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The Benefits of Using an Acid for Your Last Cleaning Step

What is the difference between an acidic neutralizer and an acidic emulsifier?

It all depends on the ingredient mix.

Some formulas are designed as neutralizers with acids being the most dominant.  Other formulas go beyond this and have acidic builders and higher amounts of surfactant, qualifying as an emulsifying rinse.

An acidic neutralizer is a simple formula.

It has acid with citric and glycolic being the most common and has a few different corrosion inhibitors to protect metals from the corrosive effect of acids. It typically includes a low-foaming surfactant with good wetting characteristics. This also helps hold the diverse ingredients in a stable solution. The right surfactant forms a brittle residue which helps to leave the carpet in a state where issues with soiling again are not a matter of concern.

The formula’s mild fragrance will cover the acidic odors.

pH scale


Acidic neutralizers are used for different reasons

When it comes to machine maintenance, they will help limit the build-up of scale in the equipment.

Some find it easier to use than a water softener (the acids are not water softeners so their strength is not reduced in hard water unlike water softening agents like phosphates).

Acid neutralizers restore carpet fibers and fabric to a proper pH level. This is especially important for nylon, wool, cotton, or other textiles that should be left at a neutral or slightly acidic state. This pH control does a lot to prevent yellowing or browning with these problematic fibers. Also after drying a wonderful and soft texture returns to the fibers.


Acid neutralizers are an economical way to complete your thorough extraction process. They also leave the fibers at the correct pH so that you can apply protectors.

It also dries down to a brittle residue to prevent premature re-soiling. In essence, they provide the perfect finishing touch to your cleaning efforts.

Education beyond blogs

IICRC Carpet Cleaning Tech IICRC Upholstery & Fabric Technician   Aramsco/ Interlink Supply Training Schedule (


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