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Old 06-20-2019, 09:43 PM
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Default What constitutes "bleach" in the context of disinfecting plants?

This isn't entirely a plant-related question, but I wanted to be sure, as I have some valuable plants coming in that I want to disinfect (even if they probably won't need it).

I'm not an expert on cleaning things (including clothing), but "bleach" has always seemed to me to be a general term for the substance in question, and I had never given any thought to what constitutes it for most of my life.

But because it's made from a concentration of chlorine, I'm not 100% sure that the bleach most vivarists are using when they recommend, say, a 5-10% bleach mix, is the same bleach as I'm using. I'm worried that, say, the bleach I use could be too strong or too weak, and therefore result in either dead or poorly-disinfected plants.

The Clorox I have says it functionally has a 5.7% chlorine concentration, and my gut says that that's probably what everyone here uses, but I want to make sure before a crapload of good plants die mysteriously.
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Old 06-21-2019, 12:24 AM
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Default Re: What constitutes "bleach" in the context of disinfecting plants?

NEHERP - Vivarium Plant Processing Procedure

see "Processing Procedure for Non-Sensitive Flora", and "Processing Procedure for Sensitive Flora"
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Old 06-21-2019, 12:30 AM
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Default Re: What constitutes "bleach" in the context of disinfecting plants?

That is stuff. I prefer a mix that is called "5% bleach" or approximately 0.5% hypochlorite.

So, to use your regular Chlorox in a ratio of 1 part bleach to 12 parts water, stir well.

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Old 06-21-2019, 12:54 AM
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Default Re: What constitutes "bleach" in the context of disinfecting plants?

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Originally Posted by SoloSK71 View Post
That is stuff. I prefer a mix that is called "5% bleach" or approximately 0.5% hypochlorite.

So, to use your regular Chlorox in a ratio of 1 part bleach to 12 parts water, stir well.

Solo
So is 6% hypochlorite about 60% bleach? That's what all the products I've seen have. (The label also says "5.7% available chlorine," which is why I wrote that.)

Quote:
NEHERP - Vivarium Plant Processing Procedure

see "Processing Procedure for Non-Sensitive Flora", and "Processing Procedure for Sensitive Flora"
I'm hearing varying accounts of how to do this. NEHERP says 3 minutes soaking in bleach mix, Pumilo says 10 minutes soaking in bleach mix, Pumilo says 10% bleach, Solo says 1 part in 12.

I'm sure I'm misinterpreting something, so I want to make sure I understand before I try this again. I already did this with about 9 units of RO water to 0.75 units of Clorox bleach (6.0% hypochlorite) (I undershot it slightly for safety) for 10 minutes on the dot, after a ~10-15 minute pure water soak, and thoroughly rinsed each individual item off, and within about two hours one of the Begonias I bought from Pubfiction has started to see its leaves rot, even though it was fine before. (Other plants are fine so far.)

I have a bunch of Marcgravia coming in soon and I want to make sure I don't kill any of them. They're very pretty I'm relatively new to the plant game, so I don't have any intuition about what is the right thing to do.

EDIT: I mean no offense to anyone. I just don't want to lose plants.

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Old 06-21-2019, 01:17 AM
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Default Re: What constitutes "bleach" in the context of disinfecting plants?

For me, a "5% solution" is a solution that is 5% of the original strength. So if you start with a cup of bleach, and you add 19 cups of water, you've diluted it to 5%. This is for HARDY plants like pothos. It'll remove surface pathogens, but not any pests (snails, bugs).

I would but begonias in the "sensitive" category. Bare root them, give em a good rinse and soak, and let them grow out a bit before introducing to your viv.
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Old 06-21-2019, 01:52 AM
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Default Re: What constitutes "bleach" in the context of disinfecting plants?

I've soaked Marcgravia for ten minutes in a solution containing one part Chlorox to nine parts water. The plants tolerate it well.

FYI: "Splashless Bleach" is not a tested product for our uses. "Splashless Bleach" contains an unspecified concentration of chlorine, and surfactants, and other mystery ingredients.
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Old 06-21-2019, 02:07 AM
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Default Re: What constitutes "bleach" in the context of disinfecting plants?

I'm glad you mentioned splashless bleach. I considered purchasing some today. I didn't.
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Old 06-21-2019, 06:10 AM
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Recall your high school chemistry dilution. V1c1=V2c2 which is the original volume multiplied by the original concentration is equal to the volume of the new concentration.

Or if you want to make like a gallon of 0.5% solution:
0.005*1gal/0.0825= 0.976 cup of that concentrated 8.25% Clorox.
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Old 06-21-2019, 09:20 AM
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I see what I was misunderstanding. So 6% hypochlorite is 6% bleach (bleach = hypochlorite), and to concoct a MIX of 0.5% bleach, you divide the concentration by 12. And the way to do this is by diluting it by water, of course. 1/12th of the volume of a 6% bleach product in a volume of water that adds up with said bleach to the original volume (say, 1 gallon) equals 0.5% bleach mix.

So in a gallon of 6% bleach, I'd take 8.333% of it, or if I'm sticking to imperial metrics, 1.234 cups? Or just simply take 1 unit of 6% bleach product to 11 units of pure water.
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Old 06-21-2019, 11:50 AM
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Default Re: What constitutes "bleach" in the context of disinfecting plants?

Eh just make your life simpler and go for a 5% original strength solution lol -- 1 part bleach, 19 parts water.

Want a slightly stronger dilution? Do 18 or 17 parts water. OR do slightly more time in the water bath.

Keep in mind, bleach doesn't necessarily take out dangerous things like pesticides.
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Old 06-21-2019, 03:24 PM
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Lots of commercial foliage plant pesticides don’t have a particularly long half life. Rinsing or spraying them down a couple times should really be all that’s needed for most.

There are some that are active for 7 days. Protocol for them is not to water in that time too. So, if you’re washing your plant with RO or deionized H20 through the course of a week there’s little I would worry about.
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Old 06-21-2019, 08:25 PM
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Default Re: What constitutes "bleach" in the context of disinfecting plants?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypostatic View Post
Eh just make your life simpler and go for a 5% original strength solution lol -- 1 part bleach, 19 parts water.

Want a slightly stronger dilution? Do 18 or 17 parts water. OR do slightly more time in the water bath.

Keep in mind, bleach doesn't necessarily take out dangerous things like pesticides.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DPfarr View Post
Lots of commercial foliage plant pesticides donít have a particularly long half life. Rinsing or spraying them down a couple times should really be all thatís needed for most.

There are some that are active for 7 days. Protocol for them is not to water in that time too. So, if youíre washing your plant with RO or deionized H20 through the course of a week thereís little I would worry about.
I learned how to multi-quote! In other news:

I don't think I keep anything besides springtails in my terrariums right now that would mind pesticides. So the only pesticides I'd worry about for plants are the kinds people who sell plants wouldn't put on them, anyway. i.e. phytotoxic pesticides. I haven't seen any information that confirms permethrin is phytotoxic, and that's the active ingredient in most commercial pesticides as far as I've seen (and as far as I've used them).
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Old 07-10-2019, 06:42 PM
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oh gods, someone introduced complex math, time for me to get a beer, a pencil and a couple of pieces of paper ... 😉

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Old 07-11-2019, 01:21 AM
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Default Re: What constitutes "bleach" in the context of disinfecting plants?

Where did that come from?
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Old Today, 09:30 PM
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Default Re: What constitutes "bleach" in the context of disinfecting plants?

I'm posting in here again because I'm probably going to be making some clippings soon, and I want to make sure I don't kill anything.

So I learned last time that Begonias are a little more sensitive to bleach than other plants. Two of the three Begonias I bleached died quickly, the third wilted but is slowly coming back to life. I used a little less than 1 part bleach to 9 parts (RO) water, something like 0.75 parts bleach to 9 parts water.

Is it safe to say that diluting it to 1 part bleach to 19 parts water will make the mixture tolerable to most plants, except moss and perhaps Begonias? Are there any others I ought to just leave in water for 24 hours?
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