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Choosing the right type of cleaner for your hard surface is dependent on the type of surface you are cleaning and the type of dirt you are trying to remove.  Depending on these two factors, the cleaner you will be using will be neutral, high alkaline (basic) or acidic.  The information below describes each type of cleaner, with respect to their place on the pH scale.

pH Scale

The pH scale is used to measure the amount of hydrogen ions in a solution. A low pH score corresponds to high hydrogen ion concentration and a high pH score corresponds to a low hydrogen ion concentration. Solutions with a pH level of 7 are known as neutral. If a solution has a pH level of 0-6, it is known as acidic. If it has a pH level of 8-14, it is known as alkaline or basic. The pH level of a cleaner helps to determine its best use.

Neutral Cleaners

This category of cleaner is where you will find your basic everyday cleaner. These are best for light to moderate cleaning for any type of hard surface. One benefit of using a neutral cleaner are how safe they are to use. If you are using a neutral cleaner on any type of natural stone such as marble, granite, or terrazzo, you do not need to worry about the cleaner harming these sometimes softer surfaces. The difference between one neutral cleaner to another is the addition of some chemicals that are specific to the type of surface you are cleaning. For example:  most neutral cleaners made specifically for natural stone have traces of a sealer or polish in the cleaner. The downside to neutral cleaners is they just aren’t strong enough to remove grease residue, built-up dirt or soap scum.

Alkaline Cleaners

High alkaline cleaners are usually known as degreasers. These work well at removing grease, oil and soap scum stains. These types of cleaners are great for cleaning tile and grout floors or hard surfaces in a restroom or shower. While degreasers generally do not harm natural stone or concrete, be aware that they can affect any topical coatings that may have been applied to your surfaces if not diluted properly. These types of cleaners can also leave residue if the surface is not fully rinsed after its use.

Acidic Cleaners

We would like to stress that acidic cleaners should ONLY be used by trained professionals. If improperly used, there is a high risk that they can cause damage to the surfaces you are cleaning and all surrounding surfaces. Acidic cleaners are typically used to remove excess mortar, heavy dirt contaminants and construction debris. They are also used to clean outdoor areas made of materials like concrete or sandstone. We recommend to never use acidic cleaners on any surfaces indoors. It is important to never use acidic cleaners on any type of polished natural stone surface.

Do you need professional cleaning for residential or commercial hard surfaces in the Cleveland, Akron or Columbus areas? GK’s Custom Polishing, Inc. services almost all types of hard surfaces all across the state of Ohio. We offer free estimates so do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We are also a master distributor for DuPont Stonetech natural stone cleaners and sealer. For more information, give us a call at (440) 937-4457 or send us an email.