Alkaline cleaning agents have a pH-value above 7. The combination of surfactants and caustic solutions (bases, alkalis) offers especially a good cleaning of saponifiable greases and oils, but also of oil black, proteins and other organic soiling. Mild alkaline detergents in the pH range 8.0 to 10.8 are preferred over neutral pH detergents in most applications. Alkalinity is added to many detergents in order to improve their cleaning efficacy which is accomplished in two ways. Firstly, the alkalinity may contribute of its own accord. Acidic soils are neutralised and thereby more easily removed. Organic soils such as fats/oils and proteins may be emulsified or peptized. Many alkaline builders also soften the water during the cleaning operation. Secondly, there is improved performance of other detergent components. Alkaline detergents inhibit the growth of microorganisms, and chemical residue is easily detected by use of kits obtainable from suppliers.
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