Copyright ©2010 |The Unique Green Boutique
By Dr. Lynette Morgan
Suntec International Hydroponic Consultants
The BIO GREEN CLEAN product was informally tested in one of our research greenhouses to clean a range of hydroponic system channels, growing containers, pumps, tanks, greenhouse structures and other equipment. BIO GREEN CLEAN proved to be an effective and concentrated cleaner and removed salt build up, dried algae, plant debris and other organic material from all parts of the hydroponic systems treated. The product even removed old sooty mold and honey dew from an insect infestation on plastic and metal surfaces and greenhouse structures. BIO GREEN CLEAN did not leave any toxic residue after cleaning and was safe and effective for staff to use. In the past we have relied on using strong bleach and hydrogen peroxide for cleaning and disinfection and while these are highly effective, there are associated problems with safety of such chemicals and environmental issues with disposal of waste. I would recommend BIO GREEN CLEAN to hydroponic growers, particularly those with environmental concerns and those who want to avoid the risk of residues of other cleaning products. BIO GREEN CLEAN was easy to use and produced a clean, shiny and satisfactory result in our greenhouse.
By Dr. Rob Smith
BIO GREEN CLEAN is a natural ‘Manmade, Chemical free’ compound derived from edible seed bearing plants. The manufacturers claim that it is one of the most effective cleaning agents available that contains none of the usual chemical compounds such as Ammonia/Chlorine/Hydrofluoric acid or any petroleum based detergents or derivatives!
All sounds very good ‘but’ does it work?
I conducted a number of cleaning tests according to the manufacturers dilution rates and found no difficulties in removing all organic deposits from PVC hydroponic gullies and plastic pots. In the case of long term nutrient mineral deposits I found the suggested dilution rate was still effective however where there were signs of nutrient precipitation (Calcium sulphate) I found that a full strength application was required and soaking for five minutes prior to any physical scrubbing was a process. I had no desire to kill any of my plants but still wished to confirm that the product could be used on hydroponic hardware near and around living plants without causing them harm.
I started in a small area of my glasshouse which has a crop of tomatoes in full flight — I certainly did not want to hurt them but needs must. I started with a 10:1 solution which I painted onto the NFT gullies and the surrounding floor and left that for an hour to establish that the fumes or any that had accidentally come into contact with the plant stems were not effected. With absolutely no apparent ill effects (other than removing a lot of dirt and debris) I repeated the exercise at 3:1 dilution in a fresh definite advantage.
I had been requested to give this product a good trial to prove its efficacy and quite honestly, while I had no problem in cleaning the hydroponic hardware I really needed to put some pressure on the product to really perform — I needed a real tough test — then it came to me! My BBQ is fitted with baked enamel plates and grills and when I inspected them ‘yes’ they were efficiently covered with baked on fat and carbonised material. what a tough test for any cleaning product!
In order for the test to be totally fair I also had to conduct the test in an approved manner, using a control. I selected what is advertised as being the most effective proprietary cleaner, divided up the BBQ hardware into two sets and set up to proceed with cleaning. The proprietary product came in a spray bottle so to get as close as possible I loaded a new plastic spray bottle with full strength BIO GREEN CLEAN and set to work. Both products were sprayed onto their share of the dirty hardware and allowed to sit for five minutes — both were scrubbed and then hosed off — the results were impressive, with both products coming up with good results. Now that the bulk of the deposits had now been removed, each was give a second clean — again both did a good job. As the enamel surfaces began to dry I noticed that the parts cleaned with the BIO GREEN CLEAN actually had a gloss finish whereas the proprietary product was still a bit dull and flat — a quick spray and rub onto that dull surface with BIO GREEN CLEAN and the same high gloss finish was achieved, indicating to me that the surface was now clean of any foreign surface materials. I believe that this was a true and fair test of a product. A product that never made or inferred such rigourous claims. I was impressed — now I needed to check whether this product was really safe to use in any connection with plant life!
Is BIO GREEN CLEAN poisonous to plants (Phytotoxic)?
This is a little more difficult to establish unless one is prepared to deliberately kill plants in the area of the crop — again with no adverse results. My confidence in the product was growing and so I then reverted to my spray bottle with full strength concentrate Bio Clean Green and liberally sprayed onto the NFT gullies and took no care to stop the material landing on the plant stems or lower leaves — I covered the area of three plants — I then wiped all the PVC and surrounding sprayed concrete floor* with a kitchen sponge cloth and then hosed of the area with fresh water. After now waiting for a whole week in order to confirm that there have been no ill effects I can report that the plants look great and the treated area shining bright.
*As is best practice for cleanliness, disease prevention, light reflection onto the crop and temperature control my NFT glasshouse has a poured concrete floor which has been painted with vivid white acrylic paint.
In summary: I no longer have an analytical laboratory available to confirm BIO GREEN CLEAN’s makeup, however I am happy to accept the information provided on the data sheets which were provided by the manufacturer. The product has no trouble in fulfilling all the claims made in the brochure and in my tests far exceeded expectations.
Successful commercial hydroponic operations know that cleanliness truly is next to Godliness and here is a natural product that can perform for the grower without him having to resort to harsh chemical sterilents or cleaners.
Materials Safety Data Sheet
To download the Materials Safety Data Sheet click here.