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Exposure time

Why the exposure time of cleaning products matters for effective cleaning?

One of the inescapable concepts of the cleaning-technology profession is exposure time. This is not a coincidence, because if the cleaner wants to do his job professionally and efficiently, he must wait for this time interval before using any cleaning agent to remove the contamination from the surface. The effectiveness of cleaning products depends on several factors, firstly, the type of detergent or disinfectant used, secondly, the length of the application time and thirdly, the concentration of the solution (disinfectants and their types have been described in a previous article).

From these few sentences, we are beginning to get an idea of what a soak time can mean, so let’s look at its exact definition.

Exposure time of cleaning agent

Definition: exposure time (soaking time, reaction time) is the time it takes for the agent (chemical or bio-based) or heat to exert its cleaning (or other) action.


The labels/instructions for use of products on the market must indicate the concentration and application time required to achieve the appropriate effect. Compliance with these is essential for proper effectiveness and to preserve the integrity of surfaces! While alcohol-based surface disinfectants are typically used undiluted, other cleaning products require a certain % solution.


What does it mean exactly?

For example, if it says on the back of the bottle that the recommended solution should be 5%, this means that out of 100 L of solution, 5 L should be detergent and 95 litres should be water. (In smaller, household terms, out of 10 litres of solution, 0.5 litre is detergent and 9.5 litres is water.)

However, it is important to bear in mind that there are different concentrations of detergents on the market, so it makes a difference how much a product is diluted. Here again, the manufacturer's instructions should be taken into account.


The integrity of the surface to be cleaned is mentioned above. Not without reason, because if we are careless and leave our cleaning solution or, in even worse cases, concentrated cleaning products on the surface after application, we can cause permanent damage! In other words, we will scuff the furniture or the covering. Examples of such dangerous detergents are alkalis (e.g. cold degreaser) or hydrochloric acid-based descalers, to use acids as an example. So not only should you wait for the soaking time, using the right dilution of course, but you should also make sure that they do not remain on the surface for longer than necessary!


We hope we've once again provided you with useful information, but if you want to leave the cleaning to a professional, call the Cleaning Commando and you won't have to worry about exposure time!




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