Myths of Cleaning
Myth 8 of 8: Cleaning is All About Picking a Chemistry
Chemistry is important for sure. The solvent or aqueous cleaner must be compatible with the soil or contamination you want to remove, but it’s more complicated than that. Consider also the material to be cleaned: some cleaners will damage some surfaces. Then there’s the degree of cleaning or cleanliness desired. Or to put this another way, why is the part or surface being cleaned?
Component geometry is another factor. With their lower surface tension solvents are generally more effective than aqueous cleaners in tight spaces and small holes. An added benefit is that they will dry faster too.
Solvent cleaning systems are, in general, less expensive to operate than aqueous processes, and occupy less space. As parts don’t need a lot of drying time after cleaning, solvent systems can work well in medium to high volume production environments where throughput is a consideration.
The bottom line is, yes chemistry matters, but so too do part geometry, process needs and EH&S requirements. Take a holistic view before choosing a cleaning process.