When it comes to carpet-cleaning, there is more to it than just grabbing a bottle of cleaner and a rag. Certain spots and stains require specific types of cleaners, either acids or alkalines. Knowing which type of cleaner to use is the secret to carpet-cleaning success.
Cleaning solutions and stains on a carpet fall into one of three pH categories: acid (pH reading of less than 7), neutral (pH of 7) or alkaline (pH over 7). If the pH of the spot is known, using a cleaner with an opposite pH will remove the soil.
Litmus paper, pH paper or electronic pH meters can determine the pH of a stain on a carpet and of the cleaning solution.
All-purpose carpet cleaners are generally alkaline (high pH) cleaners, since most stains tend to fall into the acid category.
Acid cleaners work well to neutralize the pH of a carpet to a neutral state after cleaning with an alkaline cleaner. With a neutral pH, carpets will take longer to re-soil.
Acid carpet-cleaning products are no more corrosive than alkaline carpet-cleaning products. The corrosive nature of the product has nothing to do with where it falls on the pH scale. All cleaning products should be handled with care.
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