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PBW & the Chemistry of Clean

Discussion in 'Glass' started by t-dub, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. t-dub

    t-dub Vapor Sloth

    Messages:
    7,422
    Location:
    Oregon
    Excellent job!!! It fantastic that you found BC and their great prices. I thought maybe I should have mentioned it but you found it on your own. Enjoy the cranberry. One thing you should know about it is that if you leave it in your diffuser for several days it can grow stuff. I countered this by adding citric acid to the mix which can be found at your local home brew store or online.
    I'm sorry that these threads can be so long but it's simply an artifact of this medium we choose to communicate in. Its a long form discussion and its up to us to go back maybe 10 pages or more, read the Original Post (OP), and try to find some answers for ourselves. Ultimately however a lot of info gets repeated. I find the different iterations enlightening but I realize that it takes a lot of time that people may not have.

    OK, back to PBW . . . ;)
     
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  2. Vapor_Eyes

    Vapor_Eyes The map is not the territory

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    Location:
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    I'm going to purchase some PBW soon. It seems like a great alternative to iso for cleaning glass, especially because it's good for the environment.

    Has anyone used it to clean metal? I was thinking about the Omnivap specifically, which is made of titanium with a stainless steel cap. It's suggested to use iso to clean the Omnivap, you soak and shake it just like a glass piece.
     
    OF likes this.
  3. Maitri

    Maitri Deadhead, Low-Temp Dabber, Mahayana Buddhist

    Messages:
    253
    Location:
    Just east of the Emerald City
    I clean my Errlectric VortexCap (a titanium carb cap) with PBW all the time. It works great. :)
     
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  4. OF

    OF Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    It is a great alternative IMO, but it's not 'good for the environment'. Basically nothing is? We're looking, rather, for 'not bad'? Lots of the stuff in it qualify as furtleizer for instance, already a problem in many waterways. When you need to use something for the job, it's better than most of the alternatives but consider it's basically the same stuff you flush down the drain when the machines wash your dishes and clothes, detergents are a necessary of modern life, the goal should be to be a benign as possible.....and save a few bucks if you can.

    Yes, it does a bang up job on metals, like you'd expect a good detergent to. And it rinses clean (meaning easily and completely, unlike say dish washing detergent). But it's (mildly) caustic, or it wouldn't work. Some finishes, like are found on Aluminum parts and printing can suffer from the adventure. Caution there is advised. SS, Ti, glass, Ceramics? I wade right in.

    Good luck, I'm sure you'll be impressed. BTW try a spoonful in the dishwasher. You know the haze that builds up from drying the cabinet each cycle? Wipes it out! Part of the extra chemical package so it'll work in the hardest water.

    OF
     
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  5. Baron23

    Baron23 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,565
    So, ran one cleaning of my C2 glass with PBW last night. I have good stoppers, got a sink pad just in case and went to it.

    I used 1/2 teaspoon in this oil can style stemless glass. I did not microwave or boil the water...just real hot water out of the spigot and into a Pyrex measuring cup with the PBW. I notice that a little stir helped to dissolve the few remaining PBW particles.

    I let dwell for 5 minutes only. Was watching crud just lift from the glass and float around. Amazing.
    Rinsed and difference is remarkable.

    It needs another wash or two...perhaps with a little more dwell time (but not long as I'm aware of the potential for rings).

    Good product, good steer from @t-dub :clap::rockon:
     
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  6. brucee10

    brucee10 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    268
    After my first use of PBW, I couldn't figure out why I ever used alcohol and salt before. For my really big pieces I line the bottom of a 5 gal bucket with sponge and use that.
     
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  7. OF

    OF Well-Known Member

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    Don't dwell on it, you were younger then......

    OF
     
  8. Baron23

    Baron23 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,565
    Ok, 2nd cleaning....I did microwave the water a bit...it was hot. Put the PBW in the water stirred, filled the glass and stoppered it, five minute dwell time again, rinse with final rinse with distilled water.

    Looks like new but my glass never looked as bad to start as T-dub's video. Between the cranberry extract and the PBW, I'm hopeful that it stays this easy to keep the glass clean.

    Thanks all
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
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  9. mandelbrod

    mandelbrod Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    40
    i have ordered a half kilo pbw from a seller in europe, i am very exciting since i have a combustion piece that i haven't been able to get really clean since i bought it 2 to 3 years ago (i wanted to use it as a strictly vape piece but never got it completely clean, so i kept on smoking in it). When the pbw arrives i will drop a before and after pic of my piece to show results.
    Thanks FC and t-Dub for the good ideas!
     
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  10. OF

    OF Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    17,345
    Location:
    Left Coast
    Stuff is pretty amazing for sure, a great 'find'.

    And it's kinda fun in cases like yours. Several times I've brought some 'to the party', inviting guys to bring out the glass they no longer want to be seen with. Put a bit (a couple cc for a typical piece?) in and fill it with the hottest water the sink will give (I even use a load of hot water to 'pre warm' it like you might a teapot (dump the warming water and go fast before it cools).

    Glass is more fun, you can sit and watch it working. Trails of Oxygen bubbles come off the junk stuck on like chains of bubbles rising in beer (or Champagne for those folks.....). Eventually the junk breaks free as it's grip on the glass gets 'undermined' and it floats away. Long neglected pieces can need another treatment or two, but it does the trick for sure. Good show.

    Also give it a try on the dishwasher (run a couple spoons full), it's buffered well and 'goes to town' on the deposits that collect and make the 'haze' happen. Also good on tubs and showers for the same uses.

    In a better world there would be a Sainthood in it for our own t-Dub, but for now he'll have to settle for the graditude of a bunch of strangers on the internet that aren't even using their real names.

    Good move, enjoy it, give a bit to your friends.......get them hooked on it as well?

    OF
     
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  11. t-dub

    t-dub Vapor Sloth

    Messages:
    7,422
    Location:
    Oregon
    Thank you for your kind words. I have no desire to be canonized and completely lack the credentials. I am a sinner after all. But I do appreciate the comments and the "likes" I receive here. They give me a positive energy boost because I like to think I am helping other people, in a very small way, even though I have no idea who they are.

    It is my privilege to serve . . . :peace:
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016
  12. DDave

    DDave Vape Wizard Accessory Maker

    Messages:
    3,791
    Location:
    Judge the Vaper by the Vapor
    Wait, what? We're not? :doh:
     
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  13. OF

    OF Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Cowboys don't use their real names when we go to town........it's a rule.

    I'm surprised you didn't know that.

    OF
     
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  14. MoltenTiger

    MoltenTiger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,075
    Location:
    Down down under
    I'm eagerly awaiting on some PBW to hopefully rectify exactly this - mold growth stuck in my diffuser.

    What's the opinion on how well PBW will clean this? It needs to be broken down so it can fit out of tiny holes... I may need an intense solvent but I'm really hoping PBW will do the job...
     
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  15. OF

    OF Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    17,345
    Location:
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    Never had that exact problem, but my money's on PBW here. Solvents probably won't do much, you need to break the mold down, not dissolve it. Detergents might/should do it given enough time and modest agitation. Next step I'd consider would be careful use of a corrosive. While acids could do it, I'd look to bases. Specifically drain cleaners. They should not etch the glass, but caution there is advised. And extreme caution with the cleaner, typically lye......really nasty stuff, avoid splashes, skin contact of any type and breathing the dust.

    OF
     
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  16. MoltenTiger

    MoltenTiger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,075
    Location:
    Down down under
    Thanks OF

    This parallels my thoughts. I've yet to try bicarbonate soda and/or vinegar, but that would be a good choice. I bought PBW before I started buying all sorts of weak home-based chemicals as it seemingly needs a bit of power behind it.
    What I did have I have tried to no avail, which is isopropyl, ethonal (methylated), orange chronic (alcohol, possibly with a detergent and abrasive agents), what I assume was low-molarity HCl and of course hot water, dish-detergents, and disinfectants.

    I'm really hoping the PBW does it, but it's annoying having to wait to try it.
    I've only used a sachet of 'effin clean' before which is sodium percarbonate and whatever else, basically the same stuff as PBW, but not the same.
    Definitely impressive, and I'm keen to have a large supply of PBW, it'll come in handy regardless.

    If it fails with this RezBlock scum, I'll have to look into sodium hydroxide or some other caustic stuff, lye sounds probable.
    Cheers again
     
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  17. Vapor_Eyes

    Vapor_Eyes The map is not the territory

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    This might be good for a next step if the PBW doesn't cut it:

    Alconox
     
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  18. Baron23

    Baron23 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,565
    I had a couple of spots of black mold grow in a piece of glass because I did leave the cranberry extract/water in there for apparently too long.

    I did get it out with PBW but it took three washes.

    Key is dissolving the PPBW in almost boiling water then pour into your glass. I did not leave any wash cycle longer than 10-12 minutes due to fear of the "white line". I also t pre-heat the glass with hot tap water before pouring in very hot PBW solution. I found a little very careful agitation by shaking to be useful.

    The mold just dissolved into very small pieces and easily washed away.
     
  19. OF

    OF Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    17,345
    Location:
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    Excellent, a first hand experience with the specific problem.

    However, to stick to the science here it didn't "dissolve", but rather was broken down into small isolated bits that rinsed away. Dissolving is like salt in water. Atomic level. No lumps. The solid breaks down to the atomic level and evenly mixes with the solvent, like water in Single Malt Scotch (sin that watering fine Scotch might be.....).

    This is what detergents tend to do. Technically you don't have a solution (where stuff dissolves) but a suspension that doesn't evenly distribute but can (and does) settle out or float to the surface over time. Like dishwater and grease and food debris. A 'bathtub ring' is another example of this, the dirt on the kid didn't dissolve away, it floated away intact to deposit elsewhere. Like with the junk in the bong, as long as it goes somewhere else the customer will be happy. The contamination from your bong gets captured at the local sewage treatment plant (in those long 'swimming pools') and is mechanically moved to the digesters along with the sludge and food you ground up in the garbage disposal. There it follows the poo (which doesn't dissolve) not the pee (that does). Ironically the PBW itself dissolves, is treated and discharged with the rest of the 'effluent'. While the junk from the bong leaves as solid waste after the microbes have their way with it (in the round tanks you see as you hold your nose passing the plant).

    Not that it really matters when the goal is to clean the glass. Great news for the OP.....once his PBW gets there of course. Thanks, nice to know my 'instinctive guesses' still work. Molds can be very tough, evolution has made them that way so survive 'tough times' (like living inside a bong......) but our 'super detergent friend, PBW' is tough as well. A key feature here is in addition to excellent 'mildly alkaline' detergent PBW contains conditioners and chelation agents. These neutralize 'out of spec pH levels, 'tie up' hard water and other bad contamination and other problems that might exist that would otherwise interfere with the detergent action. A well engineered product specifically designed to attack the sorts of problems we have in plumbing you can't scrub out under adverse conditions. No home is complete without it......

    OF
     
  20. Baron23

    Baron23 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,565
    pedantic
    adjective
    /pɪˈdænt·ɪk/

    caring too much about unimportant rules or details



    Just having a little fun with you. Peace, brother :cool::brow:
     
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  21. MoltenTiger

    MoltenTiger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,075
    Location:
    Down down under
    All this sounds promising. I really want my glass back. I feel so stupid for arriving at this predicament!

    Here's to hoping our super detergent friend is more successful than the super-hero of water pipe cleaners ("orange chronic"), which did naught.

    ----
    Actually, any insight into successful soak times that didn't cause white marks would also be appreciated, I'd imagine it will benefit from a soak, but I've read that 15 minutes is the max, or is that too long?

    Also, is it definitely recommendable to pre-mix a solution of PBW and hot water, rather than mixing in the flask being cleaned?
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016
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  22. t-dub

    t-dub Vapor Sloth

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Oregon
    That is as far as I go, usually less. Two things I have noticed about "the line". Using too much PBW will cause this. Also, not filling the entire piece, meaning there is a water line inside, also contributes.

    Another interesting note is that @Vitolo put his glass, and some ISO, into the freezer. After they were nicely frozen, he used the ISO, can't remember if he used salt but its a good idea, and then the mold spot broke off in one large piece and floated away. This was a result I did not expect.
    In my world details like this do not exist. You never know when you might discover something new.
     
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  23. MoltenTiger

    MoltenTiger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,075
    Location:
    Down down under
    Appreciate the input, and the legendary ultimate awareness of PBW.

    Unfortunately, my problem isn't merely a matter of dislodging the mold, rather it needs breaking apart so it can be washed out of the perc. At the moment it bridges itself by wanting to go through multiple holes, and nets itself in place.

    For that, the distinction between technicalities is most important. Especially in the aftermath, if this free-rinsing medium doesn't tear shit up, relentless chemical warfare will ensue.
     
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  24. t-dub

    t-dub Vapor Sloth

    Messages:
    7,422
    Location:
    Oregon
    Its possible that if the offending blob of mold is frozen it might fracture into smaller peices more easily. I wish you the best of luck. Like @OF said, drain cleaner can be a good way to go, or even toilet bowl cleaner might work as well. Stay away from lye unless you have knowledge of safety in this area and proper equipment. . . :zombie:
     
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  25. OF

    OF Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    17,345
    Location:
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    I tried to say it was worth considering as a last resort, not "a good way to go". And due caution is advised, lye is exactly what you're likely to be dealing with? The last thing I want to encourage is default use of Drano when we have effective and far safer alternatives.

    The idea is there were still alternatives to PBW should it fail, not to suggest casual use of drain cleaners.

    I haven't been paying much attention to this 'white line' thing, not suffering it and having plenty else to fuss over. The observation that more PBW can increase it is interesting. I wonder if it's a chelation deal? That is stuff like the chemicals added to PBW to 'tie up' Calcium and such (hard water) to keep it from interfering with the cleaning. As the solution cools, less of those salts can stay dissolved, could they be condensing out at the waterline? Perhaps alkaline is the wrong way to go, we need acid? Perhaps a soak in Citric Acid (pretty mild, a common food product in canned food and such, easily found in 'Pharmacy Grade') might attack the deposits? Or a commercial product like CLR, which I'd wash in PBW after since CLR is worth avoiding.

    https://www.amazon.com/Citric-Acid-...F8&qid=1476556483&sr=8-4&keywords=citric+acid

    https://www.amazon.com/Calcium-Lime...F8&qid=1476556596&sr=1-4&keywords=clr+cleaner

    OF
     
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