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Cleaning Basics...Part 4

The Essential Role that Water Plays in Cleaning

Listen to the Audio Version:


Solvents, Surfactants & Vehicles:

In the same manner as was mentioned in our previous post - the Three Action so Cleaning, so also there is another rule. This rule states that most cleaning compounds, both soaps & detergents are made up of 3 components: a solvent to break the soil free from the surface, a surfactant to contain the soil in the vehicle, which is generally water. The water is called a vehicle because it carries the other components to the soil, and then carries the soil away from the cleaned surface.

Surface Tension of Water:

Water does not naturally spread, saturate, or even collect and contain soils. This is easily seen in a glass containing water and a few drops of oil. The two clearly keep to themselves until there is the introduction of the detergent that...

  • breaks the bond of the surface of the water; and
  • emulsifies the oily soil into suspension in the water.

This is a simple process to accomplish and takes only a microscopic amount of surfactant to accomplish - and it may be achieved with either dry or liquid compounds.

The Sustainable Brilliance of Water:

Water, employed as the vehicle for cleaning, is one of the most efficient exercises in sustainability possible. The world's problem with the current state of cleaning is that far to great a percentage of cleaning products are 95% or more composed of water. This leaves millions upon millions of gallons of water sitting bottled in various container, on retail shelves, in warehouses and carried in transit. Using super concentrates (see our Synergy SB solutions line) or chlorine dioxide solutions (prepared on-site with water) to create cleaning solutions (see Envirotab), allow for water to be used, evaporated and returned to the local supply without hindrance.

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