The In’s and Out’s of Cleaners

Now more than ever, cleaning your home is more about protecting you and your loved ones rather than just a chore we dislike on our days off. Hopefully in this day and age, we all can focus on cleaning with purpose, not just duty – so let’s get down to the nitty gritty and make sure we’re doing it right!

There are four main types of cleaners, or cleaning agents, that are used for different cleaning methods and different types of soiling found on the item or location to be cleaned. Detergents, degreasers, abrasives and acids are all used in commercial or resident cleaning.

The most common type of cleaning agent are detergents, which are used in home kitchens or commercial ones – they break up dirt or soil, making it easy to wash it away. When it comes to commercial kitchens, detergents are usually synthetic made from petroleum products and may be in the form of powder, liquid, gel or crystals.

Degreasers, or solvent cleaners, and are used to remove grease from surfaces such as oven tops, counters and grill back splashes, when ordinary detergents won’t do.

The main degreasers were methylated spirits or white spirits but times have changed. Methylated spirits or denatured alcohol, is made from grains, fruits and vegetables. It also contains methanol, usually from wood stock, and is highly toxic so don’t get any funny ideas, this is not a consumable alcohol. Most businesses now try to use non-toxic, non-fuming degreasers in their day to day operations, to prevent chemical contamination.

Abrasives are substances or chemicals that depend on action, rubbing or scrubbing, to clean dirt from hard surfaces. In commercial kitchens, abrasives are usually used to clean floors, pots and pans. You have to be careful when using abrasives, as they may scratch certain types of materials used for kitchen tools and equipment such as plastic or stainless steel.

The most powerful type of cleaning agent are acid cleaners and as the name would suggest, should be used with the utmost care. They are not usually at their full strength and if not diluted correctly, acid cleaners can be very poisonous and corrosive. They are generally used to remove mineral deposits and are useful for descaling dishwashers in commercial kitchens or removing rust from metal surfaces like public restrooms, workshops or garages.

Now you know a little more about the cleaners that are out there, what they do and when to use them – remember, a clean place is a safe space and a clean house is a safe home.

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