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 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.
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 and can be utilized to clean masonry, concrete and metal. They also act to neutralize alkali, so are useful against alkaline corrosion and discoloration on metal.
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.
Acid based cleaners are used to remove inorganic deposits such as scaling, hydrochloric acid is commonly used for concrete cleaning and sulphuric acid is used in acidic drain cleaners to unclog block pipes. Phoshoric Acid is suitable to remove rust and act as an oxidising agent.