Last updated: August 10, 2021

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The use of compressed air sprays is becoming an increasingly popular method of cleaning both in the household and in the garden or workshop. Computer keyboards, camera lenses and other small areas are particularly suitable for cleaning with a compressed air spray.

The sprays are available in a wide range of variants, whereby the ingredients, attachments and volume vary. Different attachments for the spray head enable optimal cleaning for your application. At the end of this article, you will know for sure which article exactly suits you and your needs. We have summarised all important information, market offers and frequently asked questions for you and answered them in the following article.




The most important facts

  • Compressed air sprays offer a quick and easy form of cleaning, with a constant stream of air coming out of a can. Propellant gases create a pressure inside the can that escapes when the spray head is activated. This creates an odourless and invisible air stream.
  • If you were to use the compressed air spray without an attachment, the air would escape over a large area. There are attachments in different sizes to reach the areas that need to be cleaned.
  • A basic distinction is made between flammable and non-flammable sprays. The basic difference lies in the ingredients. You will find out which sprays we recommend in the course of this article.

The Best Compressed Air Sprays: Our Picks

In the following, we have listed the best-rated compressed air sprays for you.

Buying and evaluation criteria for compressed air sprays

To make your decision easier, we have listed the most important criteria for compressed air sprays. These are now presented one after the other so that you know exactly which criteria your spray must fulfil.

Volume

Compressed air sprays are available in various sizes. Depending on the size, the volume also varies. If you decide to buy several spray cans in a bundle, check the contents of the individual cans beforehand.

You may be buying a volume with 3 spray cans that you would get from another supplier in a single can. Several spray cans again require space for storage, which can be easily avoided by buying a single can.

Weight

The weight of the spray cans naturally depends on the volume. However, if two cans have the same volume, it is interesting to see how much they weigh in comparison to each other. If one can weighs significantly more, this means that more material is used for the can, attachment or additional packaging. In the end, less material means better, climate-neutral disposal.

Since compressed air sprays do not weigh several kilos, a difference in weight between two cans has no visible effect on the application.

Climate neutrality

As already explained with the weight, less material also means better disposal for the environment.

Some manufacturers also advertise their spray as having a low excretion of hazardous pollutants. This is also supposed to have a positive effect on the environment. If a climate-neutral spray can is important to you, take a close look at the can. Manufacturers who offer a climate-neutral compressed air spray usually advertise this on the packaging or can.

Attachments

A common use of compressed air sprays is to clean places that are difficult to reach with a conventional feather duster. To reach these places, there are various attachments for the spray can. To make it easier to understand, the different attachments are listed and explained below:

  • Short attachment (1 cm): As the name suggests, the attachment has only a very small tube, which allows the air to escape from the can. The attachment is good for cleaning small crevices and joints that are visible to the eye (e.g. keyboards).
  • Longer attachment (3-4 cm): With this attachment, you can easily reach places that are not easily visible to the eye or cannot be reached with a feather duster. With the longer attachment, you can be sure that the air does not escape beforehand and only reaches the place you want to reach after 3-4 cm. This attachment is suitable for cleaning wall holes, drains, etc.
  • Long attachment (> 4 cm):This attachment is similar to a small hose. Here too, no air escapes beforehand, but only at the small end of the attachment. This makes the attachment suitable for cleaning larger hoses, pipes, etc.

Ideally, you will find a compressed air spray where several or even all attachments are included. This saves you the work of selecting and searching for the perfect attachment for your needs.

Flammability

If you plan to use the compressed air spray in the household, it is a great advantage to check the flammability. You can quickly find yourself spraying next to a flammable area, which can turn your cleaning operation into a dangerous explosion.

Our tip: When buying, make sure your spray is non-flammable. Although your primary use may be in the garden or other outdoor areas, a spontaneous explosion of the can can be a major health hazard.

Guide: Frequently asked questions on the subject of compressed air sprays answered in detail

In the following, we want to give you a deeper insight into the topic of compressed air sprays and answer the most important questions about the topic for you.

What is a compressed air spray?

Compressed air sprays generate a stream of air that constantly escapes from the can when used correctly. Propellant gases create pressure inside the can. By activating the spray head, this pressure and the air can escape from the can.

Especially in the workshop, compressed air spray is a popular way to keep the workplace clean. (Image source: Thierry Milherou / pixabay)

The traditional use of compressed air sprays is to clean computers, cameras or other places where dust and dirt collect in small gaps. The possible use of different attachments usually ensures thorough cleaning, but you should be careful with sensitive objects (e.g. camera lenses).

What does a compressed air spray contain?

Compressed air sprays are generally divided into flammable and non-flammable sprays. These also differ in their ingredients:

Flammable compressed air sprays: This type of spray usually contains the gases propane or butane. Both gases are odourless and not visible to humans. However, these gases are highly flammable, which means that their use can quickly become dangerous.

In addition, propane and butane displace oxygen from the air for a short time. If you inhale the gases intensively, this can be harmful to your health. Possible consequences include dizziness, nausea, headaches and unconsciousness. However, if you use the gases exclusively for cleaning and keep an arm's length away from the can, such symptoms should not normally occur.

Non-flammable compressed air sprays: These cans contain a dry gas which is non-flammable according to the Aerosol Directive 75/324/EEC. Due to this safety, the spray can be used in almost every area of the household. By safeguarding the aerosol directive, there is no danger of spontaneous explosions and thus no health hazards for humans.

What does a compressed air spray cost?

The price of compressed air sprays is highly dependent on the volume and scope of the bundle. The following table should provide more clarity and an idea of the different prices:

Available products Price range
2 spray cans (400ml - 600ml) 12€ - 18€ (depending on volume)
3 - 6 spray cans (400ml - 600ml) 16€ - 30€ (depending on volume)
more than 6 spray cans (400ml - 600ml) from 30€ upwards

Our tip: If you have no experience with compressed air sprays, we recommend that you first buy a small bundle of cans. This gives you the opportunity to find out how many cans you need for your application and how long a can will last. If you have used up your first purchase, you can adjust your scope of delivery more specifically with your second purchase based on your experience.

How long does a compressed air spray last?

A spray can with a content of 400ml and a pressure of 4 bar contains approximately 200 litres of air. How long such a can lasts depends very much on how much you spray. Ideally, you should not spray in long intervals, but in short ones. In this way, you really only use the air you need and do not waste any unnecessary content.

However, experience reports show that a 400ml spray can lasts more than just one or two applications. One way to get a longer life is to use the right attachment. Here, too, the compressed air is directed to the area to be cleaned and no contents are wasted unnecessarily.

Conclusion

Compressed air sprays offer a convenient way to clean small areas that are difficult to reach with a feather duster or vacuum. By using different attachments, you can almost always reach the area you want to clean and little to no content is wasted.

In practice, a distinction is made between flammable and non-flammable sprays, but we advise you to use a non-flammable spray. This way, you don't have to worry about the environment in which you use the compressed air spray and you can exclude hazards.

The biggest difference between the sprays on the market is the volume of the can and the associated price. It is best to consider in advance which size is most suitable for you and which attachments you need. This way, you are sure to buy a spray that is optimal for your application.

Photo source: Andriy Popov /123rf

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