Shell LubeClean is a valuable service to help customer equipment stay free of contaminants. We use our expertise to find ways to avoid contaminants at every step of your lubricant storage and handling process – from lubricant delivery to filling your equipment – with the goal of keeping your equipment running optimally.


Contamination shortens equipment life and can lead to failure. For example, in hydraulic systems, more than 75 percent of all problems can be linked to contamination.1


The Shell LubeClean service takes a holistic approach to contamination control. It identifies ways to reduce and remove contaminants that are on site – whether through filtration, tank cleaning, vacuum dehydration, improved storage procedures, or other methods. The solutions are developed by Shell and work is performed by third-party service providers. Shell partners with various companies and can work with suppliers that are already doing business at your site.

1 Source: Bosch Rexroth press release about hydraulic system contamination dated December 5, 2012 available at: https://www.boschrexroth.com/en/us/company/press/press-details-12992

Experience Shell is a leader in providing outstanding service to our customers. We have been offering recommendations about equipment cleanliness for decades. The Shell LubeClean program has evolved from the former Products Plus Services (PPS) program and is a complement to our other services, such as Shell LubeAnalyst.

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Follow the Lubricant

As part of the Shell LubeClean service, our technical advisors review your entire storage and handling program – from delivery to use in equipment.

Drop Off from Delivery Truck
Potential Issues

Oil meets industry standards for cleanliness but may not meet additional requirements of certain OEMs. Hydraulic components in particular are known for having stringent requirements.

  • Single pass filtration on delivery truck.
  • For the toughest OEM requirements, kidney loop filtration may be needed.
On-Site Storage
Potential Issues

Oil was delivered clean but gets contaminated on site. Issues like faulty breathers, poor seals, or even user error can let dirt, dust and moisture into the tanks.

  • Single pass or kidney loop filtration, depending on conditions.
  • Tank cleaning may be needed in extreme conditions.
  • Vacuum dehydration may be needed for moisture contamination.
Buckets, Jugs or Other Containers
Potential Issues

Oil was clean in storage tank but can be contaminated during transfer.

  • Use only clean, dedicated oil transfer containers.
  • Avoid repurposing containers that once held other liquids, like solvents or paint.
Poured into Equipment
Potential Issues

Oil was clean when it was installed in the equipment, but can be contaminated while in use – either from external sources, or from internal generation.

  • Since most systems have built-in filters, ensure that high quality filter elements are being used, and that they are changed regularly.
  • Use oil analysis to confirm cleanliness of equipment.
  • Use bypass or kidney loop filtration when needed.


There are a variety of services that can be performed to help you achieve your goals, such as:

Tank Cleaning

Tank cleaning can be performed on new oil storage tanks as well as system reservoirs, such as bowsers, turbines, paper machines and more. Confined space training is often required and Shell exclusively works with service providers certified to perform this type of work.

High-Velocity Flushing

When varnish or other deposit material is present in your system, a high-velocity flush is an effective way to remove those contaminants. The mechanical fluid flow in a high-velocity flush removes deposits, and it's typically used for the toughest conditions, including severe build-up in hoses, pipes, valves, tanks and more.

Low-Velocity Flushing

For systems without severe deposits, a traditional low-velocity flush is often desirable. During the flushing process, extra filtration units are installed inline and can be used to remove solid contaminants and water with the use of vacuum dehydration. This type of flush can incorporate high-solvency fluids, such as select Group V oils that have ideal properties for use as flushing agents.

Single-Pass Filtration

The most cost effective way to remove contaminants is through the use of single-pass filtration. When high-quality filters are used, a system with single-pass filtration can achieve desired cleanliness in most applications.

Kidney Loop Filtration

Kidney loop filtration is used on systems that don't allow for single-pass filtration. It can also be used on storage tanks when specific cleanliness targets are difficult to achieve. When combined with an inline particle counter, compact and self-contained kidney loop filtration can be automated, making it a cost-effective choice.

Vacuum Dehydration

Vacuum dehydration is one of the most effective ways to remove various types of water contamination. Often used in conjunction with traditional filtration, vacuum dehydrators can be permanently installed on equipment, as is common with turbine reservoirs and paper machines, or they can be used as a supplemental service.

In-line Condition Monitoring

Various sensors exist to test oil live in the fluid flow of a system. Of the many types of sensors on the market, particle counters seem to be the most commonly used.

Varnish Removal

There are various ways to remove varnish, including electrostatic precipitation, adsorptive filters, and flushing. Varnish removal technologies are commonly installed on large turbine reservoirs. They're also commonly used as a supplement on hydraulic systems that run hot, such as plastic injection molding machines.

System Design

Different customers have different needs. That's why the Shell LubeClean service provides custom-tailored solutions using proven technologies. When new equipment is installed, or when old equipment is upgraded, the best way to mitigate the risks of contaminants is to design the solutions into the system.

Benchmarking Success

Shell LubeClean is a perfect complement to other services like Shell LubeAnalyst, Shell LubeCoach, Shell LubeAdvisor, and more. As a trusted partner with our customers, we work to achieve a common goal — improved equipment reliability at a lower total cost of ownership.


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