New Alconox Blog



Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Alkaline and Degreaser Cleaning of Aluminum

Can aluminum be safely cleaned with alkaline cleaners and degreasers?

Typical alkaline cleaners and degreasers attack aluminum. Use of corrosion inhibited alkaline cleaners such as Alcojet or Detojet that contain proper ratios of silicates to form aluminosilicate at activated sites on the aluminum surface prevent aluminum oxide formation or corrosion during alkaline cleaning. It is always safer use lower temperatures to retard corrosion. Alternatively, cleaners that are below pH 9.5 such as Alconox or Liquinox can be used at temperatures (below 140 deg F) with limited contact time (under an hour) to reduce corrosion.

To learn more about Alconox brands, visit our homepage.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Alconox Booth #1428 at INTERPHEX Puerto Rico 2009

Will Alconox, Inc attend the INTERPHEX Puerto Rico 2009 Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Conference and Exhibition?

YES! Alconox, Inc booth #1428 at INTERPHEX Puerto Rico 2009 Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Conference and Exhibition at the Puerto Rico Convention Center, San Juan on January 29-30.

Visit the Critical Cleaning Experts at Alconox, Inc at booth #1428 for safe, effective, easy to-validate aqueous cleaners for manual, machine wash and clean-in-place applications - even for removing titanium dioxide, petrolatum, and tablet coating residues! All brands are free rinsing, biodegradable and readily disposable.

Get your FREE Hardcover Handbook - 187 pages!
DEMO new Calculator for Residue Limits!

Great opportunity to "Ask Alconox" and get expert advice about your industrial cleaning needs!

Mark your calendars for INTERPHEX Puerto Rico 2009 Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Conference and Exhibition!

INTERPHEX Puerto Rico is the pharmaceutical industry's respected source of innovation, education, and professional advancement for a globally important center of drug manufacturing, from process development through delivery to market. Networking essential to business success is as important here as the exploration of new products and services that enhance human life and health.

For more information on INTERPHEX, please click here.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Questions about Medical Device Cleaning Validation

Does Alconox, Inc. answer questions about med dev cleaning validation?

Yes, the Alconox, Inc. Critical Cleaning Experts are available to assist in medical device cleaning validations. We provide a comprehensive directory of residue detection methods for all Alconox brands, residue sampling methods, and assistance in calculating acceptance criteria.

If you require assistance with a med dev cleaning validation, contact us! We can be reached by email at or by phone at 914-948-4040!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Static and Dynamic Spray Balls in CIP

What are the differences between Static and Dynamic spray balls in CIP machines?

The typical considerations in using either static or dynamic spray balls are that static spray balls can be placed strategically within a mixer to try to assure spray contact with all sides of various mixing apparatus inside the tank. Static spray balls typically rely on a high-volume, low-flow cascading cleaning action wherein much of the mechanical energy comes from the sprayed on solution running down the sides and surfaces of the tank being cleaned. Dynamic spray balls have low-volume, high-pressure spray with the spray nozzle spinning around while simultaneously rotating to direct a jet of spray to all interior surfaces of the tank. Dynamic spray balls have more mechanical energy applied during cleaning. There are concerns with the possibility that dynamic spray balls can jam up and stop rotating or stop spinning during a cleaning cycle. Dynamic spray ball manufacturers are developing sensors that monitor the performance of the spinning and rotating to be able to document and verify correct performance. When designed and installed properly, both kinds of spray balls can provide reliable cleaning. When using CIP systems with either static or dynamic spray balls in large tanks and mixers, Alconox, Inc recommends using low foaming detergents such as alkaline Solujet or acidic Citrajet.

For more information about the use, validation and selection of detergents for pharmaceutical, biotechnology and cosmeticeutical cleaning, please click here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

pH and dissolved oxygen probe cleaning

Which Alconox brand cleaner is well suited for cleaning pH and dissolved oxygen probes?

Dissolved oxygen and pH probes used in fermentation vessels can get buildup from the fermentation media that degrades the probe performance and increases the likelihood of batch to batch contamination. Even CIP systems cannot always reliably clean the port crevices and o-rings. This is a particular problem with proteins found in pharmaceutical, biotech, cheese and brewery manufacturing. Use a 1% Tergazyme solution that does not exceed 130 deg F (55 deg C), preferably around 120 deg F (50 deg C). Clean manually with a small brush. Rinse thoroughly with water of suitable purity for your industry. O-Rings and other removable parts can be soaked in a warm (120 deg F, 50 deg C) solution for 20 minutes prior to final brushing and rinsing.

To view the technical bulletin for Tergazyme, Enzyme Active Cleaner, please click here.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Mold Release and Silicon or Polysilane Oil Removal

How do you remove silicon mold releases and polysilane oils from stainless steel, plastic and glass?

Silicon mold releases and polysilane oils are very difficult to remove filmy residues. Mold release agents on glass act as a protective film on the glass attempting to clean them off with very aggressive acid or alkaline cleaners, the cleaning agent etches around the edges of the mold release agent and the un-coated sections of the glass, leaving behind a shadow of where the mold release was or had been. Even if the cleaner does eventually remove the mold release, there is a permanent shadow of where it had been due to the etching that occurred where the mold release had been. This same effect has also been with fingerprints on glass. If there is a silicon mold release agent on the glass, remove it with ultrasonic cleaning with extremely hot (over 170 deg F or over 77 deg C) 2% Alconox followed by a thorough rinse. Ideally, make sure the first rinse is with extremely hot water. Typically 10-20 minutes in ultrasonics is adequate to remove the residue. Alconox is a mild cleaner and will not etch the glass under normal cleaning conditions. On plastic first make sure your plastic is compatible with exposure to these temperatures. As we best understand it, many polysilanes have a softening point at somewhere in the 160-170 deg F (72-77 deg C) range. Above that softening point, the polysilanes can be more readily emulsified by a strong emulsifier. A 2% Alconox solution is a strong emulsifier and has been successfully used to remove difficult silicon oil residues. Once the polysilane is emulsified, you want to rinse it with hot water so that cold rinse water does not break the emulsion and redeposit the silicon oil before it has a chance to be rinsed away. The cleaning temperature is critical here. If this is a smooth, cleanable and easily rinsed surface, you can often get away without having to use a very hot water rinse. If there are crevices, blind holes or other features to the glass that would slow down the rinsing, then the very hot first rinse is critical tool Once you have done an initial static or running water initial very hot rinse, then subsequent rinses can be usually be done with ambient temperature water. Note that if extremely high purity deionized or reverse-osmosis water is used for the first very hot rinse, this water can etch glass; although at least it should be a uniform etch because there should no longer be a mold release mask on the glass. To avoid this, use tap water for the first very hot rinse, followed by cooler or ambient temperature higher purity water if a high purity water rinse is required to avoid water spots or other tap water residues. Note that as far as removing the mold release is concerned, tap water rinses will work just fine. The reason to use any higher purity water rinse is to avoid water spots or other tap water residues. These tap water residues can also be minimized by physically removing the tap water and not allowing it to evaporate and deposit - this can be done by blowing off the rinse water, wiping it off, or removing it using a drying solvent like isopropyl alcohol.

To view the technical bulletin for Alconox, Powdered Precision Cleaner, please download this PDF.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Cleaning Lab Glassware Exposed to Sea Water

What is the proper way to clean lab glassware that has been exposed to sea water?

Sea water contains a large and variable quantity of salts, biological and organic residues. Lab glassware needs to be free of any of these residues to avoid interference in research involving sea water. Sea water would not particularly present challenges beyond the normal array of residues that lab glassware sees in the wide variety of types of lab glassware that Alconox, Inc. laboratory detergents are used to clean. A standard cleaning protocol, see the users manual at the top right hand corner of this web page, will work fine. For typical manual cleaning wash with 1% Alconox or Liquinox in warm water followed by a thorough rinse in water of suitable purity) for standard laboratory cleaning requirements. If you are doing some extremely sensitive analytical procedure with the glassware (beyond ppm analytical detections), then you will want to pay particular attention to your rinsing technique and the quality of your rinse water. In general use deionized water for inorganic analysis rinsing and distilled water for organic analysis rinsing. Carbon filtered or reverse osmosis water can be used in place of distilled water typically. Rinse more than the standard three time rinse for more critical analytical glassware. In the event of glassware used for extreme low level inorganic analysis, an intermediate acid wash step after cleaning with the Alconox or Liquinox will improve cleaning. For manual cleaning use a warm 2% Citranox for the acid cleaning step prior to the final thorough rinse.

To learn more about Alconox brand detergents, ask the experts at