Streak Free Cleaning

Posted on May 20, 2016 by Brock Gloor

Improper cleaning products and the wrong technique can leave unsightly smears and streaking.

Streak Free Cleaning

People can often make a dirty surface messier if they use improper cleaning techniques and products that can leave unsightly streaks.  These streak marks are caused by a number of factors including: excess dirt on the surface, too much cleaning solution, and using the wrong pH on a particular surface.  You can make streak free cleaning easy by not spraying too much cleaner at once and by using a pH-appropriate cleaner.  The problem for most people is that they spray too much cleaner onto the surface being cleaned, which means they wipe the cleaner into the surface rather than use the cleaner to remove dirt from the surface.  If you think this might describe you, don't fret.  Simply use less cleaning solution and make those streaks a thing of the past.  

The Chemistry

When cleaning with concentrates, using the correct dilution is very important to avoid marks and streaks, as they often result from using too much active ingredient. Common cleaners are designed to create a chemical reaction on the surface applied so that soils on the surface are broken down and more easily removed by a rag or cloth.  If the chemicals are out of balance, the reaction on the surface may not be as desired and leave behind too much dirt.  It could also soil the surface once more with excess cleaner particulates.

The pH of Streaks

Streaks are not only unsightly but are also a warning that fine surfaces are at risk of damage.  This is especially true for antiques and marble.  A streak can be a sign that the pH of the cleaning fluid is too acidic or too alkaline.  The goal of a cleaning product is to suspend the dirt in a cleaning fluid so that it can be easily wiped away, but this won't happen if the cleaner fails to neutralize the pH of the dirt.  For example, attempting to use an alkaline cleaner on alkaline dirt, or an acidic cleaner on acidic dirt, will fail to release the dirt into the cleaning fluid for disposal.  Trying to wipe the cleaning fluid away will only apply moisture to the unreleased dirt, which will then streak.  Butlers Brand Universal Cleaner is designed to have a pH of 7 so that dirt can be neutralized and washed away without damaging fine surfaces or leaving streaks behind.