Degreasers – Part One

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It’s all in the name, degreaser! This cleaning agent is solvent-based or at least contains some form of solvent. It’s mostly used to remove water-soluble substances like paint, oil, lubricants, corrosive products, abrasive dust, organic films of all kinds and of course, grease.

Degreasers can be used in domestic cleaning for kitchen appliances, floors, tiles and equipment in the garage. It can also be used in a variety of industries such as aircraft, automotive, nuclear power plants, pharmaceutical, paint, printing, transportation, optics, marine and semiconductors.

Many household items can be used as degreasers and most families would rather have a natural means of degreasing. White vinegar is made from acetic acid and water and is a great cleaner, cutting through grease easily and removing mildew, odors, stains, and wax buildup. It’s high acidity reduces surface bacteria, making it a safe alternative to bleach but it won’t leave surfaces 100 percent bacteria-free though.

Vodka can be used as a disinfectant to remove mold and mildew and can be used as a degreaser, stain remover, fixture polish, and fabric refresher, with no lingering sour odor. Most vodka is 80 proof, or 40 percent alcohol by volume but for the most antibacterial power, look for 100 proof vodka and let it sit for a few minutes so the alcohol can do its job. Fact, most store-bought hand sanitizers contain at least 60 percent alcohol.

When you make a mess, life gives you lemons. The citric acid in lemons works great on alkaline stains like soap scum found in bathrooms and kitchens. They can also be used to sanitize non-porous surfaces and shine oxidized metal – it can make old copper pots and pans sparkle. Lemons can also reduce bacteria on hard surfaces but are less effective than both vinegar and commercial cleaners. Lemons may be less effective than vinegar but it has a much more pleasing scent.

Hydrogen peroxide has been used as an antiseptic on cuts for years because of its abilities to kill bacteria by breaking down cell walls. It can also be used to kill mold and remove stains on white clothing or fabric. When using hydrogen peroxide, take care when cleaning colorful fibers, as it will bleach them as well as etch the surface of stone over time.

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