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What is alkaline detergent? Introducing the best use scenarios and precautions for use.

In this article, we introduce the mechanism of alkaline detergents, the scenarios in which they are used, and the precautions to take when using them.

Many people may think of bleach when they mention alkaline detergents. Alkaline detergents are highly resistant to stubborn stains such as mold and grease, but they must be used with care so as not to harm your body.

In this article, we introduce the mechanism of alkaline detergents, the scenarios in which they are used, and the precautions to take when using them.

What is an “alkaline detergent”?

alkaline detergent
There are three main liquid types of detergents: neutral, acidic, and alkaline. These are classified according to the pH (hydrogen ion concentration) from 0-14. Alkaline detergents are detergents with a fluidity of 8-14. The closer the pH is to 14, the more alkaline the detergent is.

The detergent products sold under the Household Products Quality Labeling Act are classified as follows.

Alkaline Over 11.0
Weak alkalinity Over 8.0~under 11.0
Neutral 6.0~8.0 or higher
Weak acidity 3.0~6.0
Acidity Less than 3.0

Let’s see what characteristics alkaline detergents have.

Stain removal mechanism

The first mechanism of stain removal is that stains can be easily removed by neutralizing them with a detergent that is the opposite of the liquid nature of the stain. In other words, alkaline detergents are used to treat acidic stains and acidic detergents are used to treat alkaline stains.

Oil stains, which are often cited as acidic stains, are the specialty of alkaline detergents. Alkaline detergents can also break down proteins. As a result, they have a strong cleaning power for protein stains such as blood, spills, scorch marks, hand stains, and sebum.

Differences from other detergents

Acidic detergents are acidic detergents with a pH of 0-6. Acidic detergents are good at cleaning alkaline stains because the detergent has the ability to better remove stains of the opposite liquid nature. Alkaline stains include water stains and soap scum. They are also effective in removing alkaline odors such as ammonia odors from toilets.

One precaution when using acidic detergents is that they should not be used with chlorine-based detergents. Be aware that mixing them can produce toxic fumes and can be life-threatening.

Neutral detergents (DAILY SOAP/laundry detergent) are detergents that exhibit a neutral pH of 6-8. Neutral detergents remove stains by a different mechanism than acidic or alkaline detergents, which are neutralized by their opposite properties because the surfactants in neutral detergents make it easier to remove stains by lifting them. Although they have low cleaning power, they are less irritating to skin and materials and less likely to be damaged.

What kind of stains can be removed? How to use alkaline detergent

How to use alkaline detergent

Alkaline detergents are slippery to the touch and are usually used to remove oil stains. Generally speaking, they are good at removing acidic stains, but in fact, there are many acidic stains in the house besides oil stains. So, under what circumstances are alkaline detergents usually used? Let’s take a look at the situations in which they can be used and how to use them.

Bathroom cleaning (mold removal).

Black mold is the most troublesome enemy in bathroom cleaning. Bathrooms are very humid, and rich in soap scum and other nutrients, and if left unchecked, black mold can grow quickly. Since this black mold is slightly acidic, alkaline detergents are effective. After sitting for a period of time, black mold has its mycelium deeply rooted in the cracks of the bathroom tiles. To prevent reoccurrence, clean the area thoroughly and deeply with a strong alkaline detergent.

Strong alkaline detergents can also cause skin irritation if they come into direct contact with the skin, so care should be taken to wear rubber gloves when handling to avoid direct contact with the skin.

Kitchen cleaning

Most kitchen detergents used for kitchen cleaning give the impression that they are neutral detergents. However, although neutral detergents are gentle on the skin, they have low cleaning power and are not suitable for stubborn grease stains. Attempting to forcefully clean stubborn stains with neutral detergents can result in scrubbing with brushes and scrubbers, which can damage the material.

Alkaline detergents work well on oil stains, which are typically acidic stains. Stubborn oil stains can be easily removed with a strong alkaline detergent. If you apply it directly to an acidic stain and leave it on for a while before scrubbing with a sponge or brush, the stain will be removed without much effort. It is recommended to use an alkaline detergent to avoid damaging the material.

This can be used not only for grease stains on exhaust fans, stoves, grills, and walls but also for burnt stains on stoves, grills, and microwaves, sticky stains on sinks, hand stains, and sebum stains. Light grease and sebum stains can usually be cleaned with a small amount of mild alkaline detergent, which makes cleaning easier.

Living Room Cleaning

Living room floors, door handles, and tables are often in direct contact with hands and feet, so they are covered in hand and sebum stains. These are acidic stains, so it is recommended that they be cleaned with an alkaline detergent. Soak a cloth or paper with a mild alkaline detergent and wipe gently. Next, wipe with water to thoroughly remove the detergent.

Clothes washing

Alkaline detergent can also be used to wash clothes and is ideal for situations where you want to remove dirt, etc. It is suitable for everyday clothing, but care should be taken when washing fashionable clothing. For stubborn stains, it is recommended that a weak alkaline liquid detergent be used directly before washing.

Light sebum stains can also be adequately removed with a weak alkaline detergent. Alkaline detergents can also be used for blood stains, as they also break down proteins. Click here for detergents specifically designed for hard-to-remove blood stains (sanitary soap/detergents specifically designed for blood and protein stains).


Points to note when using alkaline detergents

Points to note when using alkaline detergents

Alkaline detergents have strong cleaning power, but they are also highly irritating and should be handled with care. In households with children, pay attention to where the detergent is stored, such as placing it out of the reach of children to prevent them from accidentally touching it or biting it with their mouths.

Some materials should not be used

Although alkaline detergents have strong cleaning power and can be used in a variety of situations, there are some materials that should not be used.

Aluminum materials and fluorine coatings: If they adhere to aluminum materials, they will turn black, corrode and cause holes or rust.

Wooden furniture and tatami mats: Avoid using them on materials that can be soaked in water. It may cause staining and discoloration.

Cars and motorcycles: Alkaline detergents are resistant to oil stains and are often considered suitable for removing stubborn oil stains from the wheels of cars and motorcycles, but they can corrode metals. When using, make sure to rinse off the detergent thoroughly so that no detergent residue remains.

Natural Animal-Based Materials: Not for use on garments made of natural animal-based materials. Specifically, this applies to wool, cashmere, silk, angora, and mohair. These materials have the same proteins as human hair. Alkalinity is not suitable for use with these, as it dissolves the proteins.

Other materials that cannot be cleaned or wiped with water, soft material floors, and painted surfaces of the furniture are also not suitable for use. Check the precautions on the product carefully before use.

Wear rubber gloves.

Alkaline detergent works by breaking down proteins and is effective on hand stains and sebum stains. The fact that it removes hand stains and sebum stains means that even the necessary sebum may be excessively removed if it comes into direct contact with the skin. This can lead to dryness and skin irritation.

The closer the pH is to 14, the stronger the cleaning power and the greater the irritation, so wear rubber gloves to avoid direct contact with your hands during the cleaning process. If direct contact occurs, rinse immediately.

If it gets into your eyes, seek medical attention.

If alkaline detergent gets into your eyes, you may go blind. If it gets into your eyes, do not rub, and rinse immediately with running water for at least 15 minutes. Do not forcibly remove the contacts. If it is possible to remove them afterward, do so and rinse well again. Eye drops and eye washes do not adequately flush contacts, so be sure to flush with running water.

If the product warning label recommends seeking medical attention, be sure to do so even if there is no pain or discomfort in the eye. It is also recommended that you take the product that entered your eye with you when you seek medical attention.


Alkaline detergents are indispensable for removing the acidic stains that abound in the house and can help remove stubborn grease and sebum stains. Check which stains they can be used on and which materials they are not suitable for, and use them accordingly.

Strong detergents can be harsh, so be careful when handling them and be sure to read the instructions on the product. Use alkaline detergents well to improve the efficiency of your house cleaning.

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