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A degreaser is a chemical used to clean oil, grease, or any other type of dirt from a surface. There are many different types of degreasers, and they can be used for various purposes depending on the type and strength of the degreaser. So, what is degreaser used for?

What Is a Degreaser Used For?

A degreaser is a cleaning agent used to dissolve and remove grease, oils, or other stubborn dirt or stains. You can use degreasers on various surfaces, including metal, plastic, rubber, glass, and ceramic, as it contains powerful solvents that can cut through the toughest grease and grime.

Brewers, manufacturers, automotive, and other industrial workers often use degreasers to clean their work areas and equipment. These areas always contain a high level of grease and oils, and the degreaser helps to quickly remove these substances and allows for a cleaner, safer work environment.

Degreasers are available as a liquid, aerosol, or cream and can be easily applied to the desired surface. Some are very safe that you can use to clean your kitchen counters, utensils, and appliances. Others are more powerful and only require a quick wipe down to clean heavily soiled surfaces.

Man spraying a degreaser on a car engine part

How Does a Degreaser Work?

Using a degreaser is a simple process. You just need to identify the area that you need to clean and apply the degreaser. However, you need to be careful when using a degreaser as it can be harmful to your health and the environment if not used properly.

Degreasers work by breaking down the grease and oils into smaller, more manageable molecules. Once these molecules are broken down, they can be easily removed from the surface with a clean cloth, sponge, or brush. The following is a process on how to apply a degreaser:

Different Types of Degreasers and Their Uses

There are a variety of degreasers available on the market, each with its own specific set of properties and uses. Here are some of the most common types:

Solvent-Based Degreasers

A solvent degreaser uses a solvent, such as acetone or ethanol to dissolve the grease and oils that are being targeted. It is a powerful degreaser and is often used in industrial applications where there is a lot of grease and dirt buildup.

The following are areas where you can use a solvent-based degreaser:

  • Breweries: Here, they are used to clean the brewing equipment, tanks, and pipelines.
  • Factories:  In a factory setting, degreasers are ideal for cleaning machines, tools, and other equipment.
  • Auto Repair Shops: An auto shop is where you will often find degreasers being used to clean the engine, tires, and other parts of a car.
  • Marine applications: A degreaser can be used to clean the decks, hulls, and fishing equipment of a boat.
  • Aerospace: This is another setting where degreasers are used to clean aircraft engines, turbines, and other parts that come into contact with fuel and oil.
  • Power generation plants: These facilities use degreasers to clean the boilers, turbines, and other parts that come into contact with fuel and oil. Therefore, they are essential for keeping these machines running smoothly and preventing any buildup that could lead to a malfunction.

Water-Based Degreasers

A water-based degreaser is a type of degreaser that uses water to dissolve grease and oils.  It is a less powerful degreaser than a solvent-based degreaser and is often used where food and soft surfaces are present.

Some areas where a water-based degreaser can be used include:

  • Food and beverage industry: In the food or beverage industry, water-based degreasers are used to clean the production lines, machines, and utensils that build up grease, dirt, oil, and other chemicals.
  • Agriculture: In agriculture, water-based degreasers are used to clean tractors, harvesters, and other farming equipment that come into contact with grease and oil.
  • Manufacturing: A water-based degreaser can be used in the manufacturing setting to clean the machines, tools, and other equipment, such as in a metal fabrication shop.

Natural Degreasers

These are degreasers derived from natural ingredients and do not contain harsh chemicals. They are often used in areas where children or pets are present as they are considered non-hazardous and environmentally friendly.

Some areas where a natural degreaser can be used include:

  • Household: A natural degreaser can be used to clean kitchen appliances, countertops, and other household areas that come into contact with grease and oil.
  • Schools: In a school setting, a natural degreaser is ideal for cleaning decks, cafeterias, and other areas that come into contact with grease, oil, molding clay, and other chemicals.
  • Hospitals: You can use natural degreasers in a hospital setting to clean the floors, walls, and other areas that come into contact with blood, urine, and other bodily fluids.

Safety Tips When Using Degreaser

Taking care of yourself and the environment when using a degreaser is essential. Here are some safety tips to remember:

  • Always read the instructions before using a degreaser.
  • Use the correct type of degreaser for the surface you are cleaning.
  • Do not mix different types of degreaser together.
  • Do not use a degreaser in a confined area.
  • Wear gloves and protective eyewear when using a dangerous degreaser and can cause skin and eye irritation.
  • Keep away from fire and heat sources when using a flammable degreaser.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do We Use Degreasers?

We use a degreaser to remove tough grease and oil stains from surfaces that cannot be easily cleaned with ordinary soap and water.

Does Degreaser Disinfect?

Yes, degreasers can disinfect a surface when used as directed. It kills up to 99% of bacteria. This makes it a good choice for cleaning areas where bacteria can grow, such as the kitchen or bathroom.

Are There Any Environmental Risks When It Comes to Degreasers?

Yes, some degreasers use harsh chemicals that can harm the environment if not disposed of properly. Be sure to read the label of any degreaser you are using to ensure that it is environmentally friendly.

Conclusion

Degreasers are an essential tool for cleaning tough grease and oil stains. They come in various forms, each designed to work best on a specific surface. Always read the instructions before using a degreaser to ensure you are using it safely and effectively.

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