Volume XIII, Issue 10 - October 2016

You always have such witty sayings in your newsletters. They are a pleasure to read.
Louise Bertagnolli
JST Manufacturing Inc.
Boise, ID

Feature Article

Consumer Products for Precision Cleaning – True or False

Barbara Kanegsberg, BFK Solutions

Never use a consumer/automotive cleaning agent for precision cleaning high-value product. True or false

Quick! True or false. This is a timed test, and you will be graded. I hate true/false tests; there’s no room for nuance.  In critical and precision cleaning, particularly of high-value product, most decisions are situational.  If I had to make a quick either/or decision, I’d say “true.” In fact, awhile back I received a phone inquiry asking if it was ok to use a certain brand of automotive cleaner to manufacture medical devices. As you might expect, I rather discouraged that concept.

Formulators, chemists who select the additives for cleaning agents and then blend those cleaning agents, are a bit like chefs.  Like chefs, formulators begin with the end in mind. They have a vision of how the cleaning agent they design will be utilized.  For example, automotive cleaners may be formulated to remove adherent lubricants, baked-on soils, and caked on road dirt from metal. The automotive cleaner may leave a residue that is acceptable (or even desirable) for automotive applications but not for, say, aerospace, navigation systems, or medical devices. The cleaner might be effective for metals but could damage polymeric materials or damage the surface qualities of precision optics.

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About BFK Solutions

We’re independent consultants. We don’t sell chemicals or cleaning equipment; and we don’t take commissions. Instead, we work for you. This saves you cold hard cash. We use our 30 years of experience to help you make good decisions about your cleaning processes, your manufacturing processes, your business. Check our website; send us an email; give us a call. We always like to hear from you.