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Sodium Hydroxide vs. Potassium Hydroxide what's the difference?

Posted by Linda Chambers on Mon, Apr 09, 2012 @ 09:00 AM

For the kitchen exhaust cleaning contractor almost any cleaner you would want to use on the market today will be based on one or the other of these chemicals, or be a combination of the two.

You need to understand their differences, pros and cons to be able to best choose a product to fit your needs.


Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) and Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) are almost interchangeable. They are the most chemically similar of the hydroxides. They are both a white, strong alkaline, corrosive solid or powder. Sodium Hydroxide is more commonly known as lye or caustic soda where Potassium Hydroxide is known as potash.


Both are used to change fats into soap in a process called saponification. Even though their solubility in room temperature water are about the same, products made with potassium hydroxide exhibit a greater solubility especially as you increase the temperature of the water. Like all strong bases, the reaction of both Potassium Hydroxide and Sodium Hydroxide with water is strongly exothermic, in other words, they generate heat and give off hydrogen. But the reaction with Sodium Hydroxide is slightly more exothermic which can make up for other more positive factors that Potassium Hydroxide possess.


The biggest difference between them is in cost because of certain factors; such as their production process by electrolysis, where potassium chloride costs more than sodium chloride (table salt), in ton quantities potassium hydroxide is about three times more expensive than sodium hydroxide.¹


At the molecular level, potassium hydroxide is also slightly smaller than sodium hydroxide, therefore it can penetrate oil molecules faster than sodium hydroxide thus breaking the oils hold on surfaces quicker and since they are also more soluble can be rinsed away easier, especially when using hotter water or steam equipment.


If you are needing to clean a metal surface that is coated with a hard baked on oil  or grease, you would prefer to use a potassium hydroxide with a hot water rinse. Where as a coating of thicker or soft oil or grease could be cleaned by using a sodium hydroxide for less of a cost with lower temperature water required because of the better exothermic reaction.


Using a product which contains both chemicals is like getting the best of both, you will be get a lower in price product with a better exothermic reaction than with Potassium Hydroxide alone, but you will have a faster penetration and better rinsing product than if it just had Sodium Hydroxide.

¹http://www.ehow.com/facts_6150994_sodium-hydroxide-vs_-potassium-hydroxide.html

Tags: exhaust cleaner, sodium hydroxide, postassium hydroxide

Commercial Kitchen Cleaners, not just for Hood Cleaning

Posted by Linda Chambers on Mon, Feb 15, 2010 @ 12:52 PM

Here at Soap Warehouse we have over 80 individual products in over 7 categories.

Many times business that buy from us get caught up in the one or two products they have used in the past, and do not look or know what many other items we have to offer.

In kitchen cleaners for example; we have the main stays for hood cleaning, with our “Hood Cleaner” and “Smoke House” but we have so much more to offer.

We have “Oven and Grill” a cleaner for flat cooking grills and for vertical surfaces inside ovens and standing ovens like chicken rotisseries. This product has a high viscosity, there fore it will cling to the upright surfaces longer, without added foamer, to allow for proper contact and better cleaning.

“Mighty-Green” is a user friendly degreaser that is not friendly to grease. Since this product is Non Abrasive, non-flammable, non corrosive, bio degradable and non toxic it is great to use in a kitchen setting. It can be diluted for light jobs like cleaning glass or mirrors up to full strength for really tough grease cleaning on tile and stainless steel, weather it is used on floors, walls or appliances.

“Natures Green” All Purpose Cleaner, is similar to Mighty-Green for cleaning, but it is also all natural for those wanting a true ‘Green’ approach to their cleaning. This degreaser can similarly be used from full strength to a dilution of 1:10 for almost any kitchen surface cleaning need.

“Ceramic Tile and Grout” is what you need to clean those ugly grease stained grout lines from black or dark brown to an almost like new lightness. Once used to get the area back to a fresh clean, maintenance is much easier using 8 oz per gallon of hot water to keep the floors grease free and squeaky clean. It will also clean stainless steel, chrome, and plastics found in most kitchen and bathroom applications.

Another place grease can be a big problem in a kitchen, is in the floor drains. Our “Drain Opener” is designed to dissolve and liquefy grease, hair and even paper that can be found in commercial kitchen and bathroom floor drains. This is not a 'use at home' product, but made only for commercial applications. All aluminum covers or strainers must be removed before application, so not to damage them, yet this is a non-acid product. If this product is too strong for your use our next product should work for you.

“Qwic Zyme” is a product that contains biological components that will break down food wastes, grease, hair and other organic matter found in kitchen and bathroom drains. Its biological action deprives odor causing bacteria of their food source, thus inhibiting their growth and ability to product obnoxious odors normally found in sinks and around floor drains. “Qwic Zyme” is safe to use in food disposals, septic tank systems and can be used inside and outdoors. The main things to remember when using this product is follow label directions and to use warm water to activate the enzymes first in order to work properly.

We also have quite a few USDS approved butyl degreasers that can be used around food processing equipment and storage areas to clean, coolers, floors, equipment housing, walls and counter tops: “Mighty-O”, Mighty Max” as well as “Mighty Max Plus”.

For current pricing information follow an above link or call us at 800-762-7911.

Tags: Kitchen cleaner, exhaust cleaner, Hood cleaner, smoke house, Mighty Green, tile and grout, oven and grill cleaner

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