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This article provides an overview of surface contaminants that may affect the heat treatment processes and end-product quality. It presents information on the chemicals used to clean different surface contaminants of steels. The article discusses three types of cleaning methods, namely, mechanical, chemical, and electrochemical and their effectiveness and applicability. The mechanical cleaning methods include grinding, brushing, steam or flame jet cleaning, abrasive blasting, and tumbling. Solvent cleaning, emulsion cleaning, alkaline cleaning, acid cleaning, pickling, and descaling are chemical cleaning methods. The electrochemical cleaning methods include electropolishing, electrolytic alkaline cleaning, and electrolytic pickling. The article provides information on cleanliness measurement methods such as qualitative tests and quantitative tests to ensure product quality. Health hazards that may be associated with each cleaning method and the general control measures to be used for each hazard are tabulated.

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