Cleaning chemicals for your hydroponics equipment

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Which cleaning chemicals do you use to clean your hydroponics system? Every 2 weeks I flush and drain my hydroponics systems, scrub the nutrient solution container and hoses and replace the nutrient solution. This is to keep bacteria and algae in check, flush out accumulated mineral salts from the system and replace needed nutrients. cleaning chemicals,how to hydroponics

I used to use Microchlor which is an industrial sanitizer that supposedly flushes out completely when rinsed with water. In American grocery stores in the produce department, Microchlor is in the water that is sprayed onto vegetables to keep bacteria from growing - which is a good reason to wash all vegetables before eating.

I wasn't feeling too comfortable about this product so I switched to small amounts of bleach as a sanitizer during cleaning. The chlorine will kill all bacteria and washes completely out to a few parts per million if you rinse at least 5 to 7 times with water. After a while I did not want to introduce any outside chemicals into my hydroponics system at all so I stopped using bleach as well all harsh cleaning chemicals.

Now I use a vinegar and baking soda mixture which cleans and sanitizes just as effectively as the harsh chemicals but is safe to ingest. And I have to admit that these 2 ingredients seem to 'work miracles'. What I do is wipe out the nutrient container with a damp towel, add 2 cups or so of white vinegar and swish it around. Vinegar, or acetic acid, is a great cleanser by itself.

Next I add maybe a half cup of baking soda into the vinegar, watch it foam up and then easily scrub out all accumulated slime. When baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is added to vinegar the addition of an alkaline to an acid causes an 'acid base reaction' and the release of carbon dioxide in the foaming process. The mixture turns to carbonic acid and breaks down to CO2 and water.

As it turns from acid to CO2 and water, fatty acids are broken down into glycerine which can be easily removed making this mixture a very powerful cleanser and sanitizer. Give it a try. Also keep in mind that this is a general all purpose, 'around the house' cleaning formula as well.


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