When it comes to cleaning, the image of hard work usually accompanies it – as in it’s hard work to clean your living room, clean the kitchen and clean your entire house. Abrasive cleaners bring their own ‘hard work’ to the cleaning game, with built-in elbow grease, if you will.
Abrasive cleaners are designed to remove relatively heavy amounts of soil often found in small areas. They come in powder and liquid form and they help cut down on the hard scrubbing required to remove soil. Dry abrasives, or powdered cleansers, contain materials that wear the dirt off and is a staple among household cleaners. The cleaning and polishing action of powdered cleansers is made possible by the fine particles of common minerals. Calcite, feldspar, quartz, silica, pumice, and marble are just some of the minerals used in dry abrasives today. They also contain small amounts of surfactants for removing oils such as the greasy film found in sinks after dish washing. When removing food, beverage or mold stains, a bleaching agent is usually present. If removing rust stains, oxalic acid or sodium hydrosulphite would be found in the cleanser. Sandpaper, steel wool, scouring pads, plastic and nylon meshes are also considered dry abrasives but are obviously not powdered cleansers, more along the lines of abrasive cleaning tools.
You can’t have the dry without the wet abrasives or liquid cleansers. They have solid abrasive particles, just like dry abrasives but they are contained in a thick liquid matrix. This makes for easier an application and you have more control with this type of abrasive, being able to pinpoint where you use the cleanser. They have more surfactants and softer abrasives than powdered cleansers, giving you a gentler abrasive action. You would use liquid cleansers instead of powdered cleansers when the item or items to be cleaned are primarily made of softer or sensitive materials.