Ask the Expert


If you have a question that you would like Chemex to answer, please email

Do the regulations regarding manual handling give specific weights that are acceptable or unacceptable to lift?

The regulations do not refer to specific weights. Each activity should be assessed to see whether it poses a risk of injury or if it can be done more safely. Many of our products are packed in 5 litre packs and 20 litre packs. In some cases, the 20 litre packs are difficult for some people to move about on a casual basis. In the case of our laundry and dish-wash type products we have identified that it is usually women who handle them and so we took the decision to reduce the pack size from 20 litres to 10 litres, so that they can be handled more easily. Some organisations may have codes of practice where specific weights are set for handling.

Could you please inform me about the pH level of Fabrique and if this level effects carpet or upholstery?

The pH of the neat product is 10.3. When diluted 50 to 1 with water, the pH falls to 9.5. The main components of Fabrique are non-ionic surfactants for good soil lifting and oil/grease emulsification. The base ingredients are of a pH about 7.0. One of the other ingredients is nitrilo triacetic acid tri sodium salt that is a water softening and soil-sequestering agent. It is very similar in function to EDTA or polyphosphate and is a non-phosphate alternative to polyphosphate. This ingredient causes the pH value of 10.3. There is very little free alkali present. I have no reason to believe that this pH value has any adverse effect on fabrics such as carpets or upholstery, as borne out of the fact that we have supplied Fabrique for this purpose for many years with no such problems, however please do test this on a small, discreet area first.

Is it ok to use Chemex Salad-wash or Destainer for washing eggs?

We do not recommend you supply Salad Wash for washing eggs. We have read some articles on this subject and it seems that it is better not to wash the eggs because the introduction of water to the eggshell does in itself promote bacteria growth on the shell. We have also read that a dilute solution of hypochlorite (Destainer) can have an adverse effect on the “cuticle”, a membrane beneath the shell. The preference is for eggs to be clean at source reflecting good quality management. Class B eggs, and eggs intended for processing may be washed. Refer to Defra and Food Standards Agency websites – Google defra egg washing and fsa.

How can I get the smell of urine out of leather?

One of our Chemex experts recommends applying Chemzyme with a sponge soaked in hot water. Please test this method on a small discreet area first.

Do we have anything to get dried blood out of the carpet

Another great expert suggestion- Use Oxyfresh diluted 50:50 with water applied via a trigger spray. This has proven to be very effective, however please do test this on a small, discreet area first.

Do Chemex have any products suitable for treating swimming pool water ?

Sodium Hypochlorite (Destainer) and sodium dichlorodiisocyanurate (chlorine tablets) can be used for treatment of swimming pools. Dosage levels are 10 ppm chlorine for initial , shock dose, and 3 to 5 ppm chlorine for ongoing pool maintenance. I recommend that you do not supply Chemex products for pool water maintenance. They may well be the same products as are commonly used for this purpose but pool maintenance technicians need to be able to test the water for residual chlorine, cyanuric acid, pH etc in order to calculate maintenance doses. They then need to accept responsibility for the proper pool maintenance. I do not believe we are expert enough in this area where public health is involved.

Can the washings from vehicle washing go down the drain?

Information from Severn Trent is that there are thousands of small gangs setting up as car washers on pub car parks around the country. Invariably the washings go into the storm drains. This is illegal, but the enforcement authorities are thinly spread so they are only able to follow up where there are significant problems and they can be traced back to a particular premises. So, in the main they get away with it. The  washings from car or van cleaning should be directed to foul sewer or an interceptor. If there are significant volume of  washings a consent should be obtained to put the washings into the sewer. There may be a condition of consent to monitor pH or BOD. If the cleaning agents are readily biodegradable and the soil is traffic grime, there should be no problems with obtaining consent

Can Smokeclean solutions go down the drain where the drain runs to a septic tank?

Septic tanks have a finite volume. Domestic tanks may be 1 or 2 cubic metres. Commercial tanks will be larger. This means that there is not sufficient volume for dilution to cope with large amounts of acidic or alkaline solutions. This is much less of a problem with discharge to mains sewer where the dilution effect is almost infinite. Experience has shown that acidic and alkaline washings can be discharged to septic tanks provided that they are in small quantities and well diluted. Acidic toilet cleaners followed by a flush are ok . Diluted laundry and dishwash solutions have not been known to cause a problem in my experience, because the pH is close to neutral pH after the washing process. The neat products (acidic or alkaline) should not be put down the drain because of the effect they have on the pH. Only well diluted used products should be discharged and then only to a system large enough to deal with the effluent from the premises. Some establishments expand their operations over the years without increasing the size of the septic tank, and this can lead to problems. The size of the tank in relation to the size of operation of the premises is important.