Can crushers are great tools for compressing aluminum cans and good can crushers are going to work for many years without any problems. However, can crushers as other manual hand tools need some maintenance from time to time like cleaning, inspection, repairs and lubrication of moving parts. These activities help to prolong the lifetime of a crusher and avoid or fix any minor problems that can crusher might have before they develop into larger faults, which can result in failure of the tool. Here are some basic tips of keeping your aluminum can crusher in a great shape.
Everyone that have drunk from an aluminum can and tried compressing it with hands, feet or even a can crusher knows that most of the time little liquid is still left in the can after you have emptied contents of the can. Of course, if you crush single or two cans a week this may not be a problem, but if you need to compress a lot cans at a time, cleaning must be done after this process. This is very important because of two reasons. First, different liquids from empty cans might harm your can crusher, if they aren’t cleaned for longer period. For example, if you use can crusher outdoors, in garage or other place that is exposed to temperature changes and humidity, these liquids can speed up the rusting process of a can crusher. Also, if these liquids get into hinges or other moving parts of a crusher and are not cleaned, after some time they will become sticky and will limit the movement of crusher parts. The second reason why you need to clean crusher regularly is more related to comfort of your own. These liquids form cans will start to smell after some time. As you may know, the second most popular type of cans that are being compressed into a can crusher after soda cans are beer cans. And if you have ever drunk a beer at night and left an open can with a beer in it till the morning or even left it open for couple of days, you must know, how bad is the smell from that open beer can. To avoid such unpleasant surprises when using a can crusher, always remember to clean any liquids off the crusher after each usage.
Cleaning process of crusher is very basic. You can clean a can crusher like any other metal or plastic tool. Just use a moistened cloth to clean any liquids left after crushing process. If these liquids have not been cleaned for longer time and have dried up, use special cleaning products that you can get in your local household shop. Choose cleaning products depending of the material of your can crusher. Most can crushers are made from metal (steel) or plastic (nylon), so any cleaning products that are effective on these surfaces will be good enough for cleaning you crusher.
Inspection and repairs
Another important step of can crusher maintenance that goes hand in hand with cleaning is inspection and these two processes can be combined together. When you have cleaned your can crusher after usage, go over all parts of the crusher like body, leveler, hinges, crushing plate and other and look for any cracks, bent or broken parts and any other kind of damage. These small damages can be easily fixed and you may not need to replace these broken parts or even the whole crusher if damage is too serious or expensive to fix. Another thing to search for, while inspecting a can crusher, is signs of corrosion or rust on metal parts. This is very important to metal can crushers, as their parts can start to rust if they are used outdoors or are not properly cleaned after usage. And this is not only a problem with can crushers made from steel and aluminum material, but also from plastic. Although plastic can crushers have body made from durable plastic and as we know, most plastics do not corrode, moving parts of these crushers are usually made from metal. This includes hinges and mounting hardware like screws. As hinges are one of the most important parts of a crusher that take part in crushing process, they need to be in good working condition all the time and also rust free.
Repairing of can crusher differs between metal and plastic crushers and type of the damage. Body of a metal can crusher can be welded if there are any cracks, but if the body of a plastic can crusher cracks or bends, it would be really hard or impossible to repair it. All manufacturers test their can crushers in heavy usage conditions to ensure that their product will not fail when used. However, there can always be few faulty units in production batch. So most can crusher manufacturers provide warranty for their products and if any part of the crusher gets faulty, connect manufacturer or supplier of your crusher and demand for repair under warranty or new product, if warranty time of your product has not passed.
If you see any signs of rust or corrosion on your can crusher, you can try to remove it using special rust removers or spray WD-40 oil on corroded parts and try to remove the rust from that part by rubbing it with a stiff brush. If you need additional help of how to remove rust from metal parts, read this article.
Many of us know the squeaking noise of door hinges, when they are not lubricated. The same thing can happen to a can crusher. Lubrication of can crusher is very important and needs to be repeated regularly. Lubrication must be done on all moving parts of your can crusher, which mostly included hinges and crushing mechanism with leveler. The lubrication process is very simple and here are the basic steps of how to lubricate a can crusher:
- Lubrication is best done after you have cleaned your can crusher, so oil does not mix with other liquids that might have spilled from cans in crushing process.
- For lubrication you can use basic silicone or similar type of oil you can find in a local hardware store, or just use all-purpose oil – WD40. When can crusher is cleaned, spray the oil on hinges and other moving parts of the crusher.
- Use a rag or paper towel to wipe away any excess from the crusher and make sure everything stays clean. You can also place a rag under the crusher before spraying the oil, to protect the floor or table under the crusher from dripping oil. Also protect any soft parts like padding of the leveler before spraying the oil.
- After hinges and crushing mechanism has been lubricated, pull crushers leveler up and down few time so everything gets fully lubricated.
To ensure that your crusher is in the best condition and prolong its lifespan, remember to lubricate hinges and crushing mechanism regularly. Always lubricate your can crusher:
- When you feel that crushing process becomes harder and leveler starts to stuck;
- You start to hear squeaking noises more often when crushing cans with your aluminum can crusher.