I Want a “Cheap” Cleaner

I hear a lot of prospects and customers looking for a “cheap” cleaner. To most people, “cheap” means a low price per unit. Consider these questions and statements when asking for or using a “cheap” cleaner:

How effective is it?

  • Perhaps a higher priced cleaner could clean at lower temperatures, shorter times, provide a better surface for coating adhesion, appearance, and corrosion protection.

How much are you using?

  • Perhaps a higher priced cleaner would reduce overall maintenance additions and rebuilding costs or perform at a lower, safer concentration.

How much sludge is generated in the process tank, waste treatment, and rinse tanks?

  • Perhaps a higher priced cleaner would significantly reduce or eliminate sludge generation in the process tanks, thus reducing the time to clean out the tanks during tank changes.  Also, the sludge isn’t going to re-dissolve once in the waste treatment stage; now that same sludge is going to the sludge press and being shipped off as hazardous land fill material–that’s “cheap.”

How is it that the same cheap cleaner you’ve used for 30 years, that worked on the heavy petroleum based soils from the ’80s, is now working on the modern synthetic and chlorinated parafin-based soils?

  • The modern soils from new synthetic stamping, cutting, and machining lubricants are very different chemically than those heavy petroleum-based greases, therefore they sometimes require a modern cleaner.  The cleaner itself is a higher price per unit than your existing cleaner, BUTpreventing rework and reducing cycle times more than pay for the slight increase in price.

How much time and effort is made to adjust the concentration?

  • Lifting powder chemistries over the side of tanks, mixing the cleaner until it dissolves (if it all ever dissolves), and hoping all the addition made it into the tank – how many young workers do you have in your plant willing to properly add the powder based chemicals?  A simple metering pump set up or drum pump right into the tank mixed instantly, allowing your worker to get back to production jobs, instead of adding chemistry (and a smaller addition typically required to adjust as well)

Why should I buy water in a liquid cleaner when I can use a powder and make it as strong as I want?

  • Years ago I did a presentation at our facility demonstrating the cheap fillers used in “cheap” cleaners.  These fillers are used to build alkalinity (raising total alkalinity not free), prevent caking, and add volume to the drum.  These fillers bring nothing to the table when it comes to cleaning, and many times are insoluble.  Liquid cleaners can be stronger (higher in free alkalinity) than many powder cleaners as well as provide a more robust and effective combination of surfactants (soaps to clean soils).  They also can contain other key ingredients to effectively improve cleaning – many of which are not able to be blended into powder cleaners or “cheap” liquid cleaners.

Consider the above factors, and ask an Asterion rep about a process line audit before considering a “cheap” cleaner – what is it really costing you?  You may find that paying a little more per unit for your pre-treatment chemistry could reduce your overall spending 20%-80% and increase production through put.  There is nothing “cheap” about that.