New Alconox Blog



Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Alkylphenol Ethoxylates and Phosphates

Which Alconox detergents contain alkylphenol ethoxylates and which ones contain phosphates?

Liquinox and Citranox contain alkylphenol ethoxylates. Alconox, Tergazyme, Alcojet, Alcotabs, and Detojet contain phosphate. Detergent 8, Luminox, Citrajet, Solujet and Tergajet contain no alkylphenol ethoxylates and no phosphates.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Plastic Container for Soak Solutions

What kind of plastic container can I use to hold a detergent soak solution?

You can use any container that is robust enough to hold typical aqueous solutions of chemicals. A polypropylene or other chemical resistant plastic container such as HDPE (just about anything but polycarbonate or polyurethane) will work just fine for cleaning. If you have specific residue concerns, you should consider the possibility of certain metals or monomers leaching out of the plastic. For general purpose laboratory and medical cleaning this is typically not a concern because the anti-redeposition properties of the detergent are sufficient to stop anything that leaches out of the container from depositing on the substrate being cleaned.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Cleaning Filters with Tergazyme

What kind of cleaning can I expect from Tergazyme when cleaning filters with wine residues?

We would expect Tergazyme to work very well on biofilms or microbial contamination from filters that had been repeatedly used to filter wine. It will do quite well on assorted organic residues from various components of wine. The one cleaning mechanism that Tergazyme does not have is oxidation or bleaching. This means it would not be unusual if some trace color was left of some difficult to hyrdrolyze condensed tannins or other coloring agents from the wine. Certainly Tergazyme would do something on these residues, but it would not be as dramatic as using bleach or peroxide to oxidize or even possibly metabisulfite to reduce these residues. Of course if there is a biofilm , neither bleach, peroxide, or metabisulfite will be as effective as Tergazyme.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Detergent Testing

What kinds of test soils are used in detergent testing?

Synthetic soils are often applied to coupons to use in testing detergents. Typically a soil will be made from some kind of binding natural oil such as vegetable oil or vegetable shortening combined with a protein such as whey powder or egg powder. Additionally there may be motor oil or used motor oil; vacuum cleaner bag dust; carbon black; and clay soils. Sometimes these mixtures would have synthetic hard water such as 150 ppm hardness (2/1:Ca+2/Mg+2) mixed in. In general you want your synthetic soil to mimic the type of residue that you are trying to develop a detergent or cleaning process to clean.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Posted Inhibitory Residue Tests

How many years are the IRTs posted?

Three years, so currently 2007, 2006 and 2005 Inhibitory Residue Tests are posted. If IRTs from years earlier than that are needed, please contact Alconox directly.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Inhibitory Residue Test

How do I get an IRT?

To get a lot number specific inhibitory residue test to comply with accreditation guidelines requiring lot specific or annual testing, get a certificate of analysis (COA) for the detergent you have. These COA’s can be found at

Lot numbers that you will need to get your COA are found at the top of 4 lb boxes (milk cartons), above the label on bottle, and on the side of the corrugated box for larger sizes and cases. These lot numbers are a "sub lot" of a specific master lot. Once the master lot number is identified on the COA, the inhibitory residue test data can be downloaded at

Master lot numbers change in the unusual event of a significant change in raw materials or manufacturing. Master lot numbers change such that each lot can be traced to a Master lot that was tested within one year.

Inhibitory residue tests are performed for each year's worth of sub lot numbers.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

IRTs for Alconox Brands

Does Alconox, Inc have IRTs for each brand?

Yes, annually Alconox, Inc has each brand tested through an independent laboratory. Brands include Alconox, Alcotabs, Alcojet, Citranox, Citrajet, Detojet, Detergent 8, Liquinox, Luminox, Solujet, Tergajet, Tergazyme.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Inhibitory Residue Test

What is an Inhibitory Residue Test?

The inhibitory residue test is a test of suitability of glassware for microbiology testing. It was important when labs were using phosphate detergents, but is less so now that use of phosphate is being phased out. The test is described in SM 9020B3a (Editions 18, 19) or SM 9020B4a (Editions 20, 21).

Standard Methods says to do the test "as necessary." You might ask your regulator how they interpret that.

First and foremost, it tests the detergents/soaps used for washing glassware in the microbiology section of a lab to make sure that they do not have bacteriostatic or inhibitory qualities that may affect the microbiological test that you perform (such as multiple tube fermentation technique...). Secondly, it also "checks" your washing procedure to make sure that if there are any inhibitory/bacteriostatic substances present in your soap, the cleaning process that you employ washes out any of these inhibitory substances.

Labs that are certified for drinking water microbiology have to perform the inhibitory residue test as well as the distilled water suitability test ANNUALLY. Another source of information about these tests is in EPA's "Manual for the Certification of Laboratories Analyzing Drinking Water". The most current is the 5th Edition published in 2005.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Bath Life Extension

What is the best way to monitor for bath life extension?

To avoid potential for cross contamination, only freshly made up cleaning solutions should be used for the highest levels of critical cleaning. For industrial critical cleaning applications, high levels of cleaning can also be achieved with extended bath life. In general, a pH change of 1 unit towards neutral indicates an exhausted cleaning solution. Bath life can be extended by physical filtration of particulates, cooling and settling of sludge and skimming of oils. Bath life can also be extended by adding one half as much detergent, of the initial load, after partially depleting the cleaning life of the bath. With frequent daily use, detergent solutions can rarely be used longer than a week even with these bath life extension techniques. Conductivity, pH and % solids, by refractometer, can be used to control bath detergent concentration.

Free alkalinity titration can be used to control bath life of alkaline cleaners where the soil being cleaned depletes free alkalinity-as is often the case with oily soils. The process:
  1. Titrate a new solution to determine free alkalinity.
  2. Titrate the used solution to determine the percent drop in free alkalinity.
  3. Add more detergent to the bath to bring the free alkalinity back to the level of the new solution. (For example if the initial solution is made up with 100 ml of cleaner concentrate and a 25% drop in free alkalinity is observed, try adding 25 ml of cleaner concentrate to recharge your solution.)
Perform a new free-alkalinity titration to confirm the recharge the first few times this recharging method is used. This is to ensure that the detergent being used is linear with respect to free alkalinity depletion. This form of bath life extension cannot run indefinitely, sludge will eventually form. Fresh solutions must be made up periodically. Bath lives can also be extended using conductivity.

Most cleaners contain conductive salts which can be detected using conductivity. Once the conductivity response of the detergent is determined, the depletion of those conductive salts can be measured. Typically, this kind of measure the bath and recharge with detergent process can be done 2-3 times before a new bath is needed.