cleaning solvents

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Sanitizing Food Preparation Surfaces with Sanitizers

Prepping Surfaces for Food Preparation

With the constant news stories of food-borne illness rising each and every year, there is a need for more effective cleaning and sanitation procedures and materials in the food manufacturing industry. To ensure the lowest possible chance of illness resulting from unclean surfaces, detergent-based cleaners are not potent enough to remove pathogens. In a study performed by J Barker, results showed that detergents failed to decontaminate tested surfaces in all but one trial. Consequently, when developing a surface preparation procedure, it is critical to use a detergent-based cleaner and a sanitizer once the cleaner has been used to ensure the lowest chance of organic food contamination!

Disinfectants vs Sanitizers

Similarities

  • Designed to kill microorganisms
  • Regulated by US EPA

Differences

  • Sanitizers used on food-contact surfaces & soft surfaces
  • Disinfectants used on hard surfaces
  • Disinfectants used to destroy or irreversibly inactivate the microorganisms listed on their label
  • Sanitizers used at lower concentrations & for shorter periods of time
  • Disinfectants used at high concentrations & for longer times

It is important to remember that sanitizers are used to reduce bacterial count by 99.999% on food preparation surfaces within 30 seconds while disinfectants are used to kill all targeted organisms within 10 minutes. Therefore, utilizing both in a cleaning procedure will allow you to reduce chances of illness as much as possible.

Overview of a General Cleaning and Sanitizing Process for Food Contact Surfaces and Equipment

A usual method for cleaning and sanitizing food contact surfaces and equipment utilizes liquids and is in three steps: clean, rinse, sanitize.

Clean

  • Cleaning agents remove dirt, germs, objects, and impurities from contact surfaces and equipment.
  • For regulatory purposes, the cleaning agent is not required to be organic.
  • All cleaners or detergents used must meet the FDA’s requirements.
  • Cleaners and detergents have been developed to be rinsed off, so a rinse step is needed to prevent the contamination of organic foods from the cleaning agent’s residues.

Rinse

  • Rinsing with potable water will remove the cleaning agents from surfaces and equipment.

Sanitize

  • Sanitizers are used on cleaned surfaces to make certain that the surface is free of pathogenic microbes.
  • In most state and federal food safety protocols, a sanitizing step is required for food contact surfaces.
  • Since sanitizers are designed to leave anti-bacterial residue on food contact surfaces, they aren’t allowed to be in contact with organic food.
    • Consequently, USDA organic regulations permit the use of a few synthetic sanitizers for food surfaces.

Allowed Cleaners, Detergents, and Soaps

The only requirement for cleaners, detergents, and soaps in the food surface cleaning process is that they must be prevented from coming in contact with organic food. Thus, cleaning agents are required to be rinsed from the food contact surface prior to use. The USDA organic regulations do not specifically list any approved cleaners since the guidelines require the removal of any cleaner form food contact surfaces and equipment. Therefore, the proper removal of the cleaner will ensure that no residue will be in contact with organic foods.

Approved Sanitizers

  • Chlorine Materials
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Ozone
  • Peracetic acid/peroxyacetic acid
  • Phosphoric acid
  • Potassium hydroxide
  • Sodium hydroxide

Approved Sanitizers (Requires intervening step to ensure zero contamination

  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Acetic acid
  • Ethyl alcohol
  • Citric products/limonene
  • Potassium permanganate
  • Sulfuric acid
  • Vinegar
  • Quaternary ammonia

How can Ecolink help?

To purchase and find technical support on sanitizers, like isopropyl alcohol, contact us today! We will work with you to find a suitable product for your needs. We also offer samples so that you can determine if our product is right for you! Call us today at 800-563-1305 or check out our shop!

 

industrial-degreasing

Should you Reduce Tetrachloroethylene (PERC) Exposure?

Since the mid-1930s, PERC, also known as perchloroethylene, PCE, tetrachloroethylene, and tetrachloroethene, has been an effective organic solvent that has mainly been used in the dry cleaning industry and to a lesser extent, in metal degreasing. PERC was an ideal dry cleaning solvent because of its excellent cleaning power, stable, non-flammable properties, and gentleness towards many articles of clothing. Many of the qualities that made PERC a desirable dry cleaning solvent also contributed to its usefulness in vapor degreasing. However, there were concerns that workers who routinely breathed excessive amounts of the solvent vapor or spilled PERC on their skin were at risk of developing health problems. In 1993, research data had led many organizations to believe that PERC was a potential human carcinogen; as a result, California and the EPA decided to begin regulating the use of PERC by establishing a Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) and producing advisory content concerning workplace exposure reduction. The current Occupational Safety and Health Administration PEL for PERC is 100 parts per million (8-hour TWA).

Although the dry cleaning industry has refined the control of PERC and created new equipment that has much lower exposure than older models, there is still a necessity to reduce employee exposure to the solvent in order to prevent health hazards that could result from long-term exposure.

Possible health effects of PERC Exposure

  • Dizziness, drowsiness, and loss of coordination
  • Mild loss of memory, visual perception, and reaction time after several years of exposure
  • Redness and blistering of the skin after extended dermal contact.

Primary Sources of PERC Exposure

  • Loading dirty garments into the machine (when perc-contaminated air is displaced and forced out of the machine)
  • Removing garments, especially thick articles, before the drying cycle is completed
  • Transferring solvent-laden clothes into the dryer
  • Lint and button filter cleaning
  • Raking out the still (distillation unit residue)
  • Solvent filter changes
  • Water separator maintenance
  • Hazardous waste management

Replacement: Safe for You and Your Employees!

With increasing regulations regarding PERC usage, the best solution to keep employees safe and prevent compliance headaches is replace PERC and use FluoSolv! FluoSolv is a solvent degreaser that is also commonly used for metal degreasing. If our existing blends of FluoSolv aren’t right for you, then contact us to create a custom blend that fits your needs! There are no charges for samples (up to 1-gallon), so check our FluoSolv page or give us a call today! 

 

npb-substitution

Our HCFC based aerosol is discontinued – See what’s taking its place!

Out with the Old, In with the New

SELECT FREE is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-based solvent used in many electrical maintenance applications and has been known for its exceptional cleaning performance. SELECT FREE is designed to clean contacts, relays, and other critical electronic components. It was manufactured as a replacement for CFC-113 contact cleaners, but the time has come for SELECT FREE to step down. Ecolink has discontinued the sale and production of SELECT FREE due to the hazards associated with HCFC.

EPA Ban on HCFC

On January 1, 2010 the EPA placed a ban on production, import and use of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b with exceptions. In 2015, updates included all HCFCs and exceptions were limited to refrigeration equipment. By the year 2020 the phaseout will be complete and the servicing of systems with R-22 will rely on recycled or stockpiled quantities.

Carry on with FluoSolv AP

With the HCFC ban, SELECT FREE was inevitably discontinued and replaced by FluoSolv™ AP manufactured by NuGenTec. The solvent FluoSolv™ AP is an effective cleaner for de-fluxing electronic assemblies and other intricate electrical parts. FluoSolv™ AP is ideally balanced to deliver performance and worker safety.

  • Non-ozone depleting chemical (ODC)
  • Low global warming potential (GWP)
  • Low toxicity; high allowable exposure limit (AEL)
  • Chemically stable; will not turn acidic
  • Flash point of 44°C

This product is recommended for use in modern vapor degreasing equipment or spray and wipe aerosol application. FluoSolv™ AP is a stable azeotropic blend that is easy to reclaim by a simple distillation process.

55 Gallon Drum | 5 Gallon Pail

Why You Should Rethink Purchasing Acetone From a Reseller

Using a distributor is the first choice for many businesses to purchase industrial supplies since it is both convenient and consolidates purchasing. However, there are several benefits to be had by buying directly from the resellers’ provider that you should be aware of.

Acetone Resellers

Are You Buying Acetone Cleaner Through One of These Distributors? We have a deal for you!

If you are purchasing commodity chemicals like Acetone from any of these national distributors, you may have considered who they’re sourcing from, and if it is possible for you to use the same supplier. The answer is yes! Ecolink saves you time by cutting out the middle man and helps your bottom line by avoiding distributor markups. We sell our products through these companies because they are good at what they do, but there are times when the benefits make buying direct the superior option. In the case of a chemical like Acetone, we guarantee you will enjoy the savings.

Call (800) 563-1305 to learn more about commodity chemicals offered by Ecolink or email us at acetone@ecolink.com.

Getting Pure Acetone Cleaner for Less

One 55 gallon barrel of Acetone can be purchased for $451 in our online shop. If you browse reseller pricing, you will see 55-gallon drums selling at prices up to 5x our current rate! Why pay more for the exact same product? Our pricing has remained consistent and we’re able to pass the savings to you by avoiding markups that result from products passing through too many channels. We also have low minimums for customers that need less.

Industrial Solvent: What You Need, When You Need It

Knowing how vital it is to have the tools you need to operate when you need them, we believe it’s important to be aware that most resellers do not keep products like Acetone in stock. By ordering directly with Ecolink, you will benefit from same day shipping and reduced freight costs. In addition, communicating directly with the supplier can add value to customers who need more accurate, real-time information on the products and their use.

Understanding the benefits of buying direct will help you make a more informed decision about your chemical solvent purchasing. If you need to talk to one of our chemical advisors, you can reach us at 800-563-1305 or at acetone@ecolink.com. If you would like to purchase Acetone from our shop, click on the links below:

◦Acetone | 55 Gallon Drum                 ◦Acetone | 5 Gallon Pail

 

NEW II: A Cheaper, Qualified Alternative to AK-070-II Solvent from Alfakleen

NEW II Solvent Degreaser: Cheaper, Faster

How Ecolink’s MIL-PRF-680 TYPE II products stack up against Alfakleen’s

A product that is qualified to the MIL-PRF-680 Type II specification is just that, a product that qualifies. Our NEW II solvent cleaner, as listed in the QPD (Qualified Product Database), is qualified to the performance specification while Alfakleen’s is not. If your T.O. (Technical Order) does not specify that a qualified product is needed, then you may be wondering, why choose Ecolink over other suppliers?

Price: NEW II Can Be Purchased at a Lower Cost Than Alfakleen’s Degreasing Solvent

We don’t seek to be the cheapest option on the market, but our fair pricing makes low cost a reality. When purchased in volume, Ecolink’s NEW II product is cheaper per drum, which saves you hundreds over Alfakleen’s degreasing solvent cleaner. Two similar products, two different price points – we like making decisions easy.

If you’re working with an older specification such as PD 680 or A-A-59601, our product Parts Kleen II can save you additional money. Stay tuned to the blog for more on Parts Kleen II.

If you would like to learn more about pricing, call (800) 563-1305 to speak with a representative or email us at new2@ecolink.com.

Speed: Receiving Your Green Cleaning Products Faster with Ecolink

For some customers, responsiveness is key, which is why we are fully committed to providing a level of customer service that exceeds expectations. NEW II is a stocked item that can be shipped same day. We are flexible with demand and able to compensate for customers who use JIT (Just in time) inventory management. Compared to Alfakleen’s 1-7 day window for processing orders, our product can realistically be in your possession before theirs has shipped.

Safety: Cleaner for You, Cleaner for the Environment

NEW II has a high-grade hydrocarbon base which gives it the strength to remove grease, fuel oil, carbon, and organic resins. This non-chlorinated degreaser is also safe for use on most plastic and rubber surfaces. NEW II contains no Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) as defined by the EPA and is a non Ozone-Depleting Substance. The solvent is odorless and evaporates completely leaving no resin, evaporation can be accelerated with compressed air. Additional safety benefits of this environmentally preferred parts cleaner include a low VOC count and high flash point. See links to product shopping pages below:

4 x 1 Gallon Case5 Gallon Pail15 Gallon Drum55 Gallon Drum

To request a sample call (800) 563-1305 or email us at new2@ecolink.com. To view other solvents offered by Ecolink and their MIL-SPEC approvals, click HERE

Volatile-compounds

Understanding Cleaning Solvents: What is a Volatile Solvent & are there Other Options?

By technical definition, volatile solvents are substances that demonstrate a high degree of volatility in one or more contexts for one or more reasons. A volatile solvent can be classified in several ways, including: the agent in its formulation that causes volatility, whether the agent is manmade or organic, and the potential problems that the volatility is known to cause.

In this entry, we look at a particular class of volatile solvents, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), defining what they are and discussing what can be done to limit the negative repercussions of their volatility to help protect human health, particularly in industrial work settings, where an unusually high volume of volatile solvent is used in a given period of time.

What Are Volatile Organic Compounds?

Volatile organic compounds — a term that is typically shortened to the initialism “VOC” — are organic chemicals that have a high evaporation rate at room temperature. For example, the VOC formaldehyde, which is frequently found in commercial paint, has a boiling point of –2 °F. This means that the chemical will rapidly evaporate when the paint can is opened or the paint is sprayed onto a surface using mechanical pressurization equipment or an aerosol solution.

Concerning their origin, VOCs can be separated into two broad classes: biologically generated (i.e., naturally occurring) and anthropogenic (i.e., made by humans). Both classes of VOCs are widely used in industrial work processes, from painting, to degreasing, to the application of protective coatings. Examples of VOCs that are commonly used in industrial settings — or were commonly used before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulated their use — are:

  • Benzene
  • Chlorofluorocarbons
  • Chlorocarbons
  • Methylene chloride
  • Perchloroethylene
  • MTBE
  • Formaldehyde

Not all VOCs are as harmful to human health as others. For example, chronic exposure to benzene is strongly associated with cancer, whereas the biologically generated VOC myrcene has no such connection. However, when a VOC is harmful to human health but must nonetheless be used in industrial processes, the company or organization should implement a set of strict safety measures to protect workers from inhaling vapor from the substance.

Protecting Against Toxic VOC Exposure

Unlike exposure to destructive agents such as hydrochloric acid, which can cause immediate, permanent injury, persistent injuries from exposure to toxic VOCs often occur gradually — and the primary method of exposure that causes the injuries is well known: inhalation. Consequently, any work environment where a dangerous, volatile solvent is used should feature the following protective measures to help prevent workers from receiving health threatening injuries.

  • Ventilation system for filtering airborne contaminants
  • Personal protective equipment suitable for the level of exposure
  • Applying solvent in airtight cleaning systems if possible
  • Airtight solvent waste trap for preventing emissions

VOCs are sometimes misconstrued to be safe due to their organic nature, but this isn’t always the case. That is why it’s important to work with an experienced provider of industrial solvent solutions before you order a volatile solvent. If you need assistance selecting an industrial solvent for a specific cleaning operation or general cleaning, contact the solvent specialists at Ecolink today by calling (800) 563-1305, or refer to the contact page on our website.

 

cleaning-solvents

Environmental Safety: Are There Different Types of Cleaning Solvents?

Companies that have industrial grade cleaning needs have hundreds of different cleaning solvents to choose from, depending on the type of cleaning that must be performed. These cleaning solutions can be differentiated in several ways. Since the green movement began and solvent users became more environmentally conscious, one of the most popular ways of distinguishing solvents is categorizing them based on their effect on the natural environment.

In terms of environmental safety, cleaning solvents are often placed in the following categories by the companies that supply them: toxic solvents, environmentally preferred solvents, and environmentally safe solvents. Below, we take a look at each classification regarding its general safety profile for the environment as a whole.

Toxic Solvents
In most cases, toxic solvents are cleaning solutions that have at least one ingredient that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers hazardous due to the substance’s negative effects on human health and the environment. Thankfully, there is no guesswork in choosing cleaning solvents whose ingredients are not regulated by the EPA. Cleaning solvent ingredients that are regulated by the EPA are posted in the organization’s List of Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) that was originally created in 1990 as an extension of the Clean Air Act.

Environmentally Preferred Solvents
Environmentally preferred solvents are considered non-toxic to the environment, but they often contain some ingredients that workers should watch out for, particularly volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that instantaneously evaporate at room temperature. More often than not, these solvents contain a low percentage of VOCs per volume (e.g., 5%) if they contain VOCs at all. Due to the reasonably safe formulation of the cleaners, many companies and organizations have the opportunity to use environmentally preferred solvents in large volume.

Environmentally Safe Solvents
In terms of how they impact the environment, environmentally safe solvents are a step above environmentally preferred solvents. Whereas the latter type of solvents often contain a small percentage of potentially dangerous ingredients that are included strictly for cleaning purposes, the former type of solvents contain no such ingredients and are environmentally safe to use when they are applied according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Need Eco Friendly Cleaning Solvents?
If so, Ecolink is one of the best places to find them. We offer a wide array of cleaners that are environmentally preferred or environmentally safe. These solutions are ideal for companies that must carefully manage emissions, reduce or eliminate the presence of hazardous chemicals and/or volatile organic compounds in the work environment, and replace cleaners whose ingredients have been regulated by the EPA with cleaners whose ingredients are safer.

In addition to providing stock cleaners, we can formulate cleaning solvents that are tailored to unique cleaning requirements — and all of our industrial cleaners are competitively priced. To inquire about which of our environmentally prefered solvents and environmentally safe solvents are a good fit for your company or organization’s cleaning needs, please give us a call today at (800) 563-1305, or refer to our contact page. We look forward to hearing from you!

Industrial Degreasers – Getting Eco-Friendly Cleaning Solutions

Several common cleaning products that can be found in homes and are purchased by unsuspecting people contain hazardous chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that emit smog-forming chemicals and can be harmful to anyone who comes in contact with the noxious gas. All-purpose cleaners and industrial degreasers, as well as specialty products can pollute indoor air quality and might cause respiratory illness, along with eye and skin irritation to those who are around it frequently, particularly janitorial and other cleaning staffs. Substituting traditional, yet harmful cleaning products for ecofriendly cleaning solutions and safer industrial degreasers improves air quality and protects the health and safety of individuals exposed to the chemicals they emit, as well as the environment.

Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions from cleaning products occur when propellant and organic solvents evaporate. Released chemicals remain in the air for an entire day, and often times longer. For example, in the greater Chicago area, twenty tons of VOCs are released into the air from the use of cleaning products each day. It is estimated that for every one hundred janitors who switch to more environmentally friendly (green) cleaning products, VOC emissions will drop by one ton per year. Studies have also shown that the use of “green” cleaning products reduces the incidents of health problems among janitorial staffs. It has also been proven that green alternative cleaning solutions are less expensive.

Who should get ecofriendly cleaning solutions and safer industrial degreasers? Any person who uses cleaning products at home or work (industrial degreasers) should replace hazardous, VOC emitting degreasers and cleaning products with green alternatives and safer products, such as ecofriendly cleaning solutions. In addition, those who truly care about making a difference with safer degreasers and solvents should join Clean Air Counts—a Chicago region clean air initiative.

The benefits of using low VOC cleaning products include significantly lower emissions of smog-forming chemicals into the air from VOCs, much improved health safety for individuals using these industrial degreasers and solvent products. To those who might still be on the fence regarding these green alternatives or are concerned that these ecofriendly cleaning solutions are more expensive, explain that Low VOC cleaning products have been proven to cost less. Though saving money is quite important, the main reason for switching to ecofriendly cleaning solutions should be to protect people and the environment.

Call 800 886-8240 or email info@ecolink.com to discuss your current use of industrial degreasers or cleaning solvents. With over 200 products to choose from, including several new formulations not yet listed on the website, we feel certain we can expand upon the savings and safety improvements enjoyed for nearly 20 years. Chemist owned and operated, we offer guaranteed FREE samples, including FREE freight, to evaluate for a RISK-FREE evaluation.

 

Denatured Alcohol vs. Rubbing Alcohol

Alcohol is one of many organic compounds companies use to clean parts or machinery involved with the manufacturing of a finished product. It is applied in a variety of industries and is also included as a component of fuels, antiseptics, preservatives, and solvents. Products offered with alcohol as a base contain varying percentages of ethanol, which is the compound’s most common form. For example, an alcoholic beverage contains approximately 5 to 40 percent ethanol based on the total volume whereas an antiseptic often contains between 60 to 90 percent ethanol, propanol, or isopropanol. The agent is applied as a solvent in several industries because it has a rather low toxicity when compared to alternative cleaning choices.order-now

What is Denatured Alcohol?

Denatured alcohol, sometimes referred to as methylated spirits, includes specific additives that make it non-drinkable. This form of ethanol has a bad taste, smells foul, and is poisonous if ingested. The additives exist to deter individuals from attempting to consume it for recreational purposes. Typically applied as a solvent, denatured alcohol is suitable for numerous application needs. Many forms contain approximately 10 percent methanol as the additive, rather than other common alternatives such as isopropyl alcohol, denatonium, methyl isobutyl ketone, and acetone. Denatured alcohol is used in wood sanding, small camping stove fuel, cleaning aids, application as a solvent, and in the production of some fuels.

How is Rubbing Alcohol Different?

Rubbing alcohol is considered to be a surgical spirit rather than a methylated spirit since it is used in medical environments as a topical application. It is a type of denatured alcohol prepared from a special solution consisting of roughly 70 percent pure ethanol or isopropyl alcohol in its concentrated form. The generic term rubbing alcohol is used to describe either isopropyl or ethyl based products with similar qualities, and is essentially a unique type of denatured solution. The two forms are designed to serve different purposes and antiseptic versions can be used as a gentle solvent substitute for home or business applications.

Applications of Denatured Products

Alternative denatured forms are used as a quick evaporating solvent by hobbyists, cleaning crews, painters, and manufacturing environments. Denatured alcohol is applied as a dependable cleaner to accomplish spot or grime removal. The quick drying properties are an exceptional function when the substance must not remain on the surface for an extended period of time. Camping stoves include denatured alcohol in fuels because it is an ideal clean burning solution that can be easily put out with water. To summarize, rubbing alcohol works as a minor cleaning solvent and is meant to be applied as an antiseptic. Denatured alcohol is used as a solvent, a fuel additive, and for sanding or finishing purposes and should never be applied as an antiseptic or consumed. Both forms are highly flammable making it important to take extra precautions when handling in an enclosed environment or using in large quantities.

Denatured alcohol is highly effective as a solvent and cleaning agent. For more information about our denatured alcohol products, please call (800) 563-1305 or send an email to products@ecolink.com.