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Tips for Keeping Your CNC Coolant System Clean and Efficient

Keep the System Clean for Optimal CNC Machining Performance

Maintaining a clean coolant system is crucial for the efficient operation of CNC machines. Regular cleaning helps prevent contamination, reduces the risk of foaming, and ensures the longevity of your machinery. Tramp oils from machine lubrication or hydraulic systems, along with dirt and other contaminants, can compromise the effectiveness of your coolant, leading to various machining issues.

Why Keeping the Coolant System Clean Matters

A clean coolant system is essential for several reasons:

  • Prevents Contamination: Contaminants such as tramp oils, dirt, and metal particles can degrade the quality of the coolant, leading to reduced cooling and lubrication properties.
  • Reduces Foaming: Tramp oils and dirt can cause foaming in the coolant system. Foaming reduces the coolant’s ability to cool and lubricate, potentially leading to overheating and increased wear on tools and workpieces.
  • Extends Coolant Life: Regular cleaning removes contaminants that can cause the coolant to break down prematurely, extending the life of the coolant and reducing the frequency of coolant changes.

How to Keep Your Coolant System Clean

1. Implement a Regular Maintenance Schedule

Establishing a routine maintenance schedule is the first step in keeping your coolant system clean. Here are some tips for effective maintenance:

  • Daily Checks: Inspect the coolant level and quality daily. Look for signs of contamination such as discoloration, bad odor, or excessive foaming.
  • Weekly Cleaning: Perform a more thorough inspection and cleaning of the coolant tank and system components weekly. Remove any visible debris and contaminants.
  • Monthly Maintenance: Conduct a comprehensive cleaning of the entire coolant system monthly. This includes draining the coolant tank, cleaning it thoroughly, and refilling it with fresh coolant.

2. Use Oil Skimmers to Remove Tramp Oils

Tramp oils are one of the most common contaminants in coolant systems. Using oil skimmers can effectively remove these oils, keeping your coolant clean and efficient. Here’s how to use them:

  • Install Oil Skimmers: Place oil skimmers in the coolant tank to continuously remove tramp oils from the surface. There are different types of skimmers, including belt skimmers, disk skimmers, and tube skimmers. Choose the one that best suits your system.
  • Regularly Monitor Skimmers: Check the skimmers regularly to ensure they are functioning properly. Clean and maintain them as needed to keep them operating efficiently.
  • Combine with Filtration Systems: For optimal results, use oil skimmers in conjunction with filtration systems. Filters can remove solid contaminants, while skimmers take care of the oils, providing comprehensive cleaning.

Tips for Effective Coolant System Cleaning

  • Use Quality Coolants: High-quality coolants are less likely to degrade and produce contaminants. Invest in good quality coolants recommended by your CNC machine manufacturer.
  • Avoid Mixing Different Coolants: Mixing different types of coolants can cause chemical reactions that lead to contamination. Stick to one type of coolant and replace it entirely if switching to a new type.
  • Train Your Staff: Ensure that all machine operators are trained on the importance of coolant system cleanliness and the proper procedures for maintaining it.


Keeping your coolant system clean is a vital part of CNC machining maintenance. By implementing a regular maintenance schedule and using tools like oil skimmers, you can prevent contamination, reduce foaming, and extend the life of your coolant. A clean coolant system leads to better machining performance, improved tool life, and higher quality workpieces. Make coolant system cleanliness a priority to ensure the longevity and efficiency of your CNC machines.

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