Monday, February 18, 2013

Understanding stone PH balances


PH is a unit of measure to determine the alkalinity and acidity of a solution. PH has been defined as either the "power of Hydrogen" or "Pre-existing Hydrogen". It is rated on a scale of 0 to 14. 0 to 6.5 being acidic (Hydrogen) and 7.5 to 14 being an alkali (Hydroxide). 7 being neutral.


Acid Bowl cleaners   Strippers
Vinegar   Degreasers
Most fruit Juices   Ammonia
Alcoholic beverages   Most all purpose & household cleaners.
Many household bathroom cleaners
Dirt and soil Many natural stones

Most stones used today are sensitive to both acidic and alkali cleaners. One reason is due to the fact that most stones are classified as hydroxides, which classifies them as natural alkalis. Acids will burn most stones by dissolving the bonding agent that together. Alkalis usually do not damage stone as quickly, however, they will cause deterioration.

The corrosiveness of acids cannot always be measured with the pH scale. In most instances, the lower the pH number the stronger the acids. A solution with a pH level of 1 is usually stronger than a solution with a pH of 4. However, there are some acids with a higher pH that are stronger than an acid with a lower pH.

On the alkali side, the higher the pH number the stronger the alkali should be. A solution with a pH balance of 12 is usually stronger than a solution with a pH of 9. When using an alkali cleaner, never use hot water because it may create a stronger alkali with adverse affects.

Understanding pH balance will help select the proper chemicals that can be used on stone. However, a main factor to remember when selecting a stone maintenance chemical is the activity level. For example, most neutral cleaners have a pH balance of 7; however, some neutral cleaners are stronger than others because they have higher activity levels. There are many neutral cleaners that are not active enough to thoroughly clean a stone's surface. There are also an abundance of neutral cleaners that are too active for stone to endure.

Compiled by Fnd Stone Advice for the blog

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