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Hydrogen Peroxide and Sodium Percarbonate as an alternative to Sodium Hypochlorite



I'm starting an exterior cleaning service with a focus on using sustainable, carbon neutral and environmentally friendly chemicals, practices, and machinery. 

 Within this industry, Sodium Hypochlorite is considered king, even when it's often a poor choice for the task, and has been shown to have long term negative impacts on the environment and water it is introduced to (when used as a cleaner). 

As such I've been looking for effective alternatives to Sodium Hypochlorite (referred to as bleach moving forward). The immediate downside is that even in situations where bleach is a poor cleaner, it often appears to be effective due to its excellent whitening characteristics. The dirt, grime, and other surface contaminants may not have been removed, but the surfaces appear to be clean because the contaminants have been bleached. 

My immediate first choice as an alternative was Hydrogen Peroxide, since it has many desirable qualities in a cleaning chemical. Additionally, it decomposes into water and oxygen. It's also very unstable and decomposes very quickly. This would lead me to believe it is significantly less likely to result in unexpected chemical reactions than bleach, when introduced to the environment at large through an exterior cleaning process. 

Question 1: Is Hydrogen Peroxide better than bleach for the environment at large, or are there known reactions that result from Hydrogen Peroxide and common environmental substances which are as bad as bleach? 

Question 2: Does Sodium Percarbonate, when mixed with water, have cleaning qualities beyond that of Hydrogen Peroxide? I'm generally unfamiliar with Sodium Carbonate and its potential environmental impacts or advantages over a simple diluted Hydrogen Peroxide solution. 

Question 3: Are there any known substances that would increase the viscosity, or surface tension of a Hydrogen Peroxide solution to enable better adhesion to vertical surfaces? 

Apologies for the wall of text. I was not blessed with the gift of brevity. 

Thanks in advance. 

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Re: Hydrogen Peroxide and Sodium Percarbonate as an alternative to Sodium Hypochlorite

Congratulations on your initiative to start an exterior cleaning service with a strong focus on sustainability and environmentally friendly practices. Let's address your questions regarding alternative cleaning chemicals and their environmental impact: Question 1: Is Hydrogen Peroxide better than bleach for the environment at large? Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is generally considered to be a safer and more environmentally friendly alternative to bleach (sodium hypochlorite). When used as a cleaner, hydrogen peroxide breaks down into water (H2O) and oxygen (O2), leaving behind no harmful residues. It has lower toxicity levels and poses fewer risks to aquatic ecosystems compared to bleach. While hydrogen peroxide is relatively stable in its container, it can break down quickly when exposed to light, heat, or certain substances. This rapid decomposition reduces the likelihood of long-lasting environmental impacts. However, it's important to use hydrogen peroxide as directed and follow proper disposal guidelines. Question 2: Sodium Percarbonate vs. Hydrogen Peroxide: Sodium percarbonate is a compound composed of sodium carbonate (also known as soda ash) and hydrogen peroxide. When mixed with water, sodium percarbonate releases hydrogen peroxide, which contributes to its cleaning effectiveness. It has similar cleaning qualities to hydrogen peroxide and can be effective in removing stains, dirt, and grime. Sodium percarbonate has the advantage of controlled release of hydrogen peroxide, making it suitable for longer cleaning processes. It's also used in some eco-friendly laundry and cleaning products. In terms of environmental impact, while it's generally considered safer than bleach, it's important to handle and dispose of sodium percarbonate responsibly, as it can still release oxygen and have an effect on aquatic life if released in significant quantities. Question 3: Increasing Viscosity or Surface Tension: To increase the viscosity or surface tension of a hydrogen peroxide solution for better adhesion to vertical surfaces, you can consider using natural thickeners or surfactants. Some eco-friendly options might include xanthan gum or certain plant-based surfactants. These additives can help create a gel-like consistency that adheres better to surfaces. However, it's important to ensure that any additives you use are environmentally friendly and biodegradable. Keep in mind that while these alternatives can enhance the cleaning process and reduce the environmental impact, it's still important to follow best practices for responsible chemical usage, disposal, and safety. As you continue to develop your environmentally friendly exterior cleaning service, it's a good idea to stay informed about the latest research and developments in sustainable cleaning practices. Additionally, considering partnerships with environmental organizations or seeking certifications for eco-friendly practices can further establish your commitment to a greener approach. visit: Post Construction Cleaning
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