Choosing the right product for your cleaning needs is very important. The pH (potential of hydrogen) level of the product is often the deciding factor when it comes to choosing a cleaner to suit an application. Much like a degree is used to measure temperature, pH is used to measure acidity or alkalinity on a scale of 1 (acid) to 14 (alkaline) with 7 being neutral. See below scale.
Acidic cleaners suit a wide range of tasks and can be used with different methods to great effect. They are efficient at removing
- Hard water stains
- Food stains
- Inorganic salts
- Tarnished surfaces
- Can be utilized to clean masonry
- They also act to neutralize alkali, so are useful against alkaline corrosion and discoloration on metal.
Strong acids require great caution to use safely due to risk of burns to skin and eyes, and inhaling fumes. Personal protective equipment needs to be used, including gloves, masks, eye protection, clothing gowns and shoe protectors.
In contrast, alkaline cleaners are better suited to cleaning oils, fats, proteins, and grease. While pH neutral cleaners are adept at cleaning painted surfaces, linoleum, polished floors, and PVC.
SDS (safety data sheets) legally need to be available wherever chemicals are stored or used. This is to guide operators on safe usage, and possible treatment of anyone exposed to them. Refer to our web main menu tab SDS/MSDS to select the supplier name and then their product.
What is an Acid Cleaner?
Acid-based cleaners are used to remove inorganic deposits such as scaling. In concentrated form in drains they can dissolve hairs, toilet paper, grease. Some chemicals used to clean carpets, vinyl, tiles, are acidic ranging from 3-6PH. They require neutralising after use to avoid surface damage.
Traditional acids are Hydrofluoric, Hydrochloric, Sulphuric, Phosphoric, Nitric, Citric, Sulphamic, Oxalic or Glycolic.
Hydrochloric acid is commonly used for builders cleans on concrete, bricks, tiles. Acid is capable of damaging grout and concrete, even etching concrete and metals in strong form.
Sulfuric Acid or Sulphuric acid is used in acidic drain cleaners to unclog blocked pipes.They can be used to unblock toilet pipes. In both cases special care is needed to manage the build up of fumes that are capable of generating gases that if not released could cause pipes to explode.
Phosphoric Acid is suitable to remove rust and act as an oxidising agent. Some cleaning chemicals include a low % Phosporic acid for effective outcomes and lower risk than pure acids. An example is Diversey's Go Getter toilet cleaner