Deciding what types of Cleaning Detergents to use

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With the help of The Aqueous Cleaning Handbook, we have put together some questions that transmission shops, auto shops, and rebuilders should first answer to give them a better idea of what kinds of cleaning processes should be considered and what types of cleaning detergents should be used in order to clean their parts to the fullest potential.


1. Part complexity- Are there severe undercuts, blind holes, or numerous part cavities? If so, higher-powered wetting detergents with low surface tension may be required.

2. Level of cleanliness required- If the part being cleaned or the manufacturing process does not require exceptionally high technical specifications for cleanliness, harsh, toxic cleaning agents can often be avoided.

3. Manufacturing process- For example, if a part arrives wet at the cleaning station, an aqueous chemistry may be best.

4. Cleaning efficiency- Cleaning efficiency increases with time, temperature, and agitation, though each may affect other important considerations such as foaming, costs, health, or safety.

5. Environmental considerations- The environmental impact of cleaning operations can often be minimized by selecting the most appropriate aqueous cleaning agent, and appropriate cleaning and/or recycling system.


Here are a few questions to ask about a detergent brand to ensure that it meets your specific cleaning needs:

1. Does it have good detergency on the types of soils that you need to remove?
a. TRANSBRITE Detergents are Engineered to Produce Superior Cleaning Results for the Toughest Contaminants on all Metal and Plastic Surfaces including Aluminum, Brass, Copper, Iron, Plastic, Rubber and Steel, and will NOT Darken or Turn Aluminum Black.

2. Is it free-rinsing? Will it rinse away without leaving interfering detergent residue?
a. TRANSBRITE Detergents have Excellent Rinseability leaving parts CLEAN, BRIGHT, and RESIDUE FREE.

3. Is the detergent recommended for the desired cleaning method?
a. Whether your objectives are to clean lightly soiled Aluminum Parts or heavy grime on Ferrous Metal Components, TRANSBRITE has a Comprehensive Line of Solvent-Free Chemistries to cater towards your Cleaning Objectives! Ask a TRANSBRITE representative if our products fit your need. Chances are, you won’t be disappointed.

4. How hazardous is it? For example, is it highly alkaline or acidic, presenting a personal health hazard? Is it corrosive?
a. TRANSBRITE Detergents are alkaline chemistries and therefore are not corrosive or present any personal health when following the Directions For Use properly.

5. Can it be disposed of easily?
a. TRANSBRITE Detergents, because they are alkaline cleaners, can be disposed down the sewer and drain because they are biodegradable and meet all qualifications of not being harmful to the environment when disposed.

6. Is it environmentally friendly?
a. TRANSBRITE is very environmentally safe because it is solvent-free and contains little to no VOC’s that are hazardous to the environment.

7. How economical is it? The detergent should be widely available and affordable.
a. TRANSBRITE Detergents are not only more effective than major brands of aqueous cleaning detergent, but often have a price advantage as well. Our products can be found at your major Transmission Retailers such as TranStar Industries, Whatever It Takes (WIT) and Dacco Transmission Parts. You can also reach us through our website or by calling us at (847) 806-4000 and asking about TRANSBRITE.


  • McLaughlin, M.C., Zisman, A.S. (2002). The Aqueous Cleaning Handbook: A Guide to Critical-Cleaning Procedures, Techniques, and Validation. White Plains, NY: Technical Communications.

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