Why are most cleaners acidic, basic, or neutral?So I did a pH lab, and we recorded pH in the numerical pH section, and we had vinegar, soapy water, ammonia, and spic & spam as the cleaners, I...

Why are most cleaners acidic, basic, or neutral?

So I did a pH lab, and we recorded pH in the numerical pH section, and we had vinegar, soapy water, ammonia, and spic & spam as the cleaners, I got 2, 6, 10, & 9. On the pH scale it goes from 1-14, 1 being acidic and 14 being basic, and 7 being neutral. Now I am suppose to answer a question that asks "where the most cleaners acidic, basic, or neutral?" so I but both acidic and basic, because I got vinegar and soapy water as acidic, and ammonia and spic and spam as basic. now it asks why do you think this?....what am I suppose to write.

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giorgiana1976's profile pic

giorgiana1976 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

Using one kind  or another of cleaner depends on what it is to be cleaned. The removing of dirt from a surface could be made by mechanical or chemical actions.

You have to know that there is an entire family of cleaners, all sorts for all kind of materials which have to be refreshed, this family including: acid cleaners, abrasive cleaners (mechanic action),detergents,solvents,alkali, bleaching substances.

For example, acid cleaners, if they are mild,they are recommended to remove stains of rust,deposits of hard water,copper and brass tarnish. Also acid cleaners, but in a concentrated formula, are recommended to remove rust from iron, cleaning sinks and tubs.

Mild acid cleanser: Citric Acid (Lemon Juice), Acetic Acid (Vinegar).

Strong acid cleanser: Oxalic Acid,dilute Hydrochloric Acid, dilute Sulfuric Acid.

From Alkali Family, we could mention Sodium bicarbonate which can clean glass,porcelain enamel, stainless steel  etc., by removing and suspending the grease, followed by a rinsing action after removing.

All you have to know that all cleaners have indications of use but also cautions, because the more concentrated they are, with both stronger they clean, but  they may have undesirable effects on health if are not respected the set safety standards.

versatilekamini's profile pic

versatilekamini | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

According to varying needs, cleaners are acidic,basic or neutral.If a substance when added to water increases the concentration of hydrogen ions (lowers the pH) its called an acid. If a substance reduces the concentration of hydrogen ions (raises the pH) its called alkaline or basic.Acidic and alkaline are two extremes that describe chemicals. The pH of a cleaning product does not signify cleaning performance or strength. It simply indicates the concentration of hydrogen or hydroxide ions.


krishna-agrawala's profile pic

krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

When we consider all the chemicals in this world that are acidic, basic, or neutral, we cover all the materials that are there. Every material in the world falls in one of this three classes. Thus it dose not make sense to ask why most cleaners, or for that matter any other type of chemicals, are acidic, basic, or neutral. Any chemical has to fall in one of these three categories.

As a matter of fact most of the common cleaning materials are either basic or acidic. For example, all soaps are basic, while mild solution of hydrochloric acid is often used for cleaning stains on tiles. The reason why the cleaner are more likely to be acidic or basic rather than neutral because, acidic and basic chemicals are likely to react with more types of materials to be removed during process of cleaning. However, very strong acids or base may not be suitable for cleaning in most of the applications as these may damage the material to be cleaned. These may also pose health hazards to persons handling them.

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