What are the major components and subsequent advantages that distinguish various household cleaners? (Ex, Soap and water vs 409, glass cleaners, mold/mildew type cleaners, etc?


I’m sure some of it has to do with some lipophilic solvent or stronger detergents to cut through grease, etc, but what about some specifics?

In: Chemistry

Question Changed status to publish March 29, 2020

17 Answers

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Real soap is good but forms a scum in hard water that is difficult to remove.

Detergents are good for removing oils but can be harsh on your skin.

Glass cleaners are designed to clean glass/mirrors and leave a streak free surface but ammonia based cleaners like windex will remove tint from windows or computer monitors.

Mold/mildew/sanitizers have different properties that make them ideal for some problems but ineffective for others.

For example, bleach is cheap and can be used for sanitizing fruits and vegetables but will rust metal and doesn’t last long.

Phenols like lyesol is good but can leave a residue so you can’t use it on food surfaces.

And quats are good but can be expensive and have to be diluted correctly.

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