Water is the universal solvent. Without water, we’d be hard pressed to remove soils from laundry, upholstery, carpets, rugs and furnishings, not to mention household surfaces such as counters and flooring. Water dilutes many of the chemicals used in the cleaning process to levels that are safe and effective. In most tasks, water carries away soil for disposal.

In some cleaning tasks, carpeting and upholstery are chief examples, water is the best first choice when attempting to get rid of spots or soils. Applied in the right quantity, at the right time, and on a suitable surface, H2O will remove a surprising amount of dirt.

Water by itself is not as good a cleaning agent as water with added surfactants such as soap or detergent.

Additionally, hard water contains dissolved mineral salts, which inhibit the action of soap. The harder the water, the more likely it is to leave behind residue in clothing, and difficult-to-remove soap scum on bathroom and kitchen surfaces.

Detergents not only act as surfactants, but contain builders that solve the mineral problem.



*UMass Lowell/TURI does not certify, endorse, recognize or recommend products.