Are you trying to avoid rust? Water quality can help or hinder your prevention efforts. There’s something in the water, no doubt about it...and whether or not you have rust may depend on the quality of your water. 

In the fall and winter, ignoring metalworking fluid maintenance may lead to some huge unwanted consequences. And the time it takes to fix them? That keeps you from meeting deadlines and production targets, resulting in big costs to you.

If you’ve ignored fluid maintenance, as summer high temperatures and elevated humidity hit, it’s not a matter of if rust will bite you, but when. 

Water leaves; chloride doesn’t 

When water evaporates, chloride stays behind. And as it builds up, you’ll start to develop higher chloride concentrations. This means that if your water quality isn’t within recommended parameters going into summer, you’re more likely to find rust because as temperatures and dew points rise, process fluids with a chloride build-up may be a rust breeding ground. 

To add insult to injury, if you live in a part of the U.S. that regularly experiences snow and ice, road salt adds to your headaches. The sodium chloride that highway maintenance teams use to melt snow and ice and, ultimately, prevent you from sliding off the road and into other vehicles can potentially get into the water supply. Every time you fill your tanks, you may be introducing undesirable chlorides into your process fluid. 

Mineral deposits may equal emulsion trouble

Chloride isn’t the only problem. When you need a water softener to keep the stains out of the sink and mineral deposits out of the coffee maker, the same may be true for your process fluid. As water hardness increases, the emulsion destabilizes, and you lose lubrication. 

How to stay ahead of the game

When you’re trying to meet tight deadlines, taking time in the spring for prevention can seem unaffordable.

On the other hand, the activity on your shop floor could screech to a halt because you need to dump, clean, and recharge. And that means lost time and a lot of extra expense. 

That means you can’t afford NOT to focus on rust prevention before temperatures rise.

Stay ahead of summer rust by ensuring your systems are within the recommended water-quality parameters in the spring. You’ll run smooth and rust-free all summer. 



  • Water hardness: 75-175 ppm
  • Chloride: below 100 ppm
  • Collective chloride and sulfate level: below 125 ppm

For more information on metalworking fluid maintenance, contact our team by calling 1-888-872-1375 or emailing