Lubricants should be stored and applied in a clean, uncontaminated condition. Every effort should be made to avoid the introduction of dirt into a lubricant before it is used and as it is being poured or applied. The introduction of dirt and water can compromise the lubricant at any stage in the handling.
Even sealed lubricant drums will breathe. Keep the top of the drums clean and free of water. It’s possible for water to be sucked through the sealed bung hole as the drum expands and contracts with normal day and night temperature changes. Whenever possible, store drums indoors, under a cover, upside down, on their sides, or tilted in order to avoid water contact with the bung hole. Always line bung holes up at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock.
To keep lubricant contamination at a minimum:
- Keep all containers that come in contact with the lubricant clean, including funnels.
- Cover stored lubricants.
- Wipe fill caps and dipstick hole areas before they are opened for service.
- Wipe grease zerk fittings before and after applying grease.
In addition, consider posting storage and handling reminders near the lubricant storage area.