It is our belief that softwash chemicals should be legal and as safe as possible for people, materials and our environment.
Lightning Cleanze at 5-10:1 dilution is not classed by the EU, PRCD or HSE as corrosive or hazardous to our environment.
We designed this powerful biocide specifically for tough stain removal from rendered walls, footpaths, concrete patios & drives, roofs, sandstone, limestone and most other exterior hard surfaces.
The active ingredient is sodium hypochlorite, a powerful oxidiser that removes the most troublesome of black, red, yellow and green stains.
This powerful surfactant "sticks" the active ingredient to the surface – ensuring a higher contact time – which means the low, and therefore safer, concentrations of chlorine in Lightning Cleanze can work with extremely high effectiveness.
This means Lightning Cleanze is safer for the operator, for the general public, and for our environment than formulations that contain high concentrations of available chlorine.
It is approved by:
• The Irish PRCD (Pesticide Registration & Controls Division)
• The UK HSE (Health & Safety Executive)
We supply Lightning Cleanze as a specialised ready-mixed softwash biocide that does not bio-accumulate. The solution has an alkaline pH and surfactant, which loosens the biological growths and helps their removal during rinsing.
It produces exceptionally rapid results on porous surfaces – such as render – and produces a near instant cleaning effect on smooth, non-porous surfaces such as cladding and uPVC.
It can be used as a stand-alone softwash solution or in conjunction with Benz Bio Cleanze and/or power (aka pressure or jet) washing.
There are, literally, thousands of surfactants and they are not created equal. Their properties vary dramatically.
This means that creating a viable softwash cleaning product is a long way removed from the "just add Fairy Liquid to hypo" nonsense that some uninformed people believe.
Lightning Cleanze uses a special type of highest quality surfactant to:
1) Maintain a stable solution that can be stored for longer than would be the case with cheap, less effective surfactants.
2) Formulate a solution that is a highly effective "wetting agent" that rapidly soaks into the "biofilm" (the layer of biological growth that gives rise to the dirty stains that customers want removed) and thus increases the effectiveness and speed of operation of the active ingredient.
3) Ensure that the the surfactant does not break down the sodium hypchlorite – which many inferior surfactants will do – thus minimising the production of chlorine ( a big problem if sodium hypochlorite is used with a cheap and inferior surfactant).
4) Create a product that adheres (or "sticks") effectively to the surface being cleaned, ensuring the active ingredient stays in contact with the biological growths for the longest possible time.
This enables Lightning Cleanze to be highly effective while using a safer % of available chlorine than would otherwise be the case when using other hypochlorite mixes.
5) Reduce run-off from walls and roofs into drains and our environment.
6) Ensure the surfactant complies with all EU, HSE and PRCD biodegradability requirements for surfactants.
7) Adding surfactant or scent in not needed. Adding another surfactactant to Lightning Cleanze will likely lower its effectiveness and reduce its shelf life – and will certainly invalidate all UK and Irish government approvals.
Remember that Lightning Cleanze is formulated with the highest quality surfactant/scent and comes ready to use.
Quick tip: Because of the high quality surfactant, 5 litres of Lightning Cleanze will work more effectively, over a larger area, than will 5 litres of ordinary industrial sodium hypochlorite – and it will do it far more safely.
Industrial sodium hypochlorite has 15% available chlorine, and therefore presents intrinsic dangers to the operator, customer and general public. In contrast, Lightning Cleanze as delivered in concentrated form contains no more than 10% available chlorine.
This lower % of chlorine in Lightning Cleanze means the product is both safer and will last longer that raw industrial 15% sodium hypochlorite. This is because the higher the % available chlorine content, the faster the sodium hypochlorite degrades.
And as applied to actual surfaces Lightning Cleanze contains only 0.5-2% chlorine – making it safer for the operator, customer, the customer's property, the general public and our environment.
High strength sodium hypochlorite poses a high health risk. Most Health & Safety reps in large companies will not allow their employees or contractors to spray corrosive liquids onto their property, which is why we created Lightning Cleanze to be safer for all concerned.
We use special vented caps. Lightning Cleanze containers come with special vented caps that allow for the gradual and completely safe release of a small amount of vapour that the product naturally produces. Always store Lightning Cleanze in the original containers with the original caps.
Quality control: To ensure the highest possible production quality we have Lightning Cleanze manufactured for us by one of Ireland's leading chemical companies who hold the ISO 9001:2000 accreditation in quality control.
Yes. Use Lightning Cleanze at 10:1 on uPVC as at higher concentrations the uPVC may turn a light salmon pink for a short time if not rinsed off after 10 minutes. This is nothing to be concerned about, and the surface will return to its natural white in a few hours, but customers are happier if this does not happen.
Lightning Cleanze cleans ingrained black staining from uPVC guttering, fascia, soffits, windows, doors, and frames. It brings them up wonderfully clean, ready for rinsing with a standard Water Fed Pole (WFP) window cleaning system.
How to apply Lightning Cleanze to uPVC: Simply spray using a Benz 10 softwash spray nozzle and rinse off after about 15-30 minutes. We use a power washer with a rinsing nozzle that shoots a low pressure jet (you can put your hand in front of it) that mostly eliminates the need for brushing or scrubbing. The water force is usually enough to shift the dirt without damaging the surface.
If you don't have power washer you can use a water fed pole with a brush to rinse Lightning Cleanze. We've found this especially effective for smaller jobs, when it's not worth the time needed to set up a power washer.
Quick tip: Lightning Cleanze is excellent for giving windows a special gleam and sparkle that customers love.
Yes, completely safe. Watch this video for a quick and simple explanation:
Does Lightning Cleanze damage render by leaving hydrochloric acid in the substrate?
No. Not at all.
KRend – one of the largest suppliers of wall render – in their own words (from a pdf they supply on recommended methods of cleaning efflorescence from their render) state:
"Generally, an 8% solution of commercial grade hydrochloric acid is used. The acid concentration can be adjusted to suit individual circumstances; a less concentrated solution will require more applications to remove lime bloom but will be less likely to result in an acid etched appearance."
We think it reasonable to any clear-thinking person that if KRend advocate the use of hydrochloric acid to clean their products, the miniscule amount that may possibly be produced by the application of Lightning Cleanze is certainly acceptable.
However, we wanted to be 100% sure that Lightning Cleanze is safe to clean KRend, and by extrapolation, all other renders, so we asked the chemist in charge of developing Lightning Cleanze what the reality was. This is his response:
"Given the dilution you are using (5:1–10:1) it would not be possible to produce 8% hydrochloric acid. The amount, if any, produced would be minimal as hypochlorite is alkaline. Also I assume your usage instructions include a thorough rinsing after use (they do) which will wash away all by-products or residues from the cleaning process."
We think these combined statements should be enough for any clear-minded and reasonable person to feel safe and confident in using Lightning Cleanze to clean KRend and other renders.
Because concentrations of over 2% available chlorine (which is the level of Lightning Cleanze diluted 5:1) may be corrosive to some building materials, rubber seals, gutter seals, and so on.
High strength solutions like these can also damage equipment such as pumps. And they pose a severe health and safety risk to people and our environment.
Therefore we formulated Lightning Cleanze to be as safe as possible for people and property. Customers appreciate cleaning contractors who use a product that is government approved for the professional softwashing of exterior hard surfaces.
Sometimes applying two treatments – rinsing between applications – is a small price to pay for maintaining the safety of a customer's property, ensuring the customer – and their children and pets – stay safe, and ensuring the operator stays safe.
And of course it's a small price to pay for protecting our environment, which we all depend upon for our survival and well-being.
Industrial sodium hypochlorite is vastly less effective per unit quantity – and much less kind to our environment, humans, and our customer's property – than is Lightning Cleanze.
At first glance we know it may appear that similar results to Lightning Cleanze could be achieved using cheap industrial grade sodium hypochlorite. But ordinary 15% available chlorine sodium hypochlorate has a number of serious drawbacks and real dangers.
Note: All sodium hypochlorite is not created equal. The quality (strength and purity) of the cheaper products can vary dues to impurities during the manufacturing process. As is usually the case, we get the quality we pay for.
Quick tip: Did you know that the higher the strength of sodium hypochlorite the faster it degrades when stored? So because Lightning Cleanze is formulated using sodium hypochlorite with a lower % of available chlorine, it can be stored for much longer than 15% chlorine sodium hypochlorite.
The high level of "run off" when using industrial sodium hypochlorite means:
The dangers of using high available chlorine industrial sodium hypochlorite:
It is highly unlikely that industrial sodium hypochlorite will have an SDS sheet
A softwash contractor has no support when using high % available chlorine sodium hypochlorite
Insurance Cover: Because of the high risk to the operator, customers, customer's property, general public and our environment (the legal consequences of infringing government environmental legislation are increasingly serious) from using high strength industrial sodium hypochlorite, we suggest that contractors talk with their insurance company about the possible consequences before using it.
Lightning Cleanze on the other hand includes ready-mixed fragrance and the highest quality surfactant – and includes FREE SHIPPING.
In real terms, the small extra investment in Benz Lightning Cleanze is more than justified given the:
Sodium hypochlorite – in the formulation, and at the level of concentration as used in Lightning Cleanze – is recommended by the leading render manufacturers KRend and Weber as being suitable for cleaning the surfaces of buildings coated with their products. Also by Kingspan, the leading manufacturer of industrial cladding.
Ordinary industrial sodium hypochlorite with high levels of available chlorine will leave behind excessive salts that could potentially damage the surface being cleaned, causing long-term deterioration.
But Lightning Cleanze has been formulated so the minimum amount of available chlorine is needed for stain removal – only 2-2.5% on the heaviest of soiling – thus minimising salt residues.
The breakdown of chlorine into common salt is the main reason we thoroughly rinse surfaces after stain removal with plenty of fresh water. Rinsing is also important to remove the surfactant before treating a surface with Bio Cleanze.
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In general we do not advise using Lightning Cleanze to clean tarmac. We suggest treating tarmac with Bio Cleanze at 40-50:1 (25:1 or two coats at 40-50:1 for heavy infestation), which will usually show excellent results within 24 hours.
Quick tip: Wet down any tarmac that may be exposed to run-off from other surfaces being cleaned before applying Lightning Cleanze.
Everyday uses of sodium hypochlorite:
Lighting Cleanze contains sodium hypochlorite as an oxidiser. It is this oxidising process that makes Lightning Cleanze such a highly effective cleaning solution.
Sodium hypochlorite's strength in a product and during application are normally referred to by a percentage of available chlorine.
We've noticed a lot of confusion as to the effects of sodium hypochlorite, when used responsibly and in accordance with Health and Safety guidelines, on both humans and the environment.
This is because most easily available data refers to sodium hypochlorite above 10% strength.
The properties of sodium hypochlorite differ dramatically when used in a 25% concentration for industrial bleach, and the 0.005% concentration in our drinking water.
At 25% it is harmful to the environment, can cause extremely nasty burns to skin and is highly corrosive.
At 15%, the strength most commonly available, it will also cause skin irritations and is classed as corrosive.
At 10%, the strength of concentrated Benz Lightning Cleanze before it is diluted for use, it is much less irritating and only slightly corrosive.
A note about drains: It is important to protect our environment by minimising run-off into sewers and surface drains.
Run-off can be kept to minimum or zero by using Benz Nozzles along with skillful spray and brush control techniques. If some run-off to drains is unavoidable, block the drains and/or gutter downpipes until application has been concluded and the run-off has been removed from the site.
Low environmental impact: At 0.5-2% concentration, sodium hypochlorite is unclassified.
Therefore using Benz Lightning Cleanze at a 5:1-10:1 mix, the heavily diluted rinse residues from hard surface cleaning can be washed into foul drains – where the very small amount of remaining chemical rapidly breaks down upon contact with organic matter.
Smell & Fragrance: In its pure form there is a slight smell that some people find unpleasant. So we add a fragrance to Lightning Cleanze to make the process of stain removal more pleasant for both end customers and operatives.
Quick tip: Our comparision tests with other commercially available surfactant/fragrance combinations, which are added to industrial grade 15% chlorine sodium hypochlorite, showed that they do not adequately mask the odour of chlorine and chloramines.
This means that in use there is a highly unpleasant "bleach" smell.
We've also noticed during our tests that the quality of surfactant often is simply not up to the job.
In contrast we estimate that Lightning Cleanze is about 10 times more pleasant to use. Indeed, some customers have commented that the aroma that can be detected when treating large areas can actually be quite agreeable.
Available Chlorine: Commercial sodium hypochlorite has 10-15% available chlorine. Domestic bleach has 5%. And Lightning Cleanze in actual use has only 0.5-2%, which makes it safer for humans and for our environment.
Non-carcinogenic: Sodium hypochlorite at the levels used in Lightning Cleanze is classed as "not classifiable" as to its carcinogenic effect on humans.
The best way to apply LIghtning Cleanze is with a low-pressure spray system fitted with a Benz 10 nozzle. Then simply rinse off using a garden hose or, on suitable surfaces, a power washer using low pressure and/or a fan jet.
1) Lightning Cleanze has an alkaline pH and surfactant, which, along with the agitation of spraying and gentle brushing, loosens the biological growths and helps facilitate their removal during rinsing
2) A maintenance spray with Bio Cleanze every 6-24 months is enough to keep most surfaces permanently clean.
Test before applying: Always, with your customer's permission, test all cleaning chemicals on a small, obscure area of the surface to be cleaned if you are not familiar with the effect of the chemical on that particular surface.
Get your customer's agreement that the result is acceptable to them before treating the entire property.
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We recommend pre and post rinsing metal surfaces with fresh water before applying a cleaning chemical. This will offset the risk of corrosion and prevent streaking.
Lead: The sodium hypochlorite in Lightning Cleanze could cause slight discoloration of lead flashing on roofs and other surfaces.
Benz Oxy Cleanze will remove any discoloration of lead that may occur following a softwash treatment with Lightning Cleanze.
Copper: The sodium hypochlorite in Lightning Cleanze could cause corrosion of a copper surface, although at the dilutions we use it should be minimal.
While copper generally has good corrosion resistance, sodium hypochlorite could accelerate the process and could cause damage to copper pipes and fittings. So care is needed, as with lead.
We suggest treating copper in the same way as lead – i.e. pre and post rinsing of the copper surface with fresh water immediately before and immediately after treatment. And of course use skillful application techniques to avoid spraying the copper as much as possible.
Quick tip: Pre and post rinsing of a lead or copper surface with fresh water immediately before and immediately after treatment will dramatically mitigate the risk. And of course use skillful application techniques to avoid spraying the copper as much as possible.
Typically 30-40L will be used by a one-man contractor per day to treat all the elevations of a large detached house, including the paths and drive. Some jobs may require as little as 5L, while large contracts may require up to 100L per day.
Quick tip: As a rough guide, 5L of Lightning Cleanze will create 30L of mix, which will treat 40-50 square metres of a porous surface at 5:1 and double that at 10:1.
The exact coverage of Lightning Cleanze is dependant on many factors, such as:
Again as a rough guide, 10L Lightning Cleanze will make 60 litres of mix at 5:1, which will be enough to clean a very dirty (needing two applications) large gable end of a rendered house. It would also be sufficient to clean an average two-car Cobblelock driveway.
10L Lightning Cleanze will make 110L mix at 10:1. On smooth, non-porous surfaces such as cladding or painted surfaces this quantity will clean approximately 300 square metres, which is about three times the amount of cladding cleaned in the cladding cleaning photos on this website.
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Always thoroughly rinse Lightning Cleanze from the surface being treated after allowing 30-60 minutes for the cleaning action to take effect.
This ensures the salts left behind by the breakdown of sodium hypochlorite, which could potentially damage the surface if left, are removed.
Also, we advise rinsing between applications of LIghtning Cleanze. On many jobs only one application is sufficient. But if the staining is bad, two treatments – and exceptionally three – may be required.
Rinsing the previous treatments removes the "debris" from the pores of the surface, thus allowing subsequent applications to penetrate more deeply and to deep clean more effectively.
If you are going to apply Bio Cleanze following a Lightning Cleanze treatment it is important to give an especially thorough rinsing. This is to remove any surfactant that may be left behind, which could impede Bio Cleanze from being fully effective.
On porous surfaces we recommend spraying the first treatment, then gently brushing each subsequent application of Lightning Cleanze into the surface. This allows the product to penetrate the biological growths to the maximum depth, increasing its effectiveness.
Never pour water into undiluted Lightning Cleanze. Always half-fill your tank with water, add the required quantity of Lightning Cleanze, then complete filling your tank with water.
Never mix Lightning Cleanze and Bio Cleanze together because toxic gas may be produced.
Always thoroughly rinse all application equipment and tanks before changing from Lightning Cleanze to Bio Cleanze and vice-versa.
Always exclude the public, including children and animals, from areas where spraying, mixing and storage of chemicals is taking place.
The public, children and animals must be completely excluded from the working area until Lightning Cleanze is neutralised and Bio Cleanze has been allowed to completely dry.
If a human or animal comes into contact with a softwash chemical the area of skin contact should be immediately rinsed with fresh water.
Legal disclaimer: The purchaser and/or end users are solely responsible for ensuring that these products are used in line with industry Approved Codes of Practice. All operators must be competent in using and applying any Ministry Approved professional product. Always read the label and product information before use. By proceeding you are purchasing a professional biocide product. You must ensure the end user of these products complies with the PRCD/HSE codes for the safe professional use of biocides and is competent in using biocides safely.
During use and application always adhere to the SDS and follow the product labelling instructions and the product information supplied on this website to ensure protection of our environment and avoidance of injury to humans and animals.
Data Sources: Further technical information regarding the use of biocides can be obtained from the European Chemicals Agency, the UK health and Safety Executive (HSE), and the Irish Pesticides Registration & Control Division (PRCD).
* As far as we know at the time of writing there is no other sodium hypochlorite based biocide available in the UK or Ireland that is fully approved by the HSE, PRCD, and is REACH and label compliant for softwashing exterior hard surfaces.