Hi Crabby,

I have a parts washer that is brand new and I have foaming issues that are making a huge mess.  Every time you turn on the pump, after a minute or two, foam starts pouring out of the back area of the machine.  Any thoughts?


Alota Floamer


Dear Alota,

Nothing makes me grumpier than foam coming out of my machine!  There are several things that can cause foaming issues such as:

  1. Running the machine at a temperature lower than the soap manufacturer suggests.
  2. Washing off animal fats or natural oils, which are becoming more common with the movement towards making environmental friendly products for lubrication.
  3. Washing off mold release agents or buffing compounds. These often have natural oils or animal fats in them, and they can cause foam.
  4. The chemistry could be saturated with soils and the defoaming agents in the soap can’t overcome the saturation.

Start with the simplest one, get the safety data sheet and technical data sheet for your soap and see what temperature it suggests running your system at. Make sure you are at least at this minimum.  If that doesn’t completely solve the issue, get a sample of the solution in the tank and let it sit in a room temperature environment. Once it cools down and isn’t being stirred, the soils in the chemistry that have been cleaned off of the parts will begin to fall out and settle at the bottom.  The greases and oils will float to the top. Carefully look this over and determine if there is too much soil or floating oils. If so, I recommend changing out the solution (following local, state and county environmental codes). 

If you are cleaning super dirty parts, I suggest that you wipe off as much grease, oil, buffing compound or whatever before you put the part in and clean it. This will help extend the life of the bath.  Lastly, if all of these things don’t help, contact your chemical supplier.  They have almost definitely had this same problem in the past and can offer solutions for you to try. 

Good luck my friend!


Crabby McClean