Benefits & limits of acid-based cleaners – a little bit of chemistry

We often get questions like the above and there’s not one real simple answer; but there is some basic chemistry that applies to cleaning the different type of stains you might encounter.

A similar question that’s sometimes asked is “Which cleans better, acid or base (alkaline)?” It very much depends on what caused the stain, so read on to find out.

Acids are chemicals with a pH lower than 7 or neutral and are best for removing hard soils such as water scale, rust, cement or grout residue.

Some surfaces are acid sensitive, such as natural stone and some metals so you need to know that the product you are using is suitable for the surface you wish to clean or at least conduct some inconspicuous testing.

Alkali chemicals, on the other hand, have a pH of higher than 7 and are normally required for soft soils such as oils, grease (including burn-on or carbonised grease)

Outside of these, we have solvent or oil-based products that do not dilute with water and would normally be used to remove things like paint, graffiti and adhesive.

Whilst simple in principle all this may seem confusing especially if you’ve tried lots of different cleaning products without success and seem to be merely wasting time without results. It’s at this point we can help.

Chatting with a friend recently, she said she was having to throw an item of clothing away because even her “strongest stain remover hadn’t touched the rust mark!”  So we went to the other end of the pH scale and found the stain washed away perfectly with an acid-based cleaner.

Cleancare Ireland will be more than happy to offer a cleaning consultancy service anywhere in Ireland to help you find the right cleaning chemicals that will do the job quickest with the least effort, call us today to arrange.

Popular Acid-based cleaners include:

Sutter Decalc Safe Acid Descaler


Clover Acid Wash 80

Hard Surface Cleaners

Acid Drain Opener | Drain Unblocker

drain unblocker

Prochem Stoneclean

Clover Alloy Wheel Cleaner For Cars

Prochem Browning Prescription