Diesel Not Recommended as a Solvent
People often ask if they can use diesel fuel (diesel) as a solvent or cleaner. The answer is unequivocally, no!
Using diesel as a solvent to clean off asphalt and tar from trucks and equipment has long been a practice on construction job sites. It is even something that some municipalities have allowed in the past. However, this method is not approved by the DEC and can result in serious risks to safety as well as fines for violations.
Diesel is a combustible chemical due to its low flashpoint. It is further defined as a Hazardous Chemical according to OSHA standards. “Flashpoint is the main physical property that defines flammable and combustible liquids. It is the minimum temperature at which the vapors given off by a liquid could ignite when mixed with air, near the surface of the liquid” (https://www.justrite.com/news/difference-between-flammable-combustible/).
It also poses several physical, health, and environmental dangers to individuals, communities, and wildlife. Using diesel as a solvent will not only pose explosive danger but can also have negative consequences to one’s health. Irresponsibly dumping the byproduct produced by using diesel as a solvent could also result in contamination to nearby bodies of water and groundwater.
Approved safer alternative agents and solvents, such as mineral spirits, can be used instead of risking the hazards inherent in diesel. Walden’s engineers can provide advice and insights on safer, more effective practices to clean off asphalt from trucks and equipment.