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Thread: Pool Enclosure Cleaning - Oxygen Bleach versus Chlorine Bleach

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Orlando, Florda, USA.
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    Default Pool Enclosure Cleaning - Oxygen Bleach versus Chlorine Bleach

    Hello All,

    Not sure where to put this question, so feel free to move.

    I'm going to clean the pool enclosure ( screen and Frame).

    Am considering using an "Oxygen Bleach" product as opposed to Chlorine Bleach.

    Has anyone used an "Oxy Bleach" product for this type cleaning and how well does it work?

    I live in central Florida and screen enclosure is covered in green algae and paver deck is very dirty with different mold.

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    Default Re: Pool Enclosure Cleaning - Oxygen Bleach versus Chlorine Bleach

    Your best bet for removing mold, especially in a humid environment, is to do what the professionals do - tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) and bleach. TSP can be found in any hardware store and you can use store-bought bleach or higher concentration liquid chlorine from a pool store or hardware store.

    TSP/Bleach can be used on most stone and concrete (unless the concrete is colored in which case you need to test it first for color-fastness). It can be used on most metals EXCEPT FOR ALUMINUM! TSP will destroy aluminum so don't use it on there. TSP/Bleach is very effective at killing mold and keeping it at bay.

    The "Oxi products" are based on some form of sodium percarbonate (sodium peroxy-dicarbonate). Sodium percarbonate in water solutions breaks down into sodium carbonate and peroxide which is ok at cleaning mold but not nearly as good as TSP/bleach. TSP is much more strongly alkaline (a 1% solution of TSP in water has a pH of 12) than sodium carbonate and carbonates are not as effective as phosphates are at forming chemical complexes with metals and other staining agents. TSP is also great a saponifying (soap-forming) grease and oils. As well, chlorine from bleach is a much stronger disinfectant and oxidizer than is peroxide.

    Hope that helps.

    [EDIT]

    For historical purposes, TSP and phosphate based cleaners once pervaded the cleaning industry. Almost all dishwashing detergents and laundry soaps had some form of phosphates in them as they make excellent cleaning agents. But, phosphates started getting into the environment and water supplies (mostly due to poor municipal management of waste water streams) and would de-oxygenate water supplies killing fish and plant life as the phosphates would feed huge algae blooms and red-tides. So, in the early 70's, there was a push to replace phosphates in household cleaning products with the less dangerous (and poorer performing) carbonates.

    I actually keep a box of TSP in the house at all times and use it in my dishwasher and washing machine when I need to do heavy duty cleaning. Until they pry the box of TSP from my cold, dead hands, I will use it as I need to

    OH, and I hope that it goes without saying - you need to wear PPE's (personal protective equipment) when using TSP/Bleach!! You should be wearing PPE's whenever dealing with strong cleaning products, but especially with TSP/Bleach due to it's highly caustic and oxidizing properties. So that means rubber gloves, eye protection and avoiding contact with any clothing that you like...

    [END EDIT]
    Last edited by SunnyOptimism; 04-29-2015 at 01:41 PM. Reason: Edited for clarity & typos
    16k gal IG gunite PebbleTec (Caribbean Blue), 18' x 36' free form with raised spa/spillway and separate rock waterfall. All Pentair Equipment pad - 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr heater, QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, IntelliTouch/EasyTouch Controls

  3. #3
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    Nov 2004
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    Orlando, Florda, USA.
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    Default Re: Pool Enclosure Cleaning - Oxygen Bleach versus Chlorine Bleach

    Thanks, but I'm looking for some product (s) that are OK for environment. I have had plants damaged and grass hurt buy strong chemicals. I'll need to use a pressure washer only if that is only way but thought that Oxygen bleach might be an alternative. Any experience there?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    Tucson, AZ
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    Default Re: Pool Enclosure Cleaning - Oxygen Bleach versus Chlorine Bleach

    Quote Originally Posted by bell7272 View Post
    Thanks, but I'm looking for some product (s) that are OK for environment. I have had plants damaged and grass hurt buy strong chemicals. I'll need to use a pressure washer only if that is only way but thought that Oxygen bleach might be an alternative. Any experience there?
    "Oxygen bleach" is nothing more than some variant of OxyClean whose main chemical ingredient is sodium percarbonate. Upon dissolution into water, it will convert to sodium carbonate (washing soda) and peroxide. Spraying a mixture of sodium carbonate and peroxide on any plant life will be just as detrimental and damaging as TSP/bleach would be. The only difference is that "oxygen bleach" is much less effective at killing mold and removing stains. Also, I would not say that you have to use a pressure washer per se, but it helps. Personally speaking, I would only use TSP/bleach or sodium percarbonate by hand washing to avoid the over-spray that would result from using a pressure washer. As with any cleanup project, it is always advisable to cover any sensitive landscaping.

    As for other product alternatives, there are none that I know of that are proven to be effective. Some people swear by Tea Tree oil for it's antiseptic properties, but I have not heard of that being used on mold. Boric acid can be used to treat mold but it too is typically used in a solution with hydrogen peroxide (so just as bad for plant life). There are various recipes for it on the internet but it usually requires buying high-concentration (35%) peroxide which is not readily available to consumers and may be illegal to purchase in some states.

    Sorry, mold and mildew is a pain to clean up no matter what you use. Hope you find what you're looking for.
    16k gal IG gunite PebbleTec (Caribbean Blue), 18' x 36' free form with raised spa/spillway and separate rock waterfall. All Pentair Equipment pad - 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr heater, QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, IntelliTouch/EasyTouch Controls

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Tucson, AZ
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    Default Re: Pool Enclosure Cleaning - Oxygen Bleach versus Chlorine Bleach

    One other cleaning method that might work and uses NO CHEMICALS would be steam cleaning. I own a McCulloch steam cleaner (see this Amazon Link) and I have used steam cleaning to kill and remove minor mold and mildew in some DIY cleaning projects (works great for cleaning my BBQ and outdoor kitchen tile without using harsh chemicals). The only caveat is that it takes A LOT of elbow grease to scrub and clean away heavy deposits. The steam really helps loosen it all up, but you still have to scrub it away. Sometimes you can rent steam cleaning systems from local hardware or rental stores. I bought mine because I use it a lot.

    Hope that helps.
    16k gal IG gunite PebbleTec (Caribbean Blue), 18' x 36' free form with raised spa/spillway and separate rock waterfall. All Pentair Equipment pad - 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr heater, QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, IntelliTouch/EasyTouch Controls

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Central Florida
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    154

    Default Re: Pool Enclosure Cleaning - Oxygen Bleach versus Chlorine Bleach

    I pressure wash my screen enclosure and pool deck a couple times a year in Central Florida. You just need to keep your distance from the actual screen depending on the power of your pressure washer.
    In-ground gunite 16 x 30 13,000 gal. Full screen enclosure. 120 sq ft. Filter cartridge, 1-1/2 HP pump. Master Pools In-floor cleaner. Taylor K-2006.

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