Tips on the internet
The internet is a valuable resource for research and information gathering on all manner of subjects, including cleaning & laundry. Indeed there are a wealth of tips and videos available featuring traditional cleaning products. Our particular favourite was How Clean is your House which regularly featured our products (even if the labels were some times obscured). You can still view many of the episodes on You Tube or buy the book.
There seem to be lots of 'hacks' right now, advising people to mix product X with product Y. In almost all cases, this is NOT sound advice and can indeed be dangerous. If it truly improved the perfomance (safely), then the manufacturer would make them like that.
Don't believe everything you read
But as with many tips on the internet, sometimes you have to take them with a pinch of salt. One particular tip that we regularly see is to mix bicarb & white vinegar.
Most cleaning products are based on either an acid or an alkali. One of the reasons our products are so popular is that they are a simple acid or alkali.
- Acids - White Vinegar, Citric Acid
- Alkalis - Soda Crystals, Bicarbonate of Soda, Borax Substitute, Liquid Soap.
Both are good for general cleaning and bacteria struggle to thrive in either environment. Here is more information about the pH scale, focussing on cleaners. Note that it is logarithmic, so lemon juice and white vinegar are pH 2, but stomach acid is pH 1 and battery acid is pH 0!
Also remember that if you are using a disinfectant, it's better to clean the area first. If you try mixing a cleaning product and a disinfectant like Zoflora (which is very popular now thanks to Mrs Hinch), then what you're probably doing by mixing them together, is reducing the disinfectant properties of the Zoflora.
Cleaning in the home
So any GCSE chemistry student will tell you that by mixing white vinegar and bicarb, you are causing a reaction and the two will neutralise each other. In some instances, the reaction may be desirable and have benefit - such as chemistry experiments for kids or dislodging debris in sink drains. But all the thousands of tips saying make a paste with bicarb and white vinegar are mis-guided. Bicarb is an excellent deodoriser and surface cleaner on its own. It can be used neat with a damp cloth or if you do desire a paste, just add a little hot water. The same applies to white vinegar - our version is already diluted and ready to use, but you can of course add a natural fragrance if you like.
As a general rule, all our products can be used for cleaning but will have slightly different properties, so it's worth understanding the science and choosing the right product for the task at hand. This cleaning chart will help. Why not download or print it for future reference?
- Water softening (alkali required) - Soda Crystals, Borax Substitute, Soda Crystals Laundry Boost
- Grease removal (alkali best) - Soda Crystals
- Deodorising - Bicarbonate of Soda
- Limescale Removal (acid required, preferably hot) - White Vinegar, Citric Acid.
As Thomas Jefferson wrote, 'Knowledge is power'.