Aerosols need to have a propellant. A gas! But there are a lot of gasses and so we have a choice. Commercial producers of aerosols are tempted to use the cheapest configuration of the aerosol. This is in most cases the use of a liquid gas like propane or butane. These gasses are cheaper compared to the active products used in the aerosol. (Active product = oils, greases, waxes, cleaning solvents)
- When using a liquid gas, this gas takes up to 50% of the volume in the aerosol. The producer has to show the volume of liquid in the aerosol. For us, the indicated volume of liquid (for example 200 ml) means 100 ml active product and 100 ml gas! So we think to buy 200ml of a product, but we only receive 100 ml.
- When using a dissolved gas like CO2, the gas only takes 5% of the volume. 95% is active product. I find this acceptable.
How to recognize the type of gas in the aerosol?
The best way is to consult the Safety Data Sheet (SDS). The type of gas used is on it. But this document is for professional users and not always easy to find for us.
If you cannot get hold of the SDS, here is a trick:
- Have a look at the label. If following sign is not on, the aerosol contains a dissolved gas (CO2) and you have 95% of active product.
- But if the “flame” sign is on, you have to look further in the text. Try to find the word “DANGER or “WARNING”.
- In case of WARNING: you have a dissolved gas and so, 95% active product
- In case of DANGER: you have a liquid gas and only 50% of active product.
There is an important remark to make. When you want to discover if there is a liquid or dissolved gas in your aerosol, keep in mind:
An aerosol can contain a non-flammable liquid gas. There I no flame pictogram on the aerosol but there is only 50% of active product in it. These non-flammable gasses are yet expensive. You will recognize them by the high price of the aerosol.