Is it clean?

Is it clean?

Imagine you and your team just spent an entire day cleaning the windows of one of the skyscrapers in Philadelphia and upon review of your work, you see that they are all streaky. Even if they don’t look great, are they at least clean?

The fact is, if a surface is left with streaks after being scrubbed with chemicals, it is not clean. Streaks occur because of one of the following reasons: there is either a. too much chemical used, or, b. too little chemical used, or, c. the wrong chemical is used.  When any of these three things happen, there is going to be a streaky mess. Let’s delve deeper into why these errors lead to unclean surfaces and how to avoid making a bigger mess.

  1. Too much chemical is used

When it comes to standard cleaning chemicals, you rarely need to use more chemical than what is suggested by the manufacturer in any application. There is a common misconception that more is better when working with chemicals but it is actually the opposite.  Too much chemical will leave a residue behind on the surface cleaned because the wiper will not be able to pick up all of the liquid. This results in a film of combined leftover chemical and dirt. This is what you see when you see streaks left by using too much cleaning chemical.

  1. Too little chemical is used

The opposite of using too much chemical is using too little. This can be equally problematic. When using too little cleaning chemical, there is not enough of the chemical compound on the surface to properly breakdown the soils and remove them. This results in the chemical basic moistening the soils, moving them around and then leaving them on the surface. You then see streaks on the surface you just tried cleaning.

The best way to avoid making mistakes A and B is to carefully read the instructions that come with the chemical used. Follow proper dilution rates and when spraying surfaces with chemical, be sure to wet the surface without over-saturating it. If you are concerned about chemical use and want to reduce waste, you may want to look into alternative wipers. Different wipers can use less chemical more effectively. For example, microfiber cloths can use little to no chemical to clean a surface (please note that we are not talking about disinfection in this article). The design of microfiber cloths makes them absorb liquid and grab soils easily.

  1. The wrong chemical is used

While there are some multi-purpose cleaners on the market, most cleaners are designed for fairly specific soils and/or surfaces. Chemicals work because they alter the chemical make-up of soils to break them down and suspend them in liquid, making it easy to wipe them away. If you do not have the right chemical to make the right alterations to the soil, your cleaning efforts will not be successful.

Keeping your business clean

Luckily, it is fairly easy to get back on track if you find that your surface cleaning has been ineffective lately. First, make sure you are using the right chemical. If you aren’t sure, review the product information; you can find most of our product information here.  If you have the right chemical, just review how much should be used and what kind of wiper you need.

If you have any questions regarding your current cleaning plan and the chemicals you are using, you are also always welcome to call your Penn Valley sales representative or email me at We want to help you keep your business clean.

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