Barbara Kanegsberg

April 2024

Chemical Literacy

Chemophobia pervades our society. Should you fear 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde? Not in tiny amounts, not if you enjoy cookies. A shorter name is vanillin, the primary chemical in vanilla extract. We fear chemicals because they have complicated names and often have fancy structures. Fear of an individual chemical leads to demonization of […]
February 2024

Consumer Products for Precision Cleaning – True or False

[This article appeared in Clean Source, October 2016] Never use a consumer/automotive cleaning agent for precision cleaning high-value product. True or false Quick! True or false. This is a timed test, and you will be graded. I hate true/false tests; there’s no room for nuance. In critical and precision cleaning, […]
December 2023

Traditions of the Season and Process Change

To The Cleaning Lady, nostalgia includes hand-grating potatoes for Chanukkah latkes; and bandaging the inevitable minor knuckle scrapes. Nostalgia includes one lonely Menorah with orange candles set high on a mantlepiece (the elders were afraid that the Cleaning Lady would set fire to the house). Nostalgia for The Rocket Scientist […]
May 2023


It’s an emergency! Regulators decide that the cleaning agent is unsafe for workers, neighborhoods, and/or the environment. Manufacturers are faced with the capital costs, testing, and performance verification associated with finding a substitute chemical and changing an established effective cleaning process. Within a few years, there’s another emergency. Regulators decide […]
August 2022

The Power of Hydrogen: pH and Aqueous Cleaning Agents

We all know that “oil and water don’t mix,” that like dissolves like. We’ve heard statements that solvents (organic solvents) work for non-polar soils while water works for salts. Critical product cleaning, like life, is complex; and the range of soils even for a given manufacturing situation are more varied. […]
July 2022

Supply Chains and Critical Cleaning

If you are involved in manufacturing, if you are part of a supply chain, rugged critical cleaning processes will improve your productivity and profitability. You may be an OEM, a job shop, even a repair/rework facility. You may be the ultimate customer and have little or no direct contact with […]
January 2022

How to Automate Critical Product Cleaning – Whether or not you ever automate

If you plan to automate the cleaning process, explore some factors that are key to successful automation. Your reward will be economical automation that does what you need it to do. If you never, ever expect to automate the cleaning process, you, too, will achieve more rugged, reliable manufacturing by […]
September 2021

Manual cleaning or automated cleaning – Which is better?

As the cleaning expert, I’m asking you. Which is better, manual or automated cleaning? An automated process may allow the manufacturer to demonstrate consistency or precision, but the process may not be the correct one for the application. If the manufacturer does not have a defined cleaning goal, it is […]
August 2021

How to Surf on a Tsunami – Part 1

Product manufacturing and product cleaning is like surfing on a Tsunami. It takes courage, intelligence, planning, and knowing the right time to act. How do you surf on a Tsunami? First, be aware that it exists. Next, figure out if it is heading toward your company, directly or indirectly. Many […]