Disinfect – Yes!  But don’t Harm your Equipment doing it.

Disinfect – Yes! But don’t Harm your Equipment doing it.

Sniper is Non-Corrosive to your devices

This coronavirus has us all scrambling to sanitize and disinfect our spaces. And not just the spaces, but high touch-point areas such as keyboards, electronics tools autos trucks, and so on that we come into direct contact with daily. When I was in a store recently and used the keypad while submitting payment, I noted that it was both sticky and crumbling. When I asked the store person about it, she replied that they are using bleach daily to disinfect that touchpad. I pointed out that the bleach – being corrosive – was eating away the plastic on the pad and it was falling apart, she just shrugged her shoulders (because really, what can she do?).

This is an important aspect of Sniper as a disinfectant – Sniper is non-corrosive. When spraying electronic equipment or your phone, it is really not smart to use something that is going to corrode that equipment. It is much smarter to find a product that won’t cause that harm. In addition to its other wonderful properties, Sniper is safe for hard and porous surfaces. You can rely on it to not cause harm to your touch screen, or your keyboard, or to any of the other devices or equipment you use.

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Buy a 4 ounce spray bottle of Sniper Sniper disinfectant is non-corrosive

The same is true for other equipment. I fielded a call from our local fitness center. They had been spraying their machines with some corrosive product and the rubber handles began corroding after only a few days. You can imagine how that would feel in your hands – a tacky, sticky, crumbling mess! And this after only a few days.

Be smart. Sniper doesn’t cause harm to most surfaces because it is non-corrosive. And because it is non-corrosive, it doesn’t cause harm to skin if you happen to get some on yourself. Find yourself a small spray bottle and carry it with you to disinfect surfaces you come in contact with when out in public. The 4 oz spray bottle is ideal for this!

Related Reading

A Brief History of Humans versus Dirt

A Brief History of Humans versus Dirt

One of the great things about Nok-Out and SNiPER is their environmental friendliness. They are both quite safe for use in your house or place of work and this is something that distinguishes our products from other cleansers, which are not so nice, not so friendly to your environment. So I became a little curious and did a little research into how modern cleaning products developed. It is actually kind of interesting. To me, anyway. I hope you will get something good from it too, because in a very real way, it is Humans Versus Dirt. And we have to stay on top of this!

History of Clean

Water was our first cleaner and is sometimes referred to as the closest thing there is to a ‘universal solvent’. All kinds of stuff dissolves into water and, of course, we still use it today because it is so good at being a solvent. Around 2200 BC, the Babylonians made the first known ‘soaps’. Their soap was made from ash and animal fats and water. The Egyptians improved on this by using vegetable oils and alkaline salts that they used for laundry and for their skin as well. The ancient Greeks didn’t use soaps, but instead, scrubbed themselves with salt, clay, pumice and the like, topped off with a coating of oils, which they then scrapped off their skin using a tool called a strigil.

Romans worshiped their Gods by sacrificing animals. The fats that drained out mixed with water and volcanic or other ash to create the first lye solutions. One of the temples where this occurred was named “Sapo” and it is from this place that we get the modern word ‘soap’.

Stinking their way through life…

Alas, Roman civilization collapsed and with it went the habit of washing ourselves. The average person in Europe had no access to any cleanser other than water and personal cleanliness became a thing of the past. Heavens! Can you imagine the stench?!? While our European ancestors were stinking their way through life, the Islamic societies were using soaps with a pleasant smell made from olive oil, lime and alkali. These were exported to Europe. The 16th century in Europe saw the first European production of soaps made from vegetable oil only – called Castile Soap. It was not until the 18th century in Europe, that advertising campaigns promoted the awareness of the relationship between cleanliness and health.

Once the industrial revolution got going, we had production of bar soap and then – liquid soap. BJ Johnson used palm and olive oils to make ‘palmolive” liquid soap. Since then has been a lot of changes as detergents were introduced and the miracle of modern chemistry was applied to cleaning products. Instead of using natural products such as animal or vegetable derived fats and oils, chemists began producing more and more powerful chemical cleansers with components whose names are difficult to pronounce. (A good example is”alkylbenzenesulfonates” and if you go looking at the ingredients list of cleaners, you will certainly find many more!)

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

All this Modern Cleanliness is healthy, Right?

Although modern cleaning products do an awesome job of cleaning, some of them are harsh and smell bad. Other ingredients are highly toxic and dangerous – like bleach and ammonia. Many of these chemicals smelled terrible and people wouldn’t use them. So the manufacturers began adding chemical fragrances to hide the really awful chemical smells.

Somewhere along the way, people have become trained (like Pavlov’s dogs!) to believe that when you smell that fresh scent, you know it is clean. Well, it may be clean in the sense that you have washed away the populations of microbes successfully, but the chemicals are still there and they may leave residues and by-products that distort the relationship between being clean and being healthy. Is a home really ‘clean’ when the cleansers being used create a toxic indoor atmosphere? This is some of what is driving the concerns about Indoor Air Pollution and also why the EPA tells us that it is not uncommon for our homes to have up to 400% of the ‘pollution’ found in outdoor air.

What to do? How to choose a cleaner that won’t harm my home and family?

Like most things in life, there is a middle ground that is probably the best place to be. There may be times when you do need to use bleach or other harsh chemicals inside your home. But most of the time, a lesser cleaning solution that is not so harsh will work just fine. A friend who is a carpet cleaner says that “Green Cleaning’ means using cleansers that have a neutral or near-neutral pH. This makes a lot of sense to me. Look at the following table

     Cleaner   pH  
Chlorine Bleach 11 – 13 Alkaline
Ammonia 11 – 12 Alkaline
Tub & Tile Cleaner 11 – 13 Alkaline
Borax 10 Alkaline
Mild Dish Soap 7 – 8 slightly alkaline
Cleaning Vinegar 3 acidic
Toilet Bowl Cleaner 1 – 3 Acidic

Remember your chemistry class? The scale goes from 1 to 14 with neutral being 7. You can see that most cleansers are alkaline and the really powerful ones are very high pH. It is the extremes that deserve special care because they are the ones likely to form harmful by-products. It is risky when some of them are combined, as might be the case if you are cleaning your toilet bowl with more than one cleaner.

The Bottom Line

We have come a long way since water was our only cleanser and in the battle of humans versus dirt, we are winning. Our homes and bodies and clothes are LOTS cleaner now than they have ever been in the past, but due to cleanser residues and chemical by-products that can form, the quality of our indoor air has suffered. This is especially true in homes that are sealed tightly against heat or cold.

What to Do?

The solution is to use those powerful cleansers sparingly and only when you have good ventilation. Take great care when using more than one cleaner. You are likely to leave small amounts of chemical residues behind as you clean. The cleanser you use next may cause dangerous fumes to develop, such as can happen when ammonia comes in contact with bleach. As a general rule, you and your home will be safe if you use cleaning products that do not stray far from the neutral 7.

Nok-Out and SNiPER both have a pH of around 8.5 which is close enough to the middle ground of 7 that it is unlikely to cause any harm. Mild dish soap is one of the most useful and least harmful cleaners. Vinegar may be a natural product but with a pH of 3 is is a fairly strong acid.

Additional Reading

How to Sanitize your Phone or Tablet

How to Sanitize your Phone or Tablet

We all wash our hands regularly because they are in contact with the rest of the world – shopping cart handles, doorknobs, money, toilet seats, other hands – the list goes on and on. We wash our hands to stay protected, it’s also a good idea to clean and sanitize your phone and tablets to continue that protection. Add to this that flu season is here. SNiPER is perfect for cleaning your devices because it is not corrosive and won’t cause harm to touch screens. Here’s how to use SNiPER to clean and sanitize your phone or tablet.

What you’ll need

– One or two clean, lint-free soft cloths that won’t scratch. A lens cloth is perfect, but you can also use microfiber cloths.
– Cotton swabs
-Sniper disinfectant

Here’s the process

First, remove any protective cover from the device.

No matter how careful you might be, you aren’t going to spray the phone directly, (but you can spray down the protector case later if needed). Instead of spraying the device directly, spray a corner of one of the cloths until it is damp. Take that damp cloth and wrap the damp bit around one or two of your fingers so that the wet bit is around your fingertips. Then you can use your wrapped fingertip to gently scrub down the screen of your device. If you scrub for at least 1 minute with the wet cloth, you can be satisfied that your phone/tablet screen is sanitized. Clean the back and sides if they need it.

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Buy a 32 oz spray bottle of SNiPER SNiPER Disinfectant 32 ounce

Other important bits to clean

Find the charging port and inspect it. If there is a lot of dust present, blow onto it gently. Don’t use compressed air because that can bend the tiny connecting wires. If that doesn’t get it, use the cotton swab very gently to wipe around the exterior of the port. If dust persists inside, where the connections are made, blow sharply into the port. Don’t use a toothpick to try and clean inside. It is far too easy to bend the connecting wires out of alignment, and then you’ll have a new problem!

Cleaning the case or protector is easy. You can spray it directly, or you can use the still damp cloth to wipe it down thoroughly. After everything has dried, you can put it all back together again. It’s easy to clean and sanitize your phone or tablet!

You can also use SNiPER to sanitize your computer mouse, keyboard and other devices. The same techniques of spraying the cloth – and not the device – will work perfectly.

Additional information here: https://blog.nokout.com/what-level-of-clean-is-right-for-you/

Want to use Nok-Out or SNiPER in your home carpet cleaning machine?

Want to use Nok-Out or SNiPER in your home carpet cleaning machine?

Great Idea! Here’s how.

Maybe your new puppy has had a few accidents on your carpet and it is beginning to smell bad. Or maybe you have a new baby that is soon to be crawling on your carpets or rugs and you’d like to disinfect them. There are many reasons you might want to use Nok-Out or SNiPER in your home carpet cleaning machine, and using either of them on your carpets and rugs can be a great idea. It will work just fine and can remove the odor or do a great job of sanitizing – or both. Remember that Nok-Out eliminates odors. SNiPER both eliminates the odors and sanitizes.

It doesn’t matter what type of machine you have – they all work more or less the same. Nok-Out and SNiPER are both non-corrosive and will not cause harm to the machine so they are perfectly safe. It’s easy to use Nok-Out or SNiPER in your home carpet cleaning machine. Best of all, it works great!

Deodorizing with Nok-Out or SNiPER

First – give your carpet a good vacuuming. Most of the ‘soils’ in your carpet are not water-soluble and vacuuming them up will prevent the formation of ‘mud’ when it gets wet. It’s a lot easier to pull that stuff out of your carpet while it is dry.

Next, you have to make a decision. If your carpet is really dirty and needs washing, then clean it first using your favorite carpet cleaning detergent and hot water. I think it is better to clean first – if needed – and deodorize or sanitize after. This eliminates the possibility of the detergent reacting unfavorably with Nok-Out or SNiPER (this is highly unlikely but better safe than sorry). Nok-Out or SNiPER will be able to do a better job of deodorizing or sanitizing when the grime is gone first. When you have finished the cleaning phase, the ‘best practice’ is to perform a clean water rinse to be doubly sure you are not leaving detergent residue behind.

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

Maybe your carpet is fairly clean looking but has odor issues. In this case, you may not need to shampoo first, you can instead just focus on the next step when you are deodorizing using Nok-Out or SNiPER. We recommend a ratio of 4 (cold) water to 1 Nok-Out (or SNIPER) for deodorizing. It is highly unlikely that Nok-Out or SNiPER might cause color bleeding, but it is always a good idea to test this in an inconspicuous area first. This is especially true for natural fiber carpet or rugs. Use your machine slowly during this step. When finished, make a final pass that is vacuum only to try and get up as much of the liquid as possible. Put fans on the carpet to speed drying. In the summer, turn the AC down to a lower-than-normal temperature until the carpet has fully dried.

Sanitizing is quick and easy with SNiPER

For sanitizing, you can dilute SNiPER by 6 to 1. The process is the same as for simple deodorizing. Do not perform an additional ‘rinse only’ step at the end. For more information on the difference between sanitizing and disinfecting, see: http://blog.nokout.com/what-level-of-clean-is-right-for-you/.

So you see, using Nok-Out or SNiPER in your home carpet cleaning machine is easy and reliable. It can make a big dofference in your home. Give it a try! You’ll be glad you did!

What ‘Level of Clean’ is right for your home?

What ‘Level of Clean’ is right for your home?

Keeping Your Home Safe – Sanitizing or Disinfecting?

There is nothing like that feeling of satisfaction when you survey your newly cleaned home. But we all know that just because something looks clean, it doesn’t mean that it truly is clean, because germs that can cause illness are all around us. Some germs, such as Salmonella, E. Coli, canine parvovirus or Influenza can persist on hard surfaces all around us at home, at work and at school.  Some can persist on those surfaces for a year or more. For more than a century now, we have been taught to sanitize and clean so as to remain healthy and germ free. Preventing the spread of illness through hard surface disinfection or sanitizing can help keep your family safe and healthy. But what ‘level of clean’ is appropriate for your home?

Here are some tips to help you decide what ‘level of clean’ is appropriate for your home and work place.

What is the difference between Disinfecting and Sanitizing?

A non-technical explanation is that disinfecting means that you kill 99.999% of germs within a certain time limit (usually not exceeding 10 minutes).  Disinfecting ensures a high level of clean. Sanitizing means that you kill 99.9% of germs within 1 minute. The difference between 99.999% and 99.9% may not seem like much to you or me, but a microbiologist will tell you it is a big difference. Certainly it takes more work to achieve disinfection.  Sanitizing, on the other hand, is a level of clean that is practical and realistic and can be achieved in 1 minute.

How do I Know Whether to Disinfect or Sanitize?

You can think of disinfection and sanitizing as 2 points on a continuum. To the right is disinfected. In the middle is sanitized. To the left is dirty. Disinfection will require a high degree of care to achieve. This means more work. Often, however, that level of cleanliness is what is needed. If, for example, you brought home a new puppy and then discovered that the pup had canine parvo virus, you would need to thoroughly disinfect, because that is a really difficult pathogen that can live for a long time on a wall or something, just waiting for the right conditions to activate again.

Your bathroom, for another example, is probably a place where you would want to get closer to disinfection. In other places, ‘sanitizing’ is likely a level of clean that is ‘clean enough’. We’ll never get rid of all the germs in our homes, but we can find the ‘degree of clean’ on that continuum where our families can live safely and happily.

Where Exactly are These Germs?

High-touch areas where many people will put their hands such as door knobs, light switches, computer keyboards and mice, refrigerator door handles, car door handles, telephones (both desktop and hand helds) even pencils and markers! Any surface where many hands touch is a candidate to spread germs.

Kitchen – the cutting board is a surface that needs to be cleaned regularly and well, lest that chicken you cut up spread germs (such as salmonella) to your tomatoes and lettuce. Sanitizing your cutting boards regularly will go a long way towards keeping your family safe. The door handle to your fridge – in addition to the inside – is another area where you can expect that germs will multiply if allowed. The sink drain area, being wet often, is a growth spot for germs. Add faucet handles to the list

Bathroom – as crazy as this may sound, there are studies showing that the bathroom is cleaner than your kitchen. This may or may not be true for you, but in many homes, bathrooms are the subject of frequent and intense cleaning. Especially when those homes have small children. High touch surfaces here would include the toilet flush handle, light switches, the hand towel, handles to the shower and cabinet doors. Don’t forget the shower floor!

Office – how many of you eat or drink at your desk? I know my computer keyboard is too scary to think about. Then there is also office equipment where many hands other than just yours touch.

Classrooms – all it takes is one kid coming to school with the flu, and it can spread rapidly.

Other hard surfaces that need regular cleaning include countertops, toys, changing tables and remote controls.

Buy a Gallon of SNiPER Disinfectant & Odor Eliminator SNiPER Kills Mold

You can dilute SNiPER by 6 to 1 for no-rinse Sanitizing.

First, clean any mess that is present. Then just spray dilute SNiPER onto that surface, and walk away. It’s that easy. It’s that effective. Just one minute to a ‘sanitized’ level of clean!

Can I ‘sanitize’ food preparation surfaces such as cutting boards with SNiPER?

Yes, you can. Clean away any debris first, then spray diluted SNiPER onto the board – and walk away allowing it to air dry naturally. It’s that easy. It’s that effective.  Again it is just one minute to a sanitized level of clean.

How do I use SNiPER to disinfect a hard surface?

Pre-Cleaning Instructions:  Remove gross filth and heavy soil by cleaning. Thoroughly wet surfaces, by spray, sponge, mop, or immersion, with SNIPER® on to soiled surfaces then thoroughly clean and wipe away gross filth with sponge or cloth.

Disinfect Hard Non-Porous Surfaces:   For disinfection of pre-cleaned hard non-porous surfaces such as glass, plastic, painted or finished wood, chrome, stainless steel, aluminum, polyurethane coated hardwood floors, glazed ceramic tile, sealed concrete and linoleum floors.

Disinfect Items such as appliances, bed frames, wheelchairs, chairs, counters, tables, doorknobs, cabinet handles, handrails, light switch covers, tubs, showers, toilets, faucets, sinks, waste containers, etc.

Spray SNiPER® at full strength wetting surfaces thoroughly. Allow surfaces to remain visibly wet for 5 minutes for disinfection of bacteria1. Allow surfaces to remain wet for 10 minutes for virus inactivation2.

Notes

1) Allow surfaces to remain visibly wet for 5 minutes for disinfection of Gram-negative bacteria and Gram-positive bacteria, Salmonella enterica ATCC 10708, Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6538, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 15442, Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) ATCC 33591, Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VRE) ATCC 51299.

2) Allow surfaces to remain wet for 10 minutes for virus inactivation of Swine Influenza virus, Type A (H1N1)* ATCC VR-
333 and Canine Parvovirus* ATCC VR-953.

Water Damage from Small Flooding

Water Damage from Small Flooding

Not All Water Damage is from Bad Weather

You leave for work one day, and then when you come home, you open the door and see that there is water everywhere – your home is flooded.  The water supply line to your washer burst during the day and now there is 2 or 3 inches of water on the floor throughout your house.  You need to act quickly to avoid costly water damage .  It’s not Harvey or Irma, but it is a real mess nonetheless. Here is what to do.

First – turn off the water.  You should be able to turn the valve just before that burst water supply to shut off the water.  But if it is not accessible, then you will have to find the valve for the whole house.

Next – take photos of everything as documentation for the insurance company.  And that is your third step – call your insurance agent and find out if they will send an adjuster and what they require you to do.

Get rid of that water!

Water is the stuff of life, but when it gets out of control it can create it’s own problems, even in a small-flood issue like this.  Your most important task to minimize water damage is to get everything dry within the next 48 hours to prevent the growth of mold, mildew and fungus.

If it is a large amount of water you have to deal with, the easiest solution is to call a carpet cleaner and request immediate water extraction services. Their truck mounted machines have tremendous vacuum power and large storage tanks. They can vac up that water quickly, and they may have powerful ‘air movers’ that can speed drying.

If it is not so much water, you may be able to use a shop ‘wet vacuum‘ to vacuum up that water. Peel back the carpet (unhook it from the ‘tack strips’) and pull the carpet back until you see dry floor underneath.  The pad underneath is cheap – don’t hesitate to bundle it up and just throw it outside, where you can later decide whether to replace it or dry it for re-use.

Be aware that the reservoir is small in a wet-vac, and you will have to stop and empty the tank frequently. Remember that water is heavy!

NOTICE:  It is crucial to get standing water out from under your carpet as quickly as possible. If the restoration company tells you they can extract water through your carpet and pad using ‘deep extraction tools’ – fire them and get a new company!   There is a time and place for such tools – but a flooding event is not one of them.

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Keep the Air Moving

Once you have vacuumed up as much as you can, point fans at wet areas, turn the fan in your HVAC  to the ‘On’ position, borrow more fans, do everything possible to keep air moving and keep that water evaporating.

If the drywall is waterstained higher than the baseboards, you may need to remove those baseboards to check for trapped water. Hope and pray that there is no water trapped in the walls behind the baseboards!

It is absolutely crucial that you get your home dry within 48 hours or mold WILL start growing. Mold only needs one thing to start growing  –   water. In dry conditions, spores which are floating around us everywhere may land on the carpet. But since it is dry, nothing happens, mold does not begin to grow.  Add a bit of wetness, however, and natures little recyclers come to life and start growing resulting in water damage.

Remember that bleach DOES NOT KILL  MOLD.  It will weaken the mold and it may make it change color, but bleach does not kill mold.

SNiPER  kills mold and if you spray the air using atomizing sprayer, you can kill the spores in the air too.  SNiPER is so safe because it is not a poison.  You don’t need to wear protective gear to apply it, it doesn’t leave toxic residues, and it is non-corrosive, so you can spray it down – and walk away. Nothing could be easier.

We have several documents to help guide you in dealing with mold.

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/

Remove Old-House Odor

Remove Old-House Odor

When you live in your home for years and years, decades, it is not uncommon for the house to develop an odor. Realtors call it “old-house odor’ and it is dreaded because of the negative ‘first impression’ it can leave on a potential buyer. The good news is – this can be taken care of and new life breathed into that home. Whether you are selling your home or would just like to give it an ‘odor-control makeover’, you can follow these steps to remove old-house odor and leave your home smelling as good as outdoors. For those of you who think that no odor is best, we agree and here’s how to accomplish it.

1) Air circulation is important. Open those windows, replace air filters regularly. This will help dry out the home, which will, all by itself, help remove old house odor. Additionally, the fresh air will replace air that has become saturated with Volatile Organic Compounds that may have entered your home with new mattresses, paints and other items. If ventilation in some rooms is not good, use fans to blow the air around and speed the drying.

2) Check for damp areas and make sure they dry out. You may need a de-humidifier to help. Humidity control inside your home is crucial. It is smart to have a hygrometer (measures humidity) and thermometer for every floor in your house. They are cheap these days and can tell you when to run that de-humidifier. If some rooms are often higher humidity, you may want one especially for that particular room. Damp, or high-humidity rooms are definitely a source of old house odor.

Mold

3) Mold is one of the primary sources of that old-house odor. Taking steps to dry out and dehumidify removes a necessary food source for mold. Without a water source, mold doesn’t grow. So check for leaks in rooms that feel excessively humid. Mold is actually a type of fungus and musty odors all come from fungal infestations. If you can locate the area of fungal growth and get some SNiPER on the fungus – that odor will disappear!

HVAC and Ductwork

4) Check your HVAC system. Ducts can harbor mold as well and since you can’t see inside them easily, they can often be a source of hold house odor. If necessary, have the ducts cleaned and spray some SNiPER disinfectant in there to remove residual odors. A ‘fogger’ is the best type of sprayer for ducts. (they are not cheap, however, and it may be your best option to rent one from your local tool rental shop).

Buy a Gallon of SNiPER Disinfectant & Odor Eliminator SNiPER Kills Mold
Buy a Gallon of Nok-Out Odor Eliminator NokOut Odor Eliminator

5) Interior walls are rarely cleaned and even though they may not appear to be dirty, they can become greasy from cooking and then dust sticks to them easily. You can spray walls and painted surfaces with Nok-Out and wipe them down. This is especially important if there have been smokers in the home.

Carpets absorb odors – and are a Source of Odors too

6) Carpets are like a floor-based air filter and accumulate dust, mites, insect carcases and all manner of smelly stuff. Give the home a good thorough vacuuming and then do it again, and maybe again one more time. Most of the soils that are in carpets are not water soluble so just your vacuum cleaner can do a great job of removing potentially smelly stuff that has accumulated in your carpet.

If there are pet odors in the carpet get yourself a small black-light flashlight (UV) and go into the affected areas in the darkness. Urine will glow a pale green color and is quite obvious. You may also see a purplish color – this is detergent of some sort. In severe cases, you may need to have the carpet professionally cleaned. Use a pump-up garden sprayer, and dilute Nok-Out 50/50 with tap water and spray the carpet after the cleaners have finished, while the carpet is still wet.

Remember that Nok-Out and SNiPER do their work when they come into direct contact with the odor source. Diluting up to 4 to one (water to Nok-Out) will work for spot treatments.

Check for residual odors

7) After all this cleaning, there should be a big difference in the way the house smells. Give it a few days for everything to normalize and then go about the house giving it the nose test. Some odor sources may be in the attic or in crawl spaces below the home.

It may sound like a lot of work to remove old house odor, but the rewards of having your home smell fresh are certainly worth it! Remember that it took years for the old-house odor to develop. But if you work at it, you can remove that old-house odor before selling Grandma’s old house!

Additional Reading

  1. Carpet odors: https://www.nokout.com/Carpet-Odors.html, http://blog.nokout.com/carpet-cleaning-nok-sniper-revisited/, http://blog.nokout.com/that-darned-cat-has-stunk-up-my-carpet/.
  2. Use of a ‘Fogger’ machine: http://blog.nokout.com/to-fog-or-not-to-fog/
  3. Mold: http://blog.nokout.com/how-to-manage-mold/, https://www.nokout.com/Cleaning-Mold-and-Mildew.html
  4. https://www.nokout.com/Get-Rid-of-Musty-smells.html
  5. https://www.nokout.com/Basement-Mold-and-Mildew-Removal.html
  6. https://www.nokout.com/Get-Rid-of-Black-Mold.html
  7. https://www.nokout.com/Mold-and-Mildew-Problem.html
  8. https://www.nokout.com/Keep-black-mold-out-of-your-shower-stall.html
  9. How to find odors in your home: http://blog.nokout.com/how-to-troubleshoot-odors-in-your-home/
  10. HVAC: https://www.nokout.com/Clean-and-Deodorize-HVAC-Systems.html

Get Rid of Pet Odors in your Car

Get Rid of Pet Odors in your Car

We love our pets because after all, pets are family! But however adorable they may be, they occasionally smell bad – even cats! So when a customer called and asked how to remove the odor of her favorite goat from her car, (after I stopped laughing) I provided a step-by-step approach to getting her car to have no smell again. For all you city people out there, have you ever smelled a goat?!? They really do stink! She called back and said that it worked. So if Nok-Out or SNiPER can remove the goat smell from her car, you’ll find it easy to get rid of pet odor from your car, too!

Here’s how

1st give the car a good vacuuming and try hard to get up all the hair. Vacuum the seats, flat surfaces where the pet likes to ride and the floor too. Pet hair is often the source of a LOT of pet odor. So just this one step should help to remove the pet odor from your car.

Next

Begin systematically spraying the seats and flat surfaces where your pet likes to ride. You may have to spray carpet and seat cushions heavily. Remember that Nok-Out or SNiPER work when they are in direct contact with the odor source. Much of that odor source will be oils that may have penetrated deeply into porous non-hard surfaces. If the issue is severe, then spray heavily, allow it to sit for 10 minutes, spray a bit more and then use an old towel to scrub those wet soft surfaces. You are trying to scrub away whatever stinky stuff might be clinging to the carpet or cushions.

Finishing Up

Use a home vaporizer or room humidifier, preferably of the ‘cool mist’ type to ‘fog’ the interior of your vehicle. This is a great treatment that is easy. Put some Nok-Out or SNiPER into the reservoir of the machine. The bigger your vehicle, the more you’ll want to put in the reservoir. For small cars, 8 – 12 ounces is usually sufficient. Make sure the windows are rolled up. Plug in the vaporizer and place it on a relatively flat surface and close the doors. Allow this to run overnight, or for several hours before opening the windows to air the vehicle out.

The nice thing about this treatment is that when you are done your vehicle should have a nice neutral smell. Not some sticky cloying artificial fragrance that really smells awful – just no smell at all. You can get rid of pet odor in your car!

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

Refrigerator Odor / Freezer Odor

Refrigerator Odor / Freezer Odor

A customer called recently and told me a story – the electricity had gone off for several days and her refrigerator had begun to stink. She asked whether SNiPER would be safe to use inside her fridge. We all have to clean the refrigerator now and then. Spills, mishaps and the occasional leak are reason enough to give the fridge a good thorough cleaning now and again. Some of those spills may have gone unnoticed and may have become the source of odors no one wants to come from their fridge! SNiPER can safely disinfect and remove odor from your fridge for you. Or, if you don’t need disinfection or sanitizing, Nok-Out will remove refrigerator odor. Here’s how.

What you’ll need

  • 1) bucket of warm, mildly soapy water, a sponge and a couple of rags or dishwashing towels.
  • 2) You may also need a soft scrub pad that won’t scratch plastic.
  • 3) SNiPER disinfectant and odor eliminator in a spray bottle

First off, you’ll need to unplug your refrigerator. Both Nok-Out and SNiPER work best in temperatures above 40 F (and below 110F, if you were wondering!) and since the fridge door will be open for a while, you might as well allow it to warm without wasting electricity. Keep the freezer door closed if you will not be cleaning it as well. Start removing items from the fridge. As you are emptying the fridge, wipe down all bottles and containers with the soapy water to remove any gunk. Don’t forget the bottom of those containers!

Once all the items have been removed and cleaned proceed to dismantle all the removable trays, drawers and what have you. Anything that can come out, should. Take these things to the sink and spray, wipe down and clean them using warm soapy water and then rinse them clean. Use a dishtowel to dry them. After they have dried give them a spray with SNiPER and use a small piece of paper towel to make sure all surfaces are wet evenly. Air-dry naturally at room temperature to both disinfect and remove refrigerator odor.

Go to the fridge itself and wipe any crud away. If you find a sticky mess somewhere, use a rag dampened in the warm soapy water to clean away all that mess. Make sure you get all the little bits and pieces out of the fridge. Spray the inside of the fridge and again, use a bit of paper towel to ensure that all surfaces are evenly wet with SNiPER. Allow to air dry naturally.

SNiPER and Nok-Out both have a bit of ‘soapiness’ that can leave a tiny amount of soapy residue. After everything has fully dried, you may want to give all surfaces a wipe with a dry towel to remove this tiny amount of residue.

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

Extreme cases – powerful stink!

Sometimes in situations where the electricity was off for several days, you may find that you have a really big problem and simple cleaning doesn’t take care of the odor. Most likely, the odor is now impregnated in the plastic itself (plastic is porous!) In this type of situation, you will need to warm the unit to fully room temperature. Spray the entire inside. Use a rag to wipe it around and provide gentle agitation. Leave the door open and allow it to air dry naturally. Don’t be discouraged if the stink isn’t gone after the first treatment. Repeat the process, perhaps many times. Every time you apply, you’ll get a little more of the stinky stuff and eventually, you will completely remove refrigerator odor and the fridge will be ready to go back to work for you.

No Rinse Sanitizing

Dilute SNiPER by 6 parts water and you can ‘sanitize’ your fridge, your counters even your cutting boards. Just spray and walk away – no wipe! Say goodbye to refrigerator odor!

Related Reading

Disinfect your Pet Carrier

Disinfect your Pet Carrier

Recently, I received an information request from a customer who carried a sick puppy to the vet and discovered that her poor little new puppy had canine parvovirus – Horrors! Canine Parvo is a really nasty, hard-to-kill virus that is highly contagious and is spread by direct contact with feces. Since diarrhea is a hallmark for this sickness, it can spread easily and is difficult to eradicate. The question was how to disinfect the pet carrier she used to take the pup to the vet. SNiPER is lab tested to kill canine parvovirus and can be used to safely and thoroughly disinfect your pet carrier – and other surfaces too.

First, remove any cushion, towel or blanket from the carrier. If you see feces on the cushion, take it to the sink and carefully rinse that stuff away. Clean the sink as soon as you can using an abrasive scrubbing compound such as Barkeeps friend or Comet or the like. Try to avoid splashing.

Find yourself a washtub just big enough to hold that cushion. Add around a half-gallon of cool water and then a pint of SNiPER disinfectant. You are aiming for a 4 water to 1 SNiPER dilution ratio. Immerse the cushion and hold it under, forcing it to become fully wet all the way through. This step is essential because direct contact with the virus is essential. If it floats too much, put something heavy on top to hold it down under the SNiPER solution. Allow it to soak for an hour. If you can’t keep it all underwater, come back and flip it over every 10 – 15 minutes. When the hour is up, hang it up to dry.

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As for the carrier itself, spray it down thoroughly with SNiPER inside and out, top and bottom. It needs to remain wet with SNiPER for 10 minutes, so you are likely to need to come back before it dries and spray again to get to the full 10 minutes.

That should do it for you. It is really the cushion that is the challenging bit because it’s not so easy to get the disinfectant to penetrate deeply into that cushion. Even heavily diluted, SNiPER can still kill the virus, it just needs more time to accomplish it, therefore, the long soak time.

Other Reading

For information on how to disinfect other things that might be contaminated by parvo, see https://www.nokout.com/Canine-Parvovirus.html. Also see a previous blog article here: http://blog.nokout.com/canine-parvovirus/

How to Improve your home’s Indoor Air Quality  (IAQ)

How to Improve your home’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

June is National Healthy Homes Month

One of the important things you can do to maintain a healthy home, is to maintain and improve your home’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). The EPA regularly tells us that your indoor air can be up to 400% MORE polluted than outdoor air. Since we spend so much time indoors, it is important for the health of your family that the indoor air not be polluted and instead, be a healthy place to relax, work, sleep, play and to enjoy. Here are some strategies to help you improve your home’s Indoor Air Quality.

Wait – why is indoor air so much worse than outside air?

The main reason is that homes are built to seal tightly, keeping inside air in, and outside air out. This has the benefit of keeping our energy bills as low as possible. On the other hand, anything toxic that gets into your home, can’t get out, so those toxins accumulate.

Solutions and Strategies

Source control

Find pollution sources in your home and reduce those emissions. If you have a gas stove, it can be adjusted to decrease the amount of pollutants it releases. Other sources can be sealed or enclosed. New items may need time to ‘offgas’ before bringing them into your home. New mattresses are a good example. Paint that bookshelf outside where any VOC’s released are not inside. Allow it to sit a day or two if possible to further reduce the volatiles otherwise released inside. Not allowing pollution sources inside your home is the best kind of prevention. It’s the easiest and cheapest.

Do not smoke inside your home. You already know this. It’s solid thinking.

Avoid using bleach as a cleaning agent! There is no good reason to ever use bleach as a cleaning agent inside your home. You have alternatives that are nowhere near as toxic. Avoiding bleach inside your home is an easy way to improve your home’s indoor air quality.

Increased Ventilation

An easy way to improve IAQ is to increase the amount of outdoor air coming in. This is most often useful during mild weather because you can just open the windows. Running the exhaust fans in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room will also increase outside air coming in. Increasing outside ventilation dilutes the pollution that would otherwise accumulate. Modern home construction seals homes tightly to reduce the infiltration of outside air. This results in lower energy bills, but the unintended side effect is that pollutants can’t get out. Ventilation reverses this effectively, resulting in improved home Indoor Air Quality.

The EPA says, “The most economical and effective way to address indoor air pollution is usually to reduce or eliminate avoidable sources of pollutants and then to exhaust to the outdoors the unavoidable particles, gases, and excessive water vapor that come from normal indoor activities such as cooking, cleaning, and showering.”

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

Filters and Air Cleaners

In the hottest and coldest months of the year, it may not be easy to ventilate your way out of indoor air pollution. This is when filtration can help. Your HVAC system has an air filter for this reason. When replacing the filter, choose the one with the highest filtration standard (it filters out the smallest particles). This can go a long way towards improving your IAQ.

Particulate air filtration only removes particles and does nothing to remove chemicals and VOC’s from your air. There are specialty filters for this, but they are expensive. It is smarter and more appealing to use houseplants to remove VOC’s and other contaminants.

Some pollutants are not particulates and wont’ be trapped in a particulate filter. A good example of this is the volatile organic compounds that are released from newly manufactured goods, from paints, glues and so on. One of the best ways to filter out these pollutants is – houseplants. Studies by NASA show that many of your favorite plants will filter VOC’s from your indoor atmosphere. Plants improve your home’s indoor air quality and make your home a better place to live.

Use “Green’ cleaning products

Green cleaning products leave no toxic residues and do not form toxic by-products as you are cleaning. Nok-Out and SNiPER both are definitely ‘green’ all-purpose cleaners in addition to their specialties of odor eliminating and disinfection. Most disinfectants are poisons – not SNiPER! At a ph of 8.5, both SNiPER and Nok-Out are ‘green’ and you can use them throughout your home for everyday cleaning that will not accumulate poisons in your indoor environment.

Related Reading

http://blog.nokout.com/allergy-season-and-indoor-air-quality/
http://blog.nokout.com/indoor-air-pollution-part-1/
http://blog.nokout.com/indoor-air-pollution-sick-building-syndrome-part-2/
http://blog.nokout.com/indoor-air-pollution-the-green-solution/

Spring Cleaning For your Mattress

Spring Cleaning For your Mattress

One Spring Cleaning Chore that often goes overlooked is cleaning your mattress. Since that mattress is where you spend about a third of your life, it makes sense to give it a good cleaning periodically. Especially, if you suffer from allergies or asthma. Regular cleaning of sheets and linens is the first line of defense, but periodically, your mattress will need an especially thorough round of cleaning and maintenance. Spring cleaning for your mattress is a good idea and can help you breathe easier at night! Here’s how to use Nok-Out and /or SNiPER to do a good job of cleaning it, and help you sleep easier.

A Breeding Ground

Your mattress is likely to come in contact with sweat, blood and other body fluids, and because you are lying in it, it is a warm moist place. That warm moist place is inhabited by bacteria, living and dead dust mites, the feces of those mites (which can cause allergic reactions), dead skin cells, fleas from pets and their feces, and so on. There is a regular ecology of critters living in your bed. Being warm and moist, with all those ‘food’ sources, it is indeed a breeding ground. A good Spring Cleaning of your mattress will reduce that population of critters to a healthier level.

What to do?

Daily: Leave the covers pulled back and allow the sheets to air out and dry. Run the AC in summer to keep indoor humidity levels low.

Weekly

Check the washing instruction on your sheets and if permitted, wash your sheets in the hottest water available. Don’t overload the washer! Triple rinse. While the sheets are in the wash, vacuum the mattress. Despite sheets separating you from the mattress, there will still be lots of dead skin cells and vacuuming them up removes a food source for many tiny critters, including dust mites. Pay special attention to the seams and vacuum them carefully. This is where many mites like to hide. If you are allergic to dust mites, this is an important step!

Spring Cleaning for Your Mattress:

Vacuum the mattress thoroughly using some kind of ‘beater brush’ attachment. Inspect the seams carefully, looking for living bugs or eggs. It may be that you can use your carpet floor vacuum for this. The beater brush will shake and scrape loose stuff that has attached to the fibers of the mattress cover. When done, spray the mattress thoroughly with SNiPER and allow it to dry thoroughly before putting sheets back on.

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

If you do find bedbugs, call a specialized pest control company that has expertise with these pests to help you deal with this problem. Or, the EPA has good guidelines here: https://www.epa.gov/bedbugs/do-it-yourself-bed-bug-control

Urine

Nok-Out can help with any odors in your mattress, including urine odors. Locate the source of the odor to find where to spray (remembering that Nok-Out and SNiPER both, need to be in direct contact with the odor source to be able to do their jobs) and spray directly on the source – allow to air dry. If the urine has soaked deep into the mattress, Nok-Out also needs to go that deep in order to get to all of the urine, so it may be a good idea to dilute some Nok-Out with 4 parts water and spray heavily. If this is the case, put fans on it to speed drying.

Bacterial Contamination

If your concern is for bacterial contamination, use SNiPER. Friendly to pets and people, SNiPER is lethal to microorganisms and can disinfect your mattress without leaving behind any toxic residues. Vacuum the entire bed thoroughly. Spray the entire bed until it is uniformly damp. Allow it to air dry.

Additional Reading

https://www.redfin.com/blog/allergy-proof-home/