If you’re seeking information about what pH means to cleaning agents, you’re at the right place. We will also be looking at some pH neutral cleaners.
The potential of hydrogen also known as pH plays an important role in determining what cleaners to buy or not to buy. A lot is to be said about pH as you’ll soon find out.
What pH is to Cleaners?
pH plays an important role in determining acidic or alkaline measurement in a chemical or cleaner. With pH, you’re able to get the exact measurement.
Having determined what it is, it’s important to also state that certain cleaners are either mildly acidic or mildly alkaline.
How does this matter? Very much!
Cleaners come in different forms.
As a matter of fact, an acid solution can be termed a cleaner when used to remove metal rust. Detergents, though not acidic have a varying pH range within which they’re most effective.
At specific pH values, a detergent tends to be most active than at others.
Cleaners having a strong concentration of the acid will ruin or damage fibers. This is seen in the removal of dyes.
Neutral pH cleaners fall within the 5.5 to 8.5 range. As the pH value descends, it becomes more acidic. At 1, the acidity is strongest and will destroy or corrode just about anything it comes in contact with.
Alkaline Cleaning Products
A lot of cleaning chemicals are alkaline.
As the pH level of cleaner increases, it becomes more alkaline. This increased alkaline concentration makes a cleaner more corrosive. As such, pH-sensitive materials such as dyes, some fibers will be destroyed.
At the scale of 13, and alkaline is strongest and will corrode a wide range of items.
The Case for pH Neutral Cleaners
We’ve seen that cleaning products having pH values that move away from the neutral range of 5.5 to 8.5 are considered mildly to strongly acidic or alkaline. These aren’t the best type of cleaners to use.
Rather, it serves best to use those with neutral pH values.
Thankfully, there are lots of pH neutral cleaners you can use. This isn’t to say that acidic or alkaline cleaners aren’t good. Such types of cleaners are designed for certain soil types.
However, most basic cleaning will best be done with pH neutral cleaners.
Acidic and Alkaline Cleaners
To help you better appreciate pH neutral cleaners, it’s necessary to provide more background on what pH means to certain cleaners and what these are best used for. Also, we’ll consider the dangers posed (if any).
Irrespective of a cleaner’s pH value (that is, whether acidic, alkaline, or neutral), it serves a purpose.
Cleaners are designed to have a certain degree of acidity or alkalinity as well as being completely neutral.
Cleaners with Lower pH Values
These are known to be slightly acidic to very acidic. Such acidic cleaners are used to perform a wide range of cleaning tasks.
These include the removal of hard water stains, inorganic salts, food stains, clean metals, masonry, and concrete. Also, tarnished surfaces are best cleaned with acidic cleaners.
In the event of alkaline discoloration and corrosion on metal, acidic cleaners come handy. These acidic cleaners get rid of such discolorations.
Cleaners with Higher pH Value
These are also known as alkaline cleaners.
They range from slightly alkaline to strong alkaline. Like acidic cleaners, these serve their purpose. They’re used in getting rid of a wide range of soils such as grease, oils, proteins, and fats.
Dangers Posed by Both
All cleaning solutions with significantly low and high pH values pose a significant danger. These are considered very strong and can result in severe skin burns.
It doesn’t matter whether they’re inhaled or ingested. These pose significant risks when used.
pH Neutral Cleaners
This is our main focus. We’ve taken the time to explain alkaline and acidic cleaners to help you better understand how pH neutral cleaners function. It is clear from our discussions so far that pH neutral cleaners are the safer alternative to acidic and alkaline cleaners.
However, this comes at a cost. pH neutral cleaners aren’t as effective as acidic and alkaline cleaners.
If you were to make a choice, the guess is you’d prefer having the safety of pH neutral cleaners along with high cleaning efficiency. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case in reality.
Are There Other Benefits Of pH Neutral Cleaners?
Certainly, there are!
Persons with sensitive skin have zero worries when using pH neutral cleaners. Plus, the environment is impacted positively as no harmful chemicals or by-products are resulting from its use.
Why You Should Consider pH Neutral Cleaners
pH neutral cleaners will easily be rinsed off, leaving behind little to no residue compared with the others (acidic and alkaline cleaners). What this means is that as you clean frequently, there’s hardly a buildup of dirt on surfaces no matter how long such action is repeated.
As expected, pH neutral cleaners are gentle on fabrics and all other materials. This advantage is very important as you won’t have to worry about discoloration or corrosion as is common with acidic and alkaline cleaners.
Best Ways To Clean Using Neutral pH Cleaning Products
Daily or frequent maintenance cleaning tasks are best done with pH neutral cleaners. These include mopping of floors, cleaning of all surfaces such as countertops including tiles and grout.
As a matter of fact, practically all floor types apart from coverings such as carpets should be cleaned with pH neutral cleaners.
The Only Problem…
Neutral pH cleaners aren’t all rosy. These are considered mild cleaners as explained earlier. As such, they hardly get tough dirt and stains out. Mild cleaners such as these are only good for basic and everyday cleaning.
Deep cleaning will require seeking stronger alternatives such as those presented by caustic and acidic cleaners. So, there’s only so much you can do with pH neutral cleaners. Once in a while, you’ll need to carry out more thorough cleaning. pH neutral cleaners won’t give you the results you seek.
So far, our discussion has focused on better explaining what pH neutral cleaners are. In doing this, we touched on several areas including discussing acidic and alkaline cleaners.
If you’ve always wanted to use pH neutral cleaners, now you know the benefits and disadvantages of it.
Related Cleaning Guides:
- Glass Cleaners: Ingredients, Types, And Homemade Recipes
- Abrasive And Non Abrasive Cleaners: 3 Product Options
- How To Set Up A Cleaning Van Professionally
- Commercial Cleaning Supplies List and Products