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.

Replace Your Toxic Household Cleaning Chemicals for a Safer Home Environment

Replace Your Toxic Household Cleaning Chemicals for a Safer Home Environment

In our last blog series, we learned about Indoor Air Pollution that is caused by insufficient ventilation in modern homes which can result in a build-up of toxic chemicals. The build-up occurs because modern homes are so tightly sealed up that when you use these toxic chemicals to clean your home, they are unable to escape to the outside and then simply accumulate each week as you clean your home.

One of the best ways you can reduce the ‘toxic load’ in your indoor environment is simple – replace your toxic cleansers with others that are less toxic.

Grocery Store Cleansers

Rows and Rows and Rows of Cleaning Products line the shelves of the grocery store. It can be intimidating. Do you go with whatever is being advertised heavily? Do you buy what your mother used? Do you decide to take the cheapest (or most expensive) product? A better informed consumer makes an educated purchaser, saving money and time. Here is what you should know.

People use a vast array of different cleansers, deodorizers, anti-bacterials, and other products that can provide cosmetic or a healthy improvement to your home, and they often also remove the harmful bacteria and microorganisms that cause infection and illness. However, many cleaning products leave behind chemical residues that can be as bad for you or worse than the bacteria that they got rid of.

Dangerous Chemicals

The most dangerous chemicals in your home are corrosive cleansers such as oven cleaner, acid-based toilet bowl cleansers, and of course drain cleaners. Even after use, these aggressive chemicals can cause severe burns, both external, as on the skin or eyes, and internal, burning even the esophagus, stomach, and intestines.

You might think that you’re safer with more common cleansers like bleach or ammonia, but both of these can still be punishing irritants. Not only that, but for children, the elderly, and anyone with asthma or heart or lung diseases, bleach or ammonia can cause extreme and severe reactions and should never be used in areas where they can be exposed to them. Additionally, those two can react with other cleaners off-gas, and make highly toxic fumes, creating deadly chlorine gas.

Fragrance Toxicity

Many fragrances that are found in cleaning products and odor eliminators – especially those used in laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and fabric sprays – can cause allergic or even toxic reactions. Companies often claim that their chemical makeups are trade secrets to avoid divulging the specific harmful chemicals and allergens in their products. (Don’t believe us?  Do a google search with the search terms “Are product ‘scents’ safe?”)

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Carcinogens

Immediate reactions to direct exposure are only one form of danger, however. Far more treacherous is that many cleansers have chemicals in them that are known carcinogens or can have neurological or hormonal consequences after prolonged contact. Avoid any product that has diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA),1,4-dioxane, or butyl cellosolve in it. Again- many products that contain those potentially lethal chemicals don’t even list them, so do your research.

Since it’s difficult to find out the specific chemical makeup of any product, your best bet is to only use an EPA-registered, cleaner that you can be sure is non-harmful. True cleanliness isn’t just about a home that appears to be safe and clean, it’s about making sure that everyone that lives there or even just comes to visit is protected from harm.

The good news is that using Nok-Out odor eliminator or SNiPER disinfectant and odor eliminator does not leave toxic residues behind. Fragrance-free SNiPER enjoys the lowest toxicity rating that the EPA gives out. It works to kill bacteria, viruses, mildew and other microbes that can cause illness and infection, but will not cause you or your family harm. Our goal is to do good where we can, with you in mind.

Throw them away!

So throw away those products that are ‘fresh scented’ because those scents might well be causing you harm and no one is protecting consumers from this. Get rid of the bleach you use to kill mold, because it doesn’t really kill the mold anyway and absolutely does not kill the spores. Why spend your money on several products when there is one product that can replace many of those items under your sink? Try SNiPER instead. Your home environment will improve as toxicity levels stop climbing.

SNiPER Kills Mold and Spores

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Clean the Germs from your Devices Safely with SNiPER

Clean the Germs from your Devices Safely with SNiPER

How to clean and Disinfect your phone with SNiPER Disinfectant

When holding your cell phone, tablet or the remote control. Is it oily and smudged with fingerprints or lint on the screen? Are crumbs from a snack lingering on the device? Did you find some stray pet hairs? Forbid the thought, but is it sticky? Yuck.

If any of the above gets a head nod, then, we need to talk. Think about where your mobile devices go. Do they travel from hand to hand? Into pockets where crumbs, candy wrappers, dirty tissues live and forgotten? Are they given to toddlers to handle (who knows where their hands have been?), passed around to various hands to show off images? Studies have shown that there is more invisible crud on your handheld device than on the bottom of your shoe! Gross to consider, isn’t it?

In the November 2013 issue of the “American Journal of Infection Control”, the debate is over. Mobile devices are well-known as a pervasive source of disease transmission. Consequently, we should strive to keep our devices clean and free from germs. Not just for our own health, and the good health of our friends and relatives, but to keep the trade-in value high when you want to upgrade to a new device.

Here are some tips to keep your cell phones, tablets, laptop, keyboard, mouse, and other mobile devices safe for you and friends to touch. Remember however, that mobile devices are not waterproof and cleaning them is tricky. Here are the Best Practices for Cleaning and Disinfecting your mobile equipment:

Regularly use a soft microfiber cloth to wipe away smudges, etc. This method, when regularly used, is also enough to eliminate many common bacteria in our environment. For the nasty bacteria that take a ride on your cellphone, use SNiPER, a hospital grade disinfectant that is safe enough to wash your hand with, to clean and disinfect your phone, tablet or other device. This well documented disinfectant that kills bacteria and viruses safely and efficiently. Never spray SNiPER directly on your gadget. Instead, spray a soft cloth with SNiPER until it is damp/moist, but not wet. Wipe the device carefully, paying attention to the corners, the on/off switch, and volume control. A soft q-tip works well in this instance.

Most manufactures of these devices warn against using “window cleaners, household cleaners, aerosol sprays, solvents, alcohol, ammonia or abrasives”. The unique formulation of SNiPER is non-corrosive and will not harm your device if applied properly. For computer keyboards, which are really a warehouse of stored microbes, dust and food spills, can be cleaned with a can of compressed air and a light spray of SNiPER. (Don’t overdo spraying! Use a gentle spray of SNiPER, and after two or three minutes, wipe away any excess moisture that remains on the surface. Or, apply by spraying a cloth and use that cloth to wipe down your device. Compressed air cans will finish the job for you.)

You really can be as obsessive as you feel is necessary when taking care of these objects. For good health, experts recommend you to wipe your devices daily with a soft microfiber cloth. Don’t forget about wrist pillows, and mouse pads. If they are washable, regularly toss them in with other laundry. If not washable, spray thoroughly with SNiPER. Allow to air dry before using again.

This is easy! Did you know that It takes about 15 consecutive times to form a habit? Consider putting this task in your morning routines for 15 days. By then, it will not be a chore, or a forgotten task, you will make a new habit-and a good one!

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Introducing Chlorine Dioxide – ClO2

Introducing Chlorine Dioxide – ClO2

Chlorine Dioxide is the power behind both Nok-Out and SNiPER.  It is responsible for both disinfecting and for removing odor, and in fact, is used in water treatment facilities all over the planet for just those benefits. Now, you can enjoy these benefits in your home because this product is pet safe and environmentally friendly.  You can use this product in your home and not worry about leaving a toxic mess behind when you clean. It is easy to apply and comes ready to use.  If you have been searching for an environmentally friendly, pet friendly, people friendly product to use when life leaves you little – or big – messes, then this may be the product you are looking for.

In it’s natural state, Chlorine Dioxide 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 is stabilized into a water base. If you check 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 its gaseous state, gas Chlorine Dioxide is toxic.  And 3) as a gas, its useful lifespan is measured in minutes. In our formulation, with Chlorine Dioxide stabilized into a water base,  all 3 of those flip-flopped. It went from hard to use gas, to easy to use liquid, from highly toxic to very low toxicity and third, it went from from very short lifespan to a lifespan measured in years and years.

The wikipedia entry(1) for Chlorine Dioxide tells us, “As a disinfectant it is effective even at low concentrations because of its unique qualities.” Also, “Many evaluations have shown Chlorine Dioxide 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)  Now, you can enjoy these benefits in your own home!

How Does Chlorine Dioxide Work?

Nok-Out and SNiPER™ are highly selective oxidizers and work when they come into direct contact with something smelly.  Oxidizers require direct contact with the odor source to be able to do their work. On contact, they oxidize that stuff, thus eliminating that odor permanently.  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 cover the surface evenly) and walk away, allowing it to air dry. It is during this drying time that Nok-Out does it’s work.

Why Should I Use Chlorine Dioxide? 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!  In the workplace, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requires anyone handling bleach to use a mask and gloves when handling this substance. Scientists in a lab wear gloves and mask and have good ventilation when using this substance. Do you take these precautions when cleaning with bleach in your home? Unlike bleach, using ClO2 does not result in by-products that are toxic to wildlife or the environment. That environment includes your home! You can rely upon  Nok-Out or Sniper  to clean and deodorize while not leaving toxins behind.

Remember, 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.

Bleach does not kill Mold.  Let me say this again – Bleach does not kill mold.  It will weaken mold, and perhaps make it change color, but it won’t kill it.  SNiPER is documented to both kill mold and the spores on contact.

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

In our formulation of Chlorine Dioxide, the technology is a ‘management system’ that manages Chlorine Dioxide in such a way that dangerous by-products do not form. 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 check for us:

Toxicity to:

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

After thorough testing, the EPA has granted us the lowest toxicity rating they give to any disinfectant product.

Is Chlorine Dioxide 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.”(3)  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’.

I have Multiple Chemical Sensitivities – Can I use chlorine dioxide products safely?

 

Yes you can.  Neither Nok-Out nor SNiPER are known to arouse any allergic response.

 

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 3) http://www.cdgenvironmental.com/science/chemistry/ Additional references http://www.nokout.com/SDS-SNiPER.html http://globalenvironmentalrestoration.com/sniper-faq/

How to Manage Mold

How to Manage Mold

Control the Moisture – Control the Mold

Mold and spores are a potential source of irritation including allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory maladies. The EPA tells us that “All molds have the potential to cause health effects”. Mold reproduces through ‘spores’, which are invisibly small and can float around on air currents in a home, office or school. Breathing in these spores can cause sickness and allergies as well as having an unpleasant odor.

The best defense for controlling mold is to control the moisture. If excess moisture is present, it will not be long until mold is growing. So controlling the moisture that mold feeds upon is the best defense.  The best offense for mold is to use SNiPER to kill it safely, without introducing highly toxic cleansers into your home!

SNiPER Kills Mold, Mildew and the Spores Safely
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Check Your Home for Water Leaks

Wherever mold is growing there must be some water source.  Find it, fix it. Look under the sink – is it often wet down there? If yes, find where it is leaking and get that fixed. Other places to check include the drain for your A/C system. These drains can become blocked and then spill over. Check near windows during cold weather – humid indoor air can often condense on cold windows.

Reduce the Humidity

Reduce the humidity in mold-prone areas such as a basement to limit the growth of mold in these areas. You can reduce humidity by:

  • using air conditioners (which remove excess moisture) or de-humidifiers
  • increase ventilation
  • use exhaust fans that are vented outside when cooking, dishwashing and cleaning
  • make sure dryers and bathroom vents are vented outside and not blocked

If you have just had your carpet cleaned, use fans to speed drying and run the fan on your A/C. Prevent condensation around windows by increasing insulation. In areas where moisture is an issue – such as basements and bathrooms – do not install carpeting.

Use SNiPER to Kill the Mold – and the Spores!

When using SNiPER to clean mold, you may need to wear a protective mask, not because of SNiPER, but because you really don’t want to breathe in too much of the spores floating around. The EPA recommends a “N-95” respirator. They also recommend that you wear rubber gloves and goggles to avoid having direct contact with either mold or spores. If you can see mold growing, then spray directly on and around it. Use a scrubber to gently scrub away any crud that can be scrubbed away. Wipe up this crud,  re-spray the area and walk away allowing it to air dry.  For more complete application instructions, see: https://www.nokout.com/Cleaning-Mold-and-Mildew.html.

Kill Mold Spores in the Air

A professional would use a machine called a ‘fogger’ to treat the air. These machines are great, but they are also expensive!  There is a great DIY solution that is not expensive: use a common household vaporizer. For full instructions on how and when to use this common household machine, see https://www.nokout.com/Vaporizer-How-to-use.html

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For more information, see:

https://www.epa.gov/mold/brief-guide-mold-moisture-and-your-home
https://www.nokout.com/Get-Rid-of-Black-Mold.html.

Mold Season

Mold Season

It’s that time of the year again! Temperatures are rising, spring has sprung and it’s almost summer. And with it comes – humidity. The air feels thick, like you could swim through it and, despite that shower you just took, your shirt is already sticking to your back! Gotta love summer!

I do love summer. I get out and exercise more with longer walks in my favorite local parks, go swimming and generally enjoy the outdoors more.

Lots of other organisms like summer too. Things like mold, mildew and the fungus that causes ‘musty’ smells. Many basements become more damp at this time every year due not only to rising humidity, but also due to higher ground water from spring rains.

This is a good way to understand these organisms – they like water. They flourish whenever and wherever water is found. So that shower stall? Be sure and use that squeegee before you leave the stall. The basement? You can help ease the situation by running a de-humidifier throughout the humid summer months. That RV that sat up all winter? It could probably use a good airing out and it certainly wouldn’t hurt to run the de-humidifier there as well.

There are many many places where reducing the water load can help reduce the growth of these organisms. But these measures can only reduce the growth. There are spores from these organisms all around us and in the air. This is normal. (Ever see little dust motes in a sunbeam? I wonder how much of that is really spores?) So even after you have cleaned and disinfected, the first time you open that door to the outside world, you are allowing a little cloud of those spores coming back in to re-infect if they can. Controlling their food source – water – will help determine if you have a bad infestation or just something that needs to be managed at certain times of the year.

Low levels of spores are normal and we can’t easily stop it. At higher concentrations however, spores can cause health problems in people with already weakened defenses, or people with allergies. So if you need to deal with an infestation, you can rely on either SNiPER or Nok-Out for a treatment plan that does not require protective gear to apply, that works well and even kills the spores in the air, all without creating a toxic environment for you and your family.

Dealing with these issues yourself can save you thousands of dollars. And, since you know that our products are safe in your home, you can rest easy knowing you are not contributing to a toxic household. Here’s how.

We’ve got some great ‘how-to’ articles for you:

General tips for Mold remediation: http://www.nokout.com/Cleaning-Mold-and-Mildew.html,
http://www.nokout.com/Mold-and-Mildew-Problem.html
https://www.nokout.com/Get-Rid-of-Black-Mold.html
Basement Mold and Mildew: http://www.nokout.com/Basement-Mold-and-Mildew.html
Shower Stall: http://www.nokout.com/Keep-mold-out-of-your-shower-stall.htm
Kill Spores in the air: http://www.nokout.com/Vaporizer-How-to-use.html

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