June 07, 2020, 03:23:18 AM
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Topic: Used Sodium Hydroxide car wash detergent barrel to collect rain water  (Read 379 times)

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Offline Aunt B

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I'd like to make a rain barrel using an old 55 gal drum that has contained Sodium Hydroxide if it's safe to use the water collected in such a barrel on my garden & plants?

I've included pics showing the barrel's stickers that say: Lustra Performix Alkaline Presoak and "Corrosive 8 Sodium Hydroxide Solution, UNI824".

My own research attempt was able to learn that this is a detergent used in car washes. In trying to research safety, I found a similar question about a used barrel (that had had chemicals in it) and the advice given was to ask in a chemistry forum. So, here I am.

I appreciate your time and any replies, Thank you!
« Last Edit: April 06, 2020, 10:49:19 AM by Aunt B »

Offline chenbeier

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Re: Used Sodium Hydroxide car wash detergent barrel to collect rain water
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2020, 11:12:53 AM »
Rinse it carefully add some vinegar and rinse again.

Offline jeffmoonchop

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Re: Used Sodium Hydroxide car wash detergent barrel to collect rain water
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2020, 12:41:24 PM »
If you can find them, get some pH strips. Fill the bucket with water to the brim and test pH, let it sit for a while and test again. We use NaOH to sterilize some of our equipment and we often use pH strips to ensure its all been washed out before we use it.

Offline Aunt B

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Re: Used Sodium Hydroxide car wash detergent barrel to collect rain water
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2020, 02:24:25 PM »
If you can find them, get some pH strips. Fill the bucket with water to the brim and test pH, let it sit for a while and test again. We use NaOH to sterilize some of our equipment and we often use pH strips to ensure its all been washed out before we use it.
Would pool test strips work? What pH reading is acceptable when you use them to ensure sterilization?

Offline Aunt B

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Re: Used Sodium Hydroxide car wash detergent barrel to collect rain water
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2020, 02:25:08 PM »
Rinse it carefully add some vinegar and rinse again.
Thank you!

Offline chenbeier

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Re: Used Sodium Hydroxide car wash detergent barrel to collect rain water
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2020, 03:34:44 PM »
You should achieve pH 6.5 to 7.5 then its ok.

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Used Sodium Hydroxide car wash detergent barrel to collect rain water
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2020, 05:07:24 AM »
Could you give a composition list?

I'm not worried about the hydroxide, which is "only" corrosive and easily rinsed. But the thingy supposedly contains soaps and tensides, possibly other compounds, that do not belong on tomatoes.

Offline Aunt B

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Re: Used Sodium Hydroxide car wash detergent barrel to collect rain water
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2020, 10:18:01 AM »
Could you give a composition list?

I'm not worried about the hydroxide, which is "only" corrosive and easily rinsed. But the thingy supposedly contains soaps and tensides, possibly other compounds, that do not belong on tomatoes.
Hi, I went to the company's website and sent them a message asking for more info about ingredients. I also found their Safety Data Sheet for this product (link below) and will try to add screenshots just in case they have any information that would be helpful.
https://www.cleaningsystemsinc.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/1230-Performix-SDS.pdf

Offline Aunt B

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Re: Used Sodium Hydroxide car wash detergent barrel to collect rain water
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2020, 05:03:56 PM »
Update: I received a response from the company that sells the detergent I asked you about.
The Regional Manager asked their chemist who advised us to rinse the barrel until there are no more suds and then we’ll be fine to water our tomatoes.
Between their reply and all of yours, we feel good about proceeding with our rain barrel plans, rinsing with vinegar and testing the pH are great ideas too.
Thank you so much for all of your responses.

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