First off, new to Permie, and there are way too many threads here to be legal, I'm guessing! Well done everybody. I did search for this first, BTW...
We bought a house on property with a lot of promise. Previous owner left lots of stuff, some usable, some not, including a hand pump sprayer (the type you wear on your back and pump as you go, very nice bit of equipment) that he used to load with Roundup.
So my question, how can I effectively and efficiently clean this thing of poison? I'd be using it for pest control (soap, pepper, tobacco, garlic, etc.), but of course I don't want to kill the plants I'm trying to protect, and I certainly don't want to poison ourselves when we eat them.
Any suggestions or experience? The best I can come up with is multiple rinsings and cleanings and testings, but is that even worth the time? Is this equipment toast?
Throw that sprayer out if you're not spraying herbicide!!!
At least around me, the local big box store sells sprayers for about $4 on sale, so there is no good reason to try and reuse it. A couple weeks ago, I bought a Chapin backpack sprayer like you described for $40, but still often just put the 2 gallon $4 sprayers in mesh backpack I picked up for $1 a while back.
For weed control, I use stuff that could be harmful to plants, but I use a single sprayer for that purpose and I painted it BRIGHT RED so there is no chance that I would accidentally use a sprayer that has the slightest bit of harmful residue in it. In the world of chemistry and pesticides, the "triple rinse" is standard for cleaning glassware and containers, but with sprayers being so inexpensive I would not risk harming the plants you are trying to protect.
Cheers John. That was my initial inclination, to not use it. I'll keep an eye out for those cheap sprayers. Some little critter just devoured our yam leaves. Who eats yam leaves? (Sorry, just back from living in E. Asia for many years. Nothing ate the yam, aka, diguaye.)
A decent (Solo brand or better) is going to run a hundred bucks, so worth pursuing an answer. Also worth another question: what are you going to spray in the future?
There are two basic types of sprayers, I forget what and diaphragm. The diaphragm is a bit harder to find, but is the kind that can spray things like kaolin in solution, a good organic alternative for some beasties like codling moths. That's what I have. The other kind (dang, had to Google it), piston sprayer, is what you are more likely to see at a big box store. They have their virtues but I forget what they are.
FWIW the reason I went with Solo is that about every part is replaceable and you can actually find and buy them.
Hope that helps evaluate the worth of the sprayer the previous owners left behind.
Thanks for the information Ann. The name on the sprayer is Swissmex, and if I had to guess, I'd say it is the diaphragm type. I took a better look at it after reading your message, and this does look like it wouldn't be cheap to buy new.
I'd use to to spray basic repellent at first. I suppose after a thorough cleaning I could use it to spray around a garden rather than right on plants until I'm (somehow) sure it's OK.
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Triple rinse seems to be the industry standard for cleaning these things to use with other chemicals, including pumping water through the entire wand mechanism. A shot of biodegradable soap in rinse #2 wouldn't hurt.
Link to the UMissouri's page Cleaning Field Sprayers to Avoid Crop Injury
Is it perfect? No, but far worse is your land that the previous owner sprayed. You'll make it all better soon.
maybe wash it 10 times for good measure. If it is a quality sprayer and you have good intentions for it I don't see why it cant be salvaged. the small amount of residue in the jug should be minimal and as far as killing plants I don't see it happening with a good rinse.
i have been using a IBC tote that had roundup in it, to catch rain without any issues.
it was cleaned when i got it, but i washed it out at the car wash - used vinegar /rinse / dr bronners / rinse / dish soap / rinse.
we werent sure it would work so we set the tote somewhere would could test. it has been ~3+ years and no signs of any issues with the plants.
if its a cheap sprayer i would just get another one, if its a nice one, i think it can be rehabed.
hope this helps.
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