12 July 2017

Degreasers: definition and meaning

Degreasers are cleaning agents containing chemicals. They are used to dissolve water-insoluble substances (such as grease or oil).

Degreasers: definition and meaning

What are degreasers and what do they do?

Degreasers are cleaning agents containing chemicals. They are used to dissolve water-insoluble substances (such as grease or oil). These substances are impossible to remove with standard cleaning agents.

Keeping workspaces clean and free from grease and oil is an important part of industrial maintenance – a grease free environment protects the critical infrastructure of machinery as well as hard surfaces and metallic structures.

Degreasers can also be used to prevent rusting on metal surfaces as they leave a thin, protective layer, effectively shielding the surface from the elements.

There are two main types of industrial degreasers:

Water-based degreasers

water based tile

These degreasers tend to be non-flammable and use water instead of a chemical base (meaning that they are less damaging to the environment). They work to lift grease and grime from the surface and leave a layer on top of the wastewater. This layer can then be skimmed or separated.

Solvent-based degreasers

solvent based tile

Heavy-duty applications require a solvent-based solution as the chemical base of the degreaser works to dissolve grease from a surface. These degreasers can be flammable or non-flammable.


Ingredients in industrial degreasers

Degreasers are generally made up of hydrocarbon solvents. Common ingredients in solvent-based degreasers include:

  • Kerosene
  • Gasoline
  • Terpene alcohols
  • Acetone
  • Esters

The active detergent in industrial degreasers sets off a chemical reaction to break up the grease particles and lift them from the surface – this ensures that the grease is easy to wipe or rub off.

What applications are degreasers used in?

Degreasers are used in almost any industrial application where parts and machinery require grease or oil for lubrication. Industrial degreasers are required for the routine maintenance in industries such as:

  • Automotive industry
  • Aerospace industry
  • Manufacturing plants
  • Engineering facilities
  • Marinas
  • Oil industry installations
  • Food and beverage production
  • Construction

Tough cleaning jobs require the very best degreasers to remove contaminants and reduce corrosion related breakdowns. Find out how NCH Asia can help to reduce maintenance costs with our range of industrial degreasers.

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