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:
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.
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.
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.
General cleaning products such as washing up liquid and carpet cleaning solutions will be neutral with a pH value of between 6 and 9.
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.
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:
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:
This can describe any cleaning agent. However as there are so many, we tend to call agents with large amounts of chemicals ’Surfactants’.
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 email@example.com.