All Beer Line Cleaners Are Not Created Equal (Part 3) - Molecular Things

As we stated in our previous blog, beer line cleaners are generally (but not always!) comprised of caustic soda, surfactants, wetting, and chelating agents. Our last blog addressed the rather complicated action of surfactants, and we spoke of a totally balanced surfactant package. Draftec®️ knows a thing or two about surfactants and that, to be the best beer line cleaner in the business, we have to recognize that surfactants are most definitely not just soap! This blog further attempts to explain how complex the chemistry actually is for Draftec®️ and why different beer line cleaners are really (and sincerely) not equal!

Surfactants and beer Line Cleaners - Chemistry Class

Surfactants can be of four different types, i.e., anionic, cationic, non-ionic and amphoteric but, is this important and what does this mean? We're glad you asked :)

Anionic surfactants are probably the most common and possess a negative charge on their hydrophilic (water-loving) end. This charge helps the surfactant to interact with the biofilm or beer stone (soil) in a beer line so that this soil can be efficiently lifted from the beer line surface. This soil-lifting occurs in "bubble-like” arrangements which have the formal name of “micelles." Anionic surfactants generally make a little foam during this action, but they are not “sticky,” as some other surfactants are.

Nonionic surfactants have no charge on their hydrophilic end which helps make them superior oily soil emulsifiers. Again, different nonionics have different foam characteristics. The nonionics with lower foam profiles can be the preferred choice for specific applications, but care must be taken concerning their “stickiness” so that they can be easily removed after they have performed their soil-lifting task.

Cationic surfactants have positively charged ends. They can be found in surface cleaners because they have antimicrobial characteristics, but care must be taken when using them with anionic surfactants because of their opposite charge.

Finally, amphoteric surfactants are probably the most complicated (and, therefore, least talked about!) as they are composed of unique molecules possessing both a positive and a negative charge on their hydrophilic end giving them a net charge of zero. While, by themselves, amphoteric surfactants are rarely used because they have little utility on their own for cleaning, they work exceptionally well enhancing the cleaning efficacy of anionic and nonionic surfactants because they work as coupling agents holding the lifted soil from the beer line together so that the soil can be can be efficiently removed by rinsing after cleaning.

So, there you have it! Very complicated and a buffet of chemistry from which to ensure balance.  Draftec®️ understands this complicated chemistry which is the reason we can confidently and proudly state Draftec®️ beer line cleaner is truly the best in the business!

Draftec®️ - Clean Once, Clean Right!

A free sample of Draftec's beer line cleaner is available for professional line cleaners and beer distributors. To request a sample, please email us at or call us at (888) 226-8228.