Industrial Parts Washers and Cleaning Systems Information

Industrial parts washerIndustrial parts washers remove grease, soil, oil, abrasive dust, blast debris, swarf, paint, corrosion, or other contaminants from the surfaces of components exiting a production line. They use hot water, detergents, solvents, vapors, abrasive particles, acids, and alkaline solutions to clean part surfaces. Industrial parts washers are usually powered by electricity, gasoline, oil, or steam and include a wash tank made of glass, plastic, steel, or stainless steel. Complete turnkey systems, individual components, and removable subsystems are available. Some industrial parts washers use a CNC controller to adjust cleaning solution levels and parameters such as heat, pressure, speed, applied load, and flow rate in a pre-programmed manner. Other industrial parts washers are controlled or programmed through a computer-based interface. Parts can be front-loaded, top-loaded, continuously loaded, indexed, or returned to operators in a barrel, tumbler, basket, tray, rack system, robotic arm, rotary table, spinner hanger, turnstile, or conveyor. 


There are many types of industrial parts washers.

Burn-off, or thermal, systems use heat to remove grease, oil, paint, or other organic compounds from the surfaces of paints.

Degreasers use a solvent or vapor to remove greases and organic compounds that are insoluble in water or aqueous systems.

In fluidized bed systems, air is blown through a porous bed or screen to suspend abrasive particles that clean the exposed surfaces of parts.

In immersion tank cleaning systems, or scrub tanks, parts are immersed in a tank where the cleaning bath is agitated with impellers or paddles, or the parts are scrubbed manually. 

Ultrasonic cleaning processes use immersion tanks in which the cleaning solution is vibrated at ultrasonic frequencies.

Spray washers use pressure washing or rinsing capabilities to direct a stream of water or a water/detergent mixture at high pressure to clean or remove surface debris such as scale, rust, paint, dirt, grease, or abrasive dust.


Industrial parts washers are available with components such as:

  • brushes
  • scrubbers
  • water softeners
  • deionizers

Cabinets hold parts during manual parts washing processes and consist of a chamber with glove ports, viewing window, and internal lighting. Separators and filtration systems collect and remove oil, debris, metal chips, abrasive media, scale, dust, fine swarf, and other waste during the cleaning process. Gas, electric, or steam heaters are used to raise the temperature of the cleaning solution. Mechanical vibrators or agitators produce a vibrating or mixing action in the cleaning solution or bath to enhance the cleaning process. Pumps increase the pressure of the cleaning. Other components for industrial parts washers include tanks, tubs, and spinning spray arms that increase the exposure of surfaces to the cleaning spray.


There are a variety of applications for industrial parts washers. For example, general cleaning and surface preparation equipment is suitable for preparing surfaces to meet various finishing requirements. Descalers remove heat-treat scale, weld scale, surface discoloration, oxides, rust, and corrosion. Strippers remove protective coatings or paint layers to facilitate welding, recoating, or adhesive joining. Pharmaceutical and semiconductor cleaning equipment is designed to remove even the smallest amounts of contaminants from part surfaces. Sterilizing and disinfecting equipment is also available. Some industrial parts washers are designed to clean the interior and/or exterior of plastic containers or glass bottles. Others are suitable for cleaning dunnage or pallets.

Related Information

CR4 Community—DIY Large-Scale Ultrasonic Parts Cleaner



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