We consider the general properties of bounded approximate units in non-self-adjoint operator algebras. Such algebras arise naturally from the differential structure of spectral triples and unbounded Kasparov modules. Our results allow us to present a unified approach to characterising completeness of spectral metric spaces, existence of connections on modules, self-adjointness and regularity of induced operators on tensor product C⁎-modules and the lifting of Kasparov products to the unbounded category. In particular, we prove novel existence results for quasicentral approximate units in non-self-adjoint operator algebras, allowing us to strengthen Kasparov's technical theorem and extend it to this realm. Finally, we show that given any two composable KK-classes, we can find unbounded representatives whose product can be constructed to yield an unbounded representative of the Kasparov product.