Ultrasonic Cleaning of Glass Molds (Detergents vs. Alkali)

Q. We have heard that Alconox is recommended for cleaning of glass molds. Other than release agent, can the product also remove oxidation from the mold surface? And finally, why is the concentration on the Alconox detergent only 1-3% when we typically use concentrations of 20-30% when cleaning molds with sodium or potassium hydroxide based chemicals?

A. Alconox® Powdered Precision Cleaner is what we tradtionally recommend for mold release cleaning applications, but many also findour recetnly released Detonox® Ultimate Precision Cleaner to be particularly effective.  It is an even stronger emulsifier.  

When it comes to removing oxidation, Alconox or Detonox cleaners may work sufficiently, but generally speaking, acidic detergents would be much more effective than an alkaline on oxidation. In this case, look to Citranox® Liquid Acid Cleaner and Detergent after cleaning with the alkaline-based Alconox/Detonox detergent. Optimum removal of a release agent requires hot temperatures in the ultrasonic bath (75-80C), so be sure the mold can withstand these temperatures.  Molds are expected to, but you should certainly verify.

To your final question, the Alconox detergent datasheet, as an example, does recommend 1-3% concentrations, which will sufficiently clean glass molds. The reason for the apparent discrepancy between NaOH and KOH chemical concentrations and the much lower one of detergents, are that strong alkaline reagents only provide a single mechanism of attack. Therefore strength must be high.

Well-built detergents like Alconox or Detonox cleaners, combine many ways to clean, including, emulsification, wetting, dispersion, chelation, sequestration, etc. Generally speaking, much lower concentrations of detergents are needed because of these multiple avenues of robust cleaning mechanisms. Higher detergent concentrations increase capacity or amount of soil to be removed.

To request these or any Alconox, Inc. detergents for free, please complete the questionnaire at Get Sample. For more information about any one of our Alconox, Inc. detergents, consult the technical bulletin for each product. Or click here to access each of our detergent’s Safety Data Sheets.

Do you have a critical cleaning question for the experts at Alconox, Inc.?  Search TechNotes to see if it’s been answered before or Ask Alconox.

Contact us any time: cleaning@alconox.com

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