What makes a good chemical a good chemical

I want to start off by thanking everyone on this form. This is such an amazing community full of answers.

I have been lurking for a few days now learning all I can as i want to soon start my own business here in north Texas.

My first question is what do yall look for into a chemical? Are there key factors to look for? Or is it just a buy and try kinda thing? Do the chemicals that you use matter on the what kind of set up you have?

Thank yall,

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I like a chemical with a long name. The longer the better.


oh boy…

How to pick the chemicals to use.

  1. Look at what others have posted they use as something of a starting point. Some you can get locally, some you will have to order online.
  2. It is a bit trial and error. Yes, their are some proven chemicals. I can get say EBC for $43/gal after shipping. Perhaps a local chemical company has a degreaser that is only $25/gal. Don’t know if their degreaser is going to be as good as EBC so I would have to buy a gal and try it out. Sometimes cheaper is not better.
  3. What are you cleaning? Some chemicals have specific uses. Take Sodium Precarbonate. It is primarily used for wood cleaning. Depending on the range of surfaces you are cleaning, you may have a wide selection of chems.
  4. Effectiveness, Price, Availability all need to be considerations. As well as personal preference.
  5. Set-Up - not much of a factor overall. I might say if you had hot water, you possibly could use a chem not as strong and make it work.

Personally - I do a wide range of cleaning so I have no less than 15 different chems. Some have very specific uses such as Muriatic Acid that only gets used maybe 1 time a month whereas SH is used daily.

Here is a starting Point for you -
Sodium Hypoclorite - you can use whatever - Clorinating Liquid from Home Depot to 12.5% from pool supply.
Degreaser - EBC, ZEP Purple Power, Dawn Dish Soap even works (very light oil or in combination with ZEP)
Surfactant - Elemnator, Apple Wash
Wood - Sodium Precarbonate - 2 lb powder Florida Labs - online Amazon
Wood Brightening / Rust Removal - Oxalic Powder - Florida Labs - online Amazon
F9 Barc (Rust remover) - online
Prosoco - a full line of chems (not cheap but very high quality with some specialty chems for very specific purposes). Find you local distributor.

I am always trying new chems, looking at local suppliers (not big box as most of their stuff is over-priced to start) and testing things.


This is the answer I was hoping for thank you! I have yet to find a local supplier but I’m still on the search

Where you at? Perhaps someone on the board can steer you to a vendor.

I started by Goggling chemicals in my area. Start talking to other washers in your area.

Keep in mind, chemical suppliers are not always the cheapest. In fact, the closest “chemical distributor” to me is the most expensive on everything. SH is $8-$10 a gal. Sodium Hydrozide is $7/lb (I get it for $1/lb from another source about 20 minutes away).

North Texas covers a lot of area, but I grew up in the DFW area. Welcome!

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I’m in the Denton/Dallas area. I know there would be people in Dallas but it’s about 50miles away. Was trying to find someone closer just to go look and see what all there was

Just gotta start looking around. When I first started it took me a while to find certain providers that had what I wanted at a price that made sense. Until then, I was either buying online or using other products that were not as good, no other way around it. At first I was using Red Devil Hydroxide for $100 per 50lb bag. Eventually I found a local guy that I can get it for $50 for 50lb.

The biggest challenge imo with online ordering is the shipping cost for chemicals. It seems to make more sense when you can buy in larger volumes (even 5 gal container verses 1 gal is a better deal after shipping per gal, but a larger upfront out of pocket cash). This is also true with in-store purchases. When possible buy in largest quantity you can that makes sense to lower your per unit cost (lb, oz, etc) on things you use a lot of.

Look around for power washing vendors. Sometimes I will find good stuff at Janitorial supply stores. You can check with Sherwin Williams - I think I mentioned this before that they used to carry it at all stores then stopped. I found one last week that still has 5 gal containers for $125. That is $25/gal, much better than the $43/gal from online.

Good Luck!

You should try our new supercalafragalisticexbealadotious degreaser… it’s the bees knees

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