Let me start with some background. I'm an engineer but not chemical, so I know a tiny bit of chemistry but not nearly enough. I'm trying to solve a real-world problem that goes like this:
I used to buy something called Nu-Calgon Bio-fresh CD to spray on air conditioner coils to kill fungal growth and used as a deodorizer in other applications. The stuff works great, when it works. It seems by the time I want to use it a few months later, it's as effective as plain water. I've even purchased gallon jugs that, brand new, were not effective. Considering ClO2 is pretty unstable, this isn't surprising. Shipping a gallon of liquid isn't cheap which is about the only way I can easily buy this stuff. According to the label Bio-fresh is 0.1% Chlorine Dioxide, and 99.9% "other ingredients" which is probably water.
One day I had a brainstorm to find tablets I could drop in water to make fresh batches each time. I found water purification tablets that I thought might do the trick. First I purchased tablets that contain sodium dichloroisocyanurate and dropped a tablet in my pump sprayer with water. It seemed do something, but not nearly as effective as ClO2. I wanted something similar to Bio-fresh.
So I found other water purification tablets that supposedly use ClO2. These contain sodium chlorite and sodium dichloroisocyanurate dihydrate and "other ingredients". From some research, sodium chlorite is what produces the ClO2. Dropping one of these in my pump sprayer with plain water makes this nice yellow bubbling plume through the water, but even if I spray some of this on something musty it's underwhelming. When I check back later, it doesn't kill the odor and leave a slight chlorine smell like Bio-fresh.
Can anyone help me with this? Is it possible to make a CLO2 disinfecting/deodorizing solution with readily available tablets or powder?