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 Question about anti-freeze

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aljones
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PostSubject: Question about anti-freeze   Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:34 am

In my comment Wednesday about my "Terribly Bad Day", you might remember that I said my Jeep had burped some anti-freeze as I was filling fluids.

I've flushed the area twice with limited amounts of water, but I'm wondering if there's any way to (lost the right word, sorry) make the ground where the antifreeze leaked safe again for the dogs.

I know that it only takes a very small amount of EG to kill a dog, so I've limited their ability to get into the area where I park my Jeep, but this is also Avalanches area to get out of the sun so I need to "fix" this.

Google is full of posts telling how bad EG is but I can't find any on ways to make EG that been spilled onto the ground safe.  Any suggestions??

ETA: antifreeze anti-freeze ethylene glycol --- just added so the search function can find this topic


Last edited by aljones on Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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TwisterII
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PostSubject: Re: Question about anti-freeze   Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:05 am

Nothing really neutralizes it. Dispersing it as you have already done is the best way but it takes a lot of water to do it. Like dump your dog pool out right on it amounts of water. Ammonia will help with cleaning it off concrete and cut the greasy residue that might get on feet. Also will help make the area less enticing to lick I would think. Getting it back dry is the main thing. Once the hot sun has baked it dry you should be fine.

I'm a little surprised that you run antifreeze in your vehicle as warm as it is there. I run straight water in mine most of the year. Only if it's going to get stupid cold in the winter will I add a little antifreeze.

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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Question about anti-freeze   Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:19 am

EG also helps the transfer of heat so a 50/50 mix is what's recommended where it gets really hot, for example see this thread where it says:

Quote :
Antifreeze not only has a lower freezing point than water, but a higher boiling point as well. Whereas normal water running through an engine would boil in the heat of the Sahara, antifreeze would stay in liquid form, despite getting very hot.


"Neutralizes" was the word I wanted, thank you.  Maybe it's age, but I don't think so, I've always had the problem of knowing there's a proper word and not being able to find it in English ( what really gets frustrating is to know it in Spanish / German and to have to translate to "remember" it in English!)

If I'm interpreting you right, then you're saying that once the EG is dry it's no longer a problem?  Reference,please?
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Question about anti-freeze   Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:33 am

Even more than dogs, minute amounts are lethal in cats. How about sprinkling the area with cayenne pepper and/or covering with more dirt? Also suspect the ammonia might help to keep the dogs away. Or - do you have any large metal plates hanging around?
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TwisterII
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PostSubject: Re: Question about anti-freeze   Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:39 am

My only reference is experience. You want to dilute the slimy residue. If you don't feel the oily finish on the ground once it's dry then it shouldn't be enough to cause harm. Drying does not neutralize it though. Nothing fully neutralizes it. Your goal is to dilute it enough it won't kill them. The drying makes it harder for them to ingest. We worked on cars all my life and have dumped a lot of antifreeze on the ground and had the dogs walk through it without issue. You don't want them to ingest it in full force by licking up puddles of it. The amount they can get from the ground after it has dried shouldn't be enough to harm.

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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Question about anti-freeze   Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:55 am

Argh!  Thanks, Amy! ... since my cats have free run of the place I actually forget about them being here.  Both have been inside today begging for food so I'm thinking they're safe.  Which suggests that there's not enough of any residue left to be problematic.  

Since my house pump decided that it's going to work for a while longer (and I have a pump and pressure tank on order) I may go flood it again, I wish the gravity feed hose would stretch over there, then I could dump a couple thousand gallons on the area.

Thanks, Jenn, like you I've spilled EG on shop floors and been able to get it "clean" with ShopDri (kitty litter) and not have any effect on the resident dog(s). My concern here is that it's on gravel and I can't "clean" it so looking for alternatives. I think you're right that it can't be neutralized just diluted to the point that it's not fatal.
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jbealer
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PostSubject: Re: Question about anti-freeze   Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:22 am

till the area and dig it up and bury it then flush it out?

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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Question about anti-freeze   Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:27 am

Okay, my interest was piqued so I made a few phone calls to people who manufacture or distribute Ethylene Glycol Anti-Freeze.  The question was:

Quote :
given a quart of EG antifreeze spilled on the ground, what amount of water would dilute it to non-toxic - safe - levels  --or--
given that same quart of EG, what chemicals would non-topically neutralize it to safe levels --or--
will it naturally decompose and what time frame would cause it be to safe

The answers I got from people who should know were:

Quote :
Dump a ton of water on it.
Cover it with more dirt.
It will decompose naturally within a few days to a couple of weeks.

I'm really glad that my life doesn't depend on the answer to the question.  The final answer, regarding natural decomposition is verified<??> by this article on Wikipedia, under "In the Environment."
On the one hand, I'm really glad to see that this question, in any form, hasn't appeared on the forum before.  If it had, one would assume that it was caused by someones pet ingesting EG.
For a rough read on symptoms and treatment you can try to read this article from Merck -or- this more readable article from the VCAHospital group.

Given that last, I think I'll just make sure the dogs can't get to for a few more days - it's already been 3 - by which time natural decomposition should have handled it.

@jbealer Jenn, I've actually considered that but it's inch size gravel down to about three inches then mixed in with the dirt to a depth of .... who knows!  We had to dig through a corner of it to check a water line and it took two of us the better part of an after noon to get a foot square hole down about 10 inches - I could have done better with my hands!
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