Understanding the pH of cleaning products is vitally important in the commercial cleaning industry. Choose the wrong product at home, and you could damage a spot on your carpet, or tarnish a surface, but choose the wrong product while at work, and you could cause hundreds or even thousands of dollars in damages – and possibly lose your contract. So to avoid any nasty mistakes, let’s take a look at how pH is measured and what you need to know.

The suitability of your commercial cleaning products is largely based on their pH levels. You’ve probably seen the coloured acid-alkaline charts like the one above, where the scale goes between 0 and 14, with zero being the most acidic, 14 the most alkaline and 7 being neutral. Now, pH is generally understood to mean the “potential of hydrogen” and is a measurement of the acidity or alkalinity of a substance when dissolved in water.

Although pH is a measurement, it differs from temperature measurement, for example, which is measured in degrees, as pH is measured logarithmically. On a logarithmic scale, each number is 10 times more (or less) powerful than the last.

For example, the pH of 3 is 10 times more alkaline than the pH of 2, and the pH of 4 is 100 times more than 2. And if you compare the pH of 9 to 5, that’s one mammoth- increase. To be exact, it’s 10,000 times stronger. Therefore, if you accidentally use a cleaning product with a pH reading just a few levels higher than ideal for that particular surface, you could potentially cause serious permanent damage.

But here’s where it gets interesting – either ends of the spectrum are called “reactive” and can cause severe burns. For example, we wouldn’t recommend you let your child play with either battery acid, which is highly acidic, or drain cleaner, which is highly alkaline, as both can cause serious burns.


Understanding buffer solutions

Acid and alkaline can be mixed to cancel out their extreme effects, but you have to know what you’re doing. Additionally, there are buffer solutions which are equilibrium systems that resist changes in pH when an acid or alkaline is added. In the cleaning industry, we call a “buffer” a cleaning product that resists change in pH when diluting with water.

Other factors also contribute to successful cleanings, such as time, temperature and agitation which all have to be carefully balanced. This is why we don’t just rely on chemicals; we have various types of excellent commercial cleaning equipment such as industrial floor scrubbers, top commercial steam cleaners, floor polishers, and much more, depending on the job.


How do I choose the right cleaning product?

It pays to know the essentials, but when it comes to choosing products, fortunately, we’ve done the hard work for you and have created a range of cleaning products with the right solutions for your cleaning requirements.

For example, our Enviroplus X-Range cleaning products are a range of environmentally friendly cleaning products – perfect for those needing commercial chemicals but would prefer eco-friendly cleaning supplies or non-toxic cleaning chemicals.  Not only is Enviroplus eco-friendly but it’s also cheaper than other standard cleaning chemicals and have unprecedented cleaning power. Our Enviroplus solutions come in Five key cleaning concentrate solutions with a dilution rate of up to 1:600.  The Enviroplus X-Range is free from artificial chemicals and is formulated with natural and plant-derived surfactants with natural fermentation products – so it’s better for the environment and better for your health as a professional cleaner.

Enviroplus X-Range: pH levels

E-Z-Kleen X  (Natural hard surface & floor cleaner):   pH 6-8

E-Washroom X (All surface washroom cleaner): pH 6-7

E-Guard X  (Natural antibacterial surface cleaner):  pH 6-8

E-Surface X  (All-in-one multi-surface cleaner):   pH 6-8


Get in touch

If you’d like to find out more about the pH levels of cleaning products or are unsure which product to use for a particular task, please get in touch or call 1800 177 399. Abco specialise in commercial cleaning supplies and we’re only too happy to chat. Plus, we have offices in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland.



  • The suitability of your commercial cleaning products is largely based on their pH level
  • pH levels are either acidic or basic (alkaline)
  • pH stands for potential of hydrogen and is a measurement of the acidity or alkalinity of a substance when dissolved in water
  • Either end of the spectrum can cause severe burns and are called “reactive”. E.g., both battery acid (highly acidic) and drain cleaner (highly alkaline) can cause severe burns.
  • We measure pH logarithmically – so each number is 10 times more powerful than the one before


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