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Answers from the Cleaning Chemist

Your tough cleaning questions finally answered!

Get rid of toxic products.

Question: Can you give me a list of the products that I should get out of my house? I have had cancer and am trying to keep my environment as toxic free as possible. I am switching to many of your products, but still have things that I’ve used for years. Thank you! As a general rule of thumb, consumer cleaners have to list only their hazardous ingredients. Non-hazardous ingredients do not need to be listed. Therefore, I would recommend looking on the back label of the cleaners you currently use. Most people have a sensitivity to the...

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Stainless steel greasy?

Question: Why do my stainless steel appliances still feel greasy after cleaning them with a stainless steel cleaner? Most brands of stainless steel cleaner are oil based using either a vegetable or mineral oil. The idea is that the wiping motion removes fingerprints and leaves a thin film of oil behind. This thin film of oil is supposed to give the stainless steel a uniform appearance. Unfortunately, the thin film of oil does not really dry, so the surface can attract dust and smear quite easily. Try to use a stainless steel cleaning product...

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Glassware is Hazy

Question: Why does my glassware always look hazy after putting through the dishwasher? This haziness is most likely caused by the automatic dishwashing soap you are using. Most popular brands contain two culprits: sodium hypochlorite (chlorine bleach) and sodium silicate. The sodium silicate is used to inhibit the bleach and alkalinity from attacking the dishware being washed in the dishwasher. These silicates leave a protective film behind on everything in the dishwasher. This film can build up on glassware to the point where you can see it...

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Safe for pets?

Question: I am interested in buying your floor cleaner, but I am looking for a product that is safe for pets. I own a cat and would like a product that will not have harmful effects on my cat if she walks across a floor that was just cleaned. Even if the floor is dry cats tend to lick their paws, picking up any chemical residue that’s left behind. Will your products be safe for my pet? NEU Homecare products are not tested on animals, so they are cruelty free. In a general sense, the NEU Floor Cleaner has a neutral pH (is pH balanced),...

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What are WaterWise™ Cleaners?

ESS pH Neutral products care the latest in free rinsing and low foaming technologies. A priority on industrial applications where low foaming, free-rinsing, requiring less process rinse water without leaving residue on parts, is critical. ESS now has unleashed this technology to the consumer arena offering floor, dish and kitchen care products that are pH Neutral and low foaming. What does this mean to the consumer? It gives consumers the same industrial strength proven cleaning technologies for home use that require dramatically less water,...

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What is Hazardous & Toxic?

Common hazardous and toxic agents in cleaning products. Many people don’t realize it but there are a lot of common household items that are considered to be hazardous materials. These include medications, paint, motor oil, antifreeze, auto batteries, lawn care products, pest control products, drain cleaners, pool care products such as chlorine and acids, and household cleaners. Some household cleaners may be harmful separately or when combined such as ammonia and bleach. The vast majority of chemical cleaners pose environmental, health and...

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What is Earth Friendly? or Environmentally-Friendly Products

What are considered “environmentally-friendly products”? What makes a product “safe”? We believe an educated consumer is the best and safest consumer. There is on-going confusion about what “environmentally friendly” products really are. Consumers need “the whole story” in order to make an informed buying decision. Hopefully, the following will help to clear up some of the marketing confusion.   Definition of “Environmentally Friendly” There are many factors that determine the true “environmentally friendliness”...

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What is Corrosive & Caustic ?

“Basic” problems with corrosive chemicals… Corrosive: A chemical, (solid, liquid or gas), that can cause destructive damage to body tissues at the site of contact. It can cause severe burns to the skin and can “eat through” clothing, metal and other materials. Corrosion is the destructive reaction of a metal with another material, e.g. oxygen, or in an extreme pH environment (either acidic or basic). (http://en.wikipedia.org)   Caustics and corrosive are pH defined based on their alkalinity. Alkalis have a pH greater than 7 and...

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What does Low Foaming Mean?

Why is it important to foam and rinse less?   Foaminess Foam is often associated with the effectiveness of a given cleaner. This is a perpetual consumer misconception. There is absolutely no link between the amount of foam a product generates and how well it cleans. It is an known fact that the higher a product foams, the more water is needed to remove all soap residues. Large volumes of water can be wasted rinsing the foam off of dishes. Water is a  most precious resource. It seems quite wasteful to use large amounts of water to rinse...

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Why do my plastic items stink?

Question: Why do my plastic items smell like fragrance after washing them in the dishwasher? “Many types of plastics are fairly porous. These types of plastics are used to make plastic glasses, food storage containers and baby items. You can see this illustrated when a plastic food container gets stained by red sauce or something. The red color from the sauce actually stains the plastic. It is almost impossible to remove that stain from the plastic. Some plastic food containers allow this to happen, while some do not. The ones that do...

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