If you’re trying to decide what product to use to clean something up, learn this rule. Use a cleaning product that has a pH that is opposite to the pH of the soil you want to clean up.
The pH scale is a numeric scale that indicates the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. The scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most alkaline. The midpoint on the scale is 7.
All cleaning solutions have a pH. As you go higher or lower on the pH scale, the cleaning solution becomes dangerous. Highly acidic or alkaline cleaners are dangerous and will damage the surfaces that they touch. Because of this fact, you should first try a neutral cleaner when you’re attempting to clean something up. Neutral cleaners are safe and will not damage the surface. Cleaning products with a pH between 6 and 9 are considered neutral cleaners. If the neutral cleaner doesn’t work, you should look for a cleaner with a pH that is opposite to the pH of the soil you’re trying to clean up.
Alkaline cleaners are used to clean the following substances that are commonly acidic:
- Organic substances
Acid cleaners are used to clean the following substances that are commonly alkaline:
- Lime deposits
- Excess concrete
- Nonorganic substances
Remember: Be Careful When Using Highly Acidic or Alkaline Cleaners! Follow the relevant safety instructions!