Metal Cutting Fluid Test Kit (Bacteria & pH) | Comply With HSE (2023)

Metal Cutting Fluid Test Kit (Bacteria & pH) | Comply With HSE (1)

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(Video) pH Testing, Dilution Testing & Dipslide Testing - Pennine Lubricants
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Correctly check your metal cutting / metalworking fluids for bacteria and pHlevels to comply with HSEguidelines. This metal cutting test kit includes an easy to follow instruction manualand log book allowing you to keep a record for your next inspection.

(Video) Hazards of Welding Fumes and Metal Working Fluids

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Metal Cutting Fluid Test Kit (Bacteria & pH) | Comply With HSE (9)

This metal cutting test kit is for testing the bacteria, yeasts, moulds (fungi) and pH levels of metal cutting fluidsto comply with HSE MW5 ('Managing sumps and bacterial contamination') Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations: (

The Metal Cutting fluid test kit includes:

Metal Cutting Fluid Test Kit (Bacteria & pH) | Comply With HSE (10)

(Video) Total Oil - sources of contamination and how to test

  • 1 x Full colour, 18 instruction manual with step by step instructions (including photos) and record sheets.
  • 1 x dip-slides.comMX2 Dipslide Incubator (1 -2 dipslide capacity)
  • 2 x boxes ofMetal Cutting Fluid dipslides- MCBTM2 (bacteria, yeasts and moulds test), 20 dipslides in total.
  • 1 x box of Premium pH Indicator strips (pH 6.5 - 10.0)
  • 1 xRefractometer 0–32% Brix. This is an optional item (as you may already have one of these). A refractometer can be used to test the concentration of industrial / metal cutting fluids. Testing the concentration is important as having a high or low concentration can contribute to adverse health effects, ineffective lubrication, machine breakages and bacterial contamination. Please choose from the dropdown if you wish to include this item.
  • 1 xTemperature Sensor- In accordance withHSE MW5 regulation, you are now required to monitor the temperature of your MWF weekly. Please choose from the dropdown if youwish to include this item.

How to use the metal cutting fluid test kit.

Metal Cutting Fluid Test Kit (Bacteria & pH) | Comply With HSE (11)

Dip slide into fluid

Fully submerse the dipslide (so all the agar is covered) into your cutting fluid sample for 10 seconds. After which, remove the slide and allow the fluid to drain off before returning it to the tube.

Metal Cutting Fluid Test Kit (Bacteria & pH) | Comply With HSE (13)

Review Results

Remove the dip slide from the incubator and compare the results with the comparison chart provided.

Testing the pH of metal cutting fluid can indicate whether levels are corrosive. Low pH levels can be caused by the presence of bacteria. This is why using dipslides and pH strips together gives a fuller indication of the 'health' and quality of your cutting fluid.
Ideally, you do not want your cutting fluid to have a lower pH than approx 8.5 as any fluid that is too acidic will corrode metals. However, you don't want a pH level that is too high as it can pose a risk to health (skin irritation etc).

(Video) Processes and Procedures for Effective Decontamination of RIMDs in a LDU

When you carefully dip the indicator strip into fluid, the strip will change colour in accordance with its pH level. These indicator strips are colour fixed and non-bleeding so results should be clear and accurate.

Each box of pH indicator strips contain 100 strips. A colour indicator chart is also included.

TheMetal Cutting Fluid dipslides (MCBTM2) dipslides test the cutting fluid for bacteria and yeasts / moulds. Regular microbiological testing of metal cutting fluids is very important. High levels of bacterial contamination will degrade the quality of the fluid and will become a health risk. Contamination can also cause the pH level to lower to acidic levels.

There are 2 boxes of dipslides in this kit (20 dipslides) . To test your metal cutting fluid using these dipslides, carefully dip the slide within the fluid and immerse fully then replace the slide within its tube. You will then need to incubate the slides and once incubated, compare results with the comparison chart provided to evaluate if contamination is present.

The GNAT incubator will incubate 1 - 2 dipslides. It is ready to use after an initial 15-20 minute stabilisation period. The incubator is pre-set at 30 degrees Celcius.

This kit will provide everything you need to effectively test the microbiology and pH of your metal cutting fluids.

Differences between our metal fluid test kits

Metal Cutting Dipslides(MCBTM2)Standard Kit(MCF-B-PH-K)Premium Kit(PMCF-B-PH-K)

Replacement slides for kits MCF-B-PH-K and PMCF-B-PH-K.

Number of dipslides included (aka number of tests)


Includes an incubator (required for the tests)

Number of machines that can be tested at the same time.
(more machines can be tested if the incubator is upgraded when ordering)

1-2 Machines2-8 Machines

Can test fluid pH Level (to comply with MW5 HSE Regulations)

pH Testing Method

pH StripsDigital Meter

Can test fluid temperature (to comply with MW5 HSE Regulations)

(if optional temperature sensor is selected)
Digital Meter

Can test fluid concentration (to comply with MW5 HSE Regulations)

(if optional Refractometer sensor is selected)

(if optional Refractometer is selected)

Includes full user manual


Includes Recording chart


Includes a comparison sheet to compare results.

Reading the results

Nutrient Side

Level ofinfection in liquids







Approx colonies per agar






600+ advice

Good control. Bacteria are being maintained at low levels. Regular checks and actions to maintain the fluid quality should continue.

Reasonable control. Review and take action to check the quality of the metalworking fluid and adjust fluid parameters to those recommended by the supplier. If bacterial growth continues despite these adjustments, add biocide at the dose recommended by your supplier.

Poor control. Immediate action should be taken in line with the risk assessment. Normally draining and cleaning should take place

Example Image

Metal Cutting Fluid Test Kit (Bacteria & pH) | Comply With HSE (14)Metal Cutting Fluid Test Kit (Bacteria & pH) | Comply With HSE (15)Metal Cutting Fluid Test Kit (Bacteria & pH) | Comply With HSE (16)Metal Cutting Fluid Test Kit (Bacteria & pH) | Comply With HSE (17)Metal Cutting Fluid Test Kit (Bacteria & pH) | Comply With HSE (18)Metal Cutting Fluid Test Kit (Bacteria & pH) | Comply With HSE (19)

Level ofinfection on surfaces


Malt Extract Side

Level of yeasts in liquids







Approx yeasts colonies per agar







Example Image

Metal Cutting Fluid Test Kit (Bacteria & pH) | Comply With HSE (20)Metal Cutting Fluid Test Kit (Bacteria & pH) | Comply With HSE (21)Metal Cutting Fluid Test Kit (Bacteria & pH) | Comply With HSE (22)Metal Cutting Fluid Test Kit (Bacteria & pH) | Comply With HSE (23)Metal Cutting Fluid Test Kit (Bacteria & pH) | Comply With HSE (24)Metal Cutting Fluid Test Kit (Bacteria & pH) | Comply With HSE (25)

Level of yeasts on surfaces







Malt Extract Side

Level of moulds




Example Image

Metal Cutting Fluid Test Kit (Bacteria & pH) | Comply With HSE (26)Metal Cutting Fluid Test Kit (Bacteria & pH) | Comply With HSE (27)Metal Cutting Fluid Test Kit (Bacteria & pH) | Comply With HSE (28)

You can find our Premium Metal Cutting Fluid Kit here:

Related UK & International Guidelines / Regulations

MW5 ('Managing sumps and bacterial contamination') -

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations as regulated by HSE

ASTM E2693 -

Standard Practice for Prevention of Dermatitis in the Wet Metal Removal Fluid Environment

ASTM E2657 -

Standard Practice for Determination of Endotoxin Concentrations in Water-Miscible Metalworking Fluids

ASTM E2275 -

Standard Practice for Evaluating Water-Miscible Metalworking Fluid Bioresistance and Antimicrobial Pesticide Performance

ASTM E2169 -

Standard Practice for Selecting Antimicrobial Pesticides for Use in Water-Miscible Metalworking Fluids

(Video) How to complete a suitable & sufficient Legionella Risk Assessment

Customer Questions


Is this metal cutting kit for soluble cutting oil and neat cutting oil?


The dipslides in this kit will work with all cutting fluids and will show the bacteria + Yeasts and mould colony counts.


What are the acceptable levels and what do I do if it is over?


For the UK, HSE recommend 10/2 and under (see "reading the results" above). If your bacteria level is over this, you will need to review control measures and follow manufacturer's guidelines on cleaning your liquid/machinery.


How often do you need to carry out these tests? What is the difference between the BTM2 dip slides and the metal cutting fluid dip slides?


The HSE state the following:
For many systems and sumps, weekly checks (such as dipslides) will be required. The risk assessment may vary this period if the continuing control of bacterial contamination can be demonstrated. Checks (such as dipslides) will normally be required at some intervals to check continuing control.
As such, we would recommend following the HSE guidelines.


At what temperature is the incubator set at or can you vary incubation temperature?
Also what do you recommend as a safe disposal method of the incubated dip slide as they could potentially be a biohazard.


Hello, The incubator has a fixed setting at 30 Degrees C by default which is recommended for these dipslides. It can be supplied set to 35 if required but this can not be changed by yourself as the temperature is controlled internally. Used slides should be incinerated, autoclaved or soaked in disinfectant for several hours before disposal. If you have any further questions, please let us know.


Please i need a quotation for 1 metal cutting test kit and an incubator.


Hello, All our prices are listed on our website. If you add your desired items to our website basket, it will calculate the exact shipping cost during the checkout. No payment is needed to view the total cost of the order.


Do your slides work when there is a layer of hydraulic oil on top of coolant?


Hello, This should not affect the the test but if you have any issues, please let us know.


Hi, Do you offer a dip slid that is specific for legionella in soluble cutting oils?


Hello, No, please see our blog post at regarding Legionella testing as this explains why we do not offer a dedicated legionella test and which dipslides to use to test water health.


I have bought your metal cutting fluid kit but I am unsure how long to place the slides in the incubator. Under the photo on your website it states 24 - 120 hours. But I'd have thought the longer you leave the slide incubating the worse the growth would be. Can you please advise.


For the metal cutting dipslides, the two sides of the slide have different incubation times.
The lighter coloured side (nutrient) needs 24-48 hours to incubate for your total count.
The darker brown side (malt extract) needs up to 120 hours to incubate. This will then allow the mould / yeasts to grow.

You can pull the slide out of the incubator at any point to check the results/make notes of how many colonies (e.g. red spots or moulds) are growing. Please note, it is not the size of the colonies that you count but the amount of them. As such, you may find the mould side has 1 colony grow and simply gets larger over the reminaing incubation time. This would still be a 'Light' level. However, if the slide has approx 8+ colonies of mould (even if small) it would be a 'medium' level. You should also have received a comparison chart inside your kit which should have example images to compare to.


How many tests can be performed per metal cutting kit. What is the recommended testing frequency per unit?


The metal cutting test kit includes 20 dipslides. You would need 1 dipslide per test. Regarding test frequency, please see ("For many systems and sumps, weekly checks (such as dipslides) will be required.")


Can you point me in the direction for a kits for a metal cutting band saw coolant regards


For metal cutting coolant testing, we would suggest either our metal cutting kit or our premium metal cutting kit. These can be found at


What is an ideal pH level for cutting fluids? ›

Most cutting fluids have a pH of 9-9.6, but there are also products that have a lower pH during use. In most cutting fluids, the pH should be at least 9.0. If the pH value decreases the concentration is too low, or there is bacterial contamination. This can lead to corrosion problems and bad odours.

How do you check coolant in bacteria? ›

The most common measuring method within the industry is dip slides, or what is known as agar cultivation. This method is very simple, and is based on the fact that the bacteria which like the food that is to be found in the agar gather and grow for a period of 2-10 days.

How do you check cutting fluid? ›

Fluid concentration checks using a refractometer. pH tests using pH strips or a digital pH meter. Temperature checks – check operating temperature. Visual and odour checks – look for biofilm & mould growth, metal fines and monitor for foul odours.

Does harmful bacteria grow in water based cutting coolant? ›

Machine coolants and cutting oils become unusable when they become excessively contaminated with bacteria, tramp oil, metal fines, or wastes. They can break down from use but, if water based, are most commonly broken down by bacteria growing in the system.

What pH should machine coolant be? ›

First of all, pH (hydrogen potential) measures the acidity or basicity of a solution. For example, for coolant, it should be between 8 and 7. In this regard, it is important to check the pH of the coolant regularly. As a result, corrosion usually occurs in an engine when the coolant pH value is below 7.

What causes heat to form during cutting operations? ›

Heat is generated in three ways; by the deformation of the metal in the shear zone ahead of the cutting edge, at the point of separation when the metal is physically pulled apart and by the friction of the chip as it rubs along the surface of the tool as it is pushed out of the way.

Can you add bleach to coolant? ›

Don't use bleach to disinfect coolant. Don't let untrained people make additive additions to coolants.

How do I get rid of bacteria in my coolant? ›

The only effective solution is to add an ozone generator to these systems. So how does that work? Ozone is directly injected into the coolant killing bacteria, viruses, yeast, fungus and molds, while eliminating coolant sump odors.

Why does CNC coolant stink? ›

Bacteria that are living in the coolant tank use up the dissolved oxygen in the coolant mix, a process that is sped up by having a layer of oil on the surface. This allows odor causing anaerobic bacteria to thrive, giving off that familiar "rotten egg" smell.

Is machining coolant toxic? ›

Machining Coolant Can Cause Rashes and Dermatitis

To be fair, even freshly mixed cutting fluids contain a host of chemical additives such as biocides, emulsifiers, corrosion inhibitors, anti-foaming agents and more, any of which can cause skin irritation, rashes and dermatitis.

What is the most common health hazard caused by coolant? ›

Potential, harmful effects include: Dermatitis from skin contact, Lung disease from inhalation of coolant contaminated with harmful bacteria. Mist extraction is becoming more commonplace and is a very popular solution with the HSE, however, there is an alternative to mist extraction; namely Bioconcept fluids.

Why is CNC coolant white? ›

It's usually an oil-based emulsion that turns white when you mix it with water.

How do I stop my CNC coolant from foaming? ›

With regard to water hardness, some users report adding small amounts of calcium carbonate or calcium acetate to the coolant solution gradually, until the foam nearly disappears. Others suggest switching to de-ionized or distilled water.

What is pH full form? ›

What is the full form of pH? The full form of pH is “Potential of Hydrogen”. pH is known as the negative logarithm of H+ ion concentration. Hence the meaning of the name pH is explained as the strength of hydrogen or power of hydrogen.

What is pH value of distilled water? ›

Normal saline and distilled water had pH of 5.4 and 5.7, respectively.

What does high nitrite in coolant mean? ›

Excessive nitrite levels can lead to solder corrosion. An adequate pH range should remain between 8.0 – 11.0 for conventional coolants and 7.0 – 9.5 for ELCs. Proper pH levels are necessary for optimum corrosion inhibitor performance.

What are the types of cutting fluids? ›

Types of cutting fluids
  • Soluble oils (emulsions) Soluble oils are stable emulsions formed by the addition of mineral oil to water in specified proportions (usually 1-20% of oil to water). ...
  • Straight oils. ...
  • Synthetic fluids. ...
  • Semi-synthetic fluids. ...
  • Cooling. ...
  • Lubrication. ...
  • Improvement of tool-life. ...
  • Removal of chips.

What is cutting temperature? ›

Definition. During the cutting of metal, the temperature of the interaction area of the cutting tool and workpiece becomes high. The temperature affects not only the rate of wear of the cutting tool but also the integrity of workpiece surface such as residual stress, hardness, and surface roughness.

What are the two most common categories of cutting fluids? ›

They are widely used in thread cutting. They are also good for grinding as they help prevent the grinding wheel from loading up. This increases the life of the grinding wheel. Cutting oils and water miscible types of cutting fluids are the most widely used.

What happens if you put bleach in your radiator? ›

Additionally, bleach should never be used, because sodium hypochlorite (bleach) will corrode metals such as steel and aluminum. This can result in damage to the vehicle's intake manifold, block, or engine head as well as degrading rubberized gaskets and seals.

How do I clean yellowed coolant reservoir? ›

To remove the deeply embedded dirt, you need to soak the reservoir in a container with bleach, water and, dishwashing liquid. For this, you need a container (large enough to accommodate the reservoir), fill it with bleach, dishwashing liquid, and water.

How do you clean a dirty coolant reservoir? ›


Can bacteria grow in antifreeze? ›

Many machine operators–and even facility managers–are surprised to realize that bacteria can breed in industrial fluids and coolants.

How do you get rid of the smell of CNC coolant? ›

Machine coolant rancidity - what causes it, how to treat it ... - YouTube

What happens if you get coolant in your eyes? ›

If EG is splashed into the eye, it can cause swelling of the eyelid as well as inflammation and redness of the eye. Wash the eye with large amounts of cool water for 10-15 minutes, and then seek medical attention.

Is CNC machine coolant toxic? ›

The potential hazards include skin irritation, headaches and breathing problems. Many shop owners are aware of the health hazards associated with machine-tool mist, and have added mist collectors to their CNC machines (some machines come with factory-installed mist collectors).

What is CNC coolant made of? ›

There are various kinds of coolants: oil, oil-water emulsion, aerosols (mists), and air or other gases. They may be made from petroleum, plant oils, water, compressed air and compressed Carbon Dioxide. The most popular coolant is an emulsion of water and mineral oil.

How often should machine coolant be changed? ›

For normal driving of 12,000 to 15,000 miles per year, five years will pass long before the odometer hits 150,000 miles. So, for most applications, five years is the recommended service interval for changing the coolant.

Is CNC coolant cancerous? ›

High-speed CNC machines that run for long hours can create large amounts of oil mist and vapor. This situation results in hazardous substances entering the workplace. Depending on the type and amount of coolant or oil used, employees can be exposed to chemicals that are carcinogenic.

How toxic is cutting fluid? ›

Exposure to cutting fluids in the workplace can lead to dangerous, sometimes life-threatening respiratory diseases, and this often not the fault of the worker. Common cutting fluids and metalwashing fluids used in the workplace often include: Straight oil (petroleum oils)

Are cutting fluids hazardous? ›

The main health risks from working with metalworking fluids

Exposure to metalworking fluids can cause: irritation of the skin or dermatitis; and. lung diseases, such as occupational asthma, occupational hypersensitivity pneumonitis, bronchitis, irritation of the upper respiratory tract and other breathing difficulties.

› pages › why-coolant-beco... ›

Bacteria chemically alter machine coolants, destroying lubricants and corrosion inhibitors, while releasing corrosive acids and salts into the fluid. Microbial ...
Dirty metalworking fluid can cause a host of problems for your CNC machining operation and can be harmful to machinists—if not cared for properly. Here are the ...
Health and safety risks from bacteria and dangerious machining fluid when grinding tools.

What should your pH level be? ›

The human body is built to naturally maintain a healthy balance of acidity and alkalinity. The lungs and kidneys play a key role in this process. A normal blood pH level is 7.35 to 7.45 on a scale of 0 to 14, where 0 is the most acidic and 14 is the most basic. This value can vary slightly in either direction.

Is pH 9 water healthy? ›

The lower the number, the more acidic. Healthline reveals that “normal drinking water generally has a neutral pH of 7; alkaline water typically has a pH of 8 or 9.” Results show that alkaline water is more beneficial by being able to effectively neutralize the acid in your body compared to other waters.

What is the pH value of distilled water? ›

Normal saline and distilled water had pH of 5.4 and 5.7, respectively.

What is the best pH? ›

However, most water contains particles that may change the pH value from 6.5 (slightly acidic) to 8.5 (basic or alkaline). The usual pH range of surface water systems is 6.5 to 8.5, whereas the pH range of groundwater systems is 6 to 8.5.
Table. Drinking water pH levels.
pH number
11 more rows
19 Oct 2021

What is pH full form? ›

What is the full form of pH? The full form of pH is “Potential of Hydrogen”. pH is known as the negative logarithm of H+ ion concentration. Hence the meaning of the name pH is explained as the strength of hydrogen or power of hydrogen.

What is the pH of blood? ›

The pH scale, ranges from 0 (strongly acidic) to 14 (strongly basic or alkaline). A pH of 7.0, in the middle of this scale, is neutral. Blood is normally slightly basic, with a normal pH range of about 7.35 to 7.45. Usually the body maintains the pH of blood close to 7.40.

What is the smallest pH possible? ›

The pH scale is often said to range from 0 to 14, and most solutions do fall within this range, although it's possible to get a pH below 0 or above 14. Anything below 7.0 is acidic, and anything above 7.0 is alkaline, or basic.

What is the pH of a Coca Cola? ›

How acidic is Coke? Its pH is reported to be 2.6 to 2.7, mainly due to H3PO4, phosphoric acid. As a fizzy drink, it contains plenty of dissolved carbon dioxide, but this makes very little contribution to the acidity.

Which water has the highest pH? ›

Which water has the highest pH? TEN Alkaline Spring Water, with a pH of 10. TEN Water is rich with electrolytes and sourced in the eastern U.S. from springs in the Great Appalachian Valley. It's at the top of the pH range for bottled waters and tested to hold its high pH in the bottle for a minimum of 2 years.

Can you drink 11.5 alkaline water? ›

Your body isn't designed to drink alkaline water alone. If you drink too much, it can disrupt the acid production in your stomach. This can result in indigestion or stomach ulcers.

Is distilled water always 7 pH? ›

It is the assumption that because distilled water has been purified, it has a neutral pH of 7. But this is not always the case because distilled water is very rarely 100% pure, and even more rarely has a pH of exactly 7.

Is 9.5 pH water good? ›

Even if the PH is greater than 8.5, the water is still probably safe, but you may want to acidify the water if you are noticing skin problems. Lastly, whether bottled or from your own well, continue to drink water.

What is neutral pH? ›

The range goes from 0 - 14, with 7 being neutral. pHs of less than 7 indicate acidity, whereas a pH of greater than 7 indicates a base.

What does 9.5 pH water mean? ›

Alkaline water typically yields a pH of around 9.5. So, in other words, alkaline water simply refers to water that is more basic than typical water (which yields a pH level of 7).

Why is pH so important? ›

pH is an important quantity that reflects the chemical conditions of a solution. The pH can control the availability of nutrients, biological functions, microbial activity, and the behavior of chemicals.

What causes high pH in water? ›

Causes of High pH Levels in Water

In general, chemicals, minerals, pollutants, soil or bedrock composition, and any other contaminants that interact with a water supply will create an imbalance in the water's natural pH of 7. In short, environmental factors are the biggest contributor to water pH, whether high or low.


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