stainless steel and steel spray wash cabinet

How to Extend the Life of your Commercial Parts Washer

Your Commercial Parts Washer will clean away grease and oil, make parts and components shine like new, and is a real time saver. With its well-built construction, quality design, and a maintenance program that regularly removes internally accumulating debris, it should last for years to come. Common unit configurations of a Commercial Parts Washer are as a Spray Wash Cabinet that cleans with a series of high-pressure nozzles distributing a hot water detergent solution or an Ultrasonic Parts Cleaner. The Ultrasonic Cleaner typically cleans when parts are immersed into a hot water detergent solution and high-frequency transducers produce millions of cleaning bubbles. With any style though, you will want your Commercial Parts Washer to provide many years of good service. Just like your other shop equipment and maybe one of your vintage vehicles, it is important to keep your Industrial Parts Washer operating properly and well-maintained to help extend its life.

To increase the life of your Commercial Parts Washer we’ve compiled some easy to follow information. Although each specific model’s user-manual should be followed for the precise service details, we have provided some general points to practice, service, and maintain Commercial Parts Washers with. Some Commercial Parts Washers may have designs and components that may not entail these recommendations, but on whole most of these maintenance tips will improve the performance of the unit. In other words, this is a gathering of maintenance tips to extend the life of the variety Commercial Parts Washers. By putting this information to practice, you should receive the many benefits of your Commercial Parts Washer for as long as possible. Maybe even use your Commercial Parts Washer to clean old parts for your next vintage car or truck restoration.

First Start-Up Process

Before beginning to use your Commercial Parts Washer for the first time, did you know that there is an initial “Start-up Process”? Just as you might perform a break-in period with a new truck before using it for towing, your Commercial Parts Washer should complete a Start-Up Process prior to regular use. This initial empty (no parts onboard the Parts Washer) run-through will take about 2 hours to conduct. Since this process is unique to each style of unit, please consult your user manual to complete the Start-Up Process. After the first Start Up Process is completed and your unit is properly broken in, you should be ready to begin using the Commercial Parts Washer for sparkling parts and component cleaning.

A Clean Running Machine

One of the important practices to extending the life of your Commercial Parts Washer is to keep its internal equipment operating as cleanly as possible. In other words, removing sludge buildup on a regular basis. Here are some of the reasons why this is important. As a Commercial Parts Washer cleans it collects grime, oil, dirt and sludge inside that can erode, or deteriorate the tank, sub-components, pumps, and other internal equipment. Even components made from stainless steel can become compromised.

Get the Sludge Out

How thick is too thick for sludge? If sludge and debris buildup begins to approach 1” thick, the sludge should be removed from the reservoir. The amount of buildup that collects is based on what parts you clean and how often. A good rule of thumb is that when you first get your Commercial Parts Washer, remove the sludge and debris every week to start gauging the buildup pattern.

As well, keep all surrounding and internal components of the Industrial Parts Washer areas free from debris. This too will allow the machine to function better in its shop environment and last longer. It also will be easier for you to visually inspect the equipment’s mechanical operation.

When the Commercial Parts Washer will not be in active use, the remaining water detergent should be left clean (or drained for longer storage periods) and any remaining sludge inside of the unit should be cleaned from the unit. This way the machine is shutdown clean so that dirt and sludge do not allow those metal-eating particle reactions to occur.

It is also helpful to apply WD-40 to the inside walls of the machine where the solution in the tank is not actively contacting or where there may be other surface protection needed. This way, the WD-40 will coat and guard the bare walls temporarily during shutdown.

Stay on Time

Once normal use has begun, it is important to periodically check the general operation of the Industrial Parts Washer. These periodic intervals are: Frequently, While-operating, Daily, Monthly, and Yearly.

Water Levels

While operating always make sure the water level is at full. Do not start a Wash Cycle if the water level is not correct. If the water level is not full during operation, the heating element and pump motor can be damaged. It is also important to keep the operating water temperature between 160 to 180 degrees (consult your user manual).


Frequently make an overall visual inspection of the unit. Check the area to make sure that power supplies are in place and no physical damage has occurred to the unit. Also make sure that the surrounding area is free from debris and no fluids are either on the floor or the unit. If an unusual amount of fluid is found on the floor, check the unit to make sure that a leak has not developed. If one has, take the necessary actions to repair the unit while remembering to disconnect the unit’s electrical source during repairs.


Skim the floating oil from the water reservoir. This usually means when oil is ¼” thick or if the oil begins to lessen the cleaning performance.


As mentioned previously, remove sludge from the water reservoir every week for the first month, then develop an appropriate schedule based on what you are cleaning and how often. If sludge begins to build up approaching 1”, it is best to drain the machine completely and remove sludge and debris. Otherwise it can begin to damage the metal, insulate heaters, and cause poor heat transfer. Replacing the cleaning solution frequently is beneficial.


Check overall components including the hinge fasteners that might have worked loose during operation. This will extend the life of the machine while maintaining alignment. Check all external hoses for leaks and replace as needed. Check hoses during a Wash Cycle to see if bubble are emitting.

Every Three Months

Lubricate the grease fitting under the Parts Turntable with high-quality grease.


Take the unit out of service (Power Cord disconnected) and completely check and clean all components.

6 Parts and Component Cleaning Tips

Here are come quick tips to gain the best results while cleaning parts and components. Although these recommendations provide improved parts cleaning, they also serve to allow the Industrial Parts Washer to clean and perform well with less stress. This can translate into a longer Commercial Parts Washer life.

  1. Before using the unit, turn it on and let it run for 10 minutes. This degases the solution or air bubbles in the solution
  2. Before placing dirty parts and components into the Industrial Parts Washer, remove as much loose debris as possible.
  3. Always expose as much surface area on parts and component as much as possible (or disassemble) before beginning the cleaning process. (i.e. transmission disassemble and small parts in cleaning basket).
  4. Make sure parts and components are placed in a manner so that they have working room for cleaning
  5. Upon completion of the cycle, remove components as soon as possible
  6. Always use the correct amount of cleaning detergent and monitor the effectiveness

Commercial Parts Washers are available in a variety of sizes and configurations. Each style although different in configuration, can provide excellent parts and component cleaning capability. By following a few convenient steps such as removing debris buildup and using your Commercial Parts Washer correctly, you can extend its useful life. This will leave your parts and components with a clean advantage for years to come.