Frequently Asked Questions - Using Simple Green Products

FAQs - Using Simple Green Products

Answers to most questions about using Simple Green can be found here.

If you can't find the answer to your question, please let us know & we'll be very happy to help.

Simple Green contains agents that act as chelators, compounds capable of forming multiple chemical bonds to a metal ion. This makes Simple Green effective for decontamination, including the removal of lead dust on old painted surfaces.

Simple Green is an excellent carbon remover.

We do not recommended that you mix Simple Green with bleach or ammonia because mixing will detract from the cleaning ability of Simple Green and detract from the disinfecting ability of bleach. You will receive a higher efficacy when products are used separately.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines bioremediation as "a process whereby naturally occurring microbes, typically bacteria or fungi, degrade harmful chemicals into less toxic or non-toxic compounds."

Simple Green's dual role in soil bioremediation is suppression of vapors and alteration of the physical composition of the contaminant through a special process called Micro-Particulate Fractionalization (MPF). The MPF process involves breaking down large globs of oil, grease and fat into much smaller microscopic droplets called "micelles." The MPF process makes these droplets increasingly smaller and more numerous, offering it as a food source with no deleterious effect on the indigenous bacteria.

According to Celia Bonaventura, Co-Director of the Marine Biomedical Center at Duke University Marine Laboratory, "The part that Simple Green plays in this process is facilitating the hydrocarbon bacterial juxtaposition. Hydrocarbons tend to stay in oily pockets and bacteria like to live in watery places and Simple Green works well to help these come together."

H&H Eco Systems, Inc., based in the State of Washington, has established itself as an expert company on the leading edge of biological systems. Terry Horn, President of H&H Eco Systems with 20 years of experience in the field, has developed the "bio-triangle" approach. Simple Green alters the physical composition of the contaminant, H&H nutrients provides a balanced biological diet and the H&H System 600 Series Microenfractionator serves as the mechanical component to deliver Simple Green and nutrients throughout the soil and enhance this process.

One example of this system in action is a site in Olympia, Washington, which had shown no improvement in two years. This process involving Simple Green and H&H nutrients worked in only six weeks. The contaminants were gasoline and kerosene with concentrations as high as 38,000 parts-per-million (ppm). After only six weeks, contaminants were not found above 5 ppm. Bioremediation is being utilized throughout the world to clean up some of our most hazardous waste sites.

The most recent soil remediation project (September-October, 2000) conducted by Simple Green and H&H was a federally funded demonstration of the technology in Huntington Beach, CA. The Department of Housing and Urban Development's Economic Development Initiative included funding for the City of Huntington Beach to spend on a clean up of a contaminated site utilizing the Simple Green/H&H technology. The City chose a site at the corner of Ellis and Goldenwest streets that had hydrocarbon soil contamination from over 30 years of oil production. Approximately 3,000 square feet of contaminated soil was cleaned, beginning at over 50,000 ppm of hydrocarbon and ending at under 1,000 ppm within 35 days. The site is now the future home of a City recreational facility.

For more information on Simple Green's use as a vapor suppressant and in soil bioremediation, call the Environmental Technology Division of Sunshine Makers, Inc. at 800-228-0709.

Simple Green is readily decomposed by naturally occurring microorganisms. Simple Green is biodegradable and meets the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations for ready biodegradability. The biological oxygen demand (BOD), as a percentage of the chemical oxygen demand (COD), after 4, 7 and 11 days was 56%, 60% and 70% respectively for Simple Green.

Biodegradable: Definition
Property of being acted on by the flora and fauna of the ecosphere in such a way as to be degraded or transformed into simpler components or substances. Biodegradability connotes being used as a nutrient source by some organism within the ecosphere. The following is one method to assess whether a substance can be used as carbon source by soil or water microflora:

Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD): The amount of dissolved oxygen consumed by biological processes breaking down organic matter.

Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD): Measure of the total amount of oxygen required to oxidize a substance vs. BOD. If the BOD is similar to or a significant percentage of the COD (typically 60% or more within 28 days), then it can be stated that the substance is used efficiently as a fuel source by the relevant microflora and is biodegradable according to a strict definition.

Simple Green produced a BOD of 70% of the COD after 11 days. Simple Green is biodegradable under a rigorous definition.

We recommend you spot test in an inconspicuous area on these specific surfaces.

Sunshine Makers, Inc., the makers of Simple Green, does not currently test on animals. Previous toxicity testing was conducted on animals per government requirements at the time (Occupational Safety and HealthStandards, Subpart Z, Toxic and Hazardous Substances Hazard Communication Standard Section 1910.1200 issued under 5 U.S.C. 553). Because the non-toxicity of Simple Green has been determined, we no longer test on animals.

Simple Green is being used all over the world to save the lives of birds and animals caught in oil spills because it enables them to return to the wild with no ill effects. We hope that you will take this into consideration when making your evaluation.

Simple Green products have been successfully and safely used on aircraft, automotive, industrial and consumer aluminum items for over 20 years. However, caution and common sense must be used: Aluminum is a soft metal that easily corrodes with unprotected exposure to water. The aqueous-base and alkalinity of Simple Green or Crystal Simple Green can accelerate the corrosion process. Therefore, contact times of Simple Green and Crystal Simple Green with unprotected or unpainted aluminum surfaces should be kept as brief as the job will allow - never for more than 10 minutes. Large cleaning jobs should be conducted in smaller-area stages to achieve lower contact time. Rinsing after cleaning should always be extremely thorough - paying special attention to flush out cracks and crevices to remove all Simple Green/Crystal Simple Green residues. Unfinished, uncoated or unpainted aluminum cleaned with Simple Green products should receive some sort of protectant after cleaning to prevent oxidation.

Alkaline Aqueous Solutions - General Description
Alkaline aqueous solutions are water-based mixtures with pH greater than 8. Most alkaline cleaners range from pH 10 to 14. Simple Green is an aqueous-based cleaner with a pH of 9.3. Alkaline aqueous solutions are the most common solutions in aqueous cleaning. Alkaline cleaners often contain additives to improve cleaning, such as sequestering agents, emulsifiers and surfactants. Rust inhibitors are necessary with some metals, especially aluminum.

Alkaline aqueous solutions remove greases, coolants, cutting oils, shop dirt, fingerprints, cosmolene, petrolatum and some water-soluble paints. Parts cleaned with alkaline cleaners include hydraulic valve bodies, fuel injector components and machined aluminum castings. Alkaline solutions are used with all types of liquid processes, e.g., sprays, ultrasonic, immersion and power washers. These solutions can clean to very high levels of cleanliness with good filtration and rinsing. Cost per gallon is generally less than for semi-aqueous cleaners.

One should never assume that aqueous solutions can be disposed of down the drain. Your local water treatment authority or publicly owned treatment works (POTW) will have information on treatment and disposal of these cleaners. Adjustment of pH and dilution are usually required before disposal to a drain.

Also see "Competitor Types: High-Alkaline Water-Based".

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