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Cleaning- Your Guide to Choosing the Right Detergent

When planning and managing public spaces, we understand that effective, or poor, cleaning has a major impact in three areas; first, how safe people are from slips, second, how hygienic an environment is, particularly for vulnerable people. The third area is the perception people have of the space, whether that’s a decision to avoid a restaurant where you’ve been unwell after visiting, to feel unsafe in a healthcare space, or to feel uncomfortable in a work place.

Choosing the right detergent for the contaminants you are tackling is the best way to clean effectively.

The properties within detergent lift and hold contaminants so that they aren’t redistributed during cleaning. It is important to leave detergent on the floor, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, to give it time to do this. What makes one detergent different from another is how acidic or alkaline it is. This is measured using the pH scale which runs from pH0 (most acidic) to pH14 (most alkaline).

We appreciate that if cleaning multiple areas your team may only be able to use one type of detergent. If that’s the case, a neutral detergent (pH7) is effective on everyday levels of contaminants while a combined detergent/cleaning sanitiser is good for areas where food or human waste is common, as it reduces bacteria growth.

Our top tip is to dilute according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Not enough detergent means a less effective clean. Too much detergent can leave a film on the floor that reduces slip-resistance and attracts contaminants, encouraging bacteria growth. It is also a common cause of staining/discolouration and problems associated with chemical damage such as shrinkage.

Here’s our quick guide to choosing the right detergents: 

Alkaline: a detergent measuring above pH9.5 works by dissolving fat and emulsifying soils. So an alkaline detergent such as AltroClean 44 is ideal for greasy and organic soils. The more alkaline the detergent, the more effective for removing grease but the more corrosive it becomes, which can damage paintwork so thorough rinsing is very important.

Acidic: a detergent measuring less than pH5 is acidic and a good option for inorganic soils such as lime scale.

Neutral: neutral detergents (pH7) are less aggressive and contain fewer chemicals. This makes them more user-friendly, with less environmental impact. They are effective on everyday levels of contamination across a range of surfaces, but will not cope as well with heavy soiling. They are also not as effective for greasy dirt and fats where an alkaline detergent would be more suitable.

Combined disinfectant detergent/cleaning sanitiser: when cleaning organic soil such as food or human waste, this reduces bacteria growth, which is important when maintaining hygienic standards.
Posted: 28/05/2020 6:48:15 AM by Catherine Andreopoulos | with 0 comments

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