TSP, tri-sodium-phosphate (Na3PO4) was a common cleaner up until about the 1970’s when the massive environmental problems associated with phosphates were addressed by the removal of these chemicals from most products. TSP is still available in home improvement and hardware stores, as well as on-line, but just because you can buy something doesn’t mean you should use it, at least not without understanding what it is and what the problems associated with it are.
The Trouble with TSP
One thing you may not realize about TSP, which is widely rumored to be very safe and even benign, is that it is in fact highly alkaline, Continue reading
The wide world of mold is a many colored place. Molds exist in practically every color you can imagine, ranging from purest white to darkest black with stops along the spectrum at brown, tan, green, red, orange, yellow, and even blue. However, unless you are a mycologist (a scientist specializing in the study of molds) the color is irrelevant when choosing a mold killer.
Biologically a mold is a mold is a mold. The color of the growth can help a scientist determine what species a particular mold might be, but color alone doesn’t tell you anything about a mold growth other than what color the growth happens to be at a specific point in time. The color of mold growth is influenced not only the species of the mold, but also by he conditions in which the mold is growing, the nutrient source the mold is utilizing, and even the age of the growth.
Is black mold more dangerous?
For our purposes, “quat disinfectant cleaner” is a shorthand term for a type of chemical known as a quaternary ammonium salt. You can see why the shorthand version of “quat cleaner“ or just “quat” is useful for ease of speaking and writing, but it unfortunately doesn’t communicate much about what it is exactly to the uninitiated. Put in the simplest terms, a quat is a complex organic salt compound that finds multiple applications in the modern world. Continue reading
Um, What’s Up With Ammonium?
Ammonium is a word that seems to be around in the world a great deal. Practically every label we read on things ranging from food to cleaners has some kind, or even kinds, of ammonium in it. But have we stopped and asked ourselves, what, exactly, is an ammonium? With so much of it around us in the world, perhaps we should know a bit more about it.
In Simple Terms
Put in the simplest terms, ammonium is a kind of molecule called an ion. Continue reading
“What is “Ammonia” Anyway?” This is a good question! “Ammonia” is a very common chemical, familiar to householders who commonly see bottles labelled as “Ammonia” in the cleaning aisle of grocery stores, comfortingly scented with lemon or pine fragrances, although some is left unscented as well. It is also a common component of some “multi-purpose” cleaners as well as being the primary ingredient in specialty cleaning products such as floor wax remover, jewelry cleaner, and most especially, glass cleaner. “Ammonia” is commonly used to clean glass because it doesn’t leave streaks after wiping and drying, an important characteristic for a cleaner used on shiny or transparent surfaces.
So, it must be safe to say in answer to the above question, what is “Ammonia,” that it is a detergent or other type of cleaner. But that wouldn’t be quite true and is the reason we were careful to always place the word “ammonia” in quotation marks! Continue reading