Solvent traps keep most types of toxic chemicals from escaping from your shop or garage by trapping the solvent in a basin of activated carbon. When properly installed and maintained, these units can safeguard your family and workplace for years to come. But what should you look for when buying a solvent trap? Well, here are some tips to help guide you through the process.


1. Carbon Capacity

The primary purpose of a solvent trap is to catch and hold solvents used in your shop. But different solvents evaporate at different rates, and some evaporate more quickly than others. It’s important to know how efficient the solvent trap you buy will be with the specific solvent you plan to use, which means reading the datasheet on the activated carbon it comes with. Solvent Traps Direct offers a handy selection guide of activated carbons for you to choose from.


2. Solvent Compatibility

Some activated carbons are better suited to specific solvents than others. So before you buy a solvent trap made with activated carbon, ensure the filter is intended for the solvent you plan to use. For example, you’ll want to avoid using a solvent trap made of charcoal intended for paint thinners in your shop since paint thinners contain water, which would turn the charcoal into mud.


3. Installation Requirements

The good news about solvent traps is that they are dirt simple to install. The bad news is that not all of them are created equal. Things like proximity to flammable materials and airflow can affect the trap’s effectiveness, so consider this when looking for a solvent trap for your shop or garage. Solvent Traps Direct offers a helpful installation guide with step-by-step instructions on properly installing new or replacement filters into solvent traps in your shop or garage.


4. Product Guarantee

What happens if you buy a solvent trap that doesn’t work like you thought it would? Well, there are two sides to that coin. On the one hand, some solvent traps are cheaply made and won’t be able to handle the solvents your shop is using. On the other hand, solvent traps from reputable manufacturers will last for years, with product guarantees provided by the manufacturer for as long as you own the trap.


5. Considerations

You should consider a variety of things when looking for a solvent trap to use in your shop or garage. For instance, how many solvents do you plan on using in your shop or garage? Where do you plan on installing the solvent trap? What is the frequency of use for the solvent trap? How long will it take to change out filters in the future? All this and more can help guide you toward the right solvent trap for your shop or garage.


In conclusion, solvent traps can buy you time to dispose of solvent-based fluids properly. They are relatively cheap, easy to install and have various options for the do-it-yourselfer. So if you plan on using solvents in your shop or garage, keep a solvent trap nearby for those inevitable spills.