Summer Shut Down - Clean Machines Mean Smart Savings!

Summer is the perfect time to prioritize cleaning in your workshop and you may be wondering how it can save you money. This article will explore the benefits of maintaining clean machines and explain the machine cleaning procedure with our simple step-by-step guide.  

Why Clean Machines Save You Money

Longer Sump Life = Reduced Disposal Costs

Properly cleaning your machine tool ensures a longer sump life for your metalworking fluids. This, in turn, reduces the frequency of fluid disposal, resulting in cost savings for your business. When the sump is full of chips, there is less fluid available, leading to harder to maintain concentrations, which ultimately results in more frequent topping up and dilutes the product's overall performance. Modern water-based metalworking fluids have improved biostability, but regular cleaning remains essential for optimizing fluid performance.

Reduced Labor = Saved Money

Cleaning your machines regularly reduces the need for extensive manual labor. Metal chips in the sump create an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, which can degrade the fluid and negatively impact performance. Cleaning out the chips and maintaining a clean machine minimizes the need for manual intervention, saving both time and money.

Increased Uptime for Your Machine Tool:

When your machine tool is clean and free from debris, it experiences increased uptime. Metal chips and residues take up valuable space in the sump, straining pumps and hindering the fluid's cooling and wetting properties. By cleaning the machine and removing chips, you improve the performance of your metalworking fluids, resulting in enhanced productivity and reduced downtime.

How to clean and recharge your machine sump

A properly cleaned machine tool will reduce your overall fluid costs. The frequency depends on several factors including visual inspection and monitoring results. In the past, fluids were typically only changed when they created an odor in the plant. Modern day water-based metalworking fluids have made remarkable strides in improving their bio stability. Despite longer sump life, it is essential to clean machines to optimize the performance of your fluid. 

How does this effect performance?

Metal chips in the sump create an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Increased levels of bacteria will break down the emulsion, lowering the pH of the fluid, therefore reducing the overall performance.

The chips in the sump take up valuable space that the metalworking fluid should occupy. Reduced sump levels due to the buildup of chips place additional strain on pumps and the ability of the fluid to provide essential cooling and wetting properties.

Chips can contribute to tool life, surface finish issues and skin irritation. Cleaning out the chips from the tank dramatically improves the performance of metalworking fluids. Removing chips and cleaning dirty surface areas on machine tools will provide extended sump life. Using a high-quality machine cleaner such as our recommended ArrowClean 25020 shortens the cleaning process. It removes insoluble soap residues and removes residue and build up in the coolant lines of the machine tool.

To properly manage your coolant, your cleanout should include running a cleaner throughout the machine, dislodging sludge and removing biological residues. The cleaning process is an essential first step in the practice of coolant management, ensuring that your coolant has a fair chance of giving maximum performance with minimal problems.


Equipment and procedures

  • Decide how often you need to clean your system. Discuss this with your fluid supplier.
  • If possible, prevent skin contact. If you cannot prevent skin contact, can you limit it?
  • Provide equipment to remove and replace sump fluids with minimum spillage, e.g., wet vacuum. Ensure the sump is cleaned before adding fresh metalworking fluid.
  • Avoid the use of high-pressure water hoses for sump cleaning where practicable.
  • Keep absorbent material to hand in case of spills.
  • Wear personal protective equipment, suitable gloves, eye protection, overalls.

Clean out procedure with ArrowClean 25020

  1. Add 3-5% of ArrowClean 25020 to the existing metalworking fluid.
  2. Circulate 24 hours in the machine tool.
  3. Clean all outside surfaces of the machine tool to remove residue.
  4. Stop circulation of machine tool, remove all fluid along with chips and swarf from the sump. Clean surrounding area along with pumps, screens and filters.
  5. Properly dispose of fluid in accordance with local regulations.
  6. Refill with a weak mix 2% to avoid corrosion. Flush system and rinse sump area.
  7. Empty flushed coolant.
  8. Properly dispose of fluid in accordance with local regulations.
  9. Recharge your machine tool with ArrowCool product, ensuring the fluid is mixed properly and at the proper concentration.


  • Do not remove swarf and fines from the sump by hand. Use suitable tools, e.g., brushes and shovels, and wear suitable cut-resistant protective gloves to prevent injury.
  • Cleaning a large, enclosed sump or underfloor tank may create a confined space risk. Ensure you have assessed the risk and put in place measures such as a permit to work system.

Developing and sticking to a proper preventative maintenance program will result in lower fluid costs, enhanced tool life and improved operator acceptance. For more information from an actual customer, read our latest case study featuring Chem Arrow's ArrowClean 25020 machine cleaner, demonstrating the positive impact of cleaning on time, costs, and machine cleanliness.

If you have any questions, please contact your Chem Arrow distributor or local representative. 

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