Categories of abrasive cleaners and their pros and cons

There are many types of cleaners used for maintaining a hygienic atmosphere in both domestic and commercial establishments. Conventional cleaners cannot remove tenacious dirt particles, stubborn stains, hard water deposits, or tarnish. To remove such heavy-dutydirt and stains and restore the original sparkle of the surface, you need an abrasive cleaner. Abrasive cleaners come in both powdered and liquid forms. Many cleaning tools also come under abrasive cleaners. The extra strength of abrasive cleaners makes them more potent as compared to other types of cleaners. The abrasive action of such cleaners comes from the ingredients used in making them.

These are the various types of abrasive cleaners.

Dry Abrasives

A dry or powdered abrasive cleaner contains fine particles of many minerals such as silica, feldspar, silica, and quartz. These mineral particles known as surfactants remove stubborn dirt and other particles and brighten the surface. A dry abrasive cleaner used to clean rust stains contain chemicals such as oxalic acid and sodium hydrosulphide. A bleaching agent is present in a dry abrasive cleaner used to remove the mould growth and stains caused by food and beverage. The number of surfactants in a dry abrasive is less.

Liquid Abrasive

A liquid abrasive cleaner is a suspension of solid abrasive particles in a thick liquid matrix. The number of surfactants in liquid abrasive cleaners is more as compared to powdered abrasive cleaners. The abrasive particles in liquid abrasive cleaners are also softer as compared to dry abrasive cleaners. Thus, the abrasive cleaning action of liquid abrasive cleaners is milder as compared to dry abrasive cleaners.

Disinfecting Abrasive

Disinfecting abrasive cleaner, as the name suggests, not only cleans the surface but also disinfects it. This abrasive cleaner contains anti-microbial agents that act against bacteria and other microbes present on the surface. The common ingredients used in this abrasive cleaner include quaternary ammonium compounds, sodium hypochlorite, and pine oil. It is essential to follow the instructions given on the label of a disinfecting abrasive cleaner to ensure that the bacterial population is eliminated from the surface without causing any damage to the surface.

Abrasive Tools

A scouring pad is an abrasive cleaning tool that is commonly used in houses. Ball of fine steel wires is the common feature of scouring pads. However, modern scouring pads also come equipped with stainless steel wires, copper mesh, nylon wires, or even embedded plastic material. The mechanical strength of these materials removes the stains and dirt and polishes the surface.

A scrubber is an advanced version of a scouring pad. It is made of strong synthetic fibers, resin, and abrasive minerals. Scrubbers come in color-coded varieties, with each color signifying a particular kind of cleaning function. Blue and white scrubbers are suited for cleaning delicate surfaces such as clay, fiberglass, ceramic, or chrome. Black and dark green scrubbers, on the other hand, are used for heavy-duty cleanings, such as griddle cleaning.

Melamine foam is made by curing melamine resin to foam. The resulting melamine foam is as rigid as glass. The microfilaments are also very hard. The combination of tough structure and hard microfilaments easily removes stains.

Pros and cons

Abrasive cleaners provide the additional strength required to remove tough stains without much effort. However, such cleaners cannot be used on all kinds of surfaces. Application of an abrasive cleaner should be only on the surface mentioned on its label.