Huge, awful cleansing jobs—prepping a very long-neglected exterior area for paint, say, or purging yrs of grime found out powering a kitchen appliance—call for a major-duty cleanser. Trisodium phosphate, typically recognized as TSP, might be just the ticket to banish key messes, but this powerful, economical cleaning product does have its drawbacks.

Read through on to master the ABCs of TSP and how it must greatest be utilized to see if it is the weapon of option to defeat your hardest cleansing worries.

What is Trisodium Phosphate?

An inorganic chemical compound (Na₃PO₄), TSP is a white granular or crystalline substance that can be combined with h2o to make an alkaline solution. As soon as diluted, TSP is a extremely efficient cleanser, degreaser, and stain remover.

It is also used to prepare painted surfaces for refinishing or repainting, owing to its skill to de-gloss paint as perfectly as totally free the area of flaking, peeling areas. It’s offered in powder sort, commonly as 75 to 80 % trisodium phosphate and 20 to 25 % sodium carbonate. TSP should be saved in a safe, dry put (humid problems can induce clumping).

What Threats are Associated with Trisodium Phosphate?


A harmful material, TSP can be damaging if swallowed, and exposure to it (in granular or diluted variety) can lead to significant eye personal injury and skin discomfort. Personal protection gear (PPE), including extensive trousers and sleeves, water-proof gloves, goggles, and a respirator, ought to be worn when making ready and working with TSP (verify out this Basic safety Details Sheet for additional information).

Up till the late 20th century, trisodium phosphate was a frequent component in domestic cleaners and detergents, but destructive environmental impression led to strict limits on its use. Phosphate runoff into lakes and rivers was discovered to result in algae overgrowth, depleting oxygen in the drinking water and endangering fish, animals, and aquatic vegetation.

Now TSP is no extended integrated in most commercial solutions, and its sale stays banned or limited in different states and metropolitan areas (consult with your state’s environmental defense agency, health section, or section of all-natural resources’ h2o good quality division for neighborhood guidelines).

TSP can damage some popular surfaces in and about the dwelling notably vulnerable are lavatory fixtures these types of as faucets, pipes, shower/tub enclosures, and drains. Its substantial alkalinity can etch glass, mirrors, and ceramic tile, as very well as darken and corrode aluminum, chrome, and other metals. TSP eats absent at grout and should not be utilised for normal cleansing on painted wood.

Acquire care close to foliage when utilizing TSP outside. Opt for a windless day if probable, and hose down landscaping, right before and following use, to keep away from exposing and most likely harmful crops.

Exactly where is TSP the Most Powerful?

If you preserve the caveats detailed earlier mentioned in head, you might select to utilize TSP for several challenging cleansing employment.

  • Electric power through accumulated levels of dust, grease, grime, soot, and stains on exteriors—notably masonry (brick, stone, cement, and concrete), wooden (decks and siding), and roofing.
  • When prepping for a paint task, TSP can cleanse and de-gloss painted surfaces and get rid of peeling, flaking old paint.
  • Inside of the property, TSP operates properly on the stubborn form of grease-satisfies-dirt gunk usually found after pulling an aged stove or fridge away from the wall.
  • However it should not be applied to clean up grout, TSP can be made use of to take away it TSP is an lively component in grout elimination merchandise.
  • TSP can properly be blended with bleach to clear away mould and mildew (see beneath for measurement recommendations).

How Should TSP be Ready and Used?

Usually go through and abide by package deal directions to the letter, heed all safety warnings, and don PPE when mixing and using TSP. As a rule, use the least volume of TSP that will be efficient for your purposes.

Look at this common formula:

  • Dissolve 50 % a cup of TSP in two gallons of heat drinking water, resulting in a a little bit cloudy, odorless resolution.
  • To combat mould and mildew, a much better batch of a person cup of TSP to 3 quarts of warm h2o, furthermore a quart of chlorine bleach, may be utilised
  • The remedy can be funneled into a spray bottle or used from the mixing bucket with a stiff scrub brush or sponge. Implement in wide strokes with some elbow grease. Rinse completely with plain drinking water to banish any TSP residue.

Are There Solutions to TSP?

An erroneously named phosphate-no cost version of TSP exists, which depends on sodium sesquicarbonate as its key component. Sodium borate, aka borax, is an additional weighty-obligation cleaner that can tackle tricky careers. But devoid of phosphate, they will likely be less effective at getting rid of grease.

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