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Old 05-28-2016, 04:19 PM   #1
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Default Deck prep solutions

I'm interested in learning the proper chemistry for cleaning and/or prepping decks - prepping decks for stain, or cleaning previously stained decks that won't be restained (and by "stain" I'm including the "solid stains" which to my way of thinking are really paints, but I digress.)

There are some products which I can get on board with, but it just boils down to chemicals which are available in their pure form if you know what you're looking for.

For example, sodium percarbonate is available as a powder for only about $2/lb in quantity. If necessary, some detergent could be mixed in (the "proprietary surfactants" that some products claim.) And oxalic acid is available for about $5/lb (maybe better if I looked around more.) This could substitute for the "brightener" product sold to be used after the cleaner/restorer products. That would certainly beat the prices on products such as these. These are 2 lb. containers.
http://www.restore-a-deck.com/order-...ypage.tpl.html

Is there any reason I can't simply use these raw ingredients, again with possibly mixing in some detergent for the cleaning? They could be applied with a pump sprayer, or maybe they can even go through my X-Jet (not sure how corrosive they'd be to the nozzle.)

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Old 05-28-2016, 09:38 PM   #2
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You can make your own mixes. Been doing it for years.
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Old 05-29-2016, 10:57 AM   #3
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Could you be a little more specific? lol
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Old 05-29-2016, 01:07 PM   #4
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What is the purpose of the sodium percarbonate? Have you tried HD-80 for stripping? I'm also curious on this subject, as I am tired of paying $25-30/gal of stripper concentrate.
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Old 05-29-2016, 01:17 PM   #5
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It's not a stripper. It's an oxygen bleach. Better than sodium hypochlorite in some ways. It's the ingredient in Oxi-Clean, for example, as well as that Restore A Deck product I linked.

For stripping, I believe the primary ingredient is sodium hydroxide. HD-80 is a mixture of sodium hydroxide along with some surfactant (again, probably just some detergent). Sodium hydroxide is also about $2-3 per pound, as opposed to what the company charges.
http://www.opwdecks.com/hd80-stripper.htm

So let's add that to the discussion as well.

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Old 05-29-2016, 10:26 PM   #6
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It really depends on how much you're doing and how much you want to stock. The 'manufacturer' mixes like HD-80 have a pre measured blend of 2-3 Chems including surfactant (which is more than a detergent). The surfactant can act as a binder as well as a 'wetting' agent, or prolonging drying, and sometimes adding a secondary chemical will make the primary more effective.

If you're doing wood just mixing sodium hydroxide and dawn, though you can make it hot, it is not going to get you a 'good' product. I pay about $60-$65 for. 50lb of sodium hydroxide so it is by far cheaper but it took a lot of experimentation, and a lot of reading the different forums, to come up with formulas that work for me.
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Old 05-29-2016, 11:33 PM   #7
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And you guys aren't sharing it seems. Interesting.
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Old 05-30-2016, 11:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffnc View Post
It's not a stripper. It's an oxygen bleach. Better than sodium hypochlorite in some ways. It's the ingredient in Oxi-Clean, for example, as well as that Restore A Deck product I linked.

For stripping, I believe the primary ingredient is sodium hydroxide. HD-80 is a mixture of sodium hydroxide along with some surfactant (again, probably just some detergent). Sodium hydroxide is also about $2-3 per pound, as opposed to what the company charges.
http://www.opwdecks.com/hd80-stripper.htm

So let's add that to the discussion as well.
The only time I would use percarb over bleach is if I were over or near water. I have tried all the chemicals in all sorts of blends from vendors. Bleach with a good surfactant works well every time for cleaning wood.

As far as strippers go yes you can mix your own. A little sodium hydroxide in your house wash is also great. If you read the ingredients on your soaps and shampoos in your shower you will see it there many times.

When stripping previous coatings solid stains and acrylics are the worst to remove. When stripping I mix my own and add a butyl booster.
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Old 05-30-2016, 01:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
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And you guys aren't sharing it seems. Interesting.
What exactly are you looking for? You haven't been on here long, or at least contributed a great deal, and as far as I can tell you could be a handyman working in my neighborhood. I purchase my chems from a local dealer and buy in bulk/wholesale (50lb bags not 500lb). I buy the bags and put them in 5gal buckets to store, or 5gal liquids. I keep on hand Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Percarbonate, TSP (almost pure compared to what you can buy retail), Oxalic Acid, Citric Acid, Sodium Metasilicate, Butyl, Potasium Hydroxide, Pressure Tek Lemonator, chlorine, and even masking agents and concentrated scents. I do use a surfactant that I'm not going to name.

Am I willing to share everything I know with someone who just came to the party on a public forum? No. If I can help I will. If I knew you better I may send the info privately. Otherwise I would spend some significant time reading through old posts on PTState, The Grime Scene, UAMCC, PWI Pressure Washing Institure, etc., etc.

Now your question was "Is there any reason I can't simply use these raw ingredients, again with possibly mixing in some detergent for the cleaning?"

The answer is no. There is no reason why you can't unless you prefer not to stock raw chemicals or prefer they are premixed based on the volume you are doing.

So, were you wanting to know about a specific product or use?
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Old 05-31-2016, 10:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonyg View Post
You haven't been on here long
I've been here over 5 years. I've asked and answered questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonyg View Post
or at least contributed a great deal
Whatever you consider a "great deal", my willingness to help should be obvious to anyone who's looked. I suppose you could have looked yourself before announcing to the forum that I'm a useless rookie leech, but whatever.

My answer to another user in this thread alone should be the first clue, but here are others.

https://www.painttalk.com/f9/trailer-...x2/#post980233

https://www.painttalk.com/f6/time-est...57/#post973369

https://www.painttalk.com/f2/laser-le...93/#post973193

https://www.painttalk.com/f2/best-pai...x3/#post485168

https://www.painttalk.com/f4/duration...x2/#post205293
https://www.painttalk.com/f2/roller-s...x5/#post973225

https://www.painttalk.com/f2/tall-lad...93/#post980273

Quote:
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as far as I can tell you could be a handyman working in my neighborhood.
Yup, you got me. I've been planning this day for over 5 years. I scouted you out, bought a house at the end of your street, and started posting here randomly, luring you into a false sense of security, until I could finally spring my trap. I posted this thread knowing that you would reply here so that I could trick you into telling me your company secrets, thereby taking over your clientele list and destroying your business. (No, I don't live in your state.)

It's a free country Tony, operate however you want. Personally, I believe in a community spirit of cooperation, collaboration, and karma. The world works better that way. You feel you worked hard for the info you've gathered and feel others should work just as hard to get it - fine.

The thing is, I've worked hard for all the info I've shared on this forum, and especially other forums. I've shared reams of information and experience on multiple subjects without expecting anything in return, although I do ask. I'm not freeloading, I'm exchanging one experience for another. I love that about modern life and the internet.

Again, you do it however you want, and I'll do it my way.
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Old 05-31-2016, 11:22 AM   #11
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You asked a question and I answered it. I also gave a detailed list of chemicals needed, or at least that I use, rather than buying manufactured mixes. I also gave you some practical advice that unless you are doing a volume that makes it worthwhile it is probably better to buy premixed, along with directing you to the PW boards that are going to be much more helpful.

Now, the typical response to someone whining about "not sharing" to me is about the same as someone wanting to know how much I charge for something. i'm sure you have contributed 'reams' elsewhere. I just gave you an honest response, maybe one that others may have been thinking but did not post. I'm not very good responding to sensitive people and the whole 'sharing is caring' thing. So, that said, I guess you want me to post formulas I use, even though they are going to be different whether you are using a HD 2gpm, a 4gpm, 5.6gpm, or 8gpm. I asked you if you had a specific question on one and you whine more.
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Old 05-31-2016, 11:37 AM   #12
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Here is what you have to say. "Am I willing to share everything I know with someone who just came to the party on a public forum? No. If I can help I will. If I knew you better I may send the info privately."

If you can help you will. But you won't.

Not really sure what you mean Tony. You're acting like you answered my question, but at the same time you specifically state that you're holding back information. So you obviously know I have specific questions or else you wouldn't have said that.

Don't worry, I share, I care, but I also have thick skin and I assume you do too so let's be more honest. You and I both know you can be giving more info but you choose not to. The fact that our machines might be different is a complete red herring and you know that.

Why I would be better off using premixed solutions, when the raw ingredients are much cheaper, has not been made clear at all. Unless your answer is "because it's hard to figure out the correct formulas." Especially with conversations like this.

I think we all know the "detailed list of chemicals" is easily available from just reading the ingredients list of competing products, in fact I listed half of them myself already in this thread.

Yes I will go to other forums and continue to research and ask other people and hopefully I'll get somewhere. Whining? That's not the way I see it.
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