Cleaner, Safer, Better: Guardian Chemicals’ Transition to Low VOC Cleaners and Degreasers

At a glance

Guardian Chemicals led the cleaning industry by proactively transitioning their product line to meet Canada’s new VOC regulations. VOC levels were reduced well below legislated limits; flashpoints increased to reduce flammability; product performance boosted; setting new industry standards for safety and efficacy.

Key metrics

across product line by an average of 96%
flashpoints across product line by an average of 16.9 C
product performance


Guardian Chemicals, faced stringent new VOC regulations requiring significant reductions in VOC concentrations throughout our cleaning and degreasing product line. The primary challenge was to ensure compliance without compromising product efficacy while managing a smooth transition to avoid disruptions.


An extensive product reformulation process targeted key products, reformulating them to meet or exceed the new VOC requirements while enhancing performance. New versions of several products, were developed including: Breakaway VF, Pentrax ULV, and Citrex LV. The process involved product reformulation, testing and validation, and customer communication.


  • Industry-Leading VOC Reduction: Achieved some of the lowest VOC levels in the industry, with several products becoming entirely VOC-free.
  • Enhanced Safety: Increased flashpoints across our product line, significantly reducing flammability risks for safer use and handling.
  • Improved Performance: Enhanced the overall product effectiveness, proving high performance and regulatory compliance can coexist.
  • Customer Satisfaction: Maintained high customer satisfaction by providing safe, effective, and compliant cleaning solutions.


Canadian VOC Categories and Guardian Products


Guardian Chemicals meets the most stringent VOC standards. All products are formulated to minimize VOCs to the lowest possible levels. VF products have no VOCs, ULV products have <0.5% VOC content, and LV products have <45% VOC under the legislation.

Most competitors who attempt to comply with the legislation classify their products as “General Purpose Solvents” and their products contain much higher VOC levels as a result. In consultations with Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), in most cases these products should be classified as “Multi-Purpose Degreasers” which require further VOC reductions.



Reduction in VOC Content by Product


Increase in Flashpoint by Product


Flashpoints measured by Tag Closed-Cup (TCC). Closed-cup flashpoints are the only acceptable measure of flashpoint under WHMIS. Be wary of suppliers who only list open-cup flashpoints, or do not list the flashpoint method. These suppliers may be inflating flashpoints so products appear safer than they are, creating unnecessary safety risks for users.



Product Performance Improvement Examples


Product performance improvement examples made using a white porcelain plate with baked-on heavy crude oil deposit. Comparison shows two 0.25 mL applications of product running down plate. VF (VOC Free), ULV (Ultra-Low VOC), and LV (Low VOC) are the new formulations compliant with Canada’s VOC legislation.


Contact us to learn how our low VOC cleaners and degreasers boost your product performance. 

Experience a cleaner, safer, and more efficient workspace with BREAKAWAY VF! BREAKAWAY VF is the only VOC-free multi-purpose solvent degreaser that effectively cleans heavy oil deposits without exposing you to harmful or flammable VOC emissions. BREAKAWAY VF combines the best of both solvent and water-based degreasers, tackling the most stubborn soil and oil deposits effortlessly.
TERRASOL ULV is a unique Ultra-Low VOC hybrid degreaser combining the power of both solvent and water-based formulations to tackle the toughest soil and oil deposits to deliver unmatched cleaning performance. Formulated with user safety and environmental responsibility in mind. It boasts a high flashpoint (>95°C) and ultra-low VOC content–for exceptional cleaning and degreasing without compromising safety or sustainability.
PENTRAX ULV is a premium, 100% active solvent-based degreaser designed to tackle the toughest hydrocarbon deposits such as oils, grease, tar, bitumen, and asphalt. With its powerful cleaning capabilities and year-round usability, PENTRAX ULV provides a reliable and efficient solution to maintain your equipment, reduce downtime, and enhance productivity.