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Understanding the Relevance of the pH Scale


Posted on January 13, 2012
By Gary Fage

Understanding the relevance of the pH scale when carrying out cleaning tasks is vital to anyone that is serious about commercial cleaning

In general terms acidic products (less than pH 7) have descaling properties. Alkaline products (greater than pH 7) have degreasing properties.

The pH Scale is a means of measuring the degree of acidity or alkalinity of a cleaning agent or solution, simple, easy-to-understand, numeric terms. The scale itself has a range of 0-14,with 0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most alkaline. The mid-point on the scale is 7 and is classed as neutral and this corresponds with the pH measurement for distilled water.

Acidic Products

When a pH value of a product or solution decreases below 7, its acidity will start to increase. Most acid based cleaning materials will have a typical pH value of between 0.5 and 5 on the scale. Concentrated pure acids will have a pH value of approximately 0.1, though these would never be used as cleaning as cleaning agents.

Acidic products are most commonly used to remove limescale deposits from hard surfaces as they will dissolve salts that are not soluble in water.

Alkaline Products

As you can see from the chart, if the pH value rises above 7, the product or solution will become more alkaline. Alkaline products are particularly effective in removing greasy and fatty deposits from hard surfaces. They will typically have a pH value of between 11 and 12.5. Stronger alkaline products such as emulsion floor polish strippers will have a value of around 13. Caustic soda, which is extremely corrosive, will have a pH value of 14.

Neutral Products

As we have pointed out earlier, the pH of distilled water is 7 which is taken as being the purest neutral solution. However, in reality, any product or solution with a pH value of between 6 and 9 is generally considered to be neutral. Neutral products are commonly used for general cleaning procedures and include washing-up liquid and carpet cleaning solution.

How is the pH Value Tested?

The approximate pH value of any liquid product or solution can be tested using Universal Indicator Paper, a type of litmus paper you may remember from science lessons in your schooldays. After being dipped into a solution the colour of the paper will change.

The colour of the paper can then be compared with a colour chart, the colour corresponding to the relevant value on the scale. The colours are illustrated in the chart at the head of this section.

About Gary Fage
Gary Fage has been Managing Director of Janitorial Express, since 1991, he is a Director of the Jangro Group and Council Member of the CHSA. www.janitorialexpress.co.uk

Easy and Creative Ways to Give Thanks at Thanksgiving

            This Thanksgiving, enjoy these simple crafts and ideas for encouraging friends and family to give thanks. Some ideas help keep kids occupied while the adults are busy. These tips are an excerpt from Better Homes & Gardens @ www.bhg.com

              Notes of Appreciation: For those who can’t be at your Thanksgiving table, set pen to paper to tell them they’ve made a difference in your life this year. Print these Thanksgiving designs to make lovely foldable cards for your thank-you notes.

              Card Game: To facilitate the thankful spirit, create gratitude cards using paper and supplies. Cut out cards from scrapbooking papers using decorative-edge and embellish with stamps, stickers, etc. Give the cards to guests before dinner and ask them to write what they are thankful for. As the meal begins to wind down, ask people to share their thoughts.

              Garden Variety: Start a Thanksgiving-tree tradition with your family and friends. Assemble the tree before the big day, along with blank paper.  As your guests gather, ask them to write a message of gratitude on an ornament and hang it on the tree.

              Family Tree: Gather favorite snapshots of family and friends to decorate a small potted tree for Thanksgiving. Use binder clips and pieces of twine to hang the photos on the tree as shown.


            Thoughtful Journal: Craft a paper journal to record a Thanksgiving celebration. Pass the journal among guests to capture their sentiments and memories. Start your own anthology and make a journal each year. When Thanksgiving comes around again, bring out the old journals and reminisce.

            Share poetic sentiments as artwork for the Thanksgiving season. Print meaningful poems or sayings (typed in an elegant font) onto cardstock. Place in frames and hang on the wallas a reminder of the season’s meaning. Adapt this idea for Christmas by printing the lyrics from favorite Christmas songs or lines from favorite Christmas stories. Display the new printouts in the same frames used for Thanksgiving.

            Capture It All: Create a Thanksgiving time capsule with a three-ring binder scrapbook. Keep it easy by sticking with simple pages that focus on memories, rather than intricate scrapbooking designs. Use blank white pages for adding photos. Lined cardstock works well for recording recipes and memories.

            Thankful Leaves: If you’re hosting little ones this Thanksgiving, keep them entertained with Thanksgiving-theme art projects. Ask kids to write what they are thankful for on paper leaves. Provide crayons, markers, and stickers to use for decorating the leaves. Keep the leaves to stir conversations about Thanksgivings past.

           

CBC Exposes Dangerous Household Cleaning Products

The CBC Exposes Dangerous Household Cleaning Products that could be lurking in your home, under your sinks, and in your cabinets. Nov 2009

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The ARCSI Tech Corner: Green Cleaners

Q: I hear multiple terms used to describe ‘green’ cleaning agents. So I have to wonder, is organic better than natural? How about sustainable? I’m confused.

A: You have every right to be confused. Marketers use words that sound warm and fuzzy but often have no real meaning. Let’s take a look at just a few of the terms in use.

GREEN: Ideally, ‘green’ means that a product has less negative impact on the environment or on people’s health or hopefully both, than similar, traditional products in the marketplace. Some products are self-certified, i.e. a manufacturer says this product is greener than their regular line. Others are certified by a third party. The three most recognized third party certifiers are Green Seal, EPA’s Design for the Environment (DFE) and Canada’s EcoLogo. Each has slightly different criteria for certification.

NATURAL: This normally means that the chemicals used to make this product exist in nature in the form used. It can also refer to natural substances that are altered through what are considered natural processes. An example would be apple juice fermented into vinegar. It is very important not to confuse natural with safe. Remember that curare is a natural toxin used by certain indigenous peoples to create poison-tip arrows, giving the hunter using that substance a surer kill. Natural can be quite unsafe.

ORGANIC: The term organic has taken on a connotation of ‘healthful’ from the food industry. However, it has a different meaning in chemistry. Organic chemicals are simply chemicals containing carbon. These chemicals often originated in life forms but may have changed significantly since. Thus vinegar is an organic chemical, or more accurately, a combination of organic chemicals, but so is oil, gasoline, etc. To say our cleaning agents use organic ingredients sourced from nature may sound good, but is not particularly meaningful.

SUSTAINABLE: At its most basic, ‘sustainable’ means that the cleaning agents are from renewable sources such as plants that can be grown, harvested and re-grown. The term ‘sustainable’ is evolving in some cases to reflect more extensive environmental and social issues.

So if you’re confused, join the club. It truly can be a jungle out there. It’s up to you to check out the claims, sort through the verbiage and find the best resources for your operation.

Here’s to your success and prosperity!

Bruce Vance is a 20-year veteran of the industry and holds the IICRC Master Textile Cleaner certification. He also holds industry certifications in Stone and Tile care, Hard Floor care, and Applied Microbial Remediation. He is the current chairperson of a national cleaning industry’s Technical Advisory Committee. The opinions expressed above are those of Mr. Vance and not those of ARCSI.

Oprah Introduces Cleaning For A Reason During Evening News

October 2009. Oprah returned to Texas and the news station where she once reported the news. A Zing Zap Cleaning Service is a proud Partner helping women undergoing cancer treatment with 4 free monthly professional cleans. It is important to us to give back to our community. It’s why we do what we do, everyday.

Cleaning For A Reason Foundation

Making A Difference One Home At A TimeTM

Fighting cancer is difficult enough, but living with it is even tougher – and that’s where the Cleaning for A Reason Foundation steps in. This nonprofit offers free professional housecleaning, and maid services to improve the lives of women undergoing treatment for cancer – any type of cancer.

A Zing Zap Cleaning Service is a proud Partner of this wonderfully charitable foundation. Hundreds of residential cleaning services in the USA and Canada have committed to providing benevolence cleaning to women who are undergoing treatment for cancer. We are happy to do our part. We are committed to providing the gift of a clean home to women undergoing treatment for cancer through the Cleaning For A Reason Foundation.

What is the ARCSI Seal of Excellence?

What the Residential Cleaning Seal of Excellence means to the consumer

ARCSI Seal of Excellence

ARCSI’s Residential Cleaning Seal of Excellence is awarded to residential cleaning companies who meet a rigorous set of industry and business standards.

As the not-for-profit international trade association representing the residential cleaning industry, ARCSI believes that in documenting and verifying information before awarding our prestigious seal, we are providing consumers a level of expectation and confidence regarding the professionalism, ethical business practices, and commitment to continuing education from company they are considering giving access to their homes.

To earn the right to display the seal a residential cleaning company provides the following documentation to ARCSI:

Proof of Insurance, including liability and workers compensation and proof of bonding
Proof that they preform background checks on prospective employees as part of their hiring process.
Documentation that company has participated in on-going industry and business educational programs in the past year.
Documentation that the company has been in business at least two (2) years.

In addition, the company ownership and management agrees that they accept and will strive to adhere to the ARCSI Code of Ethics which states the company will:

Operate constantly in accordance with the best and fully accepted ethical and business practices.
Comply with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
Provide employees with professional equipment, proper training, and direction.
Contribute to the overall growth of the industry by being actively involved in activities that will enhance the overall perception of the residential cleaning industry.
Work to meet and exceed the needs and expectations of customers.
Provide courteous and prompt handling of all requests and complaints.
Strive for the continued improvement of the image and reputation of the industry by good business practices and enlightened public service in the community.

Consumers should look for those residential cleaning companies who have earned and proudly display the Residential Cleaning Seal of Excellence.