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Understanding the Selection and Use of Home Cleaning Products: A Comprehensive Guide

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This guide, authored by Sonja Koukel from New Mexico State University, provides insight into the selection and use of home cleaning products. It emphasizes the importance of understanding the chemical composition of household cleaning products, many of which contain hazardous substances often hidden under confidential business information (CBI) labels. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working on increasing transparency in this area. The guide highlights the various types of cleaning products including disinfectants, sanitizers, abrasives, acids, alkalis, bleaching agents, detergents, and spirit solvents. It elaborates on disinfectants, sanitizers, and abrasives, detailing their specific functions, uses, and precautions. Disinfectants, often found in clinics and hospitals, are chemicals that destroy all disease-causing organisms. Sanitizers, on the other hand, reduce germs on surfaces to levels considered safe by public health codes. Abrasives, which include physical, mineral, and chemical types, function by creating friction to lift off hardened particles, grease, tarnish, and stains. However, caution is advised as all abrasives can leave scratch marks on some surfaces. The guide recommends checking the manufacturer’s directions before using any abrasive cleaning products to prevent damage to surfaces.


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