In water-based cleaning, cleaning agents which can be acidic, neutral or alkaline, is usually matched to specific metal types. Simultaneous cleaning of different metals can therefore be problematic and this can result in compatibility issues and in worst case: corrosion.

Sometimes reactive additives are added to water to modify metal surface in processes such as edging and pickling. However, at times such reactive additives can also act aggressively on certain metal surfaces where it is not intended.

Solvents generally have broad material compatibility, which means they are compatible with all kinds of metal, when used properly, making it a suitable option for universal cleaning.

If the component parts are tiny or have complex geometry or small crevices, solvent is often recommended due to its lower surface tension and viscosity which makes it easy to wet into and evaporate out of tight spaces.

With water-based cleaning, even tiny traces of residue moisture could give rise to issues such as challenges in subsequent production processes, corrosion, or growth of bacteria and related bioburden issues.