How to you sterilize your backpack between applications

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turfnsurf
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How to you sterilize your backpack between applications

Post by turfnsurf »

I intend to use mine to apply fertilizer, soil amendments, micronutrients, herbicides and insecticides.

Since I can't mix my humic acid and RGS with herbicides or fungicides, I want to be sure that my backpack sprayer is properly readied after I apply herbicides or fungicides.

What all do I need to do? Is a simple water rinsing sufficient?

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Re: How to you sterilize your backpack between applications

Post by gm560 »

I have multiples to avoid this problem, but I do know plenty of people just use water and rinse the tank 2-3 times. They also sell products for this purpose but I have never used them:

https://www.domyown.com/sprayer-cleaner-c-29_936.html

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Re: How to you sterilize your backpack between applications

Post by Awar »

After each use I just add water to the tank, shake it, dump the water, add water again (should be cleaner now), run the sprayer a little to flush the tubes, wand & nozzle, dump the water, let it dry.

I know this does not sanitize the sprayer and there may be traces of whatever products were used (ex. fungicide + pesticide) but when I do my next app of whatever (ex. PGR + iron) there won't be any significant amount of the previous products to make a difference in my opinion! Before each use I run the sprayer for a few seconds in the mulch area as it's probably still sucking left-over clean water as opposed to the new mix (sometimes you can tell by the color of the spray).

I have two tanks for my battery sprayer but I haven't labeled one for some products and the other for other products. I'll eventually do that when I first use that sprayer for herbicides. I also have a couple of hand-held pump sprayers one of which is dedicated for glyphosate in my flower beds but the other I've used for different products including fertilizer, fungicide, herbicides, pesticides, etc. following the simple cleaning/flushing routine.

If someone has good evidence of the need to have separate sprayers, tanks, nozzles, etc. or the need to do more serious cleaning or sanitizing I'm willing to listen.
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Re: How to you sterilize your backpack between applications

Post by Tmank87 »

I'm in the same boat as @Awar, if I'm feeling particularly wild, I may mix in some Dawn dish soap.

It's actually my biggest complaint about the 105ex, it's challenging to get all of the water out of the bottom of the tank.

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Re: How to you sterilize your backpack between applications

Post by ScottieBones »

I usually just do a good water flush. However, i will not run glyphosate through the same sprayer I use for applying products to the lawn or other plants.

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Re: How to you sterilize your backpack between applications

Post by turfnsurf »

@Awar can you link an example of the smaller hand held pumps that you use. Perhaps that would be best for glysophate.

I have buckthorn and thistle, so I am looking at getting glysophate and triclopyr, so I am definitely interested if anyone uses their main backpack for those. I am skeptical about it but I wasn't sure.

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Re: How to you sterilize your backpack between applications

Post by bradleymichael »

Tmank87 wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:19 pm
I'm in the same boat as @Awar, if I'm feeling particularly wild, I may mix in some Dawn dish soap.

It's actually my biggest complaint about the 105ex, it's challenging to get all of the water out of the bottom of the tank.
Very good sprayer..... horrible to get everything out of though.

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Re: How to you sterilize your backpack between applications

Post by JeffCar26 »

100% agree with trying to get all the water out of the 105ex.

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Re: How to you sterilize your backpack between applications

Post by Awar »

turfnsurf wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:53 pm
@Awar can you link an example of the smaller hand held pumps that you use. Perhaps that would be best for glysophate.

I have buckthorn and thistle, so I am looking at getting glysophate and triclopyr, so I am definitely interested if anyone uses their main backpack for those. I am skeptical about it but I wasn't sure.
I have a couple of pump sprayers that I picked up from the big bix store years ago. I have the 1 gal. and 2 gal. versions of the Scott's:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Scotts-2-Ga ... /300259167
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Re: How to you sterilize your backpack between applications

Post by Mightyquinn »

I'm in the same boat as most of the others here as I only have one 2 gallon sprayer and I just double rinse it after using it and make sure I pump it up with the second rinse water and flush the hose and sprayer out. I do the same thing with my 12 gallon push sprayer and have never had an issue. I don't even worry about glyphosate as it will be so diluted that it won't do anything at all. As long as you are good about rinsing it out you have nothing to worry about.

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Re: How to you sterilize your backpack between applications

Post by a_chan »

Tmank87 wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:19 pm
I'm in the same boat as @Awar, if I'm feeling particularly wild, I may mix in some Dawn dish soap.

It's actually my biggest complaint about the 105ex, it's challenging to get all of the water out of the bottom of the tank.
I definitely agree with that. Trying to figure out what's the best system for getting everything out (besides shaking it like a mad man). Considering some sort of way to vacuum everything out after sterilizing but that sounds like overkill for a backpack sprayer :cry:

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Re: How to you sterilize your backpack between applications

Post by Gibby »

I just double rinse and run the sprayer a bit. I spray everything with it, fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides including glyphosate, MSM, monument, sulfentrazone, etc... Haven't had any adverse issues.

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Re: How to you sterilize your backpack between applications

Post by corneliani »

I’m not sure there’s a need to ‘sterilize’ especially if you’re spraying only 1 grass type. Consider that if whatever was in there before was acceptable for your turf type, what’s the risk of minuscule traces of it making its way back onto the lawn later on? I don’t see the need personally, unless you happen to spray multiple turf types like me (tttf & Bermuda) who aren’t always tolerant of the same herbicide. But even then I just rinse a couple times and flush out the pump/lines, & I’m good.

On a different note, why is it that you mention not being able to tank mix Humic Acid & RGS with other products? Is it a clumping concern? Or a chemical reaction one. If this is your reason for sterilizing I don’t think you need to be concerned ... we’re not using such volatile chemicals where trace remnants of one kind will react with another in spectacular fashion.

As a side note, I did use Clorox spray out of my wife’s Arsenal of cleaning supplies together with a dishwashing scrub pad to totally scrub down my sprayer a few weeks back, but only because these Humic products can really stain up the sprayer. I was surprised how well it removes everything, including along the cap threads. I may consider doing that regularly for upkeep purposes. Hate a dirty-looking sprayer.. looks sloppy.

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Re: How to you sterilize your backpack between applications

Post by Ware »

+1, I have a separate hand can that I sometimes use for non-selectives, but I don’t spray anything where trace amounts of residual product would have a negative impact on my lawn. I just rinse good with water and make sure to flush out the lines when I’m finished spraying.

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Re: How to you sterilize your backpack between applications

Post by BobLovesGrass »

I have heard unofficial claims Air-8 is actually good at cleaning tanks.

Another cheap option for multiples would be the harbor freight backpack at $20 with coupon or sale. I find them better than the 2.5 Hudson.

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Re: How to you sterilize your backpack between applications

Post by ScottW »

I just have one 4-gal backpack and one 1-gal sprayer, but I don't have a huge property.
For cleaning I do a partial fill with water, shake & dump, do that again, then a third bit of water and run it through the sprayer to flush, then dump & allow to dry.

I don't keep a separate tank for glypho, and have never had any issues with residual carry-over. Common gly concentrates are ~41% and you use it at 2 to 6 oz per gallon (not small amounts) to kill stuff. By the time you've emptied the tank and rinsed 3x (3 serial dilutions of hundreds-fold each = a million-fold dilution of your original spray mix), any remaining trace is going to be so infinitesimal that it's not going to do anything.

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Re: How to you sterilize your backpack between applications

Post by FedDawg555 »

ScottieBones wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:24 pm
I usually just do a good water flush. However, i will not run glyphosate through the same sprayer I use for applying products to the lawn or other plants.
This right here solves 99% of issues! Separate sprayer for any glyphosate or non selective product.

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Re: How to you sterilize your backpack between applications

Post by turfnsurf »

corneliani wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:32 am
I’m not sure there’s a need to ‘sterilize’ especially if you’re spraying only 1 grass type. Consider that if whatever was in there before was acceptable for your turf type, what’s the risk of minuscule traces of it making its way back onto the lawn later on? I don’t see the need personally, unless you happen to spray multiple turf types like me (tttf & Bermuda) who aren’t always tolerant of the same herbicide. But even then I just rinse a couple times and flush out the pump/lines, & I’m good.

On a different note, why is it that you mention not being able to tank mix Humic Acid & RGS with other products? Is it a clumping concern? Or a chemical reaction one. If this is your reason for sterilizing I don’t think you need to be concerned ... we’re not using such volatile chemicals where trace remnants of one kind will react with another in spectacular fashion.

As a side note, I did use Clorox spray out of my wife’s Arsenal of cleaning supplies together with a dishwashing scrub pad to totally scrub down my sprayer a few weeks back, but only because these Humic products can really stain up the sprayer. I was surprised how well it removes everything, including along the cap threads. I may consider doing that regularly for upkeep purposes. Hate a dirty-looking sprayer.. looks sloppy.
I am only spraying one type of grass - well a bluegrass/fescue mix, but that's not special.

Allow me to clarify - I was told in another thread that I should not mix any fungicides or herbicides with humic acid. I was told that humic acid can absorb the active ingredient and render it less effective. It was with this in mind that I created the thread since I intend to use my backpack sprayer for multiple types of apps.

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Re: How to you sterilize your backpack between applications

Post by corneliani »

@turfnsurf I can understand your concern, though I’ve never personally seen any such issue being raised before. There are plenty of products out there that use the Humic & Fulvic acids as chelators .. in the sense that they can aid in the adsorption of nutrients by the plant. There could be pH concerns between products but nothing more than normal.. this should always be on your mind when tank mixing.
Either way, no matter the philosophy you adhere to regarding the efficacy or impact of HA, there should be minimal if any ‘contamination’ from one application to the next with just basic rinsing involved.

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Re: How to you sterilize your backpack between applications

Post by turfnsurf »

Ok @corneliani I just wanted to ask because I am trying to make sure I think through any potential issues as I try to determine best practices.

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