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PH Balance What does it mean & how does it affect the cleaning of your stone surfaces?

This is a great article I found on http://www.aboutcleaningproducts.com It explains the differences in PH and finding a PH Balance.  A ‘7’ on the PH scale indicates neutrality. This is what you want for general purpose stone cleaning.

Acids and Bases – What is pH?
If you watch TV, you’ve probably seen commercials for products claiming to be “pH balanced.”  But what is pH, anyway?  And how does pH affect cleaning?

The basics of pH
pH is a measure of how acidic or basic a solution is.  Water based solutions range from a pH of zero to a pH of 14.  The mid point of the pH scale, 7.0, is considered neutral.  Pure water is neutral.

Low pH = Acidic
If a solution has a pH that is lower than 7, that solution is considered acidic.  Acids are usually sour or bitter – coffee, cola, and lemon juice all have an acidic pH.  When used in cleaning products, acids help to break down difficult stains like rust or mineral deposits.

Some common cleaning products that have an ACIDIC PH are:

  • Hard water/mineral deposit removers like CLR
  • Toilet bowl cleaners
  • Rust stain removers
  • Tub and tile cleaners
  • Mold removers

Acidic cleaners attack and dissolve these types of stains, breaking them down and making them easier to remove. These are NOT good to use on your travertine or marble tile! When diluted in a large amount of water and spread all over the floor, counter or shower, they will merely dull the surface of your stone. However, if spilled in a concentrated amount they will damage the stone leaving behind a dull, rough spot known as an etch mark. These etch marks can only be removed through grinding the stone down and polishing it back up.

High pH = Basic (alkaline)

A solution with a pH that is higher than 7 is basic (sometimes referred to as alkaline).  Products with basic pH values are useful for removing fatty and oily soils from surfaces – including your hands!  Your average bottle of hand soap has a pH of 9 or 10.  Bleach, which is useful for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces in your home, has a pH of 12.5.

Some common cleaning products that have a basic pH include:

  • Oven cleaner
  • All purpose cleaners
  • Laundry detergents
  • Dawn Dish Soap   9
  • Windex   1o
  • Amonia 11
  • Bleach 13
  • Drain Cleaner 14

Alkalinity attacks fatty and oily soils breaking them into component parts that are easier to remove from the surface or fabric.

Striking a balance

Most products are pH balanced – this simply means that the pH of a solution has been raised or lowered in order to get the job done.  For example, a product designed to remove rust stains would have a pH that’s low enough to dissolve tough rust stains, but high enough to leave your bathtub’s enamel surfaces unharmed.

These products all have a neutral PH Balance of 7 and can be used safely and effectively on your stone surface.

From all-purpose cleaners and glass cleaners to tub and tile sprays, cleaning products are formulated to have the most effective pH for the job.