What is pH Litmus Paper?
Litmus paper is the most basic way you can test if a liquid is acidic (pH<7) or basic/alkaline (pH>7). Blue litmus paper turns red in acid and red litmus turns blue in alkaline. What could be simpler? It turns out there’s more to it than you thought.
What is Ammonia?
Ammonia is a simple inorganic molecule with the formula NH3. It has many important industrial and agricultural uses. Ammonia’s low molecular weight (17.031 vs water 18.01528) it useful a tool compound but is also toxic. Two simple and inexpensive ammonia leak detection methods are discussed.
See our other blog for Water Leak Detection.
Norovirus, aka Norwalk, is in the news again. It’s sometimes called “stomach flu” but has nothing to do with any influenza virus. It does, however, deliver some nasty symptoms above and beyond your standard winter cold. There are no vaccines or antibiotics that can prevent or relieve symptoms but you can reduce your chances of catching it.
Chlorine bleach is an inexpensive and widely used chemical for sanitizing and disinfecting in restaurants, daycare and hospitals. The recommended concentrations for these can vary by as much as a factor of 50!. Unfortunately, the labels on off the shelf supermarket products are of little use when trying to dilute bleach correctly for most of these uses.
Can 10ppm Really Be Zero?
Test strips make fairly accurate measurements of pH levels, concentrations of sanitizers such as chlorine & hydrogen peroxide or the amount of Vitamin C in juice. The common factor in all these is that the measurement is made on a bulk solution. In other words, the liquid in question occupies some volume of a test tube, bottle or bucket.
Several of these strips have been repurposed for detecting residual levels of quat sanitizers & sulfite preservatives on the surfaces of things. Unfortunately, this has lead a misinterpretation of government regulations by so called experts who are either training or inspecting commercial food operations.
Chlorine Bleach Disinfectant Test Strips
Chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite) has long been used to remove stains, treat drinking water & disinfect food preparation materials. Many other chemicals are now being used for sanitizing & disinfection but chlorine bleach is cheap, readily available & has found new life as a potent agent against dangerous bugs including viruses such as Ebola & bacteria such as MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus) & VRE (vancomicin resistant Enterococcus).