Solvent-Based Cleaners

Solvent-based cleaners are a good choice for removing oils, grease, paint, cutting fluids and moisture. An advantage of using solvent-based cleaners on metal is their ability to eliminate moisture that may cause rusting. They should be used with care on plastics as some plastics are vulnerable to chemical attack by solvents.

Solvent-based cleaning processes usually involve dip baths, closed solvent steam chambers or manual wiping processes commonly used for low part volume. While solvent-based cleaners will not dissolve metallic swarfs or inorganic contaminants, they may loosen them by eliminating any oil or grease holding them to the surface.

Table 12 Efficiency of solvent-based cleaners on contaminants
Cutting Fluid
Corrosion Inhibitor
Liquid Resins
Liquid Adhesives
Silicone Oil
Release Agent
Recommended Acceptable Resistance Not Recommended
Solvent-based Cleaners
Ideal before bonding

No residues left on the substrate

Impurity dilution (oil, etc.)

Immediate evaporation

Suitable for manual cleaning processes

Can attack plastics (e.g. stress cracking)

No cleaning of inorganic impurities (e.g. salt)

May have flammable labelling

Contain VOC’s (regulatory considerations)

Aqueous-based Cleaners
Dilution in water


Cleans organic and inorganic impurities

Compatible with most substrates

No offensive smell

Need to mix and monitor the specific concentration

Residue may affect bonding – needs rinse stage

Flash rust

Need to monitor contamination of wash solution

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