What Are Solvent Chemicals – Types of Chemicals for Industrial Cleaning

Solvent chemicals are an important part of industrial cleaning applications. Various organic solvents are available, each with its unique properties and applications.

Solvent chemicals are an important part of industrial cleaning applications. Various organic solvents are available, each with its unique properties and applications.

Before we dive into the details of various applications, let us explain the meaning of industrial solvents.

Solvents are chemicals that dissolve other chemicals without altering their chemical properties. These solvents have two categories: organic or inorganic. Organic solvents are the ones that have carbon present and are a part of almost all industrial cleaners.

It is sometimes difficult to determine the type of solvent to use based on the usage or selecting the one that can fulfill current requirements. You should understand the types available to make an informed choice.

Types of Solvent Chemicals

There are three main types of organic solvents present that industries can use for precise cleaning. These include:

  • Oxygenated solvents are a type of solvent that contains oxygen, and this distinguishes them from traditional solvents, which do not contain oxygen. Oxygenated solvents are often used in the paint and coating industry, and they are also used in the automotive industry and the printing and textile industries. They can often be hazardous if inhaled or touched.


  • Hydrocarbon solvents are organic compounds that consist of carbon and hydrogen. They are used in various applications, including solvents, degreasers, and paint thinners. They are also used in various industrial processes, such as the production of plastics. Hydrocarbon solvents include propane, ethylene, benzene, gasoline, toluene, naphtha, hexanes, and mineral spirits. Industrial hydrocarbon solvents are usually mixtures of solvent vapors with other substances, such as benzene. Hydrocarbon solvents are colorless liquids with low boiling points ranging from −23 °C to 200 °C, depending on the compound. They have high diffusivity and low viscosity. They also dissolve various organic chemicals and do not form explosive mixtures with air. One disadvantage of using hydrocarbon solvents is that they irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs.


  • Halogenated solvents are chemicals that contain fluorine, chlorine, bromine, or iodine. These solvents are used in various applications, including industrial and consumer products. Some common halogenated solvents include Tetrachloroethylene (PCE), Perchloroethylene (PCE), Trichloroethylene (TCE), and Carbon Tetrachloride (CCl4). Halogenated solvents can be harmful to human health and the environment. They can cause adverse health effects, such as cancer, reproductive problems, and damage to the nervous system. They can also be toxic to aquatic life and contribute to smog formation.

Requirements to Consider Before Selecting Solvent Chemicals

Before choosing an organic solvent for industrial use, you should have a few points in mind.

  • Type of material to clean
  • Existing equipment and method of metal cleaning
  • Solvents that adhere to environmental and health regulations
  • Needs of storage with recovery and recycling options
  • Availability according to price and budget

Final Point

Understanding and selecting the right solvent chemicals for industrial use depends on various chemical and physical properties. You need to have basic knowledge of these chemicals to make an informed choice accordingly. Solvent Replacement is your cleaning solutions expert to purchase the right solutions for industrial use.