Q: Since foaming is so critical to COP methods, should operators be agitating the solution(s) to produce foam before and during manual cleanings?
A: This question came from a webinar on challenging residues. Mechanical energy, agitation, and plain old elbow grease, are vital weapons in cleaning and Clean-Out-Of-Place applications. So we would recommend that wherever possible, mechanical energy be applied to remove unwanted residues from the surface we are trying to clean. This will create foam. Foam is created where air is mixed or entrained into a solution that is capable of foam. Detergents solutions with foaming surfactants certainly apply. But it is the mechanical energy that is greatly assisting in the cleaning application, and in a sense “turbo-boosting” the foaming surfactants’ emulsification capability.
Even a foaming detergent solution will “settle down” during a soak, but the emulsifying surfactants are still hard and work.
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