Manual Parts Washers

Manual Parts Washers

What is a manual parts washer?

A manual parts washer is a cleaning system used in industrial and automotive settings to manually clean parts, components, and tools. It typically consists of a tank filled with a solvent, or water-based cleaning solution and a brush or spray nozzle for manually scrubbing or spraying the parts to remove contaminants like grease, oil, dirt, and grime.

Available in designs specifically adapted for either solvent or aqueous cleaning fluids, manual parts washers are the most common degreasers in the marketplace. They are typically the lowest cost and are best used for light, sporadic cleaning, to more involved cleaning.

Basic Features of a Manual Parts Washer

Manual washers may incorporate one or more of the following features: soak, brush, heated fluid, directed stream, and fluid agitation. Similar parts washers systems include immersion parts washers.

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Soaking is the simplest, least aggressive cleaning action. It is more effective with longer immersion time. This cleaning action is applicable where soils are easily removed and where low equipment cost is important.


Manual brushing is used as a supplement to other cleaning actions. This method is helpful in removing stubborn soils in hard to reach places. An assortment of parts cleaning brushes is available in the ACCESSORIES section.

Heated Solution (water-based solution only)

The effectiveness of water-based cleaning solutions increases dramatically as the temperature increases. The optimum recommended temperature is governed by the equipment and the particular detergent used.

Directed Stream

A flexible hose is used to direct a flushing stream of low pressure cleaning fluid directly at the soiled part. This cleaning action is particularly effective for flushing parts when brushing. For maximum results, the directed stream action can be used in combination with other cleaning actions. Some models feature a second hose with a pistol grip nozzle, which provides an adjustable flushing spray.

Fluid Agitation

This is the next step from soaking. By creating turbulation within the tank, the chemistry performs a “scrubbing” action each time it passes the part. This fluid agitation also works to clean and flush out holes.

Solvent Parts Washers vs. Water-Based (Aqueous) Parts Washers

Solvent Manual Parts Washer

Ideal for cleaning of metal, plastics and painted surfaces. Grease, motor oil, cutting oil, and water soluble oils are removed with ease. Gummy deposits unaffected by ordinary mineral spirits are readily softened or removed. Use of Graymills’ Agitene line of products is recommended.

Water based Manual Parts Washer

Graymills versatile line of aqueous cleaners can be used for removing virtually any organic or inorganic soil, including greases, oils, soft carbons, epoxies, hard water residue, corrosion, oxides, paints, plating salts, rust and smut. Use of Graymills’ Aquatene water-based cleaners is recommended and they work most effectively when heated and require only a water rinse. To learn more about our manual solvent & water-based parts washers contact us today.

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