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Is sodium metasilicate the best cleaning agent?



2002

Q. What is best for cleaning, if not sodium metasilicate? Is sodium metasilicate a biodegradable substance?

Wilson
- KL Malaysia


affil. link
"Practical Guide to Industrial Metal Cleaning"
from Abe Books

or

2002

A. Hi, Wilson.

"Cleaning" is a complex physical reaction that involves sequestration, detergency, saponification (reaction of alkali with fats to forms soaps), and many other facets. So there is not a single chemical which is the "best" cleaner. Rather, industrial cleaners are made from alkali, detergent, builders, and other ingredients. But sodium metasilicates are an important part of many alkaline cleaners.

This is addressed in more detail in letters 10704, 11213, 15596, and 49952.

Sodium metasilicate (SiO3Na2.5H2O) is an inorganic compound, so I don't think the term "biodegradable" actually applies. Good luck.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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