Wednesday, August 4, 2010

How to Mix Spray Concentrates

Mixing and diluting spray concentrates is usually a pretty straight forward task........or so you would think.

It is perhaps because it seems so easy that some times not enough care is taken and mistakes are made. Remember that concentrates are by their very nature more active than the final spray and are therefore to be handled with some respect. Here is a simple guide to diluting concentrates for spraying, safely, with least waste and best efficacy.

Example - To make up 5 Litres of final spray

Protect yourself - Put on waterproof gloves and eye protection. We also advise wearing face mask, overalls and gumboots or similar during mixing and spraying.

Prepare the product
Liquids - Shake product well before use and let any foam settle.
Powders/granules - Shake product gently to loosen and let settle for five minutes.

Most sprayers have measuring marks on the outside. If your sprayer does not, then using a 1 Litre measuring jug, add 1 Litre at a time to the sprayer and mark each level with a an indelible marker.

Measuring jug and sprayer - If possible use a 1 Litre measuring jug dedicated to the type of product to be used i.e. garden insecticide/fungicide, selective weed killer, non-selective weed killer, household insecticide, moss and mildew killer, etc. Rinse out measuring jug and sprayer with clean water. Quarter fill the measuring jug with clean water. Carefully add required amount of concentrate or powder/granules (to make final 5 Litres) to the water in the jug (if powder/granules- stir until dispersed). A cap full is approx. 15ml for measuring purposes. With clean water rinse out the measuring cap/cylinder into the jug at least 5 times. Add clean water to the jug until the level reaches 1 Litre. Add mixture to sprayer. Using measuring jug, add 4 more Litres of clean water to the sprayer. Using a jug is unlikely to cause foaming. If foaming occurs, slow the addition of water. Let liquid sit until foam subsides before completing filling. Do not let foam spill from sprayer.

Sprayer only – Rinse sprayer with clean water. Add 1 litre of clean water to the sprayer. Carefully add required amount of concentrate or powder/granules (to make final 5 Litres) to the water in the sprayer (if powder/granules- stir until dispersed). A capful is approx. 15ml for measuring purposes. Using clean water, rinse out the measuring cap/cylinder into the sprayer at least 5 times. Add clean water to the sprayer until the level reaches 5 Litres. Note: If foaming occurs, slow the addition of water. Let liquid sit until foam subsides before completing filling. Do not let foam spill from sprayer.

Cleaning sprayer, jug and stirrer – After use rinse the sprayer, jug and stirrer out with clean water at least three times. It is good practise to pump clean water through the spray nozzle to clear product from sprayer head and tube.

If a diluent (solvent) other than water is used, the equipment should be cleaned with an appropriate cleaner such as household washing up liquid. It is also recommended that sprayer seals are checked and lubricated with petroleum gel, grease or similar to keep in good order.

Mixing with diluents (solvents) other than water - Some Kiwicare products are not formulated to mix with water e.g. NO Borer Concentrate and NO Leaks Red Brick and Terracotta Sealant. And some products can be mixed with other diluents for better effectiveness, e.g. NO Spiders mixed with turpentine or NO Hydrocotyl mixed with diesel for control of re-sprouting stumps. In these case the process is similar to that described above but using the appropriate solvent.

I hope this advice will help you get the best out of concentrates, stay safe, reduce spills and save you money.

What do you get if you mix a bear with a cow?
Winnie the moo.


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