Know your chemicals

I’d like this thread to contain links to articles discussing the various chemicals we use in our industry. If possible, let’s refrain from off topic discussions so this thread can serve as a knowledge base.


Sodium Hypochlorite
This article discusses the chemical properties of our favorite chemical. It includes a history of how it was created, how it is currently produced, and how the chemical reacts with other chemicals.


This article discusses the effects of lowering the PH of bleach and how it becomes a more effective cleaner. Not saying to do it… definitely a good read though

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“diluted, acidified bleach.”

Miner recommends first diluting one cup of household bleach in one gallon of water and then adding one cup of white vinegar.

Amazing article.

how does the vinegar act with different PH value and % of SH such as those we commonly use such as 12-15% conentrations?

I’m no Heizenberg, but 12.5 bleach has a pH of 13. This is extremely basic. Zero to fourteen is the scale.
The article discusses a pH 6 to boost the antimicrobial power.
Their recipe was one cup 5% SH, one cup vinegar, 14 cup water.
Vinegar has a pH of 2.4 so this recipe is about as reactive as your mother in law and your your cooking. In chemistry class we all remember vinegar, 2.4 and baking soda, 9, and the mess that made. Boost your base to 13 and it should be interesting.
Remember, I’m no chemist.


Exactly, i thought the article was interesting. I am not saying go out their and make chlorine gas…but if done right, the ph can be brought down to a level where the ions exchange and not harmful. Would take a lot of playing around with and starting on the Conservative side. I have done this before, and had amazing results ( on my own house) I may play around with it this winter, to see see the exact ratio to achieve 6.8 ph.

I wanted to start a new thread as almost like a chemical school to learn about all the different types of common chemicals we use. But I’m not talking about using basics like sh or degreaser or neutralizer, I’m talking about the specifics of these chemicals such as:

What is butyl and how is it different than non-butyl?
What chemicals can you mix sodium hydroxide with?
What is the difference between sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide other than potassium hydroxide is stronger and more expensive?
What makes a chemical caustic?
The difference between various types of the degreasers whether they be acidic or alkaline? and what additives are available in various types and what would those additives be ideally used for?
The difference in application between hydrochloric acid and hydrofluoric acid? Other than @CaCO3Girl valuable warning that hydrofluoric acid is much more harmful than hydrochloric acid?
And anything else related to this? I think there are many different types of chemicals out there and knowing exactly what they all do could be very helpful in effectively dealing with various stains and problems throughout our careers. Would be nice to continue this thread with various input along the way for a consolidated space to learn about everything together. Similar to @Racer deck cleaning 101 thread.

I don’t know Sean, these threads are good for general side-education and a decent argument but if you want to keep it clean and profitable just buy bulk SH, degreaser and throw a few bags of oxalic under the bench and call it a day.


I feel it. I won’t press on it anymore here. I’ll find some info and do some research see what I can come up with.

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I’m happy to reply to a message or a post that I am @CaCO3Girl in.

If I don’t reply try again as my email can be crazy sometimes.

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Butyl is a solvent, it helps cut through grease. It doesn’t have a pH because it’s not water based.

Chemical mixtures should be taken with care. Generally speaking you want to only add things on the same side of the pH scale. The scale is 0–14, with 6-8 being neutral (think water). Acid is a (0-6 pH), or you have a base (8-14), like plus like you are good. Take a 2 and add a 12 and it’s going to react violently. Baking soda plus vinegar bubbles and gets hot because they are opposite side pH’s.

Potassium hydroxide is better at getting rid of animal fats or greases.

Caustic is just a term for a high pH, think 13 and 14.

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We have been burned with providing info on this site already. Unless it is info that I’m just regurgitating from what had already been stated here in the past, I use the private message or a phone call for specific advice.

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Did somebody say pressure massage?

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