Safety Tips for Cleaning Equipment in an Acetone Solvent Parts Soaking Tank

Cleaning equipment parts seems like a simple operation without much risk. But, Plant Engineering highlights the hazards of corrosive cleaning solutions. These types of dangerous chemicals top their list of safety hazards to avoid in manufacturing jobs. One of the most common cleaning solvents used is acetone because of its effectiveness to remove oil and grease.

NFPA 30 classifies acetone as a Class IB flammable liquids, meaning that it is highly flammable. Its flashpoint is negative 4 F (negative 20 C). This means its vapors exist in high enough concentrations at normal working conditions to ignite with a spark.

Here are 5 tips for safe acetone use:

Acetone Safety Tip 1: Limit your quantities.

Never store more acetone than you need. Don’t use a 5-gallon bench can for small parts cleaning, if you only need a 3-gallon bench can.

Acetone Safety Tip 2: Keep your workshop well ventilated.

Moving air through the area removes acetone vapors and prevents them from building up to an explosive concentration.

Acetone Safety Tip 3: Keep ignition sources away from acetone-based parts cleaning equipment.

Don’t run extension cords next to rinse tanks. That can make the difference between a safe work day and a major incident. Segregate hot work sections of the workshop (like welding) away from parts cleaning.

Acetone Safety Tip 4: Collect waste cleaning solvent in safe containers.

Label clearly and use licensed contractors for disposal. Waste solvent is as dangerous as pure acetone.

Acetone Safety Tip 5: Inspect your parts cleaning equipment regularly – especially the safety features.

Are the plunger mechanisms draining excess solvent away? Is the foot bar for opening the lid of your rinse tank working? Does the lid self-close? Repair or replace faulty equipment to prevent an acetone fire in your workshop.

Justrite Products for Cleaning Equipment Parts

Justrite offers a many different FM-approved equipment options to reduce the hazards of working with combustible cleaning solutions such as acetone.

Use plunger cans to wet cloths for cleaning equipment and parts. These small desktop cans feature a dispensing tray on a spring-loaded pedestal. Push down the pedestal to pump cleaning solvent into the dispensing tray. It is designed so excess liquid drains back into the can. A flame arrester on the dispensing tray prevents any sparks from reaching the solvent in the can.

Bench cans are larger than plunger cans but operate on a similar principle. Their size makes them suitable for larger cloths and parts. Push down the entire dasher tray to immerse in the cleaning solution. When it returns to its normal position, excess solvent drains back into the can. The dasher tray acts as a flame arrester. Swab pails for sponging operations are also available.

When cleaning singular larger parts, use portable dip tanks or wash tanks. Tank covers remain open when in use, but feature a fusible link that melts at 165 F (74 C) to snap shut in case of a fire. Wash tanks include a basket to clean small parts.

Use large-capacity floor-standing or benchtop rinse tanks for cleaning large parts. Drain solvent through the drain plug in every chamber. Floor-standing rinse tanks feature a self-closing lid operated by a foot bar. This leaves both hands free for cleaning equipment parts. Twin chamber rinse tanks are also available to facilitate dual cleaning processes.

Contact Justrite for Parts Cleaning Equipment Solutions

Justrite supplies FM-approved equipment for parts cleaning applications. Browse our product range for parts cleaning here to select the container that is right for your application.