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Graymills Cleaning Fluids

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Choosing the Fluid - Solvent and Aqueous Parts Washing Chemistries

Inevitably, parts will get dirty. Whether this is from handling, machining, or use, it’s your job to get them clean again.

One of the first questions you need to ask yourself when looking for a new parts washer is what sort of cleaning chemistry you want to use. This is crucial to tackle early on, because the type of cleaning solution will determine what sort of equipment you need. And choosing the wrong one can slow down your cleaning process and lead to extra costs. If you change your mind after making the purchase, it is difficult and expensive - if not impossible - to retrofit the equipment to use the other type.

At the end of the day, you still need to get down to the surface of your parts and get rid of contaminants, from oils to greases to dirt to dust to rust. So how do you choose which is right for you? Let’s look at the two major categories: solvents and aqueous (water-based).

Old School: Solvent

Solvents, and in this case we are referring to typical mineral spirits cleaning solvents, are the traditional answer. Made of light petroleum distillates, they are what many people think of when they think of parts washing.

Why have solvents been a popular choice? Quite simply, they work well. Mineral spirits cleaners dissolve petroleum-based oils and greases, cleaning very efficiently. They also do not require additional energy inputs, such as heat, spray, and ultrasonics (side note, NEVER heat mineral spirits and never use in a spray or ultrasonic application unless approved by the manufacturers of both the machines and the solvent) to get the job done. Usually, a soak and light brushing is all that is needed, though larger or more complex parts might necessitate pump or platform agitation to fully flush holes and grooves.

Parts cleaned in solvent also dry fast and do not require a rinse. They typically come out rust-free.

Sounds perfect. So what’s not to love? Well, solvents have a few drawbacks.

First, they are not considered to be environmentally friendly. They are made of oil and evaporate, creating VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions. Even if being green isn’t top of mind for you, it is for the government. Emissions standards are constantly being tightened, and some localities have banned solvent altogether.

Second, solvents are combustible. Traditional solvents have a flash point, or the point as which vapor can be ignited by a flame, of 105-141F. Some companies do not want to deal with having combustible fluids in their facility.

Third, service for these units is frequent - and frequently expensive. The unit has to be drained, cleaned, and refilled with fresh solvent, commonly on an 8-week service interval. These costs add up over time.

Finally, there are not as many specialized solvents as there are aqueous solutions. Solvents tend to be more of a “one size fits all” solution.

Constant Evolution: Aqueous

Water-based (or aqueous) solutions have grown in popularity in recent years. While early versions were slow and somewhat ineffective, newer water-based cleaners rival solvents. One difference is how they work. Where solvents dissolve oils and greases, water-based chemistries emulsify the oils, using polar surfactants to bond with both the water and the oil and lift the contaminants away from the surface of the part.

Why have companies made the move away from solvents? One explanation is that aqueous detergents are more environmentally friendly, especially in the more neutral pH range. They are non-combustible, though this needs the obvious clarification that dumping combustible or flammable (a flash point below 100F) products into an aqueous solution can change this.

Another advantage is the wide variety of both machines and chemistries available. This allows you to tweak both to fit your process closely, driving efficiencies in the system. Machines are available with heat, agitation, low- and high-pressure sprays, and ultrasonics. Chemistries have rapidly evolved and are formulated to handle everything from light dirt to honing oil to UV-curable printing ink - and beyond. Add to this the ability to mix additives from rust preventatives to brighteners into chemistry. This mix-and-match capability can benefit your cleaning process dramatically and help you get exactly what you want out of it.

Once more, all this sounds great. So what are the downsides?

Many aqueous systems require a post-cleaning rinse, a rust preventative dip, or drying. This means secondary steps and potentially extra equipment.

Aqueous machinery also usually costs more up-front. This is due to the need to use stainless steel on wetted surfaces to prevent rusting of the equipment. The machines also frequently have add-ons like heaters, spray manifolds, and ultrasonic systems.

Some chemistries rely on high pH to clean effectively. Non-ferrous metals can potentially be damaged or discolored by this, so it is important to test your choices out first before implementing. Most reputable manufacturers have the capability to offer this service. 

Aqueous machines still need service. This is usually less frequent than with solvent machines, but you need to budget for the cost. One thing that will help, though, is that many water-based chemistries are sold as concentrates, so you are paying less for shipping.

So which is best for me?

There is no one best solution for everyone. This is where a trusted advisor comes in handy. Call Graymills, and we can help you make the decision that will work best for you. And we can prove it out in our testing lab, showing you what the real-world outcome of your cleaning process could be.

Industrial Parts Washers Cleaning Fluids

Parts washing is not solely a function of the equipment. Without appropriate cleaning chemistry, parts will not meet optimal cleanliness. Graymills offers petroleum-based general purpose, biodegradable aqueous alkaline, and biodegradable aqueous bioremediating degreasing solutions.

Cleaning Fluid Reference Chart

Cleaning Problem

Super
Agitene

Regular
Agitene

Aquatene
330

Super
Aquatene
360

Super
Aquatene
390

Aquatene
571

Biotenes

Buffing and Lapping

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Carbon Deposits, Soft

   

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Coatings, Light

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Grease

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Gummy Residues

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Inks, water based

     

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Oils

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Oils, oxidized

     

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Paint, Latex

   

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Paint, Oil based

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Rust Preventatives

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Varnishes, Light

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Varnishes, Heavy

     

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Vanishes, Burned-On

     

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Waxes

   

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For Use in:

Super
Agitene

Regular
Agitene

Aquatene
330

Super
Aquatene
360

Super
Aquatene
390

Aquatene
571

Biotenes

Clean-O-Matic

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Handi-Kleen (cold)

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PH922 (hot)

   

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Turbo Parts Cleaner (cold)

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Turbo Parts Cleaner (hot)

   

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Liftkleen (cold)

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Liftkleen (hot)

   

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Spray Washing Cabinet

       

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Tempest

       

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Drum Mount (cold)

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Ultrasonic

   

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Biomatic

           

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Super Agitene

Agitene is the most effective cleaning solvent you can buy. Grease, motor oil, cutting oil and water soluble oils are removed with ease. Contains no chlorinated solvents and conforms to California rule 66 for clean air. If your regulations require a higher flash point, Super Agitene 141 has a flash point of 141 Fahrenheit (60 C). It contains no ingredients or characteristics listed as hazardous by the Environmental Protection Agency's RCRA Act.

Features:

  • Grease, motor oil, cutting oil and water soluble oils are removed with ease
  • Gummy deposits unaffected by ordinary mineral spirits are readily softened or removed
  • Contains Hand Ease - a cosmetic-grade lanolin formulation, which replenishes some of the skin's natural oils removed by solvents
  • It helps to reduce the chance of irritation and chapping and leaves a protective coating on parts to help retard corrosion
  • Super Agitene is a low-odor solvent with a 105 degree Fahrenheit flashpoint
  • Should not be used on parts going into a plating or painting process (See regular Agitene)

M5005 - Super Agitene. Ideal for cleaning of metal, plastics and painted surfaces. 5 gallon pail.

M8400 - Super Agitene. Ideal for cleaning of metal, plastics and painted surfaces. 50 gallon drum.

M5005-141 - Super Agitene 141. Has the same attributes as Super Agitene but a higher flash point of 141 degrees Fahrenheit which meets local regulations where use of High Flash Point Solvent is required. 5 gallon pail.  Contains no ingredients listed as hazardous by the EPAs RCRA, Meets OTC VOC regulations

M8400-141 - Super Agitene 141. Has the same attributes as Super Agitene but a higher flash point of 141 degrees Fahrenheit which meets local regulations where use of High Flash Point Solvent is required. 50 gallon drum. Contains no ingredients listed as hazardous by the EPAs RCRA, Meets OTC VOC regulations, Available in 5 gallon pails and 50 gallon drums

Regular Agitene

Features:

  • Will not attack varnish, allowing it to be used on varnish-insulated electrical components

M2062 - Regular Agitene. Same high quality cleaning action as Super Agitene, but leaves no film thus making it ideal for cleaning parts to be painted. 5 gallon pail

M1700 - Regular Agitene. Same high quality cleaning action as Super Agitene, but leaves no film thus making it ideal for cleaning parts to be painted. 50 gallon drum

CLEANING FLUIDS
Due to our responsibility to ship solvents and detergents which conform to Material Safety Data Sheet descriptions, we cannot accept returns or exchanges of Agitene and Aquatene cleaners.
COLD CLEANING FLUIDS
SUPER AGITENE
M5005 5-gallon can
M8400 50-gallon drum
SUPER AGITENE 141  
M5005-141 5-gallon can
M8400-141 50-gallon drum
REGULAR AGITENE  
M2062 5-gallon can
M1700 50-gallon drum
REGULAR AGITENE 141  
M2062-141 5-gallon can
M1700-141 50-gallon drum

 

Aquatene 330

A general purpose concentrated detergent in liquid form. Works best when heated up to 140o F (60 C). Ideal for use in free-standing manual systems and immersion type part washers. Removes soft carbon deposits, light coatings, grease, gummy residue, oils, latex paint, light varnishes, rust preventatives. A five gallon pail makes 25-50 gallons; a 55 gallon drum makes 275-500 gallons, depending on concentration.

Features:
Works most effectively when heated up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit

  • Ideal for use in free-standing manual systems and immersion type parts washers
  • Removes soft carbon deposits, light coatings, grease, gummy residue, oils, latex paint, light varnishes, rust preventatives
  • A five gallon pail makes 25-50 gallons, depending on concentration
  • A 55 gallon drum makes 275-500 gallons, depending on concentration

Use with: DH/PH (hot), Drum Mount (hot), Liftkleen (hot), Turbo Parts Cleaner (hot), Ultrasonic
GM330C5 - Aquatene 330. A general purpose concentrated detergent in liquid form. 5 gallon pail.
GM330C55 - Aquatene 330. A general purpose concentrated detergent in liquid form. 55 gallon drum.

Super Aquatene 360

A general purpose concentrated cleaner in liquid form can be used up to 180°F for faster cleaning. Ideal for use in free-standing manual systems and immersion type part washers. Removes all items listed for GM 330 but also effectively cuts buffing and lapping compounds, hard to remove coatings, water-based inks, oxidized oils and heavy or burned-on varnishes. A five gallon pail makes 25-50 gallons of cleaner; a 55 gallon drum makes 275-500 gallons of cleaner, depending on concentration

Features:

  • Ideal for use in free-standing manual systems and immersion type parts washers
  • Removes all items listed for Aquatene 330 but also effectively cuts buffing and lapping compounds, hard to remove coatings, water-based inks, oxidized oils and heavy or burned-on varnishes
  • A five gallon pail makes 25-50 gallons of cleaner, depending on concentration
  • A 55 gallon drum makes 275-500 gallons of cleaner, depending on concentration

Cleaning Problem

  • Buffing and Lapping
  • Carbon Deposits, Soft
  • Coatings, Light
  • Grease
  • Gummy Residues
  • Inks, Water Based
  • Oils
  • Oils, Oxidized
  • Paint, Latex
  • Rust Preventatives
  • Varnishes, Burned-On
  • Varnishes, Heavy
  • Varnishes, Light
  • Waxes

Use with: DH/PH (hot), Drum Mount (hot), Liftkleen (hot), Turbo Parts Cleaner (hot), Ultrasonic

GM360C5 - Super Aquatene 360. A general purpose concentrated detergent in liquid form can be used up to 180 degree Fahrenheit for faster cleaning. 5 gallon pail.

GM360C55 - Super Aquatene 360. A general purpose concentrated detergent in liquid form can be used up to 180 degree Farenheit for faster cleaning. 55 gallon drum.

Super Aquatene 390

A heavy-duty, low-foam concentrate perfect for use in spray cabinet washers. Ideal for steel, cast iron, and other ferrous metals (not for use on non-ferrous metals). Removes most greases, light oils, water soluble inks, hardened composites and loose metal chips. Contains a rust inhibitor. A five gallon pail makes 30-40 gallons, a 55-gallon drum makes 300-450 gallons, depending on concentration. Heat to maximum of 150 degree F.

Features:

  • Ideal for steel, cast iron, and other ferrous metals (not for use on non-ferrous metals)
  • Removes most greases, light oils, water soluble inks, hardened composites and loose metal chips
  • Contains a rust inhibitor
  • A five gallon pail makes 30-40 gallons, depending on concentration
  • A 55-gallon drum makes 300-450 gallons, depending on concentration
  • Heat to a maximum of 150 degrees Fahrenheit

Cleaning Problem

  • Buffing and Lapping
  • Carbon Deposits, Soft
  • Coatings, Light
  • Grease
  • Gummy Residues
  • Oils
  • Oils, Oxidized
  • Paint, Latex
  • Paint, Oil Based
  • Rust Preventatives
  • Varnishes, Burned-On
  • Varnishes, Heavy
  • Varnishes, Light
  • Waxes

Use with: Liftkleen (hot), Spray Washing Cabinet, Tempest, Turbo Parts Cleaner (hot), Ultrasonic

GM390C5 - Super Aquatene 390. A heavy-duty, low-foam concentrate perfect for use in spray cabinet washers. 5 gallon pail.
GM390C55 - Super Aquatene 390. A heavy-duty, low-foam concentrate perfect for use in spray cabinet washers. 55 gallon drum.

Aquatene 571

Specially formulated for cleaning aluminum and non-ferrous metals. The powdered compound mixes at 3 to 8 ounces per gallon of water. Available in 25 lb cartons or 100 lb. Fiber drums. Use heated to 180o F (82 C).

Features

  • The powdered compound mixes at 3 to 8 ounces per gallon of water
  • Available in 25 lb cartons or 100 lb fiber drums
  • Use heated to 180 degrees Fahrenheit

Cleaning Problem

  • Carbon Deposits, Soft
  • Coatings, Light
  • Grease
  • Gummy Residues
  • Oils
  • Oils, Oxidized
  • Rust Preventatives
  • Varnishes, Burned-On
  • Varnishes, Heavy
  • Varnishes, Light
  • Waxes

Use with: DH/PH (hot), Drum Mount (hot), Liftkleen (hot), Spray Washing Cabinet, Tempest, Turbo Parts Cleaner (hot)

GM571-25 - Aquatene 571. Specially formulated for cleaning aluminum and non-ferrous metals. 25lb carton.
GM571-100 - Aquatene 571. Specially formulated for cleaning aluminum and non-ferrous metals. 100lb fiber drum.

HOT CLEANING FLUIDS
AQUATENE 330
GM330C5 *5-gallon concentrate (makes 25-50 gallons)
GM330C55 55-gallon drum concentrate (makes 275-500 gallons)
AQUATENE 360
GM360C5 *5-gallon concentrate (makes 25-50 gallons)
GM360C55 55-gallon drum concentrate (makes 275-500 gallons)
AQUATENE 390 LOW FOAM CLEANING FLUID
GM390C5 *5-gallon concentrate (makes 30-40 gallons)
GM390C55 55-gallon drum concentrate (makes 330-450 gallons)
AQUATENE 571
GM571-25 25 lbs powdered detergent
GM571-100 100 lbs powdered detergent
*Individual 5-gallon containers may be shipped UPS with an additional $9.00 packaging, handling charge added to the shipment. Total cost will be considerably less than common carrier on less than pallet quantities.
APPROVALS-
Regular and Super Agitene: U/L file MH3717 And City of N.Y. Approval, Certificate no. 2782

 

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

GM550-QT
Super Biotene 550(Concentrate). A concentrated detergent designed for our Bioremediation models, although it is also a good general purpose cleaner. One quart liquid concentrate.
GM550-1
Super Biotene 550(Concentrate). A concentrated detergent designed for our Bioremediation models, although it is also a good general purpose cleaner. One gallon liquid concentrate.
GM660-5
Super Biotene 660(Pre-blended). Same as Super Biotene 550, but in a five-gallon pail of pre-blended, ready-to-use formula

STANDARD FEATURES

  • Super Biotene is an aqueous-based solution that is pH neutral (7.0) mixture of emulsifiers and surfactants containing no VOCs
  • Available in one quart liquid concentrate that makes five gallons of cleaner or one gallon liquid concentrate that makes 21 gallons of cleaner
HOT CLEANING FLUIDS
BIOTENE - SUPER-BIOPAK
GM660-5 5-gallon pre-mixed cleaning fluid
GM550-QT 1-quart concentrate (makes 5 gallons)
GM550-1 1-gallon concentrate (makes 20 gallons)
GM880-5 Super Biotene pre-blended solution, 5 gallon pail
*Individual 5-gallon containers may be shipped UPS with an additional $9.00 packaging, handling charge added to the shipment. Total cost will be considerably less than common carrier on less than pallet quantities.
APPROVALS-
Regular and Super Agitene: U/L file MH3717 And City of N.Y. Approval, Certificate no. 2782

 

M5005
SUPER AGITENE - 5-GALLON CAN ** SHIPPING WEIGHT = 35 LBS
Mfg. item #: M5005
GRAM5005
Call for freight quote on this item or we will confirm freight charges before shipping.1
$121.00

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M8400
SUPER AGITENE - 50-GALLON DRUM ** SHIPPING WEIGHT = 365 LBS
Mfg. item #: M8400
GRAM8400
Call for freight quote on this item or we will confirm freight charges before shipping.1
$931.42

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M5005-141
SUPER AGITENE 141 - 5-GALLON CAN ** SHIPPING WEIGHT = 35 LBS
Mfg. item #: M5005-141
GRAM5005-141
Call for freight quote on this item or we will confirm freight charges before shipping.1
$119.00

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M8400-141
SUPER AGITENE 141 - 50-GALLON DRUM ** SHIPPING WEIGHT = 365 LBS
Mfg. item #: M8400-141
GRAM8400-141
Call for freight quote on this item or we will confirm freight charges before shipping.1
$949.33

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M2062
REGULAR AGITENE - 5-GALLON CAN ** SHIPPING WEIGHT = 35 LBS
Mfg. item #: M2062
GRAM2062
Call for freight quote on this item or we will confirm freight charges before shipping.1
$119.00

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M1700
REGULAR AGITENE - 50-GALLON DRUM ** SHIPPING WEIGHT = 365 LBS
FREE SHIPPING WHEN ADDED TO A PARTS WASHER ORDER
Mfg. item #: M1700
GRAM1700
FREE shipping when ordered with a machine from this manufacturer.20
$914.36

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M2062-141
REGULAR AGITENE 141 - 5-GALLON CAN ** SHIPPING WEIGHT = 35 LBS
Mfg. item #: M2062-141
GRAM2062-141
Call for freight quote on this item or we will confirm freight charges before shipping.1
$116.00

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M1700-141
REGULAR AGITENE 141 - 50-GALLON DRUM ** SHIPPING WEIGHT = 365 LBS
Mfg. item #: M1700-141
GRAM1700-141
Call for freight quote on this item or we will confirm freight charges before shipping.1
$901.57

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GM330C5
AQUATENE 330 - 5-GALLON CONCENTRATE (MAKES 25-50 GALLONS) ** SHIPPING WEIGHT = 45 LBS
Mfg. item #: GM330C5
GRAGM330C5
Call for freight quote on this item or we will confirm freight charges before shipping.1
$64.00

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GM330C55
AQUATENE 330 - 55-GALLON DRUM CONCENTRATE (MAKES 275-500 GALLONS) ** SHIPPING WEIGHT = 530 LBS
Mfg. item #: GM330C55
GRAGM330C55
Call for freight quote on this item or we will confirm freight charges before shipping.1
$439.27

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GM360C5
AQUATENE 360 - 5-GALLON CONCENTRATE (MAKES 25-50 GALLONS) ** SHIPPING WEIGHT = 45 LBS
Mfg. item #: GM360C5
GRAGM360C5
Call for freight quote on this item or we will confirm freight charges before shipping.1
$78.00

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GM360C55
AQUATENE 360 - 55-GALLON DRUM CONCENTRATE (MAKES 275-500 GALLONS) ** SHIPPING WEIGHT = 530 LBS
Mfg. item #: GM360C55
GRAGM360C55
Call for freight quote on this item or we will confirm freight charges before shipping.1
$516.03

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GM390C5
AQUATENE 390 LOW FOAM CLEANING FLUID - 5-GALLON CONCENTRATE (MAKES 30-40 GALLONS) ** SHIPPING WEIGHT = 45 LBS
Mfg. item #: GM390C5
GRAGM390C5
Call for freight quote on this item or we will confirm freight charges before shipping.1
$92.00

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GM390C55
AQUATENE 390 LOW FOAM CLEANING FLUID - 55-GALLON DRUM CONCENTRATE (MAKES 330-450 GALLONS) ** SHIPPING WEIGHT = 530 LBS
Mfg. item #: GM390C55
GRAGM390C55
Call for freight quote on this item or we will confirm freight charges before shipping.1
$605.59

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GM571-25
AQUATENE 571 - 25 LBS POWDERED DETERGENT ** SHIPPING WEIGHT = 25 LBS
Mfg. item #: GM571-25
GRAGM571-25
Call for freight quote on this item or we will confirm freight charges before shipping.1
$117.00

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GM571-100
AQUATENE 571 - 100 LBS POWDERED DETERGENT ** SHIPPING WEIGHT = 100 LBS
Mfg. item #: GM571-100
GRAGM571-100
Call for freight quote on this item or we will confirm freight charges before shipping.1
$336.88

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GM660-5
SUPER BIOTENE PRE-BLENDED SOLUTION, 5 GALLON PAIL ** SHIPPING WEIGHT = 45 LBS
FREE SHIPPING WHEN ADDED TO A PARTS WASHER ORDER
Mfg. item #: GM660-5
GRAGM660-5
FREE shipping when ordered with a machine from this manufacturer.20
$54.00

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GM550-QT
SUPER BIOTENE CONCENTRATE; 1 QUART CONTAINER; MAKES 5 GALLONS ** SHIPPING WEIGHT = 2 LBS
FREE SHIPPING WHEN ADDED TO A PARTS WASHER ORDER
Mfg. item #: GM550-QT
GRAGM550-QT
FREE shipping when ordered with a machine from this manufacturer.20
$47.00

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GM550-1
SUPER BIOTENE CONCENTRATE; 1 GALLON CONTAINER; MAKES 20 GALLONS ** SHIPPING WEIGHT = 9 LBS
FREE SHIPPING WHEN ADDED TO A PARTS WASHER ORDER
Mfg. item #: GM550-1
GRAGM550-1
FREE shipping when ordered with a machine from this manufacturer.20
$141.75

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GM880-5
BIOTENE - TURBO BIOTENE CONCENTRATE, 5 GALLON PAIL ** SHIPPING WEIGHT = 45 LBS
FREE SHIPPING WHEN ADDED TO A PARTS WASHER ORDER
Mfg. item #: GM880-5
GRAGM880-5
FREE shipping when ordered with a machine from this manufacturer.20
$84.00

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