Sodium Hydroxide vs Potassium Hydroxide

Which is a more potent degreaser? I just used some sodium hydroxide to boost my EBC with really good results but i have read that Potassium Hydroxide is even better? Can anyone here settle the matter?

SH is better for petro chem removal & PH is better on animal fat, oils mabey it is sodium metasilicate ? let our Chem “chick” clarify

I think so too, but let’s see @CaCO3Girl

Sorry guys, on my phone it’s not really clear where sodium metasilicate came up. Sodium hydroxide is otherwise known as caustic soda or lye. It’s powerful stuff, but yes KOH(potassium hydroxide) is better on animal fats.


To clarify further, neither NaOH or KOH are degreasers. Usually the degreasers have NaOH and Butyl in them

Alot of guys doing this for over 15yrs use NaOH 1 lb per gallon H2O to treat oil stains prior to hot water cleaning & it works wonders.

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Why not add the caustic beads to the water and make hot water…should be a one shot deal at that point then right?


Create a product for the homeowner called " Heat & Clean "

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I have had good luck removing some types of paint with Potassium Hydroxide. I know some add Butyl but I don’t know enough about it. I have also seen where they down streamed metasilicate with sodium hydroxide in it for cleaning fences but I have not been able to find that particular product for sale. They are just things I’s like to try.

I don’t trust end users to not hurt themselves lol!

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KOH is slower and less damaging but I’ve taken 5 coats off with sodium hydroxide :wink:


Your going to make me have to pull out my element chart to understand what your talking about half the time!


Sorry, it was late, I was short handing. KOH = potassium hydroxide.

Have you ever added KOH or NaOH to sodium metasilicate? I am looking at it for down streaming to clean wood fences followed by an Oxalic rinse. Always trying to speed the process without doing damage to the wood. I have to admit to having to look up some of the chem abbreviations. I haven’t looked a periodic table or tried to balance an equation since high school over 40 yrs ago. lol

I have many formulas with all 3. However, if you really want a good hard surface cleaner TSP would be the best.

Sometimes the caustic products can bring out the tannins and then they have to be calmed own by oxalic acid. So please make sure you always do the second step of oxalic, this also goes for stripping since most strippers are caustic.

Don’t apologize! I am just saying it makes me feel a little dumb sometimes because I should know these! Haha

@CaCO3Girl what do you know about adding vinegar to SH to increase the anti microbial effect and would it impact the efficacy on wood or concrete where it relates to mold/organics removal? You have me looking at chem compounds and that just creates more questions. Thanks for your time.

Umm, BAD idea. Acids and bases don’t like to play nice.

If you know what your doing Reducing the PH of SH has its pros and cons.

It’s a highly debated topic in roof cleaning…does increasing the PH or decreasing the PH give you better results on roofs. I don’t think anyone has an answer still lol

That was what I had thought about mixing them but I read an article that said the mix would exponentially increase the anti microbal effect of the SH.

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