Glycolic Acid for Institutional Cleaning

Glycolic Acid: An Effective Cleaning and Complexing Agent

Glycolic acid offers a versatile, effective solution for many institutional cleaning applications.

Institutions—like hospitals, food processing plants, public gyms, and locker rooms—have hard surfaces that can’t be removed for washing, so cleaning must be done onsite. These surfaces include:

  • Shower doors and stalls
  • Toilet bowls
  • Sinks
  • Countertops
  • Ceramic tile
  • Grout
  • Porcelain tubs

Glycolic acid improves the cleaning and penetrating effectiveness of other organic and inorganic acids like citric acid and sulfamic acid. It also offers ease of formulation and compatibility with a wide range of cleaner components like solvents, fragrances, surfactants, and colorants. Additional attributes that make it effective for institutional cleaning include:

  • Cleaning efficacy, removing soils easily and thoroughly
  • Low odor, color, toxicity, and corrosiveness
  • Good biodegradability
  • Chemical stability
  • Great water solubility

How Glycolic Acid Enhances the Efficacy of Institutional Cleaning Agents

Chemours has worked to develop a versatile, effective solution for a broad range of cleaning and industrial applications. For institutional cleaning, glycolic acid can enhance scale and iron stain removal by itself or when it's blended with other acids. Its low pKa facilitates the removal of soap scum, residues, and other mineral scales.

Applications That Benefit from Chemours' Glycolic Acid Solution

Hard Surfaces
Dirt and scale build up on hard surfaces like tiles, toilets, counters, and shower stalls over time. Soils—complex mixtures of hard water minerals including iron, calcium, and magnesium, or soap residues—become difficult to remove. Glycolic acid demonstrates its synergistic power by enabling other acid blends to work better than acid alone.

Chemours' glycolic acid is the choice in acid-based institutional cleaners because of its:

  • Ease of formulation
  • Stability
  • Efficacy
  • Low toxicity

Laundry Sour Applications
Modern laundry systems require a dependable, flexible liquid sour. Glycolic acid provides far greater solubility than silicafluorides or hydrofluosilicic acid. It permits higher concentrations of acid in solution than citric acid for greater neutralizing efficiency while avoiding salting or rust discoloration problems.

Glycolic acid reaches a final pH of 5-6 more quickly than silicafluorides, especially at lower wash temperatures. High solubility means a lower possibility of damaged fabric—even if it’s ironed while wet. Glycolic acid liquid doesn’t cake in storage and measures easily out of automatic dispensing equipment.