Algal Bloom Dead Zones

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?

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quats : 1 nitrogen surrounded and permanently charged

Breaking Down the Details of Quats

As was noted in What Is A “Quat Cleaner”?  for our purposes, “quat” is a shorthand term for a type of chemical known as a quaternary ammonium salt.  Put in the simplest terms then, a quat is a complex organic salt compound that finds multiple applications in the modern world.  And while this definition meets the basic necessities of answering the question, it doesn’t adequately cover some of the details that were embedded and not explicated in the earlier post.

It was noted that despite the similarity in naming, a quat is NOT and does NOT contain either ammonia or the true ammonium ion, Continue reading

Quat Ammonium

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

Killing Black Mold Can be a Challenge

First you have to contend with the fear of black mold, no one likes micro-organisms that can cause illness. Then once you are no longer worried by the black mold infestation, you come to the decision of how to get rid of black mold. Hire a mold remediation company? Try a DIY mold Removal project? What are the cost vs quality issues?

We will explore all of these as we turn to figure out how to kill black mold

Mold Remediation – Let the pros do it

The fastest way to get rid of mold, is to hire a local mold remediation specialist (just open your yellow pages). These companies should be certified by your state to know what they are doing. The draw back to using a mold removal specialist, is of course the cost. Mold Remediation by the books requires a level of caution and protection for the mold company’s employees to prevent them from contracting any illnesses from day-to-day exposure to toxic black mold. Because of the precautions, you can expect to pay more to hire a mold removal company. But, if you have an insurance claim, or mold related health concern, your best bet is to hire a professional and have the mold removed correctly.

DIY Mold Removal

If you have the Skills, or just don’t have the cash to hire a professional mold removal company, then you can consider your black mold removal project a Do-It-Yourself endeavor. You should keep in mind that all of the things the mold removal company makes look easy, you will need to explore on your own. That includes Mold Cleaners – Mold Killing Products and Mold Prevention Products; Mold Removal Tools – Mold ULV Fogger, Pump Sprayer or bucket and Sponge. And of course some basic safety products like gloves, and a dust mask to prevent breathing the Mold Killer Product and to prevent breathing the black mold (or any type of mold for that matter) that you are stirring up by attempting to remove it. (Explore Mold Killer Info for more specific articles on step-by-step black mold removal)

The choice of how to kill black mold is yours

Whether you choose a DIY project or decide to hire a mold remediation professional, getting rid of black mold should be a priority!