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Old 09-06-2012, 04:57 PM   #1
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What are you painters refuring to when you say clean metal door with tsp. Thanks.

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Old 09-06-2012, 05:02 PM   #2
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trisodium_phosphate

Any hardware store, box store, paint store will have it.

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Old 09-06-2012, 05:06 PM   #3
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joe- he said painters... lol!!
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:41 PM   #4
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Trisodium Phosphate---abbreviated TSP---is was used for ages to prep surfaces for painting and is what we who painted and those who still do still call it. With environmental restrictions on high phosphate detergents, most of what is out there now is sort of fifi foofoo faux TSP but it still works well because it does not have a lot of other stuff like fragrance and surficants that leave a sheen by way of a thin suface film. Sort of like xerox copies, kleenex, etc. TSP had such recognition one smart company markets a prep powder under the brand name TSP. Dirtex is another similar product and although it has other stuff that make it harder to rinse, good old Spic N Span and a lot of powdered household cleaners used to be mainly TSP (if aging memory serves me well).

Your real paint store will have what we are talking about and maybe even your box store but it could take you a day to communicate with grunts and hand signals to the minimum wage apron person. It cuts dirt and grease and rinses clear. Other detergents can leave a residue that can effect adhesion almost as much as the grease and grime it got rid of.

Note that less really is more. Putting twice the amount recommended on the box is not going to get things any cleaner and you will just spend more of your life rinsing. And you will be wasting your money.

Last edited by user1007; 09-06-2012 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by 747 View Post
What are you painters refuring to when you say clean metal door with tsp. Thanks.
TSP = Tri-Sodium Phosphate. A very strong, highly alkaline detergent cleaner available at paint and hardware stores - while big boxes may carry it, don't be fooled by the TSP substitutes or "phosphate free" TSP (wouldn't that just make it "TS"?). It's great for general cleaning, removes grease and heavy dirt, but always follow package directions when using (too strong a mixture can remove existing paint, damage metal and burn skin & eyes) - (this is NOT one of those products that "if 1/2 cup per gallon of water cleans this good, then 2 cups per gallon of date must be amazing.." - yeah, don't do that)...ALWAYS rinse surface with clean water following a TSP wash.

For lighter cleaning and surface prep, consider using a product like Soilax or Dirtex Powder (not aerosol), both are good utility cleaners, phosphate free and non-sudsing (so clean water rinse isn't necessary). Good luck.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:40 PM   #6
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Hmm...OK, I just read SDSester's response and he said the same thing (sigh)...
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:34 PM   #7
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Hmm...OK, I just read SDSester's response and he said the same thing (sigh)...
Uh oh, you're slipping, Ric, Might have to change your handle to "Ric knows paint but not TSP." LOL.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:51 PM   #8
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Uh oh, you're slipping, Ric, Might have to change your handle to "Ric knows paint but not TSP." LOL.
or better yet..."ric knows paint but plagiarizes other peoples comments on TSP". Somehow this had to be SDSester's fault.
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:11 AM   #9
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:36 AM   #10
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or better yet..."ric knows paint but plagiarizes other peoples comments on TSP". Somehow this had to be SDSester's fault.
I am certain it and more is! Heap on the guilt!

Last edited by user1007; 09-07-2012 at 08:32 AM. Reason: Added Image of the Stoning of St. Stephen
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Old 09-07-2012, 02:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
Trisodium Phosphate---abbreviated TSP---is was used for ages to prep surfaces for painting and is what we who painted and those who still do still call it. With environmental restrictions on high phosphate detergents, most of what is out there now is sort of fifi foofoo faux TSP but it still works well because it does not have a lot of other stuff like fragrance and surficants that leave a sheen by way of a thin suface film. Sort of like xerox copies, kleenex, etc. TSP had such recognition one smart company markets a prep powder under the brand name TSP. Dirtex is another similar product and although it has other stuff that make it harder to rinse, good old Spic N Span and a lot of powdered household cleaners used to be mainly TSP (if aging memory serves me well).

Your real paint store will have what we are talking about and maybe even your box store but it could take you a day to communicate with grunts and hand signals to the minimum wage apron person. It cuts dirt and grease and rinses clear. Other detergents can leave a residue that can effect adhesion almost as much as the grease and grime it got rid of.

Note that less really is more. Putting twice the amount recommended on the box is not going to get things any cleaner and you will just spend more of your life rinsing. And you will be wasting your money.
It's so cheap that you wouldn't really be wasting much money if you use more than you should. But read the instructions, and don't get it in your eyes! No fun.
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:44 PM   #12
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It's so cheap that you wouldn't really be wasting much money if you use more than you should. But read the instructions, and don't get it in your eyes! No fun.

did you bother reading the other posts?

more is not good
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:05 PM   #13
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It's so cheap that you wouldn't really be wasting much money if you use more than you should.
This attitude is why EPAs have to step in and ban perfectly good and safe chemicals. Or at least they would be if people exercised common sense and used them only as directed. People think it is alright to mix a quadruple batch of tsp, insectiside or herbicide and that somehow the water and their mix will not find low ground, a stream or a river and ultimately a gulf or bay ecosystem to pollute. Sublime to absurd.

Sorry, I live in a State running out of fresh water and with its major river so polluted mainly from chemical overuse it is dangerous. I guess I am over sensitive. I am annoyed I cannot buy products anymore because people abused them with the attitude they are so cheap it doesn't matter. It does matter. Midwest ag runoff is killing corral and shrimp populations and other aquaculture environments in the Gulf of Mexico on which other countries besides our rely on for food and economic stability. Our casual use of chemicals is irresponsible and frankly quite arrogant.

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Old 09-07-2012, 10:48 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
This attitude is why EPAs have to step in and ban perfectly good and safe chemicals. Or at least they would be if people exercised common sense and used them only as directed. People think it is alright to mix a quadruple batch of tsp, insectiside or herbicide and that somehow the water and their mix will not find low ground, a stream or a river and ultimately a gulf or bay ecosystem to pollute. Sublime to absurd.

Sorry, I live in a State running out of fresh water and with its major river so polluted mainly from chemical overuse it is dangerous. I guess I am over sensitive. I am annoyed I cannot buy products anymore because people abused them with the attitude they are so cheap it doesn't matter. It does matter. Midwest ag runoff is killing corral and shrimp populations and other aquaculture environments in the Gulf of Mexico on which other countries besides our rely on for food and economic stability. Our casual use of chemicals is irresponsible and frankly quite arrogant.
Well said, SDS, well said. The reasons phosphates were taken out of household and laundry detergents so many years ago was due to the fact that these phosphates did find their way to low ground...and did end up in streams, ponds, lakes and reservoirs. Certain algaes feed rampantly off these phosphates then flourish in calm and still waters, robbing the water of all oxygen necessary for beneficial plants and marine life to survive.

Also, and again (as mentioned in my previous post), TSP is a strong, caustic detergent. It can be mixed strong enough to degloss paint...it can be mixed strong enough to remove paint. It will burn your skin if mixed too strongly. If I remember my high school chemistry class, the proper term for this product is that it's some "potent sh!t..."

...and it's so not necessary to over mix. Sometimes you need a stronger detergent than Soilax, and TSP may be just your ticket. If you mix it to the recommended strength, you're gonna have plenty of grease cutting power. Keep this in mind when using TSP - A surface cleaned with TSP must be neutralized with clean water. Rinsed clean. The stronger the mix, the more rinsing is necessary. Without a proper rinse, the film you leave behind contains phosphates - and phosphates are a form of fertilizer. Plants (such as the algae mentioned earlier) thrive on the stuff - Mold and mildew are also such plants that will absolutely feed on this residue.

Seems to me that if there is an environmental hazard, a safety concern, and a detrimental effect to the surface being cleaned, concerning this product - and that all these issues/concerns & hazards would be greatly (or manageably) minimized by simply following the package directions...then why are we even having this discussion?
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:30 PM   #15
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Seems to me that if there is an environmental hazard, a safety concern, and a detrimental effect to the surface being cleaned, concerning this product - and that all these issues/concerns & hazards would be greatly (or manageably) minimized by simply following the package directions...then why are we even having this discussion?
Trumped what I said! Bravo!

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