One of the biggest things that has changed amid the pandemic is how much we think about how things are cleaned and possible contamination from surfaces or people. Whereas the average person would likely wash their produce with edible skins when they got it home from the store, now people are wiping down carts and boxes and even washing produce items that get peeled. People are also much more aware of cleaning agents. Read on for four different kinds of cleaning agents and their typical uses.
Degreaser is a category of cleaning agent that encompasses solvent cleaners. These are used to break up grease and make it easier to remove. Most degreasers are used in kitchens, but you may also use them to clean specialty businesses, such as around grills or auto shops. In cooking areas, most businesses make a point to use non-toxic degreasers to prevent chemical contamination.
Detergent is the category of cleaner that includes most of your soaps that you’d find in your home or business: hand soaps, laundry soap, dish soap, and so on. A detergent works by breaking up dirt or soil on the surface and making it easier to rinse away. While detergents are very often liquid cleaners, they can also be gels, powders, or crystals. Most of the cleaning that your home or office will need will be done with detergents, and generally, they are reasonably safe for anyone to handle.
An abrasive is a category of cleaning agent that relies on scrubbing action to remove dirt or grime. Abrasives are used in many businesses, from commercial kitchens to appliance repair, and they can be chemical agents or simple manual scrubbing agents (like coarse grains of salt, sugar, or sand). The drawback of abrasives is that you cannot use them on all surfaces. They only work on hard surfaces, and some materials (like stainless steel or plastic, for instance) can be permanently damaged by scratching it with abrasives.
Acid cleaners are very powerful, and they can be very dangerous. Only experienced professionals should be handling acid cleaners. If acid cleaners are not diluted correctly, some of them can be corrosive and even poisonous. Acids are usually used for descaling and removing rust or mineral deposits. Restrooms and some kitchen appliances require the use of acid cleaning agents – descaling your coffee maker with vinegar is a very tame example of this type of cleaning action.
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