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Star San leaked and turned box and wood flooring black. Is this mold, rot or a chemical reaction. Is this unsafe?

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Rubyred

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I had a mini bottle of starsan in a cardboard box within a cardboard box under my bed with the cardboard box laying sideways. I stored it this way for about a year.

Today, I’m looking under my bed and I see that the wood flooring and cardboard box are black in certain spots. I checked the boxes and found the star san bottle completely leaked through.

I am wondering if anyone has any experience with flooring, cardboard and chemical reagents like star san or would know what happened, how to fix it, if it’s unsafe to breathe or can point me in a better direction. I tried googling but the search results weren't relevant.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

IslandLizard

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Starsan concentrate contains around 50% phosphoric acid. I doubt it causing fumes when it's exposed to cardboard and wood. I would mop it up with plenty of water and some oxiclean, washing soda, or old fashioned laundry powder added, as they are alkaline, neutralizing the acid. Baking soda is fine to use too, but not quite as effective.

It's a "weak" acid, found, well diluted in most sodas.
It's not like sulfuric acid (battery acid) which is a strong acid, and can cause more serious problems and damage.

I'm afraid that part of the floor is ruined, visually. It may have soaked underneath the floorboards too, but I wouldn't get to worried about that. It will neutralize itself over time, if it hasn't done so already.

The main cause probably is that lid on the bottle deteriorated and split, leaking out all the content.
Was it a 4 oz bottle, about 1/2-3/4 full?
 
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Rubyred

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Starsan concentrate contains around 50% phosphoric acid. I doubt it causing fumes when it's exposed to cardboard and wood. I would mop it up with plenty of water and some oxiclean, washing soda, or old fashioned laundry powder added, as they are alkaline, neutralizing the acid. Baking soda is fine to use too, but not quite as effective.

It's a "weak" acid, found, well diluted in most sodas.
It's not like sulfuric acid (battery acid) which is a strong acid, and can cause more serious problems and damage.

I'm afraid that part of the floor is ruined, visually. It may have soaked underneath the floorboards too, but I wouldn't get to worried about that. It will neutralize itself over time, if it hasn't done so already.

The main cause probably is that lid on the bottle deteriorated and split, leaking out all the content.
Was it a 4 oz bottle, about 1/2-3/4 full?
Thank you for your reply.

Yes, it was a 4 oz bottle likely half full.

I'm glad to hear that it is likely not toxic. I'm renting so I'm planning on sanding the floor and then restaining. Idk if that's the right option so maybe I'll let my landlord know lol.

Anyways, thank you again for responding to my non-beer related question. Happy brewing!
 

IslandLizard

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If it soaked through and turned the wood black chances are it won't come out, whatever you do. That section probably needs to be replaced. If it's in an inconspicuous place, like you said underneath where a bed normally goes, no-one is ever gonna see it.

You're not the first or only one who had a bottle of Starsan leak out. Those darned lids are worthless. All they have to do...
 
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