Oxalic acid

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On Fri, 09 Jun 2006 20:09:18 -0400, Stubby

That varies by state.
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You may also be able to get it at a drugstore. Oxalic acid can be run through your dishwasher to remove discoloration.
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http://froogle.google.com/froogle?hl=en&q=Oxalic%20acid
http://www.hardwareworld.com/12oz-Oxalic-Acid-Bleach-pN7NTT2.aspx
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higgledy wrote:

Oxalic acid is for cleaning cedar and redwood decks, not treated pine.
For treated pine, the standard chemical used to be sodium hypochlorite (common household bleach). Many people still use that, but a lot of experts are starting to recommend against it, because the chlorine can damage the wood. It attacks the lignin in the wood and weakens the wood surface structure.
A lot of the home improvement gurus now recommend sodium percarbonate, which when added to water turns into hydrogen peroxide (oxygen bleach) and sodium carbonate (washing soda - remember the old Arm and Hammer washing soda that you used to be able to buy in the laundry aisle?). The combination is an effective deck cleaner and brightener which does not damage the wood and is very safe to use.
You can buy 2-pound jars of pure sodium percarbonate at thechemistrystore.com for about two bucks a pound, plus shipping. Or you can buy a bucket of "Oxy Clean" at the supermarket - it's the same thing except its not 100% sodium percarbonate - it contains a large percentage of sodium carbonate filler which is a less expensive chemical.
You can also buy a bucket of Tri Sodium Phosphate (TSP) and throw a couple of ounces it in a bucket of warm water together with some household bleach to create a very effective deck cleaning solution, if you don't believe the warnings about using chlorine-based bleaches on wood.
You can also buy a bucket of oxalic acid there too.
Please note that oxalic acid IS a toxin to humans. It can be absorbed through the skin. Use with care.
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Why not just buy hydrogen peroxide and washing soda, and mix them? They're both readily available, cheap as dirt, and bound to be less expensive and easier to find than sodium percarbonate.
If you only "used to" be able to buy washing soda in the laundry aisle, either you're shopping in the wrong stores (e.g. Wal-Mart), or you're not looking very hard. I don't have any trouble at all finding washing soda in the laundry aisle of my neighborhood Kroger grocery store.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

Sure. The result would be the same.

When you say hydrogen peroxide is "readily available" and "cheap as dirt" I of course think of those brown plastic 16oz bottles they sell everywhere, from WalMart to Walgreens. There are two problems:
1) That's only a 3% solution. You would have to use it full strength. So, not sure it would much cheaper, if at all.
2) The reason it's in a brown plastic bottle is that it's unstable. Has a short shelf life. The powdered sodium percarbonate keeps much longer, as long as you keep the lid on it to keep the moisture out.
You can buy much stronger hydrogen peroxide at some pool and spa supply stores, but it's expensive - and at high concentrations is somewhat dangerous to handle.

Sodium percarbonate is easy to find. It's the active ingredient in OxyClean and other oxygen-based cleaners which line the supermarket shelves (but as I said, those products contain a lot of filler - they are not 100% sodium percarbonate). Most pool and spa stores carry "oxygen shock" which is sodium percarbonate. Many mail-order places sell it. Type the words "oxygen" and "deck" and "bleach" into your internet search engine, and you'll get hundreds of hits.

WalMart and Meijer used to carry it in their laundry products aisle but they no longer do. I also checked two or three other chain stores and they don't carry it either. Haven't checked Kroger yet - but I will. While I'm there, I'll also look for "20 mule team Borax" which WalMart also stopped stocking (I've had good results using a Borax and vinegar solution for spraying on treated pine and vinyl siding to prevent/destroy mildew and algae).
Speaking of WalMart, is it just my wild imagination, or do I sense a slight change in their business model? Besides Arm and Hammer Washing Soda and 20 Mule Team Borax, there are other low-volume products I have seen disappear from their shelves recently. In the past, I had the impression they wanted to be all things to all people. Now lately I seem to perceive a trend to eliminate some of the low-volume stuff. They may save a nickel in the near term, but people may start to re-discover other stores. That may be a good thing.
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Ether Jones wrote:

What other stores? Mal Wart ran them out of business.
Pete C.
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Easier solution, use dish washer detergent and add some bleach if you want.

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Any sail boats in your area? Oxalic acid was (if it still is not) the bleaching agent of choice among sialboat owners for cleaning their sails... When I lived in the Annapolis area of Maryland every Drugstore sold it and every marina had it in stock in many sizes... Drugstores should be able to order it for you in any part of the country... Also works well on convertible vinyl tops...you just have to have the hose ready...LOL
Bob G.
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If you want acid, you need to find a drug dealer. Be aware this is an illegal drug. Once you get the acid, drop a few hits, wait till you get off, then enjoy cleaning your dick.
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Don Hard wrote:

This varies by state.
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higgledy wrote:

Have some coffee and read that post again.
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--John
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