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Bleach Smells.. LIKE MONEY!

Bleach. Yes, the most common word this time of year. But it has many names and many misunderstandings. SH, Sodium Hypochlorite, Liquid Chlorine, Laundry Bleach, etc. This chemical is used in many ways in the pressure washing industry to make some serious cash.  Contractors are using bleach for treating mold and algae from houses, roofs, gutters, driveways, and large concrete areas.  Sometimes even accidentally reducing the maple tree population.  “Where do I get this amazing chemical?” you ask, “How do I mix it? How do I apply it?” Soft Washing has become a very popular cleaning method.

I have seen some contractors use off-the-shelf household bleach (usually under 6% Sodium Hypochlorite) but not get the results they were hoping for.   The bleach used in this industry should be stronger than household bleach. The stronger the better in this case. If shopping at a big box store, look in the pool supplies aisle for liquid chlorine, but read the label and make sure it is an 8% to 10% solution. Ideally, you would use a 12.5% solution found from pool supply companies or local distributors.

Here are my top tips for the basics of treating with bleach.

    • Be safe – Sodium Hypochlorite is corrosive. Wear proper protective equipment.
    • Read the SDS Sheet carefully, and make sure you understand it completely.
    • Sodium Hypochlorite should only be mixed with surfactants that are designed for soft washing. Mixing chemicals can be dangerous. Read the label to be sure that they can mix with Sodium Hypochlorite safely.
    • Sodium Hypochlorite should be used within 5 weeks from the time it was manufactured. In 30 days, the percentage of strength can drop nearly 3%.
    • Keep it cool & out of the sun. Warm temperatures can depreciate the strength. Store it under 80º F.
    • Test, Test and Test again. Test a small area before tackling a larger job so you know what to expect before you get started.
    • Practice before bidding a job. Take the time to practice what works for what you are treating.

At Powerwash.com, we see before and after pictures with great results from contractors who have dialed in their mixture. From gross looking surfaces to a solid sparkling surface just from applying and rinsing. The trick is not only having a good mix but also an effective way to apply. Bleach can be downstreamed, used in a pump-up sprayer, or applied with a soft wash system. Surfactants can help the mix dwell longer and stay wet. Some can also help mask the strong odor of that “bleach” smell.  The longer the mix dwells the brighter the surface can be and the more mold will disappear from the surface.  With plenty of practice and research, there is a great potential to be successful treating with this chemical.

There is still more to explain and a lot of helpful Spray-tips in the near future. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. At Info@yyy.powerwash.com or call us 1-800-433-2113.

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