Removing WD-40

Ask an Expert From: Products Finishing,

Posted on: 10/1/2003

Question: Some of our clients use WD-40 on their machines to allow parts to slip better in-process or when holes are drilled.

Question:

Some of our clients use WD-40 on their machines to allow parts to slip better in-process or when holes are drilled.

Somehow our spray wash cleaner cannot remove WD-40,and we end up having a hard time both in applying paint and parts come out our oven full of blisters.

Is it our cleaner that is too weak or is there some sort of magic pre-cleaner that removes WD-40 prior to processing those parts?

Is there a simple test that can be made to detect the presence of WD-40 on parts? Kind regards. L.N.

Answer:

I don’t think you will find any magic pre-cleaner or test to remove WD-40. It is a water-displacing chemical (thus the name “WD”) that is mixed into a solvent and oil mixture. According to its Material Safety Data Sheet it is “70% Aliphatic Petroleum Distillates” (this is the solvent portion, think of it like a mineral spirits), “>20% Petroleum Base Oil” and “<10% Nonhazardous Ingredients."

Your washer should be able to clean the oil and any residual solvent, although much of that will evaporate over time. It is the remaining component (the water displacing ingredient) that is likely causing you the problem. It would likely be a polar organic compound such as a fatty alcohol or ester. Considering these are ingredients for boundary lubrication in many industrial lubricant formulations, I would think that a well formulated cleaner should be able to take it off. I would suggest you contact your cleaner supplier and have them take a look at your problem and recommend a better built cleaner that will be able to take care of the WD-40.

 



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