That Darned Cat has stunk-up my carpet!

That Darned Cat has stunk-up my carpet!

Few things on this planet smell as bad as cat pee odor.  It’s bad enough just putting up with that ammonia smell when cleaning the litter box, but when Kitty misses the box, has an accident  (Awww, pore old kitty!), or reacts badly to your extended absence by spraying the walls, it is a whole different story.  This is NOT something that you can just learn to live with.  That cat pee odor is the worst and getting rid of that odor can be quite the challenge. When enzyme-based products have failed you, Nok-Out will remove cat pee odor permanently.

When a cat first pees, it is mildly acidic, but within an hour or so, bacteria begin to break down the urea,  releasing ammonia.  After a few hours, it may have a pH of around 11-12.  Ammonia produced from cat pee will leach the blue and red dyes right out of the fibers comprising your carpet. The result you see may appear to be a yellowish stain.  In truth, however, the other colors are now gone and that yellowish color is all that is left.  No stain remover in the world can restore lost dyes to those fibers.   So it is important that you try to get all of that out of your carpet asap! If your cat has left you little puddle, blot up as much of that as you can, as soon as you can, to prevent this chemical change from ruining your carpet.

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Marking vs Peeing

Cats squat to pee.  But when they are marking territory, they usually back up to a wall or fence and eject their pee sideways onto the fence or wall, and their tail will twitch in an  unusual manner.  This is typical of marking or spraying behavior.  If it occurs outside on your fence, it is often not really noticeable to humans.  But inside your home – OMG!   This can cause you a real pain in the nose!

Go to your local hardware store and get yourself a little UV flashlight  (blacklight).  Cat pee is a strong source of phosphorus and will light up like a little neon sign under a blacklight.  Go around in the evening with the lights out or low and examine the walls for telltale signs of this marking behavior.  Take your Nok-Out with you and spray the areas affected carefully as you find them.  Spray Nok-Out – give it a quick wipe, spray one more time and walk away allowing it to air dry.   Cat pee on the walls may drip down and go between the baseboards and the wall.  Spray there too!

Removing Cat Pee Odor from Hard Surfaces

Older cats and younger cats may have accidents near the litterbox.  You can simply wipe up the puddle and spray directly on that area – and then walk away, allow it to air dry for maximum effect.  Hard surfaces are easy!  It’s the soft ones such as carpet and upholstered furniture that are trouble, because it can be difficult to get at all of the source.

Removing Cat Pee Odor from Carpet

The number one rule for getting Nok-Out to work well is direct contact with the source of the odor. As an oxidizer, Nok-Out is literally unable to do what it does without that direct contact. If you are lucky enough to find a small, fresh puddle that has not yet sunk through the fibers to the floor under your carpet, get an old towel and carefully blot as much as you can. Try to absorb it into the towel rather than pushing the cat pee deeper into your carpet. Spray the area with Nok-Out and use your fingers to try and work it down into the fibers a bit; again, you are trying to get Nok-Out to go to the same places the cat pee went, in order to make contact with all of the cat pee.

If you are dealing with a situation in which cats have peed repeatedly on the carpet in some room, use that black light to try and determine the extent of the damage.  Maybe it can be cleaned away using a rental carpet cleaner by following these instructions.  If it is really bad, however, it may be smartest to simply replace the carpet in that room.  You can treat the hard surfaces – floor and walls – easily, with Nok-Out.  Replacing the source of so  much grief is often easier than trying to salvage something that has been abused badly.

Nok-Out is non-toxic and can be used safely in your home.  It is non-corrosive and requires no special handling or equipment to use.  Give Ted a call at 866 551 1927 with any questions.  Buy some Nok-Out today and breathe easier!

Flood Recovery

Flood Recovery

OMG Flooding

Disaster! Your home has been flooded! Two feet deep. And all that water came with a LOT of mud and muck that has started to stink. What to do? How can SNiPER or Nok-Out help with flood recovery? Restoring a home that has been flooded is an immense amount of work that is complicated by the sludge left behind because that sludge is likely to have everything from toxic chemicals to overflow from sewage ponds in it. Given that you must dry everything within 48 hours to stop the growth of mold, mildew and fungal infestations, you have a powerful need for a disinfecting odor eliminator to help you restore your home, your car, your offices. This is a perfect use for SNiPER, because with this one product, you can both disinfect and deodorize as part of flood recovery.

Disinfection

You need to disinfect not only for the nasty pathogens that may come from the sewage ponds, but also because natures little recyclers (mold, mildew, fungus) will begin growing within 48 hours if you cannot dry it out. Some – not all!  – but some of those molds are actually quite toxic and you really don’t want that stuff adding to the problems.

Odors

Many stinks in the world are of biological origin. A good example is sweat. Our perspiration is not smelly, until bacteria living in our skin start eating it. Their excrement is what stinks – not your feet! So killing or holding down the growth of biologicals can help keep horrible odors at bay.  As both a disinfectant and odor eliminator, SNiPER is perfect for flood relief, and home restoration.

How can SNiPER help my flooded home?

After you have pumped out the water, after the carpet and the upholstered furniture has all been thrown out to the curb, after the baseboards have been removed and holes poked in the drywall to allow trapped water to escape, it may well still be damp. But you can already begin spraying SNiPER even if it IS still a bit damp. Lightly spraying those damp areas that have stayed wet for 48 hours will slow the growth of biologicals and is an important part of flood recovery. It will not prevent the growth, but it can slow it down until your home has dried out further. The only thing that will stop the growth is for the area to be dry and SNiPER can retard growth enough to help prevent the entire structure being eaten by mold.

If mold has already started growing visibly, spray directly on it. (Be safe! Wear an N-95 mask, gloves and eye protection. If you start feeling ill or woozy, stop, go outside and breathe fresh air, before deciding if you can continue.) Use a soft scrub pad from the kitchen and try to scrub the crud loose, wipe it away, spray one more time and then you can walk away, leaving it to air dry naturally. If possible, use a ‘fogger’ for maximum efficiency in spraying. See below for links to many of our ‘how-to‘ articles on controlling mold.

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Why can’t I just use bleach?

Bleach doesn’t kill mold. Let me say this one more time – bleach does not kill mold. It will weaken the growth and it will make it change color, but bleach does not kill mold or the spores. SNiPER kills both – safely.

What about my furniture?

That overstuffed sofa that you like so much is likely to take several days to dry in the best of conditions. It is highly likely that mold will begin growing deep inside the stuffing where you cannot see it. Given the difficulty of drying and then removing the odor from that sludge, it is unlikely that sofa will ever be usable again. It is possible that you could clean it up, but given the demands on your time and the difficulty associated with cleaning it up, you will have to decide if it is worth trying to save it. It will certainly be a long row to hoe if you want to save it!

What about clothing? Can SNiPER save my clothes?

Yes – SNiPER or Nok-Out can be added to loads of laundry and if there is visible mold present, SNiPER will kill it. See https://www.nokout.com/Laundry-Odors.html for instructions.

Spores?

“My home is mostly dry, but still damp in some places. I know mold is growing because I can smell it. Should I worry about the spores in the air?”

Yes – you should worry! Breathing in mold spores is not a good idea. Spraying the air with SNiPER will kill the spores. A professional would use a fogger to spray the air, because this machine can create droplet sizes that are small enough to float around on the breeze. Wonderful machines, but expensive. A slower alternative is to use a common household vaporizer or a room humidifier. These can do the same thing but are very slow. We have a good article for you here.

I have a 2500 ft2 house. How much SNiPER do I need?

A very good question. And, one that is not easy to answer because it depends on so many things, such as ‘how much do you spray’?, ‘should I spray more here’? ‘am I spraying enough? or not enough’? and so on. We think that you will need around 1.5 gallons to make it around the house once spraying economically. But you may find that you need more than that.

In general, spray enough that the area becomes wet, but not so much that it runs down the wall as if you had sprayed too much paint. Do not wipe it away, instead, allow it to air dry. SNiPER is non-corrosive and will not damage the sprayed surfaces.

Sewer Bacteria

A very important consideration is the bacteria that come up out of sewers during a ‘big flooding’ event. Wherever that nasty water went – it carried those bacteria with it. These bacteria can easily pass to you if you touch something wet and then later, touch your mouth. Stop this mode of transmission by spraying interior surfaces with SNiPER.

Stay Safe!

Wear the mask (N-95) to avoid the possibility of breathing in spores and other muck. If you begin to feel ill – stop! Go outside and recover. Consider hiring a pro to do this for you. Here are symptoms to watch out for:

  • headaches
  • rashes or hives
  • eye irritation
  • nasal passage/sinus congestion or irritation
  • difficulty breathing
  • nosebleeds

Keep children away from standing water and mud, which is often contaminated with toxic chemicals and sewage. Pay attention to dangerous debris such as boards with protruding nails. Unplug all electronics and electrical devices. Make sure that gas is shut off. Avoid drinking tap water until you are sure it is drinkable again.

Some of our ‘How-to’ mold articles

https://www.nokout.com/Cleaning-Mold-and-Mildew.html
https://www.nokout.com/Get-Rid-of-Musty-smells.html
https://www.nokout.com/Basement-Mold-and-Mildew-Removal.html
https://www.nokout.com/Get-Rid-of-Black-Mold.html
https://www.nokout.com/Mold-and-Mildew-Problem.html
https://www.nokout.com/Keep-black-mold-out-of-your-shower-stall.html

More Information

https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-cleanup-after-floods?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=
https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-08/documents/mold._homeowners_and_renters_guide_to_cleanup_after_disasters.pdf

Smelly Shoes – we can fix that!

Smelly Shoes – we can fix that!

Smelly shoes can stink-up an entire living room. Just ask the parents of any teenage boy! It is an odor that is powerful, pungent and potentially embarrassing. And it doesn’t just happen to teenage boys – I’ve fielded dozens of phone calls from women complaining about it in hushed tones and a quiet voice. But thinking this problem through and applying Nok-Out or SNiPER correctly can eliminate this smelly shoe problem.

The Problem: BROMODOSIS   (Yep – Frank Zappa did not just make up that word)

Here is the good news: It is NOT your feet that are the source of the smell. It is the excreta from microbes that you smell. Microbe poop! After you have washed your feet – they don’t smell anymore. (If you are really concerned, you can spray your feet down with either Nok-Out or SNiPER and allow them to air dry.) So it is not your feet that stink – it’s the microbes feeding on your sweat that are the cause of smelly shoes and smelly feet.

Let’s first think about what causes “Stinkfoot”. It’s sweat, that is trapped in the shoe, providing food for microbes that feed upon the salts and other chemicals in our perspiration. Inside your shoe, it is warm and a bit damp and dark – perfect growing conditions for many microbes. When you wear the same pair of shoes day in, day out, your perspiration accumulates leaving the salts behind after the moisture has evaporated. You wear that pair of shoes again the next day and a new accumulation occurs, and so on. At some point, the moisture and salts get pushed down deep into seams, crevices and pores of the shoe material and the shoe becomes impregnated with all that stuff. By this time, you might not be able to take the smelly shoes off and stay in the same room with them. Yuck!

Nok-Out (or SNiPER) Can Remove the Odor From Your Smelly Shoes!

Here is what to do.

Before you start, bear in mind that our products do their work when they come into direct contact with the odor source. Without contact with all the smelly stuff, Nok-Out or SNiPER will not be able to do what they do.

If possible, remove the inner sole and spray it with either Nok-Out or SNiPER. Wipe it down carefully and then spray it again, this time, allowing it to stay wet up to 10 minutes. Spray again if necessary to keep it wet.

Turning to the shoes themselves, bear in mind that it probably took many months of wear for the shoes to get really smelly, so a light mist sprayed into the shoe just won’t cut it. You’ll need to spray it heavily enough that it will seep into the seams and crevices where it can come into direct contact with all of that smelly stuff.

1) Spray heavily, then use a washcloth to wipe down the interior of the shoe. Hopefully, you’ll be able to wipe away a lot of the dissolved material.
2) Spray heavily again. Try to open the shoes up a bit so that there is air getting in all the way to the toe area.
3) Allow the shoes to dry thoroughly. Repeat as needed.

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Buy a Gallon of Nok-Out Odor Eliminator NokOut Odor Eliminator

TIPS

– When you get a new pair of shoes, be proactive and don’t wait for them to start smelling. After wearing them, remove the inner sole and spray them lightly with Nok-Out or SNiPER, and let them air dry fully before putting them away.  Do this regularly, and a problem will never develop.

– If possible, don’t wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. Give them a day to dry and air out thoroughly. If you go with this prevention method, there is a good chance that your shoes – and feet – will never become really stinky.

– Wear socks. Socks absorb sweat and will thus reduce the amount of ‘food source’ that is deposited into the shoe. The below-the-ankle socks available for both men and woman today really make this a no brainer.

Smelly Shoe Humor

Just to put things in perspective:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9FBQ1O5F8k The song “Stinkfoot” by the late, great Frank Zappa.

Stinky Dirty Diapers-Remove that Odor with SNiPER!

Stinky Dirty Diapers-Remove that Odor with SNiPER!

Issues related to odor and bacteria in baby diapers

Horrors!

Diaper Pail first:

Horrible smells drift lazily around the bathroom or nursery. Smells that gag, cause men to faint, and make a person wonder if a baby was such a good idea after all. The Diaper Pail reeks of old stale urine and poop.

Wait! Maybe you don’t know about SNiPER. I’ll explain that later, but for now, let’s just examine how to stop that smell every time it happens!

Some simple remedies are just common sense. Your retching makes you forget them. Let’s be calm and keep going.

You don’t need any fancy contraptions to have a clean diaper pail.

Try to limit the number of dirty diapers that accumulate in the pail. This may mean more trips to the garbage can outside, but it does keep that nasty-smelling air from leaking into the baby’s nursery.

Another good tip. Always spray SNiPER into the empty pail. Spray SNiPER into the plastic bag insert. Keep the lid open to allow SNiPER to dry a bit. (It is during the drying process that SNiPER does it’s job.)

Regular air fresheners only mask poop odor. They really don’t have a long life span, even at that. The SNiPER formula is long lasting because it removes the odor completely (until another dirty diaper is dumped in the pail!)

Spray SNiPER in the pail both before and after tossing the dirty diaper.

Wash or spray SNiPER in the diaper pail often-at least once a day. This simple act cuts out much of the bacteria in the pail and in the air and helps keep the home more sanitary.

Both chlorine bleach and ammonia are sometimes used for this detail. Chlorine bleach is not at all safe in the nursery-anywhere. The fumes can be a powerful irritant to a baby’s sensitive skin and lungs. Ammonia is useful sometimes as well, but ammonia doesn’t have any antibacterial properties and is not safe for tender skin. Nor are the chemical air fresheners we tend to use. Particularly in a nursery, added chemicals in the air are a problem. A baby’s sensitive and brand-new lungs do not need harsh chemicals. Just fresh, clean and odor-free air. SNiPER, on the other hand, releases no unwanted or unsafe cleaning byproducts which may cause harm.

Diaper Bags:

Keep a clean plastic bag in your Diaper bag. You can also spray in inside the plastic bag before use. Allow it to dry. On your return to home, Dispose the bag and its contents. Some moms will shake the contents of the plastic bag in the toilet, and then dispose the plastic bag properly. Spray the interior of your diaper bag with SNiPER, and let dry before the next use.

Other Baby Issues:

Of course, after each diaper change, baby’s bottom must be washed. Use SNiPER to ensure that the baby’s bottom is clean and safe from bacteria collecting there. SNiPER is proven to be harmless by independent lab analyses. This link: https://www.nokout.com/MSDS-SNiPER.html, supplies you with the assurance that no dermal issues exist when used as directed. Dip a clean cloth in SNiPER, squeeze excess moisture, and gently wash the affected area. You can warm the cloth, then spray it with SNiPER.

Does anyone still use cloth diapers? These diapers really save lots of money! Research indicates that even if you use a diaper service, cloth diapers save as much as $2000.00 over disposables. Cloth diapers are also known to keep down diaper rashes. However, a combination of cloth and disposables makes a lot of sense. Disposable on-the-go, and cloth for every day economy and regular use. One of the ‘cons’ regarding cloth diapers are they are messy to clean. You WILL be doing laundry more often.

Babies and diapers become a personal issue for moms. Time, money, ease of use, and safest for the baby are primary questions for the new, or experienced Mom. Remember SNiPER. Your best friend in the nursery and beyond!

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Help! My kid’s hockey equipment stinks to high heaven!

Help! My kid’s hockey equipment stinks to high heaven!

It is hockey season again. And all that equipment can stink up a closet something fierce.

SNiPER to the rescue!

Kids – and adults – sweat like crazy when playing hockey and that sweat gets into every nook and crevice of the equipment. So does dead skin cells and other crud that provides food for the bacteria that are the real cause behind this stink.

Here’s how to fix it:

1) Wear a layer between the skin and the equipment. This helps capture both sweat and dead skin cells that provide a food source to odor-producing bacteria.

2) When you get home, take the equipment out of the bag and hang it all up to dry. Giving it a good spray with SNiPER at this stage can reduce the frequency with which you will need to put the gear into the washer. If possible, wash the clothing immediately. If it is not possible, hanging damp clothing up to dry reduces the moisture source necessary for those stink-producing microbes to thrive.

3) Spray the equipment down with SNiPER as you are hanging it up. Pay special attention to straps and other areas that are likely to absorb sweat. No matter how careful you are, at some point you will need to throw the equipment into the wash. If you are using your washing machine, add 6 – 8 oz of SNiPER to a pre-wash cycle and allow it to soak for up to 30 minutes. You can put all clothing, shin, elbow and shoulder pads and gloves into the wash. Don’t put your helmet into the wash! Be sure and ‘mate’ any velcro items to prevent tangling. Turn gloves inside out and spray with SNiPER carefully and thoroughly – allow to air dry.

If you don’t want to throw the equipment into your washer, then find a wash tub that is big enough, add SNiPER to the water (about 6 oz to a gallon of water). Before you toss the equipment in, give it a good rinse first, then into the tub and allow it to soak for an hour. Take it out, hang it up and allow it to dry. It wouldn’t hurt to put fans on it to speed the drying process.

Put clothing items into the dryer, but not pads or gloves. Air dry outside, when possible.

4) Skates can get really stinky. Give them a little spritz after every use and open the ‘throat’ a bit to allow it more air to dry more fully. If they are really damp, pull the inner soles out and allow them to dry separately. If you are one of those who frequently have shoe odor problems, it would be a good idea to give your skates a little spritz every time, after you have worn them.

Introducing Chlorine Dioxide – ClO2

Introducing Chlorine Dioxide – ClO2

The active ingredient in Nok-Out and SNiPER™ is a substance called chlorine dioxide. This substance has unique properties and is responsible for both eliminating odors and for disinfecting. The wikipedia entry1 for ClO2 tells us, “As a disinfectant it is effective even at low concentrations because of its unique qualities.”

In it’s natural state, ClO2 is a gas like helium or nitrogen. As you might imagine, gases are quite difficult for most people to use. For our products, this gas has been stabilized into a water base. If you examine the ingredients on the SDS, you can see that SNiPER™ is 99.59% water.

Historically, no consumer grade product was developed for 3 important reasons: 1) gasses are hard to use – most of us can’t. 2) In it’s gaseous state, gas ClO2 is toxic. And 3) in it’s gaseous form, it’s useful lifespan is measured in minutes. In our formulation, when ClO2 was stabilized into this water base, all 3 of those flip-flopped. It went from hard to use gas, to easy to use liquid; from toxic to very low toxicity (the EPA gives Sniper a “IV” rating for toxicity – that’s the lowest toxicity rating they give out) and third, it went from from very short lifespan to a lifespan measured in years and years.

“Many evaluations have shown ClO2 compounds to be non-toxic. Five decades of use have not indicated any adverse effects on health. The main areas of use have been disinfecting water supplies, the elimination of unwanted tastes and odors…”2

How Does It Work?

Nok-Out and SNiPER™ are highly selective oxidizers and when they come into direct contact with something smelly, they oxidize that stuff, thus eliminating that odor permanently.

Oxidizers require direct contact with the odor source to be able to do their work. It takes some time for this oxidization process to occur, so if you were to spray onto a hard surface and then immediately wipe it up, there may not be time for this work to take place. it’s usually best to spray, wipe (to smear it around evenly) and walk away, allowing it to air dry. It is during this drying time that Nok-Out does it’s job.

Why Should I Use ClO2? Why Not Just Use Bleach?

The dangers of using bleach are well documented, (do a google search for “is bleach dangerous?” and you’ll see!) but there is no protective agency warning consumers of these health hazards. In the workplace, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requires anyone handling bleach to use a mask and gloves when handling this substance. Even scientists in a lab will wear gloves and mask and have good ventilation when using this product. Do you take these precautions when cleaning with bleach in your home?

Unlike bleach, the reaction that takes place in removing odors or in disinfecting when using ClO2 does not result in by-products that are toxic to wildlife or the environment. That environment includes your home! So both Nok-Out and Sniper products can be relied upon to clean and deodorize while not contributing to a toxic home or office.

Additionally, bleach is a strongly corrosive material that WILL irritate the eyes, skin and respiratory tract. These dangers are greatly increased when it is mixed with other cleaners, sometimes forming toxic gasses that can seriously damage your health.

How is Nok-Out and SNiPER™ Different from Bleach?

In our formulation of ClO2, the technology we have is a management system that manages ClO2 in such a way that dangerous by-products are not formed and no raw chlorine is ever released. This stabilized formulation is recognized by the EPA as being of very low toxicity in the 4 categories of toxicity they care about:

  • toxicity to skin – level “IV”  (the lowest rating they allow)
  • toxicity to eyes – level “IV”
  • toxicity to be inhaled – level “IV”
  • toxicity to be ingested – level “IV”

After thorough testing, the EPA has granted us the lowest toxicity rating they give out.

Is ClO2 Environmentally Friendly?

“Because chlorine dioxide oxidizes but does not chlorinate, chlorinated organic by-products (e.g., THM, HAA, dioxins, furans) typically are not produced. Neither does chlorine dioxide produce appreciable amounts of aldehydes, ketones, ketoacids nor other problematic compounds associated with oxidation of organic matter by other, less selective means.” Additionally, toxicological studies have shown that Chlorine dioxide disinfection pose no significant risk to human or animals. So yes, both SNiPER and Nok-Out can be considered as being ‘green’.

Thanks for reading! If you have questions, please send an email to ted@nokout.com or call 866 551 1927.

References

1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorine_dioxide
2) http://www.grandcircuitinc.com/sites/default/files/Howard%20Alliger%20-%20An%20Overall%20View%20Cl02.pdf

Additional references

http://www.nokout.com/SDS-SNiPER.html
http://globalenvironmentalrestoration.com/sniper-faq/