Cleaning Hydraulic Hoses

How to Clean Hydraulic Hoses

Cleaning your hydraulic hoses is a simple but vital part of maintaining an efficient hydraulic assembly. Here are a few different methods of cleaning the inside of a hydraulic hose.

  1. Flushing With Air: Perhaps the simplest way to clean hydraulic hoses and hydraulic fittings is to blow shop air through the assembly. The air should be clean, dry, and filtered. Typically, the pressure from the air supply should range from 90 psi to 120 psi. Be aware that debris from the cut end of a long piece of hose can be moved to the middle of the hose without completely removing it. The longer the hose, the more likely this is to happen.
  2. Flushing with Liquid: This is an effective method of cleaning out hydraulic hose. Usually, this method of cleaning is not done until after the fittings are attached, which can leave contaminants trapped between the fittings and hose tube. It is important that the cleaning liquid must be chemically compatible with the hose tube. The cleaning liquid must also evaporate quickly so that the fluid itself does not become a contaminant. Naptha is one such solvent cleaner. Naptha can also dissolve other residues such as manufacturing lubricants that may adhere to the hose wall. Following the flushing with a clean, dry, filtered air flush can promote solvent drying and can further clean the hose bore. This method involves safe, responsible disposal of used cleaning fluid.
  3. Flushing with a Cleaning Projectile: Cleaning your hydraulic hose with a projectile, like a sponge pellet, and clean, dry, filtered shop air can not only remove debris, but can remove any mandrel lubricants or other manufacturing residues. Soaking the projectile in a cleaning solvent can add to the cleaning process as well. Projectile cleaning is a very fast method of cleaning hydraulic hose. This method of cleaning is most effective when used before hydraulic fittings are attached. If the projectile passes over the bump end of the coupling inserted into the hose, it could result in wiping off the collected debris and leaving it deposited there. Blowing a cleaning projectile through a finished assembly can possibly introduce new contamination into the system, as pieces of the projectile can be peeled off and trapped as the projectile goes pas the coupling.
  4. Using a Brush: Using a brush and suction at the end of the hose end can loosen and remove the debris from the inside surface at the coupling end of a hose assembly where most contaminants are found.

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