How Does It Work?

How Do Parts Washers Work?

For businesses that have not had the opportunity to benefit from an automated parts washer, the following provides a brief description of how the machine operates as well as considerations for machine placement.


The spray washer can use a variety of low foam speciality detergents which are mostly based on alkaline salts and these are included in our service fee. Some applications may require a variety of different chemicals and PartWashers are able to assist in developing a bespoke solution via our chemical suppliers should this be necessary.

The chemical solution concentration will be set by the technician after cleaning, however this may need to be adjusted for your specific requirements. Normally services will be set at a 4 week interval which will provide optimal cleaning vs cost for most customers. Although chemicals can be topped up between services, there will come a point where the saturation levels combined with the grime that has been cleaned from your parts will make adding any extra chemical ineffective and could lead to other problems such as chemical residue being left on the cleaned parts. The best outcome for an efficient clean and longer equipment life is achieved via well-spaced and regular servicing of the washer.


The machine is fully self-contained and includes a sump which holds between 120 to 400 litres of chemical solution depending upon the machine size. The sump is then heated to between 65C and 80C based upon the chemical used and its application. The hull of the machine is also insulated to minimise heat loss and helps keep the machine at the correct temperature which is controlled via a thermostat. Heating is switched via a 24/7 timer allowing the chemicals to be heated during off-peak times thus saving your business money and also allowing the machines to be pre-heated ready for use prior to shift start. It also means that you do not need to switch off the power at the end of the shift, the machine will do that for you with the only power draw being a small LED.  Note that the SW800 does not have a 24/7 timer.

All machines other than the SW800, have automated water top-up which is necessary due to evaporation and that also helps prevent damage to the heating elements which can occur if the water level drops too low. Evaporation is normal given that the chemicals are being heated to 80C and water vapour will be visible when the machines are in operation.  The SW800 must be manually filled and topped up.

A permanently connected water supply is not mandatory, however it is strongly recommended. As an alternative, water can be added to the machine manually if desired although staff will need to remain vigilant of the water level in the machine and check it daily. The machines have an automatic cut-off if water levels drop too far, however this can also lead to staff becoming confused as to why the machine is not operating where a permanent water supply has not been connected.


All machines are three phase and require an amperage of between 20-32A depending upon heating elements and pump size. The machines do not need to be switched on and off, rather the 24/7 timers should be used to control the heating elements. This will also ensure that the machine is ready for use as soon as your staff arrive for their shift in the morning.

Load Capacity

Load capacity of the turn-table (or basket) will vary with the model of machine used. Capacity will vary from 400 kg through to 2,000kg for mid-sized machines and PartWashers offers top and front load variants.Regardless of the machine load capacity, care should be taken to load the turn-table evenly to avoid premature failure of turntable bearings. Failure to observe this requirement might be considered as abuse by the OEM and thus not covered under warranty.

The turn-table has a jog facility enabling it to be rotated during loading and unloading to help facilitate balanced loading and better manual handling. Care must be taken to ensure staff do not over-reach with heavy loads during loading which could lead to back and or other injuries. Where possible, overhead hoists should always be used for heavy parts.


Cleaning is facilitated via a static spray bar and rotating turn-table. As parts are rotated at a steady 5rpm, the spray bar will direct 50-60 psi of cleaning chemicals from above, the side and below providing very effective coverage for the exterior of your parts.

If the basket is tightly loaded, it may also be necessary to re-orientate your parts during the cleaning cycle to get full coverage. If you have items that contain oil galleries or other orifices that require cleaning, then you may need to consider using a hot-tank or caustic bath instead, in order to clean the interior and exterior.

Drying & Rust Avoidance.

Parts are washed using water and chemicals with built in rust inhibitor and are heated to around 80C. Consequently, your parts will act as a heat sink and come out of the washer quite warm (appropriate PPE must be used whilst handling hot parts). It is important to remove them from the part washer as soon as practicable after washing to avoid them cooling and condensation causing water to accumulate on exposed surfaces which may lead to light surface rust. If removed promptly, the retained heat in the part will allow it to dry relatively quickly and experience has proven that in this case, surface rust is rarely a problem.

Machine Location.

Machines placement must consider the following:

  • Location: A level piece of concrete with protection from the elements, good lighting and sufficient space to access the rear of the machine to complete repairs and maintenance, as well as the front of the machine for loading parts and chemical servicing. If the machine is not level, it may warp slightly when water is added to the sump leading to difficulty in closing access doors and/or leaks where there is no longer a proper seal.
  • Power: Access to 415V (3 phase power) with between 20-32A available depending upon the machine size.
  • Water: A clean water supply is required and can be connected permanently to the machine to allow automatic top up. Alternatively, proximity to a normal garden tap with a short hose will suffice for manual top-up of the water level and for cleaning.
  • Air: Access to a compressed air supply is needed to operate a venturi pump for evacuating the machine sump. Air may also be used to clear orifices located on the machine spray bar.

Better yet, see us in person!

We are a mobile business operating throughout Melbourne. We would be delighted to pop by when in your area. Feel free to send a text or use the above portal to arrange an appointment.

Why choose PartWashers?

We only use the latest machines, built to comply with all relevant Australian Standards. We will not be beaten on price or quality of service. Give us a call today to find out more about our range of equipment:



Mon : 09:00 am – 05:00 pm

Tue : 09:00 am – 05:00 pm

Wed : 09:00 am – 05:00 pm

Thu : 09:00 am – 05:00 pm

Fri : 09:00 am – 05:00 pm

Sat : Closed

Sun : Closed

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