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In most cases, you can clean and protect your vehicle with just a few basic cleaners. In this article, you will learn some of the science behind auto detailing accessories so you can properly clean your car.
Soil can be organic, non-organic or petroleum. It is important to know. If you can identify the land you are handling, you can use the right cleaning agent. When using the right cleaners, most stains will easily come out.
Take organic soil as an example. Organic means basically that it contains carbon. Stains in this group include proteins, animal fat, body oil, mold, yeast, insects, bacteria and excrement. The classic example is the batch of hot french fries, your three year old flushed on the back seat. It is an organic ground spot.
Non-organic soil does not have carbon molecules. We usually find these spots on the outside of the vehicle. A good example that frustrates most of us from time to time is water stains from minerals. Acid rain spots also fall into this category.
Finally, we come to petroleum. These soils come from substances that do not contain or cannot be mixed with water. Engine oil, fat and road tar are the most common petroleum masses. Note that chewing gum is also a petroleum soil.
Now that you are aware of the three types of spots, we can start discussing cleaners. Let me tell you, there are many of them. Unfortunately, no one has invented a true all-round car cleaner. Because of the many different surfaces and soils, the automotive industry is cleaner complex mixtures of chemicals mixed for a particular type of surface or soil. The most common chemicals used are surfactants, solvents, wetting agents, saponifiers and chelators.
Soaps and detergents are made using a surfactant. It is an agent that has two associations. A molecule is attracted to the earth itself, while the other loves water. The compound attracted to water is a hydrophilic. Its job is to surround the earth. The soil attracting agent is a hydrophobic. Its purpose is to break up the ground so that the hydrophilic can reach it and float it away.
All cleaning agents need a solvent of some kind to dissolve dirt and transport it away. Some solvents, including mineral sprayers, work on petroleum soils and may be necessary on surfaces damaged by water. Did you know that the most common solvent used in detergents is water?
In the case of water, a solution that has a water base or mixes with water has a pH level. The term pH is just a measurement of the ratio of hydrogen ions to hydroxyl ions. When you have more hydrogen ions than hydroxyl ions, it is an acid. Similarly, if you have more hydroxyl ions than hydrogen ions, it is an alkali. Knowing this is important because any cleanser that falls on both ends of the pH scale can cause serious injury.
The PH scale runs from 0 to 14. The lower half of the scale represents acids and the upper half represents alkalis. As you may have guessed, the water is neutral and has a pH of 7.0.
If you know the pH of a cleaner, you know where to use it. A mat shampoo should have a pH around 8 or 9, while an all-round helper should be between 12 and 14. Try to use a cleaning agent that is made for wheels on the car's fabric and carpet, making a pretty big mess.
Now that you know the basics you can better understand why there are so many car cleaners and auto detailing supplies. Your vehicle has many different surfaces and they have different cleaning requirements. You can avoid using hard cleaners by using basic protection. Grow the outside several times each year and protect the interior with suitable products. For the best possible protection, use an outdoor wall or waterproof car cover when you park outside.