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Life gets messy, and when it does, cleaners and degreasers make clean-up quick and easy. A cleaner loosens soil while degreasers dissolve water-insoluble grime. The combination of cleaning degreasers is a time-saving tool for use in:

  • Homes
  • Commercial kitchens
  • Engine repair shops
  • Factories
  • Industrial facilities

While these are just a few common uses for degreasers, the benefits include quickly loosening and dissolving built-up soils such as dirt, oil, grease, and grime.

After applying the product, wiping the soiled object reveals a clean surface in about five minutes or less. Degreasers work quickly and eliminate the need to scrub.

Degreasers are known, especially in the automotive industry, as brake cleaners, carburetor cleaners, maintenance cleaners, and precision cleaners.

For heavily soiled surfaces originating from assembly-related industrial applications, degreasers remove grease, oils, cutting fluids, corrosion inhibitors, handling soils, fingerprints.

Degreasers can be formulated as heavy-duty industrial solutions to precision products for specific applications, including cleaning sensitive components such as electronics, plastics, and rubber.

How to Use Degreaser

Automotive Applications

Parts washing machinery used in the automotive industry coincides with the degreaser, the size of the part, and the volume of components cleaned at once.

Some parts washer machine designs include front-load or top-load cabinets with rotating or stationary platforms and jet sprayers that resemble industrial dishwashers; automated conveyor belts with baskets; heated vapor submersion tanks; ultrasonic basins, and more.

Aqueous or water-based cleaning degreasers are advantageous with these systems, and advanced cleaning degreasers designed for wastewater regulatory compliance provide significant cost-saving benefits to the user and the environment.

Whether cleaning a newly manufactured automotive part, rebuilding an engine, or maintaining it, aqueous products are time-saving and safer for the user. The process is simple – put the part in the washer, turn on the power, walk away, and return to a clean part.

As environmental protection mandates are enforced from an industry perspective, toxic chemicals that are causing harm to people and the planet are being removed from the supply chain.

New advanced, industrial-strength cleaning degreasers that are water-based are proven to lift industrial-strength grease and oils as traditional chemical-based products do.

For home-based automotive maintenance, cleaning degreasers can be aerosol-based solvents. Aerosols can contribute to harmful greenhouse gases and attribute to respiratory ailments of users.

Water-based cleaning degreaser sprays can be equally as effective and a safer alternative. Depending on the manufacturer’s formulation, some are non-damaging to surfaces, including automotive metals, and are non-hazardous to users and the environment.

Some solvent-based degreasers damage automotive paint, degrade seals, destroy electrical components, and more. Different metals react to solvents.

To avoid the oxidation of aluminum, which is a common lightweight material used in modern vehicles, look for an aqueous degreaser rather than a harsh chemical solvent.

To protect components, such as electronics and wiring, if the product used to dislodge built-up grime and oils is not designed for use on electronics, cover each with plastic before cleaning and degreasing to prevent overspray from creating damage.

As a note of caution, always wear personal protective equipment (eye shield, gloves, mask) to avoid inhaling fumes and accidental splashes that can irritate the skin; caustic chemicals will leave skin burns.

Once the sensitive parts are cordoned off, it is simple – apply the product, allow the product to sit for about five minutes, and wipe clean.

Driveways and Parking Lots

A biodegradable, water-based cleaning degreaser is a go-to resource to remove unsightly oil and soil contaminants found in garages and on walkways, driveways, and parking lots.

Clearing loose debris with a leaf blower or manually with a broom is the first step to speed the process. Once the garage, walkway, driveway, or parking lot is clear, using a high-pressure power washer with a reservoir designed for a cleaning degreaser is the fastest option. However, applying a cleaning degreaser directly on a stain works just as well.

Leveraging gravity, start at the highest elevation point to be cleaned; runoff drains away from the starting point.

Use the cleaning degreaser and the high-pressure washer, allow the cleaning degreaser its appropriate dwell time, and switch to just water to rinse the surface clean.

If using a manual process, apply the cleaning degreaser directly onto the soiled area, allow the product its dwell time, and use a brush to loosen the debris. Afterward, use a garden hose to rinse the surface.

As with all power washers, be aware of what surfaces are appropriate. Power washers are known to damage brick.

Cleaning & Degreasing Kitchens

A kitchen is one location that uses many oils. Whether a commercial kitchen or a residential food preparation area, specialized products are designed to clean grease and oils to maintain health standards.

In commercial kitchens and industrial food preparation areas, regular deep cleaning and degreasing focus on drains, walls, floors, and anywhere that oils splatter and attract dust and germs. Treating these locations is required to maintain sanitary environments.

Home kitchens are self-maintained and are a great place to use a cleaning degreaser. Ideal uses include backsplashes, oven ventilation hoods, food preparation surfaces, floors, walls, ceilings, vents, around windows, and drains.

Regardless of the type of kitchen, they are best cleaned from bottom to top, starting with the floor. First, remove any loose debris that can reduce the cleaning and degreasing product effectiveness.

Apply the cleaning degreaser, allow its dwell time to take effect in a couple of minutes or less, and then spray, squeegee, or mop away the lifted soils. Using multiple mops and buckets for rinsing the debris and clean water speeds the process.

Kitchen surfaces are cleaned and degreased in the same manner. Keep in mind that all maintenance equipment and personal protective equipment such as shoes, mop heads, and buckets for cleaning and degreasing a kitchen also have to be cleaned and sanitized for subsequent use.

Outdoor grills are also great places to use cleaning degreasers and keep surfaces sparkling.

Some Frequently Asked Questions About Degreasers

Are there environmental concerns with using degreasers?

The answer is yes. Safe degreasing is no accident.

Top-down regulations are changing the types of cleaner and degreaser products used across many industries to cease environmentally toxic chemical use. As the industrial sectors evolve with these regulatory changes, ecologically responsible alternatives emerge.

Solvents that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are greenhouse gases that the world is working to eliminate to reduce global warming potential (GWP). VOCs contribute to smog and respiratory ailments for the people using them.

Environmental concerns are catalyzing the banning of traditional toxic chemicals and replacement with less hazardous materials. This is necessary to reduce user health risks and eliminate wastewater runoff into storm drains and soils that affect animals, plants, and aquatic life.

Aqueous degreasers that clean and are biodegradable are advanced, non-hazardous, non-damaging products.

Before cleaning electrical equipment, should I turn off the power?

The answer is yes to avoid safety hazards, including sparking, electrical discharging, and short-circuiting. If it is impossible to disconnect the power, some degreasers are designed with tolerance – check the manufacturer’s label for details. A non-flammable cleaning degreaser is the safest choice.

Will rubber seals, moldings, and plastics become damaged from using degreasers?

The answer is maybe, depending on the type of chosen product.

Rigid plastics (ABS, acrylics, polycarbonates) are extremely sensitive to harsh traditional solvent degreasers (acetone, toluene, xylene). Chemical-based solvents with a flashpoint can shrink soft materials like gaskets, rubber seals, and silicone, resulting in temporary or permanent damage.

As a safer alternative, non-damaging aqueous degreasers clean many surfaces that traditional solvents would otherwise destroy.

Is it safe to use industrial degreasers on surfaces found in a home?

The answer is yes. Some industrial degreasers are concentrated and dilutable with cold water, so read the manufacturer’s instructions before using the product.

While aerosols blast a surface with a solvent to dislodge built-up oils, some are made with hazardous chemicals. As a safer alternative, a spray bottle with a trigger delivery mechanism accommodates safer aqueous solutions and helps with managing the material coverage. The goal with degreasers is to spray it on a surface, allow it to dwell, lift grease, oil, and grime, then wipe it off.

For the latest advances in safer aqueous degreasers that clean everything from industrial to residential surfaces, turn to for products specifically designed for user and environmental safety.

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