Should I Use Kerosene in My Parts Washer?

21st August 2019 | hazardous chemical, parts cleaning, safer alternatives

Kerosene is a versatile fuel oil that has many uses including fuel for oil lamps and engines. It can also be used for heating and cooking, and as a cleaning agent. Aside from kerosene’s low cost, there are few oils that can be used in a wide range of applications, making it a popular choice for many industries.

Why Not to Use Kerosene as a Parts Cleaner

It is common to find kerosene being used as a parts cleaner in workshops due to its low cost; however, it is not as effective when it comes to removing heavy-bearing grease. Aside from its ineffectiveness, there are many other reasons why you shouldn’t use kerosene in your parts washer:

  • It is flammable
  • It has a low flash point
  • Its vapour mixed with air is explosive
  • It is toxic when inhaled
  • It contains numerous compounds that can potentially pose health risks such as n-hexane, naphthalene, and benzene[1]
  • Chronic exposure commonly results in dermatitis
  • It is irritating to the eyes and skin
  • Inhalation can cause irritation to the nose and throat and cause coughing and wheezing
  • Chronic and acute exposure can cause irritability, restlessness, drowsiness, convulsions, coma, and death[2]
  • Prolonged or repeated exposure can cause burns and itching of the skin with rash, redness and blisters[3]
  • It can irritate the lungs, and with repeated exposure, may cause bronchitis to develop with coughing, phlegm, and/or shortness of breath[4]

Another common complaint from those who use kerosene in parts washers is that the smell becomes absorbed into the skin and clothing, even with the use of PPE, and persists when they get home to their families.

A Safer Alternative

Safer alternatives to kerosene for parts cleaning exist, such as Purasolve Parts Cleaner SK. It is a low-vapour, benzene-free, high-purity, hydrocarbon-degreasing solvent for use in parts washers. It has been designed for the easy removal of heavy-bearing grease in large vehicle workshops and mining applications.

Some of the benefits of using Purasolve Parts Cleaner SK include:

  • It is virtually impossible to ignite under normal working conditions
  • It has a higher flash point compared to kerosene
  • It does not contain harmful and unhealthy chemicals
  • It has no toxic smell and does not cause headaches after prolonged use
  • It does not cause skin irritations
  • No need to use a respirator when using the product
  • It is highly-effective in removing heavy-bearing grease
  • It is fully-recyclable, extending the life expectancy of the fluid due to a unique filtration system
  • It preserves metal parts and does not cause rusting after cleaning

Another great benefit of the product is that the smell does not absorb into the skin and clothing, and users’ families do not complain of a toxic smell when arriving home from work.

More Benefits from Replacing Kerosene in Parts Washers

Replacing kerosene with Purasolve Parts Cleaner SK ensures that your users are not exposed to health and safety risks and protects you from future litigation claims.

The product is also an environmentally-responsible safety solvent that contains no ozone-depleting substances. It has a low toxicity to eco-systems, along with low VOC emissions.

Purasolve Parts Cleaner SK is used neat in a soaking application or in a parts washer. It is recommended that the product is used in conjunction with the Purasolve Parts Washer and the Retrofit Kit to maximise the life of the product. The Purasolve Parts Washing system has a unique filtration element, which when properly managed and used with the Purasolve Parts Cleaner SK, can significantly extend the life of the solvent product for several years. This results in considerable cost savings from a reduction in the volume of cleaning solvent purchased, as well as lower waste disposal costs.

To learn more about Purasolve Parts Cleaner SK, click here: https://envirofluid.com/shop/parts-paint-equipment-cleaning/purasolve-parts-cleaner-sk/


[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3664014/

[2] https://www.who.int/ipcs/emergencies/kerosene.pdf

[3] https://nj.gov/health/eoh/rtkweb/documents/fs/1091.pdf

[4] https://nj.gov/health/eoh/rtkweb/documents/fs/1091.pdf

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