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How Do I Choose the Best Cleaner Degreaser?

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  • Written By: Anna B. Smith
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 22 August 2014
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All degreasers are designed to be effective at breaking down soiling agents and typically are safe for use on metal, plastic, or rubber surfaces. The best choice in a cleaner degreaser, however, usually is one that is water-soluble and approved for a wide range of uses. Water-soluble chemicals are safe for anyone to use, including individuals with children, the elderly, and those with respiratory issues. A water-soluble degreaser typically is a better choice than alkaline or solvent-based varieties; those varieties may be a bit less expensive, but they are not as environmentally safe and require proper disposal methods. Water-soluble types will not harm local water supplies, can be disposed of in public drains, and meet most environmental protection dumping laws.

The purpose of a cleaner degreaser is to remove harsh substances and corrosion from a variety of surfaces. This type of product can typically wipe away fuel and grease residue from car parts, clean acidic corrosion from engine blocks, and remove blood from any surface while also disinfecting it. It is typically used in the automotive, aviation, and medical industries.

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When choosing a cleaner degreaser, it is important to find one that is able to completely cleanse the surfaces for which it is intended without the use of harsh chemical agents. During the cleaning process, such agents are easily washed into sewage drains that lead to public water access. Degreasers that contain toxic chemicals for the purpose of dissolving composite dirt can adversely affect the environment. Animals and humans may come in contact with the tainted water supply and ingest these chemicals, causing severe illness.

Many types of cleaner degreaser available on the market are alkaline and solvent based. Though they are often very affordable, these cleaners must be disposed of separately, following the cleaning process, and cannot be dumped in public sewage systems. They are considered dangerous and harmful to both animals and humans, and violate the non-toxic dumping laws of many countries. Water-based cleaner degreasers are chemically neutral and comply with protective environmental regulations, allowing them to be washed down common sewage drains.

A high-quality cleaner degreaser can clean a variety of surfaces from any type of stain. When making a choice, it may be best to look for one that is formulated to act as a multi-surface cleaning agent so it won't cause damage to more delicate surfaces. Some cleansers are only effective on one type of corrosive material, such as oil or lime deposits. These types of cleaners are often labeled in such a way that the name of the product also contains the soiling agent for which it is designed. Consumers may wish to check the approved usage label prior to purchase for a list of the chemicals the product is designed to attack as well as the areas of the home or business where it is safe to use it.

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