solvent recycling

Biodegradable Parts Washers: The Case for Biodegradable Solvents

Since enclosed parts washing systems became a common solution for cleaning parts on an industrial scale, a large percentage of solvents used in the machines have been downright dangerous for the environment. Death and mutation of aquatic life, urban smog that makes you cough, and a polluted atmosphere that produces acid rain are just a few of the problems.

As time has gone on, though, eco friendly solvent producers have developed biodegradable parts washers that are better for the environment — and, by extension, better for the company or organization that uses them. If you’re in the market for new parts washers for your parts washing system, below are four benefits of using biodegradable parts washers.

  1. Reduced Chemical Landfill Use

Most conventional landfills won’t knowingly accept barrels or canisters of hazardous waste solvent, but chemical landfills specialize in this practice. These landfills keep chemicals in sturdy, tightly sealed containers. However, over the course of decades, time takes its toll, and causes the containers to weaken, and release toxic liquids or hazardous gasses.

  1. Fewer Hazardous Air Pollutants

Some biodegradable parts washers contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are harmful to human health but are nonetheless biodegradable due to their organic origin. However, fully biodegradable parts washers lack manmade hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) that reduce air quality and damage ozone, just as they reduce human quality of life by damaging health.

Emission of HAPs that are included in the EPA’s List of Lists can draw heavy fines that increase based on the emissions level. In this respect, using biodegradable parts washers does more than protect the environment; it also helps protect your company’s finances.

  1. Spares Weakened Ecosystems

From a standpoint of thriving versus languishing, some of the weakest ecosystems in the world are located near large facilities that pump out non-biodegradable waste solvent through pipes that lead directly to streams, which flow into rivers that reach oceans.

Laws that result in heavy fines from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have largely curbed this practice in the U.S., but it still exists in other countries whose business practices haven’t caught up with environmental awareness of nations that are trying to preserve the environment through legislation.

  1. Potential to Cut Waste Disposal

Some companies and organizations that use a line of biodegradable parts washers implement a process for biologically degrading the solvents on-site. As one would expect, in terms of upfront investment and lifetime maintenance, implementing such a system is typically the most profitable for entities that use a large volume of biodegradable parts washers, and pay a higher than normal annual waste disposal bill.

Need Biodegradable Parts Washers?

If so, we’d like to present you with a range of options, and help you decide which one(s) best meet your parts washing requirements. In addition to providing highly effective stock solutions, we also produce custom solvents when a compatible stock solution simply isn’t available.

To get started on selecting eco friendly parts washers, call us today at (800) 563-1305, or use the contact form on our website. We look forward to hearing from you!



Facility Safety: Using a Non Flammable Parts Washer Solution

Self-operating parts washers are often the only option industrial outfits have for cleaning parts within the time frame they need to be cleaned.

By extension, the only solvent option for cleaning the parts in the washer is a parts washer solvent, which can be flammable or inflammable, as well as possess a variety of other specs that make the solvent a good or bad option for the cleaning operation in question. Here, we explain why it’s preferable to use a non flammable parts washer solution.

Parts Washers and Solvent Ignition

A properly operating parts washer won’t ignite solvent used for the wash cycle. The machine’s equipment housing and washing chamber that is sealed during operation prevent combustion. Outside of the parts washer is where the real concern exists, particularly regarding the solvent storage area.

Most industrial outfits have enough space to store flammable solvents away from potential sources of ignition and combustibles that would feed the flames if the solvent happened to ignite. However, fires start in places besides the solvent storage area. If they reach the storage area, and combustible solvents are stored there, those solvents can be a proverbial powder keg that pushes the fire further out of control.

We often talk about solvent flammability in terms of worker safety on the job floor, focusing on the individual worker. But imagine if your facility experienced a fire that required everyone to evacuate quickly, for fear of losing life and limb. At that point, you’d be beyond dealing with solvent safety, dealing with emergency egress safety — as established by OSHA and the International Building Code (IBC) — instead.

Solvents: Better Safe Than Sorry? 

Any facility manager would rather use a non flammable parts washer solution instead of one that combusts. But the primary concern is selecting a parts washing solvent that cleans thoroughly and efficiently. If that means implementing a flammable solution, then that’s what is normally implemented.

However, when they work with Ecolink, industrial outfits do have the option of using a non flammable parts washer solution. We formulate custom solvents for the needs of specific users. If the flammability of your parts washing solvent is a safety concern, we can formulate a solvent that has a high flashpoint or is inflammable, and provide you with a free sample, so you can test the results. If the solvent addresses your requirements, order it in the amount you want, in the type of packaging you want, on the schedule you want. We handle the rest.

Contact Us Today

Ecolink has years of experience providing eco friendly solvents that have the same efficacy — if not more — than toxic solvents they are formulated to replace. In addition to accepting custom orders, we also offer a wide array of stock solutions for general and specific solvent operations.

To explore your options for using a custom non flammable parts washer solution, please contact us today at 800-563-1305, or send us a message through our contact form. We look forward to assisting you!


Cleanroom Parts Cleaning: Tips for Solvent Selection

Cleanrooms are spaces that are kept clean to an infinitesimal degree. More than just well-organized and spotless to the naked eye, they require a level of cleanliness measured “by the number of particles per cubic meter at a specified particle size,” as Wikipedia explains.

In other words, when there’s a smudge on a counter space in a cleanroom, you have to be concerned about ambient particles emitted from the solvent you use to clean the smudge, as well as ambient particles that may be released by the solvent applicator. Cleanroom parts cleaning must pass more than the eye test; it must pass scientific muster, as well.

Solvents for Cleanroom Parts Cleaning

So far, we’ve talked about the cleanliness of cleanrooms and not the cleanliness of parts that are cleaned in the pristine spaces. This is because the cleanness of the parts — more specifically, how the parts are cleaned — is inseparable from the cleanness of the room. With this in mind, below are three basic tips for choosing solvents for cleanroom parts cleaning.

  1. Choose a Non-Particulate Solvent

Depending on what the room is used for, particulate matter that’s invisible to the naked eye could compromise the operation. Particulates can settle on surfaces and risk being whisked into the air by objects that contact the surface. This is what a cleanroom is designed to avoid. All particulate matter is undesirable, so a solvent that deposits particulates is of the question.

  1. Select a Fast-Evaporating Solvent

A solvent for cleanroom parts cleaning should ideally evaporate within a few seconds at most. It should definitely evaporate before it can contact any surface besides the parts that are cleaned. If solvent particles land on surfaces, they can trap airborne particulate matter that the air filtration system hasn’t yet removed. When objects contact the surface where the particles are mired in the dry solvent, they can be whisked into the air.

  1. Choose a Non-Residue Solvent

A solvent that leaves residue has two undesirable effects for cleaning parts in cleanrooms: it leaves residue on the parts that causes them to attract particulates (i.e., soils), and it does the same thing to any surface it contacts in the room.

The parts may stay lodged in the residue instead of becoming airborne, but this isn’t a good thing. It may mean that the residue must be cleaned more vigorously than normal, which could potentially generate airborne particulate matter.

Need Assistance With Selection?

It’s hard to choose a cleanroom parts cleaning solvent without specifying what type(s) of soil you need to remove from parts, as well as what type of cleanroom environment you maintain (pharmaceutical, engineering, chemical, etc.) This is why the solvent selection tips above are fairly general instead of highly specific.

For help selecting a stock or custom formulated solvent for cleaning certain soils from specific parts in a particular type of cleanroom, please call Ecolink today at 1-800-563-1305, or use our contact form. We look forward to helping you keep your cleanroom pristine!


Parts Washing 101: What Cleaners are Used in Parts Washers?

Industrial parts washers provide a highly efficient way to perform general parts cleaning and precision parts cleaning. The end result is a combination of a washer’s cleaning process and the solvent that removes the soils. If you’re in the market for an industrial parts washing system, and you need on what cleaners are used in parts washers, the information below is for you.

What Cleaners are Used in Parts Washers?

There are several possible answers to the question, “What cleaners are used in parts washers?” To offer a meaningful response, we classify parts washer cleaners by moving from their most basic characteristics to ones that are highly specific, starting with the base the cleaners use.

Cleaner Base

Cleaners for parts washers have one of two bases: solvent or water. Solvent-based cleaners contain a solvent that dissolves two or more cleaning agents to create a homogenous formulation. Aqueous-based cleaners use water to dissolve an application of detergent and commonly use a heating process to speed the detergent dissolving and cleaning processes.

Hot or Cold     

Aqueous-based cleaners commonly require heat to achieve the best detergent dispersal and remove tough accumulations. By the same token, solvent-based cleaners often require no heat to perform efficaciously. Whether you should choose a cleaner that uses heat or one that stays cold is determined by the technology of the parts washer.

“Hot tank” washers are intended for cleaners that need heat to generate the best cleaning action. “Cold tank” washers are designed for solvents that exhibit proper efficacy at room temperature or below.

Jet Spray or Power Wash

Most parts washers use a jet spray cleaning process or a power wash process. Wikipedia provides an excellent description of each type of washer.

“A jet spray washer cleans by flooding the parts with warm chemical solution and high chemical concentration to clean the parts. In the power wash process the parts are blasted with hot chemical solution… A parts washer utilizing the power washer process operates at a very low concentration of cleaning detergent.”

Because they involve markedly different concentrations of cleaning agents, jet spray cleaners and power wash cleaners are often labeled and sold separately. The exception is when the cleaners are offered in undiluted form, and the user will create the correct formulation.

Type of Cleaning

Last, we come to why the cleaner is used: degreasing, adhesive removal, tar removal, etc. As long as the proper solvent is applied, parts washers can remove almost any type of accumulation. It’s simply a matter of choosing the right cleaner for the job, and choosing it in a form the works for your parts washer.

Contact Us Today

Now that you know what cleaners are used in parts washers, do you need to place an order or receiving help selecting the right cleaner for your requirements? If so, call us today at (800) 563-1305, or send us an email through our contact form. We offer a wide selection of eco friendly, highly efficacious parts washing cleaners. Get your greener cleaner from Ecolink!


Petroleum Solvent: A Good Option for Auto Shop Parts Washers?

The auto repair industry uses petroleum-based preparations to lubricate parts and formulate fuel for vehicles. Consequently, auto repair shops encounter a high level of petroleum accumulations that must be removed from repairable auto components and tools used to repair them. Often, the most efficient way to clean both objects is placing them in an enclosed parts washing system that removes petroleum coatings.

Is a Petroleum Solvent the Best Option?

Traditionally, auto repair shops that use parts washing machines for removing petroleum buildup use one of two types of cleaning solvents: chlorinated solvents or petroleum solvents. The former have a relatively well-known list of disadvantages you may already be familiar with, including:

  • Further contamination of waste with chlorinated agents, increasing waste removal cost
  • Emitting vapors that can be toxic if inhaled
  • Regulations limiting use, particularly in low emission zones (LEZs)

To avoid these and other drawbacks of using a chlorinated solvent in parts washers, some auto shops use a petroleum solvent instead. Most types of petroleum solvent don’t involve the waste removal expense of chlorinated solvents. Even so, they have some significant drawbacks of their own, such as:

  • Emitting vapors that can be toxic if inhaled
  • Fast evaporation, making it hard to control worker exposure
  • Oily residue requiring an additional cleaning
  • High flammability

Using a parts washing system without chlorinated and petroleum solvents can place auto repair shops in a difficult position, especially when they’re accustomed to using one or both of these types of solvents as a go-to cleaner. What type of solvent could they use instead?

Benefits of Acetone Solvent

One alternative is using acetone or an acetone blend whose ingredients have the same traits as acetone in terms of toxicity, efficacy, and waste removal. A powerful degreaser in the right formulation, acetone is a naturally occurring chemical compound that’s non-toxic and non-carcinogenic — two qualities that aren’t associated with chlorinated and petroleum solvent.

In addition, acetone is highly affordable to purchase and use. It won’t boost your chemical waste disposal bill. And its formulation is non-toxic enough that acetone can even be ingested without fatal results, although you would probably have a whopping case of upset stomach.

Acetone and Your Parts Washer

Because acetone works well as a degreaser, and auto shops use parts washers for degreasing, acetone can be a viable replacement for chlorinated solvent and petroleum solvent. First, though, ensure your parts washer would accommodate acetone or an acetone blend. If so, using acetone may offer a safer, less expensive way to degrease auto parts and tools than using a petroleum solvent.

About Ecolink

Ecolink is a supplier of environmentally safe and environmentally preferred parts cleaning solvents for a variety of parts washers. We provide both stock and custom solutions, and supply free samples so you can see the results of a solvent before you place an order.

To explore acetone options for your parts washer, call us today at 800-563-1305, or send us an email through our contact form. We look forward to supporting your cleaning needs!