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Cleaning tubing

How do y’all clean your plastic tubing? follow-up question, how often do you replace it?

I usually clean the tube’s insides by using the tubes to siphon PBW solution, then rinse by siphoning hot water. Recently I took out the tubing and found what was obviously dried droplets of the previous batch. So I gave the tubes a REAL long soak in the PBW. Now the tubes are cloudy in appearance, and hot water is not getting it off. I’m not sure if its a stubborn PBW film or if the combination has just started to etch the interior. At this point shelling out for new tubes seems less aggravating than continuing to waste time and water.

So what’s considered the best practice here?

Once my tubing starts looking questionable… I just replace it.

From batch to batch I immediately rinse tubing with tap water the second I am done using it. Then I throw it in a tub of star san for a few minutes before hanging up. When I want to use it again, just pull it down, rinse under tap water, throw in starsan tub, use…repeat.

Another little trick if you want to clean the inside of the tube - throw in pbw for 10 minutes. Take some fishing line. One end crimp a small split shot sinker on it. Other end, tie a small piece of cloth to other end. drop sinker through the tube and out the other side. Pull the piece of cloth through the tube. Basically, like a bore snake for a gun… That works if you want to dislodge anything that might be in there, and it won’t scratch your tubing up.

Generally though, your best bet is to just clean tubing ASAP after you use it.

[quote=“Braufessor”]Once my tubing starts looking questionable… I just replace it.

From batch to batch I immediately rinse tubing with tap water the second I am done using it. Then I throw it in a tub of star san for a few minutes before hanging up. When I want to use it again, just pull it down, rinse under tap water, throw in starsan tub, use…repeat[/quote]

+1 That’s how I do it. A long soak in PBW or OxyClean can turn the tube milky. When I buy thin wall tube for racking or aeration, I get a 20’ roll. It’s nice
to have on hand.

does it have to be food grade quality

When I am all done cleaning my tubing I siphon up some 70% Isopropyl Alcohol into the tubing and just let it run back into the container. This will remove all the water and dry very fast.

Rinsing immediately after use is the best advice here IMHO. Whatever you use to sanitize the tubing don’t toss it until you re-soak after rinsing and hang the tubing up to drain. That is all I do and like others only replace it when it no longer looks good.

Much of my tubing is from the hardware store. Food grade? Who knows but I never have had a problem. When it is new if it has a strong smell of plastic then leave it on the shelf.

+1 I used to rinse & put away wet in my brew tote. Not Good! Now i hang to dry. Also picked up from hardware store. No issues yet.

Very cool idea! I’ll add to my “to do” list. :cheers:

Why would you use an item not intended to be ingested on your brewing equipment?

My tap water leaves these crusty white spots in the tubing. I use the alcohol just for appearance. I always rinse before reuse.

Why would you use an item not intended to be ingested on your brewing equipment?[/quote]

Nighthawk…Are you thinking some residue of it remains?

Just curious.

Why would you use an item not intended to be ingested on your brewing equipment?[/quote]

There is no chemical difference between food grade plastic and regular plastic. There is a difference if the plastic is colored obviously. Other than that… No worries.

Why would you use an item not intended to be ingested on your brewing equipment?[/quote]

Nighthawk…Are you thinking some residue of it remains?

Just curious.[/quote]

If he is rinsing before using, I guess it would be no difference than putting PBW/BLC in it. But then I would rinse PBW/BLC after using them. Not after they dry.

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