A Guide to the Equipment Used in Industrial Settings

Pro Tips for Cleaning O-Rings

The integrity of an engine seal depends entirely on the condition of an O-ring. A dirty and worn O-ring allows debris and other contaminants into an engine system, thereby compromising the functionality of your car. Therefore, it is crucial to inspect and clean O-rings regularly to avoid premature wear and tear. Sadly, many people do not know how to clean O-rings the right way. If you don't know how to handle O-rings, then no amount of cleaning will protect the integrity of a seal. This article highlights essential tips for cleaning O-rings.

Use a Flat Screwdriver to Remove O-Ring 

The first thing you need to do when cleaning an O-ring is to remove it from its slot. Most people do this with their fingers because it is convenient. However, the chances of nicking an O-ring with your nails are high because you have to wiggle it out. Therefore, rather than use your finger to remove O-rings, it is advisable to use a flat screwdriver. Gently place the flat end under an O-ring, grab it with your fingers and pull it out. The flat surface of a screwdriver ensures you don't nick or cut an O-ring. You can use a flat stick if you don't have a flat screwdriver nearby. Just make sure that the stick does not have rough or sharp edges that can cut an O-ring.

Clean on White Surface

It is mandatory to place O-rings on a clean surface once you have removed them from their slots. However, when dealing with such a delicate part, you need to use a surface that makes it easy to spot dirt. You might think you have cleaned an O-ring thoroughly only to find metal filings on its surface. Therefore, place O-rings on a white surface. It makes any dirt or debris easy to spot, thereby preventing costly oversight. It is especially the case if you are cleaning coloured O-rings.

Don't Stretch O-Ring During Cleaning

When applying petroleum jelly around an O-ring, it is common for some people to stretch the O-ring. While O-rings are made of robust silicone or rubber, stretching them shortens their service life. You can get away with stretching an O-ring once or twice while cleaning it. However, please do not make it a habit. The same applies when returning an O-ring to its slot. Please take advantage of petroleum jelly and wiggle an O-ring into place rather than stretch it over a lid or joint.