7 Reasons to Keep Copper Sulfate Handy in Your Home
Posted on January 08 2018
Of the many substances found in nature, few are as versatile as Copper Sulfate. An inorganic compound derived from the combination of Copper and Sulfur, Copper Sulfate takes the form of a bright blue salt. Due to its vivid color, it also goes by the names Cupric Sulfate, Copper Sulfite, chalcanthite, blue vitriol, and bluestone.
Color isn't the only outstanding characteristic of Copper Sulfate, however. Affordable and extremely useful to everyone from farmers to science teachers, the benefits of Copper Sulfate are vast and far-reaching. Due to its chemical makeup, this compound is highly advantageous in addressing an overly alkaline environment, remedying plant fungi, unwanted root growth, algae growth, and so much more.
1. Fertilizer and Fungicide
Agricultural applications are among the most common uses of Copper Sulfate, boasting numerous functions throughout the care and management of crops. Copper Sulfate is often used as a fertilizer, increasing the copper content of the soil. This can help to rectify peaty and acidic soils in order to create a hospitable climate for plant growth. Further, Copper Sulfate can be used to address mildew, leaf spots, blight and apple scabs on field fruit trees, nut trees, and vegetables.
2. Pipe Clearing
As a potent compound, Copper Sulfate can be used to clear out problems within your pipes. Copper Sulfate is particularly effective in clearing root growth from pipes, killing roots safely and quickly. Due to the minimal absorption required to trigger root death, utilizing Copper Sulfate does not harm the tree itself, preserving plant health while offering a natural alternative to corrosive chemicals.
3. Water Treatments
Algae can be problematic, creating issues with water quality in ponds and lakes. In order to address algae without compromising the sustainability of fish and other animal communities, Copper Sulfate can be applied to the water. Copper is most appropriate in situations with alkalinity values over 50 parts per million; alkalinity below this amount may trigger copper sensitivity, increasing the risks of copper poisoning.
4. Pest Control
For a more natural form of pest control, Copper Sulfate can be used to clear trees and gardens of unwanted critters. A coating of Bordeaux Copper Sulfate mixture can be applied directly to tree trunks to kill snails and slugs, helping to protect commercial or residential property from infestation.
Etching on metal is a popular pastime, both for individuals who are artistically inclined as well as those who want to create a monogrammed or custom look for household items. Copper Sulfate is an effective way to leave a lasting imprint on soft metals like zinc, mild steel, and aluminum, creating an easy at-home approach to crafting. A saline sulfate etch mixture can be formed using a combination of Copper Sulfate, sodium chloride, and water, leading to beautiful marks left on metal without a significant investment of time or money.
6. Fun Science
Chemical compounds aren't just for practical purposes. Copper Sulfate also plays a role in science experiments, including the development of beautiful blue crystals. Performed using a saturated Copper Sulfate, water, and a jar, the evaporation process can create an exciting science project children will love. Simply pour Copper Sulfate into your jar, mix with water, and watch and wait. In hours, crystals will start to form, growing upwards. Once a desirable shape and size have been reached, gently remove the crystals from the jar and lay them to dry on paper towels.
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From agriculture to etching, Copper Sulfate is a versatile, flexible, and effective compound perfect in countless applications. Whether you're seeking a fun experiment to share with your child or a way to strengthen your garden's potential, Copper Sulfate can do wonders inside and outside your home.