wary of buying brand names that may soon be obsolete. You may end up with a huge stockpile of solvents that you can never use.

Age of the Machinery and Individual Parts

Solvent cleaners and degreasers are not only tough on dirt and grime, they can also be very harsh on the individual pieces and parts of your manufacturing machinery. Some brand names can speed up the oxidation process, cause increased amounts of rust and corrosion, and perhaps even leave large water spots that can hamper the smooth running interaction between individual parts and mechanisms. “Cheaper” is not always “better”. Look for products that have limited threats of oxidation, corrosion, and water spots.

Pricing based on Petroleum

Be aware that some of your solvent cleaners and degreasers may contain certain types of petroleum distillates. Petroleum is basically a fancy word for “oil”, and oil prices can drastically fluctuate. By choosing a company brand that is constantly increasing its solvent pricing with every price increase of petroleum, you may begin to witness a rollercoaster effect when it comes to your corporate maintenance budget. Choosing a biodegradable option or one that is non-petroleum based will keep your expenses more uniform. Even better, you can save more money in the excessive disposal fees associated with the waste products of petroleum products.

Supplier Stability

When you consider the above listed three additional considerations, you can begin to see how some suppliers of environmentally questionable solvent cleaners and degreasers can be somewhat unstable. As the EPA guidelines and protocol continue to become more rigid and inflexible, these other company brands will begin to experience a severe decrease in profits. This means that their products will either increase in price considerably or disappear altogether. Look for a company that is already offering environmentally safe and bio-degradable solutions. These will be the ones who will be remaining in business for the long term and who’s pricing will be much more stable and dependable.


Of course there are many other considerations, such as higher flash points or lower VOC’s, but choosing the perfect types of solvent cleaners and degreasers for your very expensive manufacturing machinery is not an issue that should be taken lightly. When reviewing your many options, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call the sales representative of the solvent supplier. Many of your concerns can be put to rest very easily.

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