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Solving a problem – pressure cleaning an oil spill

We recently took a call from a visitor to our website who enquired about a Karcher HD 7/10-4M pressure washer. The machine was to be used to clean up oil which occasionally leaked from a large piece of machinery. The problem was that the machine had to be 110V rather than 240V, so we suggested the Karcher HDS 7/9-4M, which is basically the same machine but using 110V. The trade-off is, that although the water flow rate is the same, the operating pressure is 90 bar rather than 100 bar, which wasn’t considered a problem.

So far so good, then the customer asked whether it was possible to add chemical directly through the machine. The Karcher HDS7 range has two detergent tanks, and the detergent is diluted by about 20% when combined with the pressurised water and played on to the surface. We pointed out that any detergent should not be highly acidic or alkaline and should certainly not be a solvent.

They obviously felt that they had need of a strong substance to clear off the oil residue and we pointed out that a chemical which would be unsuitable for using in the machine could instead be applied to the area to be cleaned and washed off with the pressure washer. It is the same principle as applied by the many hand car washes that now proliferate around the country where, when cleaning alloy wheels the operatives always spray them with a separate detergent before cleaning with the pressure washer. This is because the alloy needs a more aggressive detergent to clean it, more than is possible to be used through the washer.

The customer was happy that he had an answer to his cleaning problem, and we were happy that he hadn’t ruined the pressure washer with powerful chemicals!

There are a many cleaning machines available these days, so there is generally a way to solve any cleaning problem, if you need help with your cleaning regime, just give us a call.