Types of Cleaning Agents & Natural Alternatives

Types of Cleaning Agents & Natural Alternatives

There are 4 main types of cleaning agents that we use to clean our homes:

1. Detergents

    Detergents are the most common type of cleaning agent and contain soaps and/or surfactants. Detergents break up dirt, making it easier to wash away and are used in kitchens, bathrooms, etc. 

    2. Degreasers

      Degreasers are higher pH (or alkaline) cleaning agents and are used to remove grease from counters, stove tops, and more.

      3. Abrasives

        Abrasive cleaning agents are ‘abrasive’ and you need to rub or scrub them on the surface to be cleaned. Natural alternative: baking soda.

        4. Acids

          Acids are the most powerful of the cleaning agents and are used to remove scale and rust from washrooms, taps and more. Acid cleaners can be highly corrosive and dangerous. Natural alternatives: vinegar or lemon juice.

          According to the American Lung Association, “Many cleaning supplies or household products can irritate the eyes or throat, or cause headaches and other health problems, including cancer. Some products release dangerous chemicals, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Other harmful ingredients include ammonia and bleach. Even natural fragrances such as citrus can react to produce dangerous pollutants indoors.”

          It is important to read the label so you know what is in the products you use to clean your home.

          At Earth Smart Solutions we offer natural cleaning alternatives that are biodegradable, Earth friendly and safe to use around your home, children, pets and plants.

          Benefits of Natural Cleaning Agents

          • Bio-degradable, non-ozone depleting and non-carcinogenic
          • Non hazardous
          • Non combustible
          • Environmentally friendly
          • Environmentally Safe – Do not contain conventional solvents or acids used in similar products 
          • Non-toxic, non-caustic, non-corrosive, non-flammable and non-fuming 
          • Non-sensitizing, non-irritating and contain no allergens.
          • Effective and easy to apply 
          • Very versatile
          • Only common sense safety protection is required 
          • Do not contain caustics, chemicals, petroleum distillates or VOC’s

          Earth Smart Solutions offers the following natural alternatives to chemical cleaning agents:


          ESMC is a powerful low pH cleaner that quickly attacks, lifts and destroys grease, oil and other stubborn stains from all washable surfaces and is safe to use in hypersensitive environments. It can do all the cleaning associated with hydrochloric, phosphoric, or acid based products without the same health and safety concerns. 


          Use to remove difficult scale, rust and calcium build-up from hard surfaces

          Click here to learn more about ESMC.


          ESAR is a natural acid replacement that provides powerful yet completely biodegradable all-purpose cleaning. Unlike acids, it does not pit, streak or blacken metals.


          Use to remove tough water scale, soap scum, rust stains, grease, mildew, molds, calcium, lime, rust, and other deposits typically found on metal surfaces.

          Click here to learn more about ESAR.


          ESHC will effectively clean, liquefy and degrade a wide range of hydrocarbons including gasoline, diesel, motor oil, crude oil, glycol, hydraulic fluid, benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, xylene and more. 


          Use to remove fresh and aged petroleum hydrocarbons from both hard and porous surfaces. ESHC is safe for use on gravel, sand, railroad ballast, concrete, brick, asphalt, metal, rubber, plastics, porcelain, wood, textiles, etc.

          Click here to learn more about this product.


          Canadian Institute of Food Safety, 4 Types of Cleaning Agents and When To Use Them

          Source: American Lung Association, Cleaning Supplies and Household Chemicals

          Polo & Tweed, Which Types of Cleaning Agents are Used in Housekeeping?

          Healthy Cleaning 101, Types of Household Cleaning Products

          Martha Stewart, Detergents, Degreasers, Abrasives, and Acids: Understanding the Four Types of Cleaning Agents and What They Do

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