Q. Currently using Alconox, but are considering a switch to Liquinox. What are the recommendations and concerns with switching from Alconox to Liquinox? What are the difference in ingredients between Alconox and Liquinox? Do we need to do a validation?
A. Alconox® Powdered Precision Cleaner and Liquinox® Critical Cleaning Liquid Detergent, are functionally equivalent cleaners. Liquinox liquid concentrate was designed as a liquid replacement for Alconox powder (long, long ago….). For each functional ingredient in Alconox, there is a functionally equivalent ingredient present in Liquinox at a concentration designed to give functionally equivalent performance. Of the six ingredients in Liquinox, two are identical to that found in Alconox detergent. The other four are chosen for equivalent cleaning functionality with good shelf life characteristics in a liquid form. They are not chemically identical as some of the powdered ingredients in Alconox detergent would only have a few weeks of shelf life if formulated in a liquid concentrate.
Alconox powder contains phosphates. Liquinox liquid concentrate is phosphate free. The key ingredient for cleaning by wetting, emulsifying and dispersing is the surfactant sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate. This ingredient is identical in both cleaners. The sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate, which will test TOC positive, is theoretically the last ingredient to rinse away in both formulations. The surface tension, which correlates with wetting, emulsifying and dispersant character, is ~30 dynes per cm in both Alconox and Liquinox detergents.
Regarding their formulation, 1 gallon of Liquinox concentrate makes 100 gallons of solution (at a concentration of 1%). Two 4 lb boxes of powdered Alconox detergent will make ~100 gallons of washing solution (again at 1% solution). Concentration relates to the detergent capacity, or the amount of dirt/soil, or in this case oil, that can be solubilized and carried away. Generally speaking, the capacity of these detergents is very similar.
(The above liquid/powder concentration guidance can be applied to our detergents.)
Regarding your validation question, while that is ultimately up to your own validation department, some form of verification is certainly required because the detergents are different.
Do you need further detail? We are happy to discuss any time!
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