Why use a water based degreaser?

Water Based Degreaser – The Safer Option

In the not too distant past, industrial cleaning and degreasing products would have been solvent based. These products were expensive to purchase, evaporated rapidly, and quickly became ineffective. Add to that the environmental impact and the cost of the specialist packaging made companies want to move away from them. The latest water based degreaser technologies overcome all of these problems with no loss of performance.

Solvent Degreasers

In order to really understand the advantages of today’s water based degreasers, it is necessary to have some understanding of the traditional solvent based process.

Solvent degreasing is the process where grease, oil, wax and other surface contaminants are removed from work pieces. They typically use organic solvents (such as trichloroethylene and Kerosene). Solvent degreasing is commonly carried out in metal working industries, and especially in garages and the automotive and related industries. Usually applied when cleaning things like engines and other mechanical parts that get covered in. Most degreasing solvents are, to a greater or lesser extent, harmful to health and therefore require some form of control measures to minimise or eliminate the risk to the user.

The Health Risks are numerous:


  • Solvents can enter the body through inhalation, skin absorption and by ingestion of contaminated food or drink.

  • Inhalation of solvent vapours is the most common route of exposure as solvents are usually volatile i.e. they can readily give off vapours even at room temperature.

  • Exposure to excessive solvents may cause health effects such as:

    • Irritation to the eyes, nose and throat

    • Headaches

    • Nausea

    • Giddiness

    • Dermatitis

Strict guidelines have to be followed when using solvent based degreasers, and equipment has to be carefully designed to minimise the risk to the user. All degreasing tanks should be fitted with covers and have some form of extraction. If degreasing is carried out by hand, such as by using a rag or hand spray, adequate ventilation needs to be provided. PPE such as gloves, goggles or face shields and respirators are required, and an emergency shower and eye bath has to be available.

With recent restrictions on the purchase and use of solvents such as Trichloroethylene and Methylene Chloride there has been a move towards the development of safer, environmentally friendly degreasers.

The Benefits of a Water Based Degreaser

  • Fully Biodegradable

  • VOC Free

  • Respirator not required

  • Low degree of evaporation

  • Universal products – one product is able to clean parts, machines and surfaces within heavy industry

  • Removes salt

  • Suitable for preparation of painting with water based or solvent based paints

  • No effect on rubbers or plastic

  • Does not damage painted surfaces


Why use a water based degreaser?

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