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22/04/2020 News

How to preserve and store metalworking fluids during short and long-term shutdowns



The current crisis is proving extremely challenging for industry and manufacturing. On top of reduced activity and threats to business continuation, businesses are incurring costs from their materials, machines and consumables themselves.

In metalworking, machines and fluids represent two of these potential costs, but thankfully, there are a wide range of steps users can take to secure their machinery and industrial lubricants to reduce cost exposure and ensure production can begin smoothly once lockdowns are lifted.

Short and long-term measures are listed below, as well as storage instructions, and various recommendations from our lubricant experts on a range of scenarios.

Short-term measures 

With each of these options, be sure to have a supply of new coolant, cleaner and waste storage to charge systems ready for start-up.

  1. Check the pH of all metalworking fluids.
  2. Confirm fluid concentration is in specification.
                a. See technical data sheet for recommended concentration level.
  3. Remove tramp oil.
  4. Circulate coolant systems daily, if possible.

Long term measures 

  1. Determine the age of the coolant bath.

If the bath is near the end of its operational lifetime:

  1. Drain the coolant tanks, ready for an extended shutdown, but do not rinse them.
  2. If using Total FOLIA, spray the inside machine with a 10% strength solution.


  1. Drain, clean and spray with a Rust Preventative solution.
  2. If using Total FOLIA, spray the inside of the machine with a 10% strength solution instead of a Rust Preventative solution.

If the age of the coolant bath is within acceptable limits or if you use Total FOLIA:

  1. Check the pH of the coolant bath with a testing strip
  2. Adjust the fluid concentration to the optimum level as per reference concentration (see technical data sheet)
  3. Check the bath’s bacteria content using the dip stick method
  4. Remove tramp oils
  5. Schedule daily and automatic circulation, if possible.

Metalworking fluid storage and usage recommendations

If you encounter any of the following scenarios, follow these instructions.


Low pH

Add SERADE WQ BUFFER at 0.1 to 0.2%.


Long shutdown of the central bath

Add ACTICIDE 14 at 0.005 to 0.025%.


Poor fluid circulation 

If it is not possible to turn on the pump, drop an air hose in the bath to provide movement to the fluid, allowing it to better circulate.


Restarting operations 

Take a sample to analyse fluid conditions. Total ANAC INDUS offers complete soluble fluid checks and expert analysis.


Storage instructions 

Specific procedures must be respected in order to safely and properly store water-based concentrates:

  • Drums must be stored between 5°C and 40°C:
  • Containers should be stored indoors. If they are stored outdoors, they must be stored on their side, lengthways, so moisture cannot infiltrate the bung.
  • Water-based fluids should always be stored in their original packaging and used within one year after production.

By ensuring the correct use and storage of metalworking fluids, you can safeguard your lubricants and machinery and restart production faster and more confidently once lockdowns have ended. Learn more about Total’s range of metalworking fluids, or contact our experts for more information.