How To Select The Appropriate Parts Washer

Fundamental factors to consider to make the wisest business decision


“Remember, you own the waste cradle-to-grave, and once you hand it to a waste hauler or service company, you have to count on them to do the right thing. Make sure you are protected.”

“Choose the safest, most responsible and most environmentally responsible means of disposing of your parts washer waste. Your preference here should always be to either seek a recycling option, or to make sure it’s sent to a reprocessing facility that meets all regulatory requirements.”

Keep in mind, he adds, it’s not just the cleaning chemistry that may be hazardous. Any rags, filters or personal protective equipment used while cleaning parts may be hazardous as well and needs to be managed accordingly.

What’s more, “some baths that are deemed hazardous can usually be tracked back to the use of aerosols in or around the parts cleaning solution. Especially when those aerosols contain chlorinated solvents. Managing this contamination potential may help you stay non-hazardous.”

Is there the need for a full-service parts washer provider and what value does that add?

In addition to owning one’s own parts washers, another option is to contract to have them managed. Having a full-service provider helps remove the headaches, unnecessary costs and liabilities associated with managing a parts washing operation.

One of benefits to having a full service parts washer provider, observes Spaziani, is that parts washers can be rented, and all repairs, maintenance and replacements covered.

Another benefit is regularly scheduled service of a parts washer, which helps to protect the equipment. “It’s proven that by having regular service on your parts washer, you can extend its life by up to five times and greatly reduce the number of failures.”

Regularly scheduled service also helps maximize the cleaning capabilities of the cleaning chemistry, he notes. “Over-extending your bath life can sometimes result in cleaning times of over three times, and your costs to go up. It takes longer to get the part clean, extra wipe-down time, techs start using aerosols to supplement the process and overall morale goes down as well.

“By not having your employees do the services themselves, you limit their exposure to the chemicals, reduce the potential for workplace injuries, reduce the likelihood of a spill, and keep them making money for you.

“If you choose Safety-Kleen, you get a certificate of assurance and indemnification to protect you and your business, you get the broadest range of options as far as chemistries and disposal options in the industry so you can make the right choice for you and your business, and we’ll support you and your team with highly-trained service and environmental health and safety professionals to keep you up and running, informed, in compliance, supported and as green as your processes will allow.”

What are some things to watch out for when choosing parts washers?

Finally, Spaziani offers these cautions when deciding upon a parts washer:

  • Watch out for unproven technologies. “There are new technologies popping up every day that have no current market presence and haven’t been properly tested. Being their guinea pig can put your business in danger.”
  • Be wary of pricing that is too low. Get involved and be aware of where your waste is going. If the price is too good to be true, it may be that wastes are being improperly disposed of.
  • Know how much time your people are spending cleaning parts. “When companies actually measure this, they are typically amazed at the lost work time and profit leakage. Automating your cleaning process can sometimes be a huge win for you and your company.
  • Watch out for hidden costs. “It is a very rare occurrence when managing your own parts washer actually saves you money. The costs are just spread out and/or hidden. When you take the time to add them up, you’ll find having a provider was the best decision all along.”
  • For those shops that use aerosols, watch your aerosol usage. “Often times shops develop bad habits of using aerosols to clean parts. This is an extremely costly mistake and sometimes takes businesses years to figure out how much they’ve lost. Use a parts washer for washing parts and the costs will go down on the aerosol side dramatically.”

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