ph Scale and Cleaning Agents

Hi all and welcome back to my blog! This week I’m going to be telling you all about the pH scale of the different types of cleaning agents you can use and their properties.

First let’s have a look at the pH scale:

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The pH scale measures varying degrees of acidity or alkalinity of any cleaning agent or solution, in simple, numeric terms, with 0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most alkaline.

Acidic Products

Due to their harsh nature these are rarely used in the cleaning industry, but are certainly the go to product when you need to remove limescale from a hard surface. Acidic products can also dissolve salts that aren’t soluble in water.

Alkaline Products

If you are looking to remove greasy, fatty deposits from hard surfaces an alkaline product should be used. These kinds of products will have a typical pH value of between 11 and 12.5.

Emulsion floor polish strippers are much stronger and will have a value of around 13 while the extremely corrosive Caustic Soda will have a pH value of 14.

Neutral Products

General cleaning products such as washing up liquid and carpet cleaning solutions will be neutral with a pH value of between 6 and 9.

Throwback

Take yourself back to those science lessons in school and you’ll remember the litmus test. Using Universal Indicator Paper you can dip it into any solution to test the pH value.

The paper will change colour depending on the value. You can see what each colour represents in my chart above.

Cleaning Agents

The list is endless when it comes to cleaning agents that are available on the market. Our Jangro catalogue alone contains hundreds of different products that can be applied to various cleaning tasks. For a Jangro catalogue contact your local distributor or view an online version here 

Most cleaning products fall into one of the below categories that you might already be familiar with:

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How do they work?

To understand how cleaning agents work, we must first grasp the basic principles of soil removal. Water is generally a poor cleaning agent, however, when combined as part of a solution, will tackle most situations.

In order for soil to be removed properly a cleaning agent or solution must have the following properties:

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Detergents

This can describe any cleaning agent. However as there are so many, we tend to call agents with large amounts of chemicals ’Surfactants’.

Be effective

An effective detergent will have the following properties:

-Ability to reduce surface tension

-Ability to emulsify soil and lift it

-Ability to suspend soil in a solution

-To be soluble and remain effective in cold water

-To be soluble and remain effective in hard water

-To be harmless to the user when used correctly

-To not cause damage to the surface being cleaned

-To be easily rinsed from a surface and leave no streaks or deposits

-To be economical

You should have a clearer understanding of the different kinds of cleaning agents available. I will go into more detail into ‘Surfactants’ in a later blog but for now, if you have any questions about any of the above subjects please do give me a shout on my social media pages.

You can also contact Jangro by calling 01204 795955 or emailing enquiries@jangrohq.net.

http://www.facebook.com/JangroLtd

www.twitter.com/JangroLtd

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Infection Control – keeping those bugs at bay

Welcome back to my blog! This week I am looking at infection control and how we can stop the spread of bacteria. The key to controlling infections is to firstly understand how people catch them.

So let’s take a look at the chain of infection:SM17-image-1

These are the areas that you need to pay close attention to when combatting infection and the links between them need to be broken down to stop bacteria from spreading.

Note: It’s important to note that not all bacteria are harmful and capable of causing infections. The ones that do are called pathogens and they require the right conditions in which to multiply.

Now let’s take a look over the chain of infection in more detail.

  1. Sources of bacteria

Understanding where bacteria is produced can help you combat it. Here are some of the places bacteria can be found:

  • Living organisms – e. organs and tissues.
  • Surface of living organisms – i.e. hair, skin etc.
  • Environment – in the atmosphere and on surfaces.
  1. Routes of Transmission

There are a number of ways that infection can be transmitted:

  • Contact

– Direct contact with bodily fluids.

– Indirect contact including touching other people’s unprotected hands, contact with animals such as domestic pets, drinking contaminated water and touching contaminated surfaces including furniture, fixtures and fittings.

  • Airborne – Bacteria can be propelled through the air in respiratory droplets that people sneeze, cough or exhale.
  • Insects – bugs including flies, ticks, lice and cockroaches usually transmit bacteria by biting.
  1. Susceptible host

Some people are more susceptible than others to getting infections. People who are susceptible are usually those at either end of the age spectrum so young children and the elderly have an increased risk of contracting infections. Also those people who are already suffering from a disease or infection, are pregnant or are recovering from injury or illness are more easily infected. So remember, take extra care when cleaning around these people.

  1. Point of entry

The body needs to come into contact with bacteria in order to be infected by it. This can happen in a variety of ways including inhalation, ingestion and contact with broken and unbroken skin.

Conditions for micro-organism growth

There are four key factors in the growth of bacteria; temperature, moisture, time and food.

  1. Temperature – like most living organisms, bacteria thrives in temperatures that are not too warm and not too cold. This is why some of the ways to combat bacteria is to kill them with extreme temperature variations such as boiling or freezing. Take a look at the table below to see what temperatures bacteria loves:SM17-image-13
  2. Moisture – living bacteria requires water to thrive. Bacteria love highly humid environments.
  3. Time – The longer bacteria is left the more it will multiply, so it’s important to prevent its growth and catch it early!
  4. Food – Certain foods are more susceptible to infection such as soups, gravies, meats, eggs and dairy. Reheating food increases the likelihood of contamination. Be careful to check labels on food and store it in the required conditions. Some foods that are high in salt and sugar are less likely to become contaminated, but close care should always be taken when handling food.

Infection Prevention

Hand Washing

Now you know the methods through which bacteria can be transmitted, let’s take a look at some methods to stop infection spreading. First and foremost it’s vital to properly wash your hands! Take a look at the diagrams below for the correct method of hand washing:

SM17-image-12Remember to always wash your hands after:

  • contact with bodily fluids
  • using or cleaning the toilet
  • handling and cleaning up after animals
  • sneezing and coughing
  • your hands feel or look dirty

And ALWAYS before eating or handling food!

You can download your FREE guide to the correct hand washing technique, which can be sent to all employees, here:

What hand cleanser should I use?

Soap bars should be avoided when washing your hands. If using one is unavoidable you should clean and dry it regularly. Soap dishes that retain fluids should not be used as they are breading grounds for all kinds of bacteria.

Make sure you also keep to the following points when washing your hands:

  1. Remove jewellery from hands and wrists.
  2. Ensure cuts and abrasions are covered using clean waterproof plasters.
  3. Wet hands before applying cleanser.
  4. Apply enough cleanser to ensure it produces a thick lather.
  5. Ensure lather covers all areas of hands and wrists including between fingers and under finger nails.
  6. Rinse off all traces of lather under running water or a basin of fresh clean warm water.
  7. Dry hands thoroughly using clean dry paper towels. This will prevent dry chapped skin which can harbour bacteria, as can damp hands.
  8. Avoid touching the bin when disposing of paper towels.

Disinfection and disinfectants

Most germs, bacteria and viruses are invisible to the naked eye, so it is difficult to know what areas are infected and which aren’t.

It’s therefore paramount that an effective cleaning regime is implemented and correct cleaning products are used to ensure there is no damage caused to surfaces and materials.

The three most common types of chemical disinfectants are:SM17-image-14

We have also produced a handy Process for Infection Control wall chart, which you can download FREE here.

You too should now be a genius on everything there is to know on keeping those bugs at bay.

If you have any questions you can visit me on my social media pages, or contact Jangro on by calling 01204 795 955 or emailing enquiries@jangrohq.net. You can also sign up to our newsletter here.

www.facebook.com/JangroLtd

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www.jangro.net 

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