How To Make a Powerful Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Degreaser

How To Make a Powerful Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Degreaser

In the world of professional kitchen exhaust cleaning, powerful degreasers like WOW Sizzle and Zep Super Doug stand out due to their potent formulas capable of tackling heavy grease and carbon build-up. Creating a version of these degreasers requires understanding of key ingredients and their interactions. Here’s a detailed guide for professional kitchen exhaust cleaners on how to formulate a similar degreaser, this is a formula for a 5 gallon mix.

Ingredients and Formulation

Base Components:

  1. Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH)

    • Source: Brenntag Univar or any local chemical company. To find a local chemical supplier use
    • Concentration: 35-40% for WOW Sizzle, 30 - 50% for Zep Super Doug
    • Purpose: Acts as the primary caustic agent to turn grease into soap, making it water-soluble and easier to rinse off.
    • Amount: For a 5 gallon mix, use approximately 2-3 pounds (a pound is roughly one 8oz cup).
  2. Potassium Hydroxide (KOH)

    • Source: Brenntag, Univar or local chemical supplier
    • Concentration: 1-10% for both formulas.
    • Purpose: Works in conjunction with sodium hydroxide to broaden the effectiveness against various types of grease.
    • Amount: For 5 gallons, around 0.5-1 cup(a pound is roughly one 8oz cup).

Surfactants and Solvents:

  1. Decyl Glucoside(AKA Brubbles)

    • Source: You can buy this in gallons here Brubbles Foaming Agent 
    • Concentration: 1-10% for WOW Sizzle,  1 - 5% for Zep Super Doug.
    • Purpose: Foaming agent that helps make your caustic chemicals mix with the grease. Works best with a foamer but will make any chemical mix really pop.
    • Amount: Approximately 2-5 ozs.
  2. Octan-1-ol (You can substitute Butyl Cellusolve for this)

    • Concentration: 0.1-1% (only for Zep Super Doug).
    • Purpose: Solvent that helps dissolve fatty acids and greasy residues.
    • Amount: Around 1-2 ozs.

Chelating Agent (Speculation for WOW Sizzle):

  1. Possible Chelating Agents
    • Candidates: EDTA, NTA, or Citric Acid.
    • Purpose: Binds with metal ions in hard water to enhance the cleaning power of detergents.
    • Amount: For speculation, using 1-5% of EDTA might be effective, which would be about 1-2 ozs.


Steps to Mix:

  1. Prepare the Solution Base:

    • Diluting Sodium Hydroxide and Potassium Hydroxide:

      • Always add the base to water, never water to the base. Adding water to these compounds can cause the solution to react violently, potentially resulting in a splash or explosion.
      • Slowly add small amounts of sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide pellets to cold water while stirring continuously. The solution will heat up, so allow it to cool before proceeding to the next step.
  2. Add Surfactants:
  • Slowly integrate Brubbles into the base mixture to ensure proper emulsification.
  1. Incorporate Chelating Agents:
    • Mix in the speculated chelating agent (e.g., EDTA) to bind with minerals present in the water, enhancing the degreasing power.
  2. Final Adjustments:

    • If preparing Zep Super Doug, add octan-1-ol as a solvent to assist in breaking down tough grease spots.

Safety Precautions

  • Handling Caustic Substances: Ensure proper PPE (gloves, goggles, apron) is worn.
  • Ventilation: Perform mixing in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling vapors.
  • Temperature Control: Monitor the temperature during the initial mixing of hydroxides to prevent overheating.

Creating a version of commercial degreasers like WOW Sizzle and Zep Super Doug is a challenging but achievable task for a professional hood cleaner. By understanding the role of each component and carefully mixing them in the correct order and proportion, one can formulate a high-efficiency degreaser capable of rivaling industrial degreasers.

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