pH is a measure of hydrogen ion concentration; a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution.
Power of Hydrogen (pH)
In real life it is important to know that it is specify the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution. Most cleaning companies and consumers don’t understand the importance and wind up using the wrong chemicals resulting in harder work to clean something that should be easy.
In summary the pH of water is “7.” Which is considered neutral and is the most common pH for hardwood safe chemicals (or any kind of cleaning products used on finished floors).
Here is – very briefly – the list of how pH applies to everyday cleaning. Keep in mind if a contaminant is “acidic” then an alkaline cleaning product should be used. Acidic = below 7 pH – Alkaline = above 7 pH:
Food and/or grease (acidic) – Use a degreaser and if available high heat steam or water
Rust (alkaline) – Use a mild acid such as a phosphoric or oxalic acid based product
mildew/calcium/hard water (alkaline) – Use a mild acid such as a phosphoric or oxalic acid based product
Super hard water / urine in toilet – Use a strong acid carefully such as a HCL found in toilet bowel cleaner
Coffee stains (alkaline) – Use a mild acid such as a phosphoric or oxalic acid
One final tip – bleach is dead. Don’t use it. If you have to disinfect something use a QUAT based cleaner as hospitals use now.