On the basis of their usage and application, the four main types of household cleaning products are -
Household cleansers are products that are used to clean soft or hard surfaces in the home with the exclusion of laundry and dish items. The field is highly comprehensive in terms of soil and surfaces types to deal with. For example, soils can go from generic dust to clay, oily, greasy, soap scum, water marks, lime scale, mold and mildew. Surfaces can vary from wood to ceramic, porcelain, enamel, glass, marble, stainless steel, metal, carpets and plastics. This wide variety of soils and surfaces cause a significant complexity for the formulator to make sure the products are effective against all types and soils and surfaces with damaging the substrate to be cleaned. Another difficulty is in the fact that the household cleansers are mostly used at room temperature, where reaction kinetics is relatively slow and the contact time between product and surface is relatively small.
Keeping all these complexities in mind, household cleansers are formulated for different types of surfaces and cleansers.
Household cleansing products are formulated in different forms, such as liquids, gels, powders, solids, sheets and pads for uses on various surfaces like painted, plastic, metal, porcelain, glass and on washable floor coverings. Because no single product can deliver superior performance on all surfaces and soils, a comprehensive range of products have been formulated to ensure effective and convenient cleaning. While all-purpose cleaners are available in the market that are intended are for more general use, other product work best under highly specialized conditions.
Abrasive cleansers remove and clean heavy accumulations of soil that are often found in small areas. The abrasive property of these cleansers is provided by different ingredients, such as small mineral or metal particles, nylon particles, fine steel wool or copper. Some abrasive cleansers also disinfect.
Tub, tile and sink cleaners remove normal soils, which can be seen on bathroom surfaces as well as the deposits of hard water, soap scum, rust stains, and/or mildew and mold. These cleansers can also be used to treat surfaces to retard soiling.
All-purpose cleaners penetrate and loosen soil, soften water and prevent the soil from re-depositing on the cleaned surface.
Specialty cleaners are formulated for the soil conditions that are found on specific surfaces, like glass, tile, metal, ovens, carpets and upholstery, toilet bowls and in drains.
Metal cleaners are used to remove soils and polish metalware. Tarnish, the oxidation of metal, is the prime soils, which is found on metalware. products are also available in the market that can be used to protect cleaned metalware against rapid retarnishing.
Oven cleaners are household cleaning products that are formulated to remove burned-on grease and other soils from the walls of oven. Oven cleansers are thick and hence the product will cling to vertical oven surfaces.
Rug shampoos and upholstery cleaners dissolve greasy and oily soils and keep them in the suspension for removal.
Drain openers are household cleaning products that are designed to unclog kitchen and bathroom drains. These cleansers function by creating heat to melt fats, and break them down into smaller substances, which can be rinsed away. Some drain openers use bacteria to prevent build-up of grease that can lead to drain clogging.
Home Cleaning Tips Using Homemade Cleansers
Mentioned below are some wonderful home cleaning and solutions from grandma's times when modern day cleansers were not available. Easy to prepare, these cleansers are inexpensive and more environment friendly.
- A paste of hydrogen peroxide and cream of tartar can be used to
remove stubborn stains in the bathtub.
- Club soda is known for its effective property in removing spots and
stains instantly. Pour a little of it on the spot and blot the area
after 1-2 seconds with a damp sponge.
- A diluted mixture of household bleach can be effectively used as a
spray disinfectant in the kitchen, around the sink and counters.
- Mix together 4 tablespoons of white vinegar, 2 tablespoons of
vegetable oil with 1 quarter warm water and apply the mixture on all
kinds of wood surfaces to clean them effectively and make them shine
using a soft cloth.
- Pencils erasers have found to be great in cleaning the black
scuffmarks on the floors made by heels of shoes.
- A mixture of ½ cup of mild dishwashing liquid and 2 cups of
boiling water can be used to remove stains from carpet.
- A clean rage moistened with white vinegar or club soda can be used to
bring shine back to stainless steel.
- A mixture of toothpaste and baking soda can be used to clean stains and spots made by water on wooden furniture.