Understanding SSPC-SP 1 Solvent Cleaning in Detail

The Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC) has established SSPC-SP 1 solvent cleaning like STI inspections as a specification to stop early coating failure. The surface preparation method described in this specification encourages a longer varnish life on storage tanks and machinery. SSPC-SP1 is a specification for cleaning impurities from steel surfaces during surface preparation. Solvent cleaning is the primary technique for removing visible dirt, filth, oil, dust, drawing substances, and other comparable chemical molecules from steel surfaces.

Why Is Cleaning with Solvent Important?

Because it is completed before the preparation of the surface, like SSPC-SP 10/NACE No. 2 near-white blast cleansing or SSPC-SP 5/NACE No. 1 white metal blast cleaning, SSPC-SP1 is a crucial need. Rust, scale, and paint are removed from steel surfaces during surface preparation.

Different types of solvents may be employed alone or in combination to eliminate the impurities indicated above, such as filth, oil, dissolved salt, etc. Surfaces can be soaked in a solvent, have a solvent poured directly into them, or have a solvent used on scrubbing rags or brushes.

Using contaminant-free solutions for the last processes is the best approach to prevent the toxins from spreading. Depending on the coating specification, the SSPC 1 solvent treatment may be used as a backup plan. Some customers request a chloride analysis, and if the result was greater than 15 g/cm2, they were then exposed to solvent treatment; otherwise, they might go straight to sandblasting.

What solvents can be used to clean with the SSPC-SP 1?

The inspection professional must use solvents for cleaning according to SSPC-SP 1. Alkaline, acidic, petroleum-based, biotic, synthetic, organic-inorganic cleansers and solvents can all be used for solvent cleaning. Depending on the surface material and impurities that need to be eliminated from the area, the solvents for SSPC-SP 1 solvent cleanup should be meticulously chosen. It is strongly advised to exercise caution when choosing your solvent. Temperature and pressure in the environment can be utilized to determine the solvents for SSPC-SP 1, or they can be recommended depending on the environment.

It is usually advisable to use caution when using a solvent. Safety considerations should be used when utilizing solvents for SSPC-SP 1 because some solvents are harmful.


Most cleaning products are oil-soluble detergents or other substances, including mineral spirits or gasoline. Due to their toxic nature, Inspection personnel should use all solvents with extreme caution. However, certain solvents can be mixed.

The procedure of Solvent Cleaning

You must take action before and after this prerequisite to effectively implement STI SP001 and SSPC-SP 1’s solvent cleaning standard.

It is better to remove dust from the target surface before solvent cleaning. SSPC-SP 1 solvent rinsing is applied after dust removal using a sturdy wire brush on the surface. Unless it is wiped off with clean water before solvent washing, it is allowed to use solvents designed for eliminating dust if necessary.     

Apply any of the following techniques after using a scraper to eliminate all impurities from the surface:

  • To remove any leftover pollutants, clean them off using a brush or rag dipped in solvent.
  • Spray solvent on the surface.
  • Submerge surface entirely in solvent
  • Use alkaline or emulsion cleansers.
  • For steam cleaning, use cleansers or cleansers.

Be cautious while using any of the final contamination removal techniques described. For the last stages of each method, utilize clean towels, swabs, solvent spray, and solvents. Be sure to end the technique by cleaning the panel with clean water for emulsion, alkaline cleansers, and steam.

Post-solvent cleaning, the process that comes after solvent cleaning, is equally crucial as pre-solvent cleaning. After solvent cleaning, it’s crucial to clear up any leftover residue from the surface. …