Choosing the Right Cleaning Products for Different Surfaces: A Complete Guide

The Importance of Choosing the Right Cleaning Products

When it comes to cleaning, one size doesn’t fit all. The cleaning products you choose play a crucial role in preserving the look, feel, and lifespan of the different surfaces in your home or business. This guide aims to demystify the process of selecting the right products for various surfaces, ensuring efficient cleaning without causing harm.

Understanding Different Surfaces

Different surfaces have unique compositions and textures. These include porous materials like natural stone or wood, non-porous materials like glass or plastic, soft surfaces like upholstery, and hard surfaces like ceramic or metal.

Understanding these differences is the first step in choosing the right cleaning product. It ensures that the product will effectively clean the surface without causing any damage.

Natural Stone – Granite, Marble, and More

Choosing the Right Cleaning Products

Natural stone surfaces like granite, marble, or slate need special care. Acidic or abrasive cleaners can etch or scratch these surfaces, dulling their finish.

Look for pH-neutral cleaners specially designed for natural stone. These products clean effectively without causing harm, preserving the stone’s natural beauty.

Wood – A Gentle Touch is Key

Whether it’s hardwood floors, furniture, or decorative items, wood requires gentle care. Avoid harsh chemicals or excessive water that can warp, stain, or discolour the wood.

Opt for a mild, wood-friendly cleaner followed by a suitable polish or wax to retain the wood’s natural shine and protect it from damage.

Glass – Streak-free Shine

Glass surfaces, including windows, mirrors, and glass tabletops, demand a streak-free finish. Many general cleaners may leave streaks or a cloudy film on glass.

Choose a high-quality glass cleaner that can remove dust, smudges, and fingerprints without leaving streaks. For a more eco-friendly option, consider vinegar-based cleaners.

Plastics and Vinyl – Gentle and Effective

Plastics and vinyl surfaces can be found in many items, from toys and appliances to car interiors and vinyl floors. These surfaces can withstand more robust cleaning but still require care.

An all-purpose cleaner, like Clean 85’s Shur-Klean All-Purpose Cleaner & Degreaser, is a versatile choice for these surfaces. It can effectively remove dirt and grease without causing damage.

Upholstery – Fabric Care

Upholstery requires specific attention due to the range of materials and colours. Overly aggressive cleaners can cause discolouration or damage to the fabric.

Choose a fabric or upholstery cleaner that is appropriate for the material. Always do a patch test in an inconspicuous spot to ensure the cleaner is safe for the fabric.

Ceramic and Porcelain – Tough but Delicate

Ceramic and porcelain surfaces, such as tiles and sinks, are durable yet can be susceptible to scratching or dulling from harsh cleaning products.

Choose a non-abrasive, all-purpose cleaner for these surfaces. Avoid acidic cleaners, especially on grout, as they can cause deterioration over time.

Metal – Specific Cleaners for Each Type

Metal surfaces, including stainless steel, brass, and copper, each require different care. Some metals can tarnish or corrode with the wrong cleaning product.

Opt for cleaners specifically designed for the type of metal you’re cleaning. Stainless steel cleaners, for example, often leave a protective finish to help resist fingerprints and smudges.


Cleaning different surfaces doesn’t have to be a guessing game. By understanding the unique needs of each surface, you can choose cleaning products that deliver excellent results while protecting the material’s integrity.

Ready to choose the right cleaning products for your needs? Visit our products page and explore our wide range of high-quality cleaning solutions. Your journey to effective, surface-safe cleaning starts with Clean 85.