This is again related to the crime story I'm working on.

I would like to know how much biological detergent (in kilograms) and water (in liters) and how long it would take to dissolve $60 \,\rm{Kg}$ of organic material at $50^\circ$ Celsius with standard store-bought bio-detergent. Just an estimate of the time required.

Bonus questions:

  1. Would it dissolve hair?

  2. Do I need a special container as to not commit the same mistake Jesse had in Breaking Bad?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/4877/… $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Commented Mar 2, 2015 at 12:34
  • $\begingroup$ In Breaking Bad there was hydrofluoric acid and even there they would need more of it than what was shown, and you want to dissolve body with stuff for washing dishes? $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Commented Mar 2, 2015 at 12:41
  • $\begingroup$ chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/3949/… gives additional directions, but no calculation of times. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 2, 2015 at 12:51
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithoron Detergents for dishwashing machines (household and lab) contain significant amounts of sodium hydroxide and therefore might help in the cleanup after the chopping. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 2, 2015 at 12:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Klaus Warzecha But those "biological" use rather enzymes it seems. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Commented Mar 2, 2015 at 13:19

1 Answer 1


In the household, hair and fat residues in the pipes are typically dissolved using strongly alkaine drain cleaners.

In addition to the hints and directions given in the commentaries, namely this and that you might want to consider, at least in part and for the dramatic effect, a biological solution:

In the preparation of skeletons for museum displays, adult insects and larvae of the bacon beetle (Dermestes lardarius) are frequently used. After gutting the carcass (I'll leave the gory details to the novellist), plan a couple of weeks for them.


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