Chemical Cleaning

Oxides, scale, varnish and debris could be damaging your piping, degrading your oil and limiting your equipment life. Our certified plant technicians offer turnkey pre-and post-operational bio-degradable chemical cleaning for your piping, HRSG, boilers, and other equipment.

Our services remove unwanted contaminates, reduce system downtime, eliminate unnecessary flushes, and save you time and money. We bring our own equipment for chemical cleaning precommissioning and maintenance, ensuring adequate flow rates and measuring contaminate removal with independent lab verification upon job completion.


  • Boiler chemical cleaning
  • Tank and reservoir chemical cleaning
  • Pipe chemical cleaning
  • Full system degreasing including degreasing agent neutralization and purging of your system
  • Iron oxide removal
  • Varnish removal
  • System passivation
  • Pre-commissioning Cleaning
  • Pre-operational Cleaning
  • Decommissioning Cleaning
  • Nitrogen line drying
  • Turnkey fluid handling solutions
  • Aux filtration
  • Industrial filters & breathers
  • HVOF flushing, steam blowing or air blowing services if needed

Typical Chemical Cleaning Procedure

A typical chemical cleaning is a single volume cleaning and consists of:

  1. Filling the system with water and then heating the water to pre-determined temperature
  2. Adding an emulsifier to remove the oils and light greases and suspend them in the water mixture
  3. The concentration and temperature of the solution are closely monitored, and the speed of the fluid circulation is held within a tight range
  4. A water rinse is performed
  5. Next, an inhibitor is added to prevent good steel from being attacked by the acid
  6. A water rinse is performed
  7. Then mill scale and iron are removed by adding a weak acid to the system
  8. Once the acid has completed it’s work, a neutralizer is added to passivate the cleaned metal. The passivitation agent also creates a vapor barrier to help prevent flash rust once operations begin again
  9. Finally, the system, boiler or HRSG is drained and rinsed and ready for startup or additional services
  10. After completion, testing is performed and results are confirmed using fluid analysis and particle count

Koch Fertilizer

Fort Dodge, IA, Beatrice, NE., Enid, OK, and Dodge City, KS.   Provided emergency response and scheduled turnaround services including chemical cleaning and high velocity oil flushing.


Husky Lima OH – New Hydro Plant- Performed chemical cleaning on the reformer, air blowing of the process lines and continuous steam blows of the header and users.

Refinery Reservoir Chemical Cleaning with HVOF

A lube oil system for a gas compressor at a major refinery had not been cleaned in over 30 years. The unit was down for major maintenance program which created the perfect opportunity to address the ISO cleanliness of the oil system.

How long does chemical cleaning normally take?

Three days is the typical length of a chemical cleaning procedure. If other services such as High Velocity Oil Flushing (HVOF), steam blowing or air blowing are also being performed, the entire process usually takes between 7-10 days.

What chemicals are used for this process?

Our chemicals are all bio-degradable. We use an oil-soluble cleaner to remove varnish, carbon, rust, sludge and other contaminates. We also use a passivization agent for neutralizing acids at the end and creating a vapor barrier.  No solvents are included in our chemicals.

When should chemical cleaning be used?

Chemical cleaning solutions can reduce downtime by efficiently removing scale, oxides, varnish and other hard to remove contaminates. This mill scale removal minimizes tube failures during start up and improves heat transfer making the boiler/HRSG more efficient during operation.

Chemical cleaning is appropriate for precommissioning and plant reliability maintenance. It is often used in conjunction with steam blowing, air blowing, or high velocity flushing services.

What is chemical cleaning?

Chemical cleaning uses chemicals to dissolve or loosen scale, debris and organic materials from pipe and process equipment during the commissioning phase of new plant facilities and equipment or during reliability service maintenance. Specific processes will vary based on specific equipment, the commissioning process and operational use cases. It is most typically used for cleaning of a boiler or HRSG with chemistry formulated to remove mill scale from the water tubes. Chemical cleaning is also used on piping and vessels that need to have mill scale removed as well.

What is the difference between Chemical Cleaning and Hydrolazing?

Hydrolazing is an alternative to chemical cleaning. Both remove debris from piping and internals, but chemical cleaning uses chemicals to loosen and remove varnish, rust and other contaminates. Hydrolazing uses high pressure water jets to remove the same debris.

Hydrolazing can be lower cost than chemical cleaning, and it doesn’t use harsh chemicals. However, it is not applicable in all situations, and is best combined with steam and air blows.

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