Why Man Makes Cleaning Agents

Arriving At a Realistic Green Cleaning Policy:  Part 2

With the various soil substances, the many contaminants in dust, and the variety of harmful microbes needing removal, a cleaning solution must be quite versatile.  While the most natural cleaning solution—water—may be plentiful, inexpensive, and pure, it has its limitations.  Water may remove a few soils and dust, it is not effective in eliminating microbes in dust and elsewhere in your home.


To enhance the effectiveness of water, a number of ingredients are added to create a variety of cleaning solutions. We use an example as we point out some of these ingredients.  Let’s assume you have a greasy mess on your stove top. An effective water-based solution can be achieved by using chemical compounds called surfactants and solvents that help to dissolve oils and grease.  By further adding chemical builders, bleaches, and enzymes, oils and grease become more soluble in water.  The optimal combination of these ingredients in water will deliver a truly powerful cleaning solution. How clean do you think your soiled jeans would be if they were washed in only water?  An effective surfactant called detergent, however, will remove all soil material.

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