The Do's And Don'ts Of Maintenance Spray
One of the things we often see at TYGRIS is an overreliance on maintenance sprays. Sure, they can be helpful, but there are some pitfalls of using them for every issue.
In this blog, we're diving into the essentials of maintenance spray and why counting on one spray can to solve any servicing problem can be problematic.
There’s one aerosol almost everyone has in their garage, toolbox or workshop. Maintenance spray! From popular products such as WD-40, V101 or PocketRocket, these cans have established a renowned reputation for sorting any trouble and are supposedly the answer to many headaches you experience.
It might seem easier to count on a one-size-fits-all solution, but that isn't the case. There is a reason why we never claim to have one industrial solution that is the answer to all potential problems. TYGRIS has a range of products developed for specific areas and environments and conditions.
We get that there are so many variables to a problem, especially in our industry where demanding and extreme conditions are just part of the job. That is why we believe it's ineffective to suggest one product as the only option for any issue that arises.
Another problem many people are not aware of is the misunderstanding around these aerosols. They often have a reputation for being something they simply aren't! These products are not lubricants. They provide a quick fix for getting things running again, a speedy clean and a thin layer of oil to stop hinges from squeaking or bolts from loosening.
However, they are frequently used in applications that they are not suitable for, leading to more problems down the road. It's a classic case of jack of all trades and master of none, and a fast fix isn't the answer to reoccurring issues. When a maintenance spray acts as several products such as a lubricant or rust remover, you can end up with more of a mess on your hands.
So, where Should I Not Be Using Maintenance Spray?
The place where we think maintenance spray is best for - door hinges. You may hear a difference straight away, offering a temporary, light lubricant. So it will help the squeaking short term as it is a thin barrier between the metal-to-metal contact although, with the properties of the spray, it is likely to attract dirt and dust.
All this grime and build-up will ultimately leave you in a worse position than where you started - so it’s best to settle for a lubricant, a product designed to solve the exact issue.
Something else to avoid is anything soft (rubber for example) used to seal something. We also recommend steering clear of:
Maintenance spray is designed to protect against rust, sometimes dissolving rust. They will contain chemicals that are likely to harm plastics and similar materials. Effects aren't always going to take place immediately, the chemical structure can be broken down over time, and slowly disintegrate. Again, a quick fix but resulted in more issues further down the line.
Already greased equipment - maintenance spray would dilute the grease, the potential for their evaporating properties to displace existing grease, for instance, lithium or graphite. Also, equipment is probably already lubricated well so most likely doesn’t need any further help on this.
Other applications where it’s best to avoid Maintenance Spray are:
- Firearms - gun oil is better suited, however, it is ok to use for cleaning
- Drive chains/Chains - A chain lubricant provides far better results
- Gears - maintenance spray does not have enough lubricant effect
- Locks - use a graphite or silicone spray rather than a maintenance spray
Is Maintenance Spray Useless Then?
No of course not! They are one of the most common sprays we use in our industry, it’s one product that every household and organisation is going to use - you can be certain to see at least one in every garage, toolbox, factory or almost anywhere!
Areas that don't experience a lot of pressure, heat, friction, overall have lower demands, a maintenance spray is perfectly adequate. The initial, quick spray to help loosen rusted or stiff parts or drive out small areas where moisture is present is the best environment and application for a WD-40 / V101-like spray.