The Creepy Substance Left Behind When Diesel Exhaust Fluid Dries

Posted on: 25 January 2016

Are you a business owner or decision maker who handles different types of diesel fluid? If so, and if you recently started handling diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), at some point you may have encountered or will encounter "creep." This is a finely crystallized, white residue that may come as a shock to people who see it for the first time. Creep is formed as a result of diesel exhaust fluid evaporating, and the residue left behind is dried urea, which is a key ingredient in DEF. The following information will aid you in reducing the unsightly appearance of creep in your business environment using the safest practices.

Clean creep residue correctly.

Creep can safely be cleaned away with water and a soft or medium-bristled cleaning brush. You do not need to use any chemical cleaners because urea is water soluble. It is virtually impossible to completely prevent creep, but you can minimize the appearance of it by ensuring that employees clean it up in a timely manner.

It is a good practice to include wiping down signs of creep as part of daily maintenance. You may want your employees to do this at the end of each shift, or make it a daily task for a specific shift. Ensure that they are aware that creep cleanup should be reserved to the exterior of equipment only. This because if water accidentally enters storage containers of DEF, the product may become contaminated. 

Check seals and fittings.

Ensure that fittings used with DEF fit snugly. This is important because if the fittings are not snug, air will cause the urea to evaporate resulting in creep around fittings. Crystallization can also happen if you use the wrong type of seal to close containers or tanks of DEF. In this case, the creep accumulation will form around the seal area. You may want to consider opting for connections that are welded since welded fittings will not allow air to seep through.

Minimize the frequency of fittings and connections changes.

At some point, you are going to inevitably need to change and remove and change fittings. The goal of minimizing the frequency of these changes is to reduce the amount of air that comes into contact with residual DEF that is often around fittings due to the dispensing of the fluid. 

Your wholesale diesel provider is a good resource to use for additional tips that can protect the integrity of your diesel fluids. They can also offer you more insight regarding creep prevention and proper cleanup techniques.