Q: We are looking for a detergent to remove the cuticle on leaves to see surface cells, stomata, and trichomes. We have Alconox powder in-house. Will that work?
A: Plant cuticles are usually waxes with oils and other bio-derived polymers. Since you have Alconox powder in-house, I would try a high concentration (5%) and as high a heat as substrates can take for removing the plant cuticles. This should nicely handle the plant oils via emulsification.
The cutin and biopolymers might be some trouble. But it is almost always best practice to see how what you have in-house works before we try other Alconox Inc. products. We could consider an even more potent emulsifier like Detonox® Ultimate Precision Cleaner, or consider an alkaline detergent to allow for alkaline hydrolysis to assist in the cleaning, something like Alcojet® Low Foaming Powdered Detergent or Solujet® Low-Foaming Phosphate-Free Liquid.
Note these higher alkaline detergents are also low foaming and would allow for cuticle residue removal in washers or other low foaming detergent requiring applications.
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