How to Clean Labware: Removing Algae

Q. We are a large energy company working with algae.  It is proving tough to remove from glass and labware. We are using Liquinox detergent currently, which is good.  Anything better? Eventually we would like to move to cleaning this glass labware in our washer.

A. Algae, and the viscous oils that you are working with, require not just powerful emulsifiers like found in Liquinox® Critical Cleaning Liquid Detergent, but also protein enzymes to provide enhanced removal of biologic and proteinaceous residues.  This is where a detergent like Tergazyme® Enzyme-Active Powdered Detergent truly excels.  It is both powerfully emulsive, and is combined with the proteases to effectively clean your glassware and laboratory wares.

We recommend a warm (< 130F/55C) bath or sonication with a 1-3% solution for 10-20 minutes. This temperature ensures the enzymes are not degraded or reduced in activity which occurs at elevated temperatures. Please also use within 8 hours of formulation to ensure avoidance of enzyme autocatalysis.  After all, protein enzymes are made of protein.

Thorough rinsing ensures a residue-free surface for the labware.

For the washer, depending on whether the washer takes a powder or liquid concentrate, we would go with Alcojet® Low Foaming Powdered Detergent or Detojet® Low Foaming Liquid Detergent, respectively.  These, safe for washer, low foaming detergents, take advantage of oxidative cleaning mechanisms and will get rid of the the oily residues and tough to remove, adherent, proteinaceous residue.

If the algae and/or oil cannot be cleaned, manually or via a washer quickly after use, presoaking is an excellent way to ensure residues do not become burdensome.

For phosphate-free options, we can certainly address that as well.  Contact us any time!

To request an Alconox, Inc. detergent 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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