Mechanic using a parts washer
Mechanic using a parts washer

Parts Washers2 minute read

Parts washers are standard equipment in automotive, farm, and other mechanical repair facilities.

These machines use solvents or water-based solutions to clean parts and other mechanical components. Even though safe solvents have replaced most highly flammable solvents, some are still dangerous and pose a fire hazard and care must be taken when using these machines.

Manufactured parts washers are equipped with a number of safety features to reduce the risk of fire. These include a self-closing hinged lid that is held open by a fusible link that melts at a specific temperature. Should a fire develop, the fusible link will melt and the lid will automatically close to confine and smother the fire.

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If you operate a parts washer that uses solvents in your business, the following tips will help to reduce the risk of fire:


  • Use only commercially produced, purpose-built parts washers listed by a recognized testing laboratory such as UL/ULC, FM or CSA having covers equipped with automatic devices such as a fusible link or other heat sensitive device.

  • Inspect the fusible link frequently to ensure it is in good condition.

  • Inspect the self-closing lid to ensure it is functioning properly.

  • Use only high-flash point solvents in line with the manufacturer’s instructions for the listed equipment.

  • Parts should not be stacked too high to prevent the lid from closing.

  • When not in use, the lid should be closed.

  • All parts washing operations should be performed away from hot work areas to prevent sparks from entering the unit.


The best preventative measure however is to use a water-based parts washing system. They provide a fire-safe alternative for many applications and reduce the hazards of volatile organic compounds to workers and the environment.

This blog is provided for information only and is not a substitute for professional advice. We make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information and will not be responsible for any loss arising out of reliance on the information.
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