Degreasing Agents – Finding Eco-Friendly Industrial Cleaners

Degreasing agents are a type of cleaning product used in several industries for lifting grease, oil, fats, or other contaminants from the surface of an object. Solvents are a common choice for removing unwanted contaminants from difficult to clean surfaces. Degreasing agents are frequently used to clean floors, machine parts, automotive parts, industrial stoves, and kitchen areas. The decision to use a solvent for lifting grease or grime raises some concern regarding the eco-friendliness of these products. Flammable, toxic solvents are harmful to humans, plant life, animals, water sources, and the air. Water-based degreasing agents containing a reduced amount of solvents are one option companies have for reducing environmental impact. Environmentally friendly options offer a safer choice for meeting cleaning needs. It is important to evaluate how a choice will affect the surrounding atmosphere when choosing a degreasing agent for quick, easy removal.

What Characteristics Create a Safer Cleaning Agent?

Many products have eco-friendly printed right on the label, but it is important to know what actually makes each available choice safer for the environment. Traditional cleaners have three specific drawbacks: surface abrasion, harmful to the body, toxic to the environment.  The chemicals making up these industrial cleaners are harmful to the skin and should never be inhaled or ingested. Ingredients in eco-friendly alternatives are:

  • Gentler on Surfaces
  • Safer to Handle
  • Non-toxic
  • Biodegradable

Residue created from traditional industrial cleaners remains in bodies of water and soil for a longer period of time. This contributes to toxicity in the surrounding eco-system and poses harm to every form of life with access to the water polluted water or soil source. Businesses and individuals requiring a degreasing agent must keep the possible negative impacts of a chosen solvent based cleaner. Before choosing a degreaser, consider the manufacturing processes used to make the product in addition to its ingredients. Solvent-free degreasing agents typically contain alkaline chemicals, surfactants, or a combination of the two. A water-based or solvent-free cleaner can be beneficial as long as it meets degreasing requirements.

Choose a manufacturer who takes the environment into consideration during creation of their product. The manufacturer should use ingredients that are as close as possible to their natural state to avoid extensive processing steps. Renewable plant or vegetative based materials are a much safer choice than products made from fossil fuel reserves. Does the manufacturer minimize energy consumption and is waste material properly treated prior to disposal? The cleaner should effectively meet specified needs, have recyclable qualities, and offer eco-friendly benefits. While not every eco-friendly selection will provide the required results, a variety of less harmful cleaners are available with the capability to supply the same if not better results. If you have been considering switching to less volatile, safer alternatives, take plenty of time to consider each possible option before making a choice. Then choose a suitable product that is capable of meeting your specific degreasing requirements and not harmful to the environment.

Industrial cleaners are necessary in a number of industries and play a pivotal safety role. For more information about environmentally friendly, low VOC products, please call (800) 886-8240 or email