The Right Chemistry

Ever wonder why your kitchen floor is sticky after mopping? Or your stainless steel sinks start to rust faster?

Using the right chemicals in cleaning is not as simple as “green” or “environmentally friendly” as the criteria. There are many factors you should consider when cleaning or having someone else clean:

ph – the ph of your cleaning product has a profound effect on it’s ability to clean and what it cleans:
– A ph of 7 is considered neutral and is the safest all-purpose cleaner. All hardwood floor cleaners should be neutral along with any kind of polyurethane finished (commonly called waxed) surface.
– A ph much below 7 is considered acidic and can be very effective at removing hard water stains and even urine stains. Products such as barkeepers best friend use a safe and effective oxalic acid which removes rust, hard water stains, etc from stainless steel and other surfaces including showers and tile.
– A ph much above 7 is considered an alkaline based chemical and is better at removing acidic type stains/contamination. De-greasers and oven cleaners are good example in which they have a ph between 11-13 typically.

– Ionic properties – Not to sound like this is becoming a rocket science primer but the best chemicals are either non-ionic or, at the very least, do not have a very strong ionic residue when you use them. Many chemicals leave a positive charge behind when you use them which attracts more negatively charged dirt/contaminants.
Keep this in mind:

Commercial cleaning products that are listed as USDA A-1 certified typically never leave a positively charged film behind. In fact the A-1 certification indicates they leave next to zero residue behind
Many products, commercial or not, are ionic due to the nature of their function. De-greasers are rarely non-ionic unless you order special chemicals such as Spartan Chemicals Industrial Pathmaker.
You can reduce the amount of residue left behind by chemicals simply by making sure it’s diluted slightly less then recommended (if you have to mix it up). Another way is to rinse it with water that is either distilled or purified. Don’t use hard water to rinse – ever.