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While looking around for a better way to clean my cassette bodies and other mountain bike components, I stumbled across a company called ChemFree. ChemFree sells an innovative product called the BenchtopPRO bioremediating parts washer.

I have honestly never encountered such a product before. Although I’ve used many parts washers in the past when working as a shop technician, the BenchtopPRO offers a new approach to parts washing.

The BenchtopPRO combines the process of bioremediation, “the use of micro-organism metabolism to remove pollutants” (according to Wikipedia), with a revolutionary non-flammable degreasing solution engineered to work at room temperature.

Not only are is this a decisively “green” way to clean components, but the BenchtopPRO is also a pretty cool self-contained cleaning tank.  The cleaning solution is a two-part system, one part of which uses naturally-occurring microbes that eat grease and oil. The second part is Benchtop’s own cleaning solution: BT5. BT5 is pH neutral, non-hazardous, non-flammable, non-irritating, and bioremediating. Combined with the microbial agent, the MicroPRO Pack, BT5 delivers enough cleaning power to cut through all your mess.

The design of the BenchtopPRO features a rotational-molded unit made so that the space for all the cleaning fluid, submerged pump, and filter screen all conveniently fit in the bottom half of the cleaner, leaving you a surface that just drips back into the reservoir. The upper lid also serves as the drying tray. A flip support allows for heavier pieces to sit comfortably on the tray while they dry.

The initial purchase of the BenchtopPRO includes: 1 gallon of industrial-strength, non-hazardous concentrate degreasing solution and 4 MicroPRO packs.

Specifications

Benchtop Unit:

  • Roto Molded Construction
  • Overall Dimensions: 25in L x 16in W x 12in H
  • Inside Sink Dimensions: 17in L x 13in W x 5in H
  • Pump Capacity: 12v, 60Hz, 125gph
  • Brush/Hose: 2in Hose with Flow-Thru, Self-Cleaning Brush

BT5 Degreasing Solution:

  • pH Neutral
  • Non-Hazardous
  • Non-Flammable
  • Non-Irritating
  • Non-Caustic
  • Bioremediating

MicroPRO Pack:

  • Four ½-ounce microbial packets

Performance

I am not one who is easily impressed with gimmicky tools, so I can honestly say that the BenchtopPRO is not a gimmick and is actually quite impressive. Most importantly, it actually works as intended. There are no lies and no false claims here.

Having been a technician for years and now working as a shop teacher, I’ve had more than my share of smelly, toxic fumes while hanging around the parts washer, and I was tired of stinking up the shop area while the parts washer’s surface dried up. The BenchtopPRO totally resolves those issues: this unit gives off virtually no odor.

Another huge plus is the fact that the fluid has had no ill effect on my hands. I cannot tell you how happy that makes me feel. I love keeping my bike clean, but I just hated when my hands would get raw and irritated from cleaning solvents. I do use gloves when I work, but sometimes you can’t when it comes to cleaning smaller parts.

Bottom Line

I am super stoked with the performance of the BenchtopPRO! The MSRP for the full kit is $389, but as of the time of this writing Benchtop has it on sale for $299. Later on when it comes time to recharge the tank, it will cost about $65 for new BT5 solution and MicroPacs. Yes, it can be a bit costly, but it’s a small price to pay for a product that is much safer and healthier to use than other options.

If you’re a gear head, this is the washer for you!

Many thanks to the folks at ChemFree for sending down the BenchtopPRO for review. 

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# Comments

  • gar29

    Like you, I’ve worked in/around a lot of solvent tanks. I like this idea. But man, the price too high for me to justify putting one in my garage. I will continue on with my ghetto version of this (stainless steel pan and Simple Green).

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