The author describes the flawed decision-making criteria used by many companies when selecting cleaning equipment. All too often, companies focus on the “cost-per-liter” of the cleaning fluid as the principle life-cycle cost. This is misleading because aqueous cleaning systems generally only use their inexpensive cleaning saponifiers and surfactants once, while solvent systems recycle the cleaning fluid indefinitely — the solvent never wears out. This distinction results in substantially different cleaning costs. The model also includes indirect costs, such as maintenance, floor space, ancillary systems, and labor costs. Modern solvent cleaning usually is faster and less expensive than aqueous cleaning.
First published November 2o11
Revised June 2018