Caustic Bead and Dawn Ultra

John B

New member
undefined The Ultimate Hood Cleaning Chemical and Cheap too.. A buy 100 lbs ( 4- 25lb bags) For $ 107.00
this will clean about 40 average vent hoods..
Thats about $ 2.50 per job
When you add some dawn ultra to eat it makes the caustic stick to the surface to be cleaned..

1 to 2 cups in a 2 gallon pump up sprayer .. ( put caustic in first then hot water and a squirt of dawn..

With chemical and fuel and plastic the average hood cleaning cost me about
And the I pay my helper 20% if I use one ..
The Crew Leaders on the other trucks make 30% and thier helpers make 20%.

They use my equipment but they have there own trucks..

except for one crew uses one of my ford trucks..

So I make pretty good

But for the Caustic ... it's the only thing I Clean With .. even Concrete...

Russ Johnson

Equipment Expert
My experience has been that caustic makes plenty of heat on its own without adding hot water. Caustic should be added slowly to water, not the other way around because the heat could build too quickly and blow out of the container. I put 10 lbs of caustic in 3 gallons of water, and the bucket got almost too hot to touch instantly.


Russ is correct. One can take ordinary 50 degree tap water and boil it in a matter of seconds simply by adding enough S/H flake. The chemical houses develop their highly concentrated mixes by adding flake to a certain temp level, allowing to cool, and repeating until the desired 50 percent or greater concentration. Also agree never to add water to chemical - it can easily superheat (no telltale 'bubbles') and explode in your face. In addition a plastic pump-up sprayer is a really bad idea. I know many do it, but sooner or later they pay a price - have seen that several times. Our primary sprayer is now a diaphram pump designed for this use.





At least 3 times (years ago) I saw them literally explode as a result of the addition of chem which created intolerable pressure. Once I myself was 20 feet or more from a source which 'squirted'. My googles were hanging around my neck. I looked up and actually saw the one drop approach and hit me in an eye. Even with 30 minute irrigation I was virtually blind in that eye for several hours, and spent all night in the hospital. I was told I was very lucky to regain my sight. These 'one-man' operators will point out that I violated a safety rule - until that sort of freak thing happens to them. Another time an associate had an explosion without warning and it developed blisters on his arms the size of golf balls. He was alone and over 60 miles out of town. Good thing it did not hit his face.

A pump draws from a source and is not under pressure - much, much safer. We do keep a deck sprayer on board in case of emergency, but we know how to use it. Best to leave top loose until ready in order to dissipate excess pressure; never ever add hot water (or any water) to chem; and wear full protection including chem googles and face mask if the sprayer is even in the vicinity. Better - use a diaphragm pump designed for the job.

Hope this helps.
Last edited:

John B

New member
Ok here is the trick . Buy a really heavy pump up sprayer.. We get ours from plastic dist.. in Mississippi.. I always put 1 cup of caustic in the bottom of the pump up sprayer and then add hot water .. I let it bubble around a bit then I put on the cap and pump just enough too spray.. I always wear a rain / chemical suit and eye protection when spraying. I been doing it this way for over 10 years.. The Dawn Ultra works good too.. Hey also I tried something the other night and it worked good too.
I went too clean an Italian restaurant and didn't bring enough chemical ( I ran out )
I mixed some high concentrated dishwasher powder for the commercial dishwasher ( by auto-chlor) with HOT WATER and it jammed..

I think I am immune to caustic LOL
Breath it, Snort it, or just bath yourself in it ... and it even goes good with 7- up LOL

But hey it still burns a little when I Get it on Me..


Watch out for that Aluminum ......
John B

Do you get alot of white stuff drying on the hoods when you use straight sodium hydroxide, water and dawn? We did and didn't like all the extra wiping and buffing. That's why we switched back to commercial made hood cleaner chems and sometimes use caustic builder from Env - - - spec. Higher cost true but less labor intensive.

John B

New member
When I us my little machine 2750psi @ 2.5 gpm we used to get some white stuff.. But with the whitco's the 4 gpm helps.. Alot of rinsing though.. Our average hood cleaning for a burger king with 2 guys is about 4 hours,, with one guy about 6 hours.

I have also mixed liqued auto wax and siphoned it through the pressure washer while rinsing on the really shiney stainless hoods and it works great,, No wiping..

I have also used auto-chlor heavy duty dishwasher concentrate and it works like a charm but it cost about $ 12.00 for 15 lbs. it contains potassium hydroxide..

For really bad hoods I use Red Devil Lye which is a higher concentration of caustic and it burns really good..

As to the pump up sprayer blowing up I remmeber a guy that worked for me . He had bought a cheap wal-mart pump up spayer and after mixing the caustic , he went nuts and pumped the thing up like 20 times and it blew the bottom out.. That won't happen with the ones we use,...

also try the foaming nozzle with caustic and make sure to get the viton seal kit.

David Saulque

Senior Moderator
Use citric acid in a wash down-it will neutralize the caustic. 1/8 of a cup makes 5 gal. then use a down stream inj. We use citric acid on everything.


New member
I've noticed when I start a hood cleaning job and right after the chemical has been mixed up and then applied to the hood lightly, I get a strong bowel movement and my guy's complain that I always do do that when its time to start washing.

Does this happen to any of y'all?

Caustic makes a good laxative is what I tell 'em get busy.


New member

Hey Russ I know you use Caustic soda for your concrete, what does that do to grass out on the edges, or do you only use it where you can puddle it up and reclaim it. Do you use Caustic for just any old dirty concrete or just oil and grease spots. Thanks for any help.


New member
yeah I wonder if that guy ever went back to work or took that as a sign to get a different job.

Thanks Russ for the info.