The main priority is to ascertain the type of material and its finish that you are trying to clean and then select a chemical that is compatible it with. Do not use the product if it adversely changes the material’s colour or texture)
Before using any chemical read the product labels and manufacturers safety data sheets (MSDS) to obtain a basic idea of contents, pH level, extreme alkalinity can do as much damage as an acid. Depending on the pH of the product you use you should return the surface to neutral (pH 7.0) before you apply any dressing or protective products. Always select any chemicals that are biodegradable, environmentally friendly and safe to use by observing any precautions recommended so that they won’t harm you, your vehicle or the environment.
Use caution when using solvents (they don'y usually have a pH level to guide you how 'strong' they are)The low surface tension of silicones is sometimes added to solvents to improve the wetting ability and to improve the surface contact. Solvents require an aerobic cure (exposure to air) to allow them to evaporate (outgas); some solvents contain formaldehyde, which dissolves both natural rubber and synthetic compounds, and some contain petroleum distillates specifically hydrocarbon and oxygenated solvents, which represent most of the total organic solvents used.
Always use the appropriate personal protection equipment (PPI) cloves, safety glasses and ear defenders, as necessary
Providing the cleaning product selected is suitable, apply product to an applicator not the area to be cleaned (the only exception to this is glass surface cleaning) as this may cause localized ‘spot’ cleaning
Dilution of Cleaning Chemicals
a) Under-dilution – a chemical solution that is too can damage carpets, upholstery, wheels, etc. It costs more in actual product cost and additional labour to correct any problems that occur due to improper dilution.
b) Over-dilution - a weak chemical solution can cause inadequate cleaning performance, which means you will have to re-clean the same areas. With carpet and fabric upholstery, this can lead to over-wetting, resulting in such things as mould, mildew, shrinkage, etc.
c) Spot testing - ensures the chemical will not stain or damage material is also very important