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The Best Parts Washers for a Garage Cleanup

The Best Parts Washers for a Garage Cleanup

Whether you are an aspiring mechanic working out of your home garage, a small business owner operating a repair shop or the crew chief at a construction site or family farm, chances are your tools, equipment and mechanical components are caked in grime. To thoroughly remove impacted grease from engine parts, automotive tools, marine components and lawn equipment, you need an industrial parts washer or professional cleaning system. NAPAonline offers an extensive catalog under Tools and Equipment. Browse this high-quality selection of Shop Equipment to find the automotive parts washer that is right for your exact needs.

Finding the Best Automotive Parts Washer for the JobCarlyle Parts Washer 5 gal (US) 13 l

While some how-to articles might suggest tackling grease-coated CV joints or a CV axle using a high-pressure water hose or a high-powered pressure washer, that approach can create an even bigger mess by spreading the oil and debris to other areas of your repair shop. And, if your garage cleanup includes washing small auto parts, such as bolts, nuts, screws, bearings and gaskets, especially from bicycles, 4-wheelers and off-road trucks, a car parts washer is your best solution. The best parts washer should provide a dedicated workstation (with wash bin, drain plug and flexible hose) that circulates cleaning fluid using a high-flow powerful electric pump. Some automotive parts washers incorporate a replaceable filter that removes particles from the cleaning fluid, which is then recycled to get the most washes out of a single tank.

You will find available auto parts washers that are oversized on sturdy steel carts with swivel casters, as well as more portable lightweight parts washers that are similar to a 5-gallon bucket that you can easily pack up and move from jobsite to jobsite. If you are shopping for the best auto parts cleaner, check out the Carlyle 5-Gallon Parts Washer constructed of cold rolled steel with a blue powder-coat finish. This leak-free parts washer is designed for many years of service and with more than a 1/2-gallon-per-minute flow rate. Not big enough? Go for the Carlyle 20-Gallon Parts Washer with a removable work surface tray and an electric ON/OFF switch, which is able to pump more than 2 ½ gallons of liquid every minute. Need to upgrade from a 20-gallon parts washer to a 40-gallon parts washer? Purchase the Carlyle 40-Gallon Parts Washer, which is able to pump more than 3 gallons of liquid every minute from a tank nearly 10 ½ inches high and nearly 20 ½ inches wide. 

The cost of a parts washer can range from $125 to $3,000. On the upper end are comprehensive shop stations, such as the fully assembled, 15-gallon CRC SmartWasher Kit, sturdy enough to hold loads up to 400 pounds. The adjustable thermostat gives this heated parts washer the versatility to clean at two different temperatures. The washing kit comes with a filter, tank, Multi-Layer Fluid Activation Mat and three 5-gallon jugs of OzzyJuice SW-4 Heavy Duty Degreasing Solution (an environmentally friendly, non-toxic cleaning solution). 

Choosing the Best Automotive Parts Washer Solvent

While some at-home mechanics might tackle a grimy engine using a bucket, brush and some degreaser from top brands like Mac’s, Brakleen and Blaster, that approach works best when it is nearly impossible to detach a part for thorough cleaning. You need a parts washing solvent that is versatile enough to use on truck engines, tire rims, industrial machinery and power equipment, while still safe on exposed skin. 

The NAPA experts recommend stocking up on parts washer fluid that is safe on most surfaces, including metals, plastics, polyurethanes, rubber, glass and aluminum (which can easily become pitted by harsh chemicals). If you’re shopping for auto parts solvent cleaner, get started with a 1-gallon jug of Non-Chlorinated CRC Brākleen Brake Parts Cleaner. This low-VOC automotive parts washer solvent removes brake fluid, grease, oil and other contaminants quickly and effectively from calipers, drums, clutches, springs and more.

Ideally, a fully equipped automotive shop should purchase auto parts cleaning solvent by the 5-gallon jug or bucket. At the top of the “best cleaning solvent for parts” list is the CRC SmartWasher OZZYJUICE Heavy-Duty Degreasing Solution, which is pH-neutral, non-irritating, non-flammable and non-toxic, but tough enough to eliminate hydraulic transmission fluid, motor oil, bearing grease and resin products.

How to Use a Parts Washer

Now that you have picked out a brand-new, top-of-the-line parts washer and the best parts washer solvent, let’s review some best practices from the NAPA experts. Start by placing the parts that need cleaned on the parts tray. Bend your hose down so the parts cleaning solution flows completely over every part surface, wetting them completely. Allow time for the parts washer solvent to soften any grease and debris, then use a parts cleaning brush to remove stubborn deposits. Let the excess solution drain from the parts, then rinse in non-treated warm water. When done, turn the pump to the off position, close the lid and unplug the unit.

Add a hard bristle wire brush to your NAPAonline shopping cart before you complete your purchase, such as this NAPA Scratch Brush with a metal frame and carbon steel bristles or this Three-Pack Shopworks Brush Kit with a brass brush, steel brush and nylon brush. And, while you are shopping, don’t miss out on one drop of savings. NAPA offers even more savings with NAPA Rewards. Earn 1 Point for every $1 you spend. Collect 100 points, and you automatically get $5 off your next order. Additionally, participating NAPA Auto Parts stores offer a convenient Buy Online, Pick Up in Store option. You can also take advantage of our Free One-Day Shipping on more than 160,000 items!

Brian Medford View All

With an automotive writing career spanning over two decades, Brian has a passion for sharing the automotive lifestyle. An avid DIYer he can usually be found working on one of his many project cars. His current collection includes a 1969 Olds Delta 88 convertible, BMW E46 sedan, and a slant-6 powered 1975 Plymouth Duster.

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