Volume XIV, Issue 7 - August 2017

To celebrate the Dog Days of August, we decided to lazily reach way back into our archives and reprint one of our early Clean Source features.

I just wanted to be sure that I was still on the [Clean Source] list. The information is strong and has been valuable in the past; keep up the good work.
Blake Buckley
Materials Quality Engineer
Hayes Performance Systems

Feature Article

Is it a Cleaning Step?

Barbara Kanegsberg, BFK Solutions

[Originally published July, 2005]

Identifying the cleaning steps is not necessarily obvious, especially in multi-step processes. In fact, when we consult with our clients, particularly in troubleshooting projects, one of our first bits of detective work involves working our way through the build process and noting the cleaning steps.  It is important to identify each activity that is actually serving as a cleaning process, because, if such a process is unwittingly removed, surface quality and product quality can suffer.

Sometimes a cleaning step is not termed cleaning.   Perhaps the original process designer thought it was more elegant to avoid the word cleaning.  Perhaps the step is thought of as having a function other than cleaning, but it actually serves as a cleaning step as well.  In a more general sense, identifying the cleaning steps involves understanding the function and value (positive or negative) of a particular step to the overall build process. The following examples of cleaning euphemisms may inspire you to revisit the build process to determine if a step actually constitutes cleaning. You may also find the terms helpful optimizing a process, troubleshooting, and achieving lean manufacturing.

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Knowledge is Power

In Person, Virtual, or Recorded Workshop: “Quality Critical Cleaning and Cleaning Validation Processes”

Critical product cleaning is distinct from sterilization. Failure to clean properly can pose risks in such applications as pharmaceuticals, biopharm, medical devices, and food processing.

At this 3-day, interactive, accredited course, Ed and Barbara Kanegsberg teach principles and practice of critical cleaning and cleaning validation in life-science applications. The course is October 16 – 18, 2017 in New Brunswick, NJ.


Two-day Hands-on Cleaning Workshop   – May, 2018

Darren Williams of Sam Houston State University (SHSU) will partner with Barbara and Ed Kanegsberg of BFK Solutions to present the “Product Quality Cleaning Workshop.” The program combines teaching and hands-on testing in the lab/demonstration area, so you understand the principles of cleaning and see how cleaning processes actually work.  The workshop is on the SHSU campus in Huntsville, TX, May 16 – 17, 2018.  Check the website and brochure; you can also contact us for more information.


Tech Expo, Southern California
The Cleaning Lady and the Rocket Scientist are pleased to present “Effective Cleaning Approaches for Southern California Electronics Assemblers,” one of three technical sessions at LA/OC SMTA 7th Annual Expo & Tech Forum.  The one-day program takes place November 2, 2017 in Long Beach, CA.  The expo is always educational  – and fun.


About BFK Solutions

We’re independent. 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.

Are there things you don’t understand about critical, precision, or general product cleaning? Contact us - we’ll get back to you! We may even address the question in CleanSource or in our column for Product Finishing or Production Machining. And, because we respect the privacy of our clients and colleagues, we’ll identify you only if you ask us to.