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Offline Carolyn

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« on: 14/08/2007 20:37:20 »
Nic's topic http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=9348.0 made me think of this question.

I bought a bathroom cleaner that did a great job, but it was in a squirt bottle and is the consistency of water.  With it being in this squirt bottle, there seemed to be a great deal of waste and if you didn't move quickly enough (I never did), it left lots of streaks, making cleaning the bathtub even more tedious.

To have more control I put it in a spray bottle.  The first bottle was another cleaner that had been emptied.  I thoroughly cleaned it and reused it.  After spraying down the tub, the smell was toxic.  I thought I would have to take Nic to hospital because he had great difficulty catching his breath. 

I tried it again in a new spray bottle, but got the same results. 

Why would there be a difference in a squirt bottle versus a spray bottle?


 

Offline neilep

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« Reply #1 on: 14/08/2007 20:50:16 »
I am very happy that Nic is Ok !

could it be that the materials in each bottle are similar but different enough for there to be a chemical reaction with the actual container ?..and it's possible that even the best of cleaning may have still have left a residual deposit too ?

I think ewe know me well enough to realize that you should exercise prudence and await some answers from some klevur peepul !!
 

Offline Karen W.

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« Reply #2 on: 14/08/2007 21:29:56 »
Nic's topic http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=9348.0 made me think of this question.

I bought a bathroom cleaner that did a great job, but it was in a squirt bottle and is the consistency of water.  With it being in this squirt bottle, there seemed to be a great deal of waste and if you didn't move quickly enough (I never did), it left lots of streaks, making cleaning the bathtub even more tedious.

To have more control I put it in a spray bottle.  The first bottle was another cleaner that had been emptied.  I thoroughly cleaned it and reused it.  After spraying down the tub, the smell was toxic.  I thought I would have to take Nic to hospital because he had great difficulty catching his breath. 

I tried it again in a new spray bottle, but got the same results. 

Why would there be a difference in a squirt bottle versus a spray bottle?

Plastic bottles absorb chemicals from the other product! You should NEVER NEVER NEVER use old containers, no matter how much you wash them.. you are mixing the chemicals because the plastic has absorbed the other chemicals.

Have you ever put something in a plastic bowl like tomato based things and left it in the bowl to long.perhaps in the fridge.. it gets absorbed into the plastic and stains the bowl leaving traces inside the porous plastic.
 

Offline neilep

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« Reply #3 on: 14/08/2007 21:30:53 »
This is what I thought had happened !!
 

Offline Karen W.

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« Reply #4 on: 14/08/2007 21:36:08 »
You are definitely right.. Neily!

Very scary...Carolyn do not do it again and very carefully flush your tub out thoroughly..  Are you all ok... you could cause damage to yourself you can't see! PLease be careful!
 

Offline Carolyn

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« Reply #5 on: 14/08/2007 21:45:19 »
You are definitely right.. Neily!

Very scary...Carolyn do not do it again and very carefully flush your tub out thoroughly..  Are you all ok... you could cause damage to yourself you can't see! PLease be careful!


Yes we're all fine, this happened over a month ago.

Yes, I understand that the old bottle probably absorbed the old cleaner and mixing chemicals are dangerous.  However, the second time I did it was in a BRAND NEW spray bottle, never used for anything else and had the same reaction.  I know I'm not asking this right, but what I want to know is..is there something in the chemical make up of this cleaner that would make it harmful to go into a NEW spray bottle versus the squirt bottle it comes in.
 

Offline neilep

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« Reply #6 on: 14/08/2007 22:13:42 »
........are there any warnings that come with the new bottle ?..cos that is then quite strange !!...you'd expect to be able to put anything in them wouldn't you ?
 

Offline Karen W.

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« Reply #7 on: 14/08/2007 22:29:09 »
Is your tub made from fiberglass? Were you spraying it on the same surface you sprayed to begin with. and did you just dump it from the one container to the new one using the same stuff from the bottle you mixed..or what..?

I do understand what you mean, but there is likely to be residue in your tub from the last round!
 

Offline Carolyn

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« Reply #8 on: 14/08/2007 23:08:07 »
Is your tub made from fiberglass? Were you spraying it on the same surface you sprayed to begin with. and did you just dump it from the one container to the new one using the same stuff from the bottle you mixed..or what..?

I do understand what you mean, but there is likely to be residue in your tub from the last round!

No, I used a new spray bottle and a new bottle of cleaner.  The first time was in Nic's bathroom and the second time was in mine.
 

Offline Karen W.

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« Reply #9 on: 14/08/2007 23:12:03 »
Wow I am glad you are ok. I am sorry that that is happening that is a bit scary!
 

Offline Cut Chemist

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« Reply #10 on: 17/08/2007 20:00:42 »
What were the two products that would have mixed?

I know (and you should too) that you're not supposed to mix ammonia and bleach.  It produces some seriously dangerous, and toxic gases.

Here's a link
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/classic/A795611

Perhaps the bathroom cleaner contained bleach and the squirt bottle previously had held ammonia or vice versa.  (Windex contains ammonia.)
« Last Edit: 18/08/2007 07:02:17 by Cut Chemist »
 

paul.fr

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« Reply #11 on: 18/08/2007 07:34:08 »
Cut Chemist, i think you are correct with the mix of ammonia and bleach from the two bottles. I wonder though, if the type of spray could have "added to the mix"?

If the first bottle was a squirty, and the second bottle that both products were mixed in, was more of a spray, i am guessing a fine misty spray forced out of the bottle. Could that also have had an effect?
 

Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #12 on: 18/08/2007 18:40:30 »
Douglas Adams must be spinning in his grave to see the website he inspired spouting such nonsense.


2(parts)NaOCl + 2NH3 --> 2NaONH3 + Cl2.

OK, I'm open to ideas; what on earth is "NaONH3"?
You just don't get chlorine from ammonia and bleach, you need to acidify the bleach to get Cl2.

Theoretically you can get hydrazine but it's a difficult reaction to get to work; the yields are poor except under very unusual conditions.

You can get nitrogen trichloride but you need to keep the pH under control- so that's not going to be a significant problem. Just as well really- nitrogen trihcloride is an explosive liquid.

What you are quite likely to get is NH2Cl known as chloramine. A volatile material that stings your eyes and irritates the lungs. It's also produced from bleach in the presence of some other nitrogen compounds like urea. Urea is present in sweat so it would hardly be unexpected in a bath. The bugs growing on the side of the bath will also contain nitrogen and might be a source of NH2Cl. If you use lots of bleach then you destroy the NH2CL by hydrolysis and oxidation. At the least you dilute it. A spray might not provide enough bleach to do this.

Even so ther's a problem  with he idea that it was effectively mixing 2 products. Hypochlorites are not very stable so the are not going to stick aound while absorbed into plastic. Anyway they are ionic species and won't stick to the waxy plastic materials.
Ammonia is very volatile- it too is unlikely to stick well to the plastic. If it could diffuse into the plastic from the inside of the bottle then it could also diffuse out again from the outside. The ammonia would effectively drift out of the bottle. The manufacturers are hardly likely to have chosen a packaging material that doesn't keep the product in the bottle.
Yet another point is that if there were any ammonia to speak of you would smell it when you washed out the bottle.

Did anybody apart from paul.fr think about the fact that if you spray bleach around you are likely to end up inhaling it and it isn't good for people's lungs?

Occam's razor anyone?
 

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« Reply #12 on: 18/08/2007 18:40:30 »

 

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