Please note that bleach is not a cleaner, it is a disinfectant. Bleach can be used to remove tough stains and to whiten surfaces (often used with clothing). Please take note of the strength of bleach required for your particular application.
- Bleach must be diluted with water for safe use.
- For 0.5% Bleach solution mix 1 part 5% bleach, and 9 parts water. This is recommended for cleaning blood and bodily fluids.
- For 0.1% Bleach solution mix 1 part 0.5% bleach, and 4 parts water. This is recommended for disinfecting surfaces.
While Chlorine may be present in most commercial cleaning products, it is often bought separately as it’s often used to clean concrete. Chlorine is similar to bleach in that it is not a cleaner, but is used as a disinfectant. You will most likely know chlorine to be used in swimming pools to kill germs, however there are many uses such as; disinfecting surfaces that have foodborne germs, air conditioning refrigerants, solar panels, and plastic foam.
Degreaser is used to remove grease and oil that are stuck to hard surfaces. Degreasers are available with different bases, for example; Solvent-based (contain chemicals), Water-based (ideal for use in agriculture and food industries) or Natural (using natural ingredients such as vinegar). Industries in the following sections; automotive, marine, mechanical, oil & gas, should use a solvent-based degreaser due to the tough substances it will need to be used on. Natural degreasers can be used in households, hospitals, and schools, as they generally pose no risk to humans.
Hydrochloric Acid is a very strong chemical that should only be used with appropriate PPE. This chemical can be used to remove stains from bricks, remove rust from metals, and to etch floors.
Hydrochloric Acid can be very irritating to the respiratory system, and can damage skin if you come into contact with it.
Methylated Spirits are often known as a household cleaning product that is also a disinfectant. Useful for removing residue and stains, methylated spirits prevents lime and creates shiny surfaces which is why it is often used for cleaning tiles and glass. This chemical is not suitable for use on wood or plastic, as it can change the appearance of the materials. You may also see methylated spirits referred to as ‘denatured alcohol’.
Turps or Turpentine, is often used on worksites for cleaning oil-based substances such as paint or varnish. It is a useful chemical for cleaning paint brushes, or cleaning wood before applying a finishing coat. Turpentine is free of compounds that add to environmental pollution and degradation, so it can be used in place of petroleum-based solvents. A useful stain remover, turpentine can be used on ceramic surfaces such as bathtubs, sinks, and toilets which may develop stains overtime.