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  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Finish Oxidation

    According to ChatGPT Artificial Intelligence:

    Argon gas works well for storing leftover varnish due to
    several of its unique properties:

    Inertness: Argon is a noble gas, which means it is chemically inert. This property is crucial because it does not react with the varnish or its components. When varnish is exposed to air, oxygen in the air reacts with the varnish, causing it to polymerize or cure, which can form a skin or make it
    unusable. By displacing the air (and therefore the oxygen) in the container with argon, you prevent these oxidative reactions, thereby preserving the varnish.

    Density: Argon is denser than air. When you introduce argon into a
    container of varnish, it settles over the surface of the varnish, creating a
    protective layer. This layer effectively seals the varnish from the air above,
    further preventing exposure to oxygen and moisture.

    Ease of Use: Argon can be easily administered from canisters or aerosol
    cans specifically designed for this purpose. Products like Bloxygen utilize
    argon to displace oxygen in partially used containers of finishes, including
    varnish, making it a convenient and effective option for extending the shelf
    life of these products.

    Preservation of Quality: By preventing oxidation, argon helps maintain the original
    properties of the varnish, such as its viscosity, color, and drying time. This
    ensures that the varnish remains in good condition and performs as expected
    when you need to use it again.

    Non-toxicity: Argon is non-toxic and non-flammable, making it safe to use
    in various applications, including those involving flammable and volatile
    substances like varnish.

    Summary: Argon gas prevents oxidation and moisture contamination due
    to its inertness and density. This protection helps preserve the quality and
    usability of leftover varnish, making it a preferred choice for extending the
    life of varnish and similar products.

    During storage, the oxygen or moisture that's sealed in the container continues to cure and thicken your leftovers, ruining them.

    Your finish is wasted, this takes time to clean up, and it's messy.
    Sometimes, hardened particles can clog spray guns, run the final finish, or destroy the remaining liquid.

    Bloxygen (for "blocks oxygen") is a heavy inert gas that prevents oxygen or moisture damage during storage.  Preserve and use every drop; just spray, seal, and store.

    In the USA alone, the EPA showed that about 65 to 69 million gallons of paint are thrown away each year, and about 15% of that is oil-based.

    That's a line of quart cans from Los Angeles to New York tossed out each year. Each can of Bloxygen can prevent SEVENTY FIVE quarts from oxygen or moisture damage.

    Bloxygen uses pure Argon, a powerful and natural inert gas to drive the oxygen and moisture out of your container. Simply blow the oxygen out of your container with Bloxygen and then seal the lid. The heavy and dry inert Bloxygen gas sinks down to block oxygen (or moisture) from the liquid surface of the product that you are storing.

    Because Bloxygen is heavier than air, it will separate the liquid surface from any air that may remain in the container.

    Bloxygen uses ultra pure argon. We harvest it from our air. This gas is a natural component of our air and the third most common gas on Earth at about 1%.

    A full can, because it contains only a gas, feels empty.

    The gas is non-toxic, non-flammable, and inert.                                     

    Deliberately misusing Bloxygen by concentrating and inhaling it can result in rapid suffocation, asphyxiation, and perhaps death due to lack of oxygen.

    There are no CFCs, VOCs, or added propellants. 

    It's totally natural. 

    Bloxygen can be shipped via the US Postal Service and other carriers because the containers are DOT-reg. 2Q plus (18 bar steel aerosol cans) and they are shippable as a Limited Quantity ID 8000 item (UN# is 1006 /

    Why Spend the Money?

    With an infinite shelf life, each can will provide about 150 seconds of
    gas. That's enough gas for 75 uses in quarts. Given that a quart of premium varnish can cost $50 to $100, saving just one half of one quart will pay for your Bloxygen.

    The additional 74 uses are "free."

    Bloxygen costs less than 20 cents per use.

    Everyone has experienced the frustration of hardened paint, finishes that have become rubbery or separated, or oil-based coatings that can never be used again. Bloxygen will save you both time and money by significantly increasing the shelf life of your products and reducing hazardous waste:

    • Protects ANY product that is sensitive to oxygen or moisture damage.
    • Prevents changes in product chemistry during storage.
    • Allows you to store leftovers safely in the original labeled container.
    • Reduces hazardous waste and product loss.
    • Save time by making finishing projects easier and cleaner.
    • Avoid paying a premium for small volumes of finish.
    • Improve the quality and consistency of the finish.
    • Eliminate spray gun clogs and jams.

    For years this problem has frustrated woodworkers and finishers. Of all the attempts to solve this problem (see below) none we've seen are as quick, as safe, or as successful.

    • What about marbles? Some folks try to eliminate the air space in their container by throwing marbles or rocks in the liquid. In addition to contaminating their product, they often find that cleaning the marbles results in lots
      of wasted time and product.
    • What about a smaller container? Transferring your liquid to a smaller container will reduce the air space, but you'll still have oxygen in there. Since the labeling was on the original container, tracking the instruction labels and warnings
      could be a problem.
    • What about exhaling into the container? As scuba divers or paramedics know, the air we exhale is NOT oxygen free. We inhale 21% oxygen and exhale about 15% oxygen.
    • What about tipping the container over? Storing your leftovers upside down will only guarantee that the skin will form on the "bottom" of the liquid. Your finish will still be ruined. 
    • CO2? We use ultra pure Argon because it's totally inert.  CO2 is okay, but it's not totally inert and will react with water to form carbonic acid. 

    • What about Air Dusters?  The compressed gas dusters contain difluoroethane CAS #75-37-6 which is flammable when concentrated in a fuel/air concentration of 5.1-17.1% by volume.  Inert gases do not burn.  Given that this is NOT an inert gas, no sound prediction can be made about the effect it will have on the millions of different finishes out there.
    • What about Propane?  No.  Just NO.  This is dangerous.

    Bloxygen meets Mil Spec MIL-DTL-53072F, Detail Specification - Chemical
    Agent Resistant Coating (CARC) System Application Procedures and
    Quality Control Inspection, dated 31 May 2017 and the associated
    MIL-A-18455C, Military Specification, Argon, Technical, Dated 23
    December1986.  Contact us directly for details.


    We have an INSTRUCTION MANUAL here.

    First, ALWAYS wear Safety Glasses since the finish can splash.

    1. Twist the extension tube into the spray tip.
    2. Hold lid closely above container and spray towards side of the container to avoid any splash.
    3. Spray 2 full seconds for quarts and 4 full seconds for gallons.*
    4. Close lid immediately to seal in heavy gas. 

    *We recommend 2 seconds for quarts and 4 seconds for gallons
    assuming that they are half full. 

    Our "rule of thumb" is to spray enough argon gas into the container to fill the head space twice.  So you'll need less gas if the container is nearly full and more if it is nearly empty.

    Best Practice? When the container of finish is opened, pour the required amount of finish into a second, user container. Take time (and perhaps use a product like the Paint Plow) to ensure that the original groove is cleaned. Now use the Bloxygen to purge the finish container, seal it, and store it. This will minimize the amount of time that oxygen and moisture can interact with the original product. The finish used in the secondary container should be used up or properly discarded. It will have been exposed to oxygen, moisture, an applicator (rag, brush, etc.) and cannot be returned to your container because of this contamination.

    See our video here.

    ANYTHING sensitive to oxygen or moisture:

    • oil-based paint
    • varnish
    • polyurethanes
    • catalysts
    • shellac (flakes and liquids)
    • photo chemicals
    • tung oil
    • wood fillers
    • urethanes
    • stains
    • gunpowder
    • marine coatings
    • printing chemicals
    • sign paints
    • fuel additives
    • autobody chemicals
    • coffee beans
    • polyurethane glue
    • epoxy resin
    • wine and hops
    • cooking oils
    • food safe
    • cannabis
    • guacamole
    • Tru-Oil gun stock finish
    • PVC glue
    • liquid electrical tape
    • Smooth-On FeatherLite resin
    • Gorilla Glue
    • Cetol
    • tung oil sealer
    • dual pane windows
    • plastic casting
    • rodent asphyxiation
    • book mite killer
    • industrial clear coat

    See our uses video here.

    We will make EVERY effort to satisfy any concern.

    There are only three problems we've ever seen:

    1. Not Enough Gas Used:

    The entire storage container must be purged. You cannot use too much gas.

    2. Slow Lid Seal / Bad Seal: Once the container is purged, the lid must be immediately sealed into

    Make sure that the lid is spotless and dent free to create an airtight seal.

    3. Bad Finish: Once oil-based finishes absorb oxygen and skin over or gel, they will continue to have problems during storage.

    These finishes will never be the same. Start with NEW finish and use Bloxygen each and every time
    it's stored.

    The Material Safety Data Sheet is now called the Safety Data Sheet or SDS.

    We've got it here.

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