If Cleaning is the removal of a foreign substance from a surface without damaging that surface…then what are the steps one must take to “clean”?



    1. Identify that a substance is actually foreign to that surface

        a. Be able to physically SEE well enough

            to see the surface - Use GLASSES and a TORCH


        b. Have the experience or "eye for detail" to identify that

            a substance is foreign to that surface

            ie: not supposed to be there!


      2.  Work in order from

               BIG to SMALL

               TOP to BOTTOM

               DRY to WET


    3. Consider

            A. Is the foreign substance "sitting on top" of the surface?



        B. Is it  "stuck" to the surface?


    A1. If the foreign substance is loosely "sitting on top" of

             the surface, a mechanical method can be used to

             "re-move" it to a more appropriate place...

                            e.g. dirty clothes into a dirty clothes basket.

                                   dirt placed into bag or bin...


               * Pick up the "foreign substance", and move it to

                    somewhere more appropriate.

               * Sweep with a Broom, collect and place in bin

               * Use Dust Pan and Brush, move to a bin

               * Blow with a mechanical Blower, Air Compressor

               * Blow with your own breath, and then collect with a Vacuum

               * Wipe with a cloth, rinsing in water (which is then put down a

                   drain carrying the "foreign substance" with it.)

               * Dust with a Lambswool or Feather Duster

               * Dust with Microfibre cloth... the "foreign substance" is

                   encapsulated within the micro-fibres of the cloth

               * Use a Vacuum Cleaner where the foreign substance is

                   drawn into the bag for emptying into a bin..............


    A vacuum cleaner is a device that uses an air pump to create a partial vacuum to suck up dust and dirt. The dirt is collected by a filtering system or a cyclone for later disposal.


    A2. If the foreign substance is stubbornly "sitting on top"

             you may have to consider more aggressive mechanical



            * Rub harder... with more "Elbow Grease"!

            * Use a scouring pad, graded in colour from

                                             WHITE (least  Aggressive)


                                             BLACK (most aggressive "Stripping Pad")

            * Use a Scraper (carefully at a shallow angle so as not to

                damage the surface)

            * Use a shovel

            * Vacuum with a Power Head

            * Scrub/Buff with a Polivac..........




    B. If the foreign substance is really "STUCK" to the surface

        you can break the CONNECTION of the foreign substance to

        the SURFACE by using another compound

            i.e. a  CLEANING "CHEMICAL"


    "Cleaning Chemicals" are of 2 types:

        A. Solvents

        B. Reactants

    A. Solvents "dissolve" a substance and create a "solution".

                                We use this all day!

                                  Sugar in coffee.

                                   Salt in stew.

     "Detergent" makes the "water wetter" by adding chemicals which break the surface tension.


    N.B. Adding MORE "Cleaning Chemicals"

    does not make the chemical more efficient.

    Read the Instructions

    as this information is designed to give maximum efficiency.


    Other solvents:

    * Methylated Spirits (Metho) dissolves

                                      water based plastic paint
    * Mineral Turpentine (Turps) dissolves oil based paint
    * Thinners dissolves glue
    * Dry cleaning fluids dissolve grease
    * Eucalyptus oil dissolves glue

         N.B. There are "substance specific" solvents, so identify the

               "foreign" substance and source the specific solvent.


    Cleaning takes place once

    the "foreign substance" has been "dissolved".

    There is a window of opportunity,

    for the "solution" to be “wiped away”

     as the "connection" with the surface

    has temporarily been reduced.


    Once the solvent has "evaporated", the original problem remains.


    B. Reactants

           A chemical reaction is a process that always results in the interconversion of chemical substances. The substance or substances initially involved in a chemical reaction are called reactants. Chemical reactions are usually characterized by a chemical change, and they yield one or more products, which usually have properties different from the reactants.


    The basic Chemical Reaction which is used in cleaning is



             If the "foreign substance" is "Alkaline"

        (eg grout / concrete)

    then an "Acid" chemical

    will "react" with the "alkaline" foreign substance

    and a chemical reaction will take place,

    converting the "foreign substance" and the "cleaning chemical"

    into salt, water, and a gas will "sizzle" off.

    eg. Hydrochloric Acid (or TR50 Brick and Tile Cleaner) will sizzle  

           when put onto concrete because of the gas by-product of the chemical reaction.


    Household Cleaning Chemicals

    (Note some Common chemicals are both Solvents and Reactants ie Both solvent and Acidic or Alkaline)


    Methylated Spirits   MSDS                            

    Wipe MSDS

    Windex   MSDS                          

    Turpentine   MSDS                    

    Kerosene MSDS

    Acetone  MSDS

    White spirit  MSDS



    Spray and Wipe (with Lemon/Vinegar etc ) Check MSDS

    Cleaning Vinegar Cleaning Tips

    Toilet Duck MSDS

    Coke ( a Great Toilet Cleaner)



    A neutral cleaner may be composed of only surfactants (wetting agents, making the water "wetter"), neutral salts plus surfactants, or surfactants with other organic additives.




    Spray and Wipe (with Baking Soda) MSDS

    Ajax Powder MSDS

    Domestos MSDS

    White King MSDS                                         NEVER MIX ACIDIC

    Handy Andy MSDS                                          AND ALKALINE

    Ammonia MSDS                                                  CLEANERS

    Caustic Soda MSDS

    Baking Soda Cleaning Tips

         If you are unsure of whether your cleaning product is acid or alkaline

         a.     Check the MSDS for the pH and refer to our pH Scale

         b.     Use pH Indicating Paper to test the product for yourself

         c.     Make your own pH Testing Paper