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Instead of Ice Cleaner Acid...

Discussion in 'Experiments With Equipment' started by lewnworx, Apr 14, 2009.

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  1. lewnworx

    lewnworx Full Member

    Apr 7, 2009
    Something just dawned on me.

    I wasn't thinking, and mixed a batch using Loranne Grape (completely spacing off and missing the "blue dye #4 and red dye #1" in the ingrediants list) and within one cart had a whole mess of black crud around the coil on my Joye510C atomizer.

    Vapor output was suffering as a result.

    And while staring at it, the light went on. This "stuff" looks a lot like the nasty junk that builds up in our coffee makers at work.

    And we just happen to have some stuff that turns a totally black gunk encrusted coffee maker and expresso machine into a brandy new, shiny as hell, see your reflection it it wonder.

    Being one who uses (and abuses) the holy crap out of our coffee and expresso makers here at work, I've used this stuff to clean the hardware for years.

    It comes in little packets. You put it in where you'd normally put the coffee grounds, run it just like you were making coffee and then rinse the thing out and you're good to go. Normally, when you get done and you drain the pot, the first 1/4 of what comes out is all kinds of yukky looking black sediment that USED to be stuck to the innards of the hardware, and then it drains a clear blue.


    Yeah, so I just had to try it. I took my pot in that was overdue for a cleaning anyway, ran a load through it, and when it got to the the clear blue part I poured that (still super hot) into a coffee pot, wrapped the aforementioned atomizer in some paper towels to prevent scratching the paint, and put it in a pair of hemostats and just shook the hell out of it in the stuff.

    Lo and behold, all the nasty black stuff just broke up into chunks and fell off the atomizer to settle in the bottom of the cup. Not in hours, but in maybe a couple minutes.

    I then flushed the atomizer with water for a couple minutes, just like I'd do when flushing the coffee pot, and then blew it out. On visual inspection under one of our soldering station magnifiers here at work, it looks indistinguishable from a brand new atomizer.

    Intriguing to say the least, but is it safe?

    I went to the janitor's closet, found a new bag of the packets we use and was stunned to find out what was in the stuff.

    Non toxic, Biodegradable.

    Ingrediants: Trisodium Phosphate, Sodium Tripoly Phosphate, Sodium Metasilicate, and Sodium Carbonate.

    In short? Soap, with stuff that when combined under heat in a fluid environment turns it basic, rather than acidic.

    This is the same crap I used to add to steam generators when I was in the Nuclear power industry to maintain a basic PH on the secondary side.

    It rinses clean. You don't want to drink the stuff, but like the ice machine cleaner is designed to be used in vessels that you drink out of. Furthermore it's designed to work in a very hot, very wet environment, (steamy even, it does wonders on the expresso machines), and is safe enough that your basic janitorial staff can use it on the stuff you drink out of every day without risk.

    I put a slight vacuum on it with a hacked up rubber glove and one of our vaccuum desoldering stations and lit it up. Works fine. Flushed it again, and stuck it under a micro, and it looks just as clean as a brand new one.

    So in the interests of science, I guinea pigged it after looking up the stuff on the MSDS's. Of course all of them had "don't intentionally inhale in dry form (duh). However, in the seriously diluted quantities we're talking about here (a packet's maybe got half an ounce total between all the chemicals, and it's diluted first by about a gallon of water, then flushed with a couple other gallons, we're talking at most trace remnants when done), I think it's pretty safe. After all, if they trust the common janitor with zero training to use this stuff on the coffee makers that hundreds of people in my office alone drink from on a daily basis...

    Vape output is just like brand new. No bad taste. I haven't keeled over, or spouted a 3rd hand out of my forehead.

    From the MSDS:

    Trisodium Phosphate:

    EMERGENCY OVERVIEW: Not hazardous when used according to directions.
    ROUTES OF ENTRY: Eyes, Mouth, and Nose
    EYES: Contact can cause mechanical and/or chemical irritation.
    SKIN: Prolonged contact may cause irritation and/or chemical burns. Wash with soap and water. If irritation persists, contact a
    INGESTION: Material is nontoxic, however, ingestion of a significant quantity may cause an obstruction and/or chemical burns.
    If gastric or respiratory discomfort occurs, contact a physician.
    INHALATION: Inhalation of dust may irritate nose, throat, and lungs. Remove to fresh air. Seek medical attention if
    condition persists.
    EYES: May cause mechanical irritation of the eyes, burning, redness, or pain. If these conditions persist, contact a physician.
    SKIN: May cause chemical burns and or irritation.
    INHALATION: The dust from dry product may cause upper respiratory irritation. If this condition develops, remove the person to
    fresh air. If these conditions persist, contact a physician.
    INGESTION: Unlikely to occur. If significant quantity is swallowed, the product will react with moisture and cause gastric
    blockage. If this occurs, contact a physician.
    CHRONIC HEALTH HAZARDS: Chronic overexposure to dust may result in lung disease and/or cancer.
    MEDICAL CONDITIONS GENERALLY AGGRAVATED BY EXPOSURE: Pre-existing upper respiratory and lung diseases, which may
    include, but are not limited to, bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma.

    Sodium Metasilicate:

    This material has not been tested for primary eye irritation potential.
    However, on the basis of its high degree of alkalinity, it is regarded as
    corrosive to the eyes.
    When this material was tested for skin corrosion/irritation potential
    according to OECD Guidelines Section 404, it produced dermal
    The acute oral toxicity of this product has not been tested. When sodium
    silicates were tested on a 100% solids basis, their single dose acute oral
    LD50 in rats ranged from 1500 mg/kg to 3200 mg/kg. The acute oral
    lethality resulted from nonspecific causes.

    Sodium Carbonate. GRAS, unless you snort pounds of it trying to be Scarface.

    Sodium Percarbonate. Ditto.

    Sodium Tripolyphosphate: (this one was amusing):

    INHALATION: In general, long-term exposures to high concentrations of dust may cause increased mucous flow in
    the nose and respiratory system airways.
    This condition usually disappears after exposure stops.(6) Controversy exists as to the role exposure to dust has in the
    development of chronic bronchitis (inflammation of the air passages into the lungs).
    Other factors such as smoking and general air pollution are more important, but dust exposure may also contribute.(6)

    Blue Dye:

    Now this just slays me. It proves my collage physics prof was correct.

    "If you want to sell something that is going to clean something, it has to conform to 3 rules to be sellable.

    1) It's got to foam.
    2) It's got to smell bad
    3) It must be blue. By god, if it's blue, it MUST work."

    Ok, so what is this magic crap?

    It goes by the highly imaginative moniker of:

    Coffee/Tea Dispensor Cleaner.

    It's made by CDCC products (Coffee Dispenser Cleaner Company, LLC) out of Orange, CA, and has patent Nos 5,656,583 and 5,888,313. It's NSF (Nonfood compounds Programs) listed A1 (i.e. safe for bozos to use without mucking it up).

    I can tell you this much, I've worked for this company for 18 years now, and have drank probably a couple thousand gallons of coffee that have come out of pots that have been cleaned by this stuff over the years, and aside from being overly high strung under deadlines, haven't seen any real side effects from it's use. I don't think we've had anyone keel over at the coffee pots.

  2. surbitonPete

    surbitonPete Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 25, 2009
    North Yorkshire UK
    Hey I am excited by the sound of that mark......typical that it's an american product though...I wonder if I can get the same stuff over here in England.. Coffee isn't such a big thing over here.
  3. exogenesis

    exogenesis Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 1, 2009
    Abbeychart -
    some similar cleaners (half way down) ?, can't really tell what's in them.

    lewnworx, sounds like a good experience,

    How did you tell you had black crud, did you dismantle the atomizer?
    510 coils can't be seen from the outside, can they,
    Do you mean on the wicking bridge?

    Anyway a new formulae to try :) (if can get in UK)
  4. fenez

    fenez Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 15, 2009
    coffee pot cleaner, dipit? I have used it on coffee pots and it does exactly what you say, I never thought about using it on an atomizer, sun vapor is the guy to ask about this stuff he seems to know.
  5. emsmom

    emsmom Moved On ECF Veteran

    Mar 19, 2009
    Great idea! Any idea of the brand name of this cleaner? Most home cleaners are the kind that you run through the pot diluted in the water. Placing the cleaner in the grounds area sounds a lot better to me. Also like that the liquid it makes changes color.
  6. Faethe

    Faethe Super Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 12, 2009
    Orlando, Florida
    Dip-it is $6.99 at amazon.

    I'm trying it out.
  7. Sun Vaporer

    Sun Vaporer Moved On ECF Veteran

    Jan 2, 2009
  8. puff-puff-pass

    puff-puff-pass Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 9, 2009
    Usually the biggest concern is "what's left behind" that counts.
    If it leaves any type of residue on a coffee pot, the residue is swallowed...stomach acid does the rest. BUT...we are talking about inhaling any residue that is left on the atomizer. Different story all together.
    I would recommend lots and lots of rinsing.

    my 2 cents
  9. kinabaloo

    kinabaloo Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    The success here might be the fact that you performed the clean after just one cart of use; is that right? It might not work nearly so well after the atty has been used for a week and the deposit has hardened.

    There is some info on trisodiumphosphate here: Trisodium phosphate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  10. lewnworx

    lewnworx Full Member

    Apr 7, 2009
    Actually it was my original atomizer that I'd been using for a solid week. I just noticed the junk after using the grape stuff.

    That's not the same stuff. (They make a lot of products).

    This stuff has:

    Trisodium Phosphate, Sodium Metasilicate, Sodium Carbonate, Sodium Percarbonate, Sodium Tripolyphosphate and Blue dye.

    It does NOT contain any Sulfamic Acid, Citric Acid or Aluminum Sulfate. That's a different product, and I don't know what that is. This one comes as a bag of pouches.

    Here's the MSDS on the stuff I tested:

    Thanks Sun, for (wisely) pointing out that with any of this stuff, make absolutely sure you know what you're getting. Not everybody has a chemistry background, and it'd be REAL easy to not notice the difference between Polypropylene glycol and Propylene Glycol. Just because stuff has names that SOUND similar, doesn't mean jack squat in chemistry terms. This is not an area where there's a lot of margin for error in assuming one thing is the same as the other.
  11. QueenInNC

    QueenInNC Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 21, 2009
    Charlotte, NC USA
  12. radiokaos

    radiokaos Forum Supplier ECF Veteran

    Mar 11, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    Sun, this is my biggest fears. With the fast growth of E Cigs, I think more users are willing to try anything to revive their atomizers. I would think twice before I use any chemicals including the Ice Cleaner Stuff. Heck I was reading earlier that people were going out and buying a gallon of this stuff. I'm not trying to be a nay sayer but my concern over long term health issues are realistic for us vapers. The concerns from the FDA are there because we really don't know what we are inhaling. Yes it might be better then analogs or it might not. We don't know whats really in our juice unless you buy from TW. Also we don't know what repercussions there are from using atomizers that were solder together in a a factory in china (think about sucking on lead solder all day). I solder all day and make sure my work bench is well ventilated so I don't die from lead posining.

    I like some of the simple methods of cleaning such as warm water, or lemon juice. I think the coke method might work but it also my aid in damaging our atomizers down the road. We just don't know. Luckily I mainly use mini (4081) and the atomizers are dirt cheap ($5.00 each) and do the job most of the time. So in the meantime I just want to caution others before trying to experiment with other chemicals. Heck I remember someone mentioning the use of Muriatic Acid (COMPLETE NO NO). Guys before someone kills them self please take some extra caution before cleaning your gear.

    Sorry for my rant, I'm just trying to look out for us vapors. Looking up the data on the MSDS is fine but lets be real it does not cover the use of long term vaping or atomized vapor of these chemicals.

    Go ahead a flame away...sorry for getting righteous I'm just trying to keep people from killing themselves.
  13. exogenesis

    exogenesis Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 1, 2009
    Absolutely right to be cautious.

    QueenInNC, that appears to be a biological cleaner,
    i.e. contains enzymes that work in warm water.

    If you've got some it could be worth a try, since
    'effective microoganism' cultures have been shown to work by others.

    Still you need to make sure it's all washed out before use.
  14. kinabaloo

    kinabaloo Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    The danger is much more in the handling than that any might be left behind, as the products like the ice cleaner are designed to be simply rinsed out and then used for food again.

    At the moment these are just experiments for those who want to lend their hand to our understanding and a possible long-term solution. Whatever is used, a thorough rinse after is important.

    While I don't want to give up on finding a way to dissolve deposits formed over a long period (Pete's tea bag idea was arrived at through incessant perseverance, for example), perhaps the main focus for cleaning should move to preventative cleaning, and also to reducing the dry deposits put into the atomiser through juice choice.
  15. bizzyb0t

    bizzyb0t Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 13, 2009
    Denver CO, USA
    Thanks Mark!

    Do you know if they sell this in stores? Like Target, or Walmart, etc? Perhaps a product that is the same just by a different brand?
  16. Sun Vaporer

    Sun Vaporer Moved On ECF Veteran

    Jan 2, 2009
    Radiokaos--Nobody is Flaming here but you my frined--We have repeatedly warned over and over again about using any of these products and that these are just experiments---or have you not been reading the whole threads and the repeated warnings--Radio---so you are not being righteous as we are all aware of the need for saftey and as I have posted many times---we are not advocating anyone to use anything here and anyone that does not heed to the warnings not to do so--does so at their own risk----Sun
  17. ZambucaLu

    ZambucaLu ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Nov 23, 2008
    Central NY, USA
    I use mine until performance drops to an unsatisfactory level. I know by then they are probably gunked up. That's why I will try the stuff you guys recommend that might dissolve the gunk, not merely "surface clean" it to make it usable for a few days again. What's the sense in that [​IMG]

    But I'm only willing to try what has been tried and seemed to work with no ill effects. I personally would not experiment with any chemical on my own that hasn't already been tested first.

  18. lewnworx

    lewnworx Full Member

    Apr 7, 2009
    Here's their website:

    FILTER POUCH CLEANER on Coffee Dispenser Cleaner Company, LLC

    The problem with any of this stuff, is an issue of general common sense, and some education.

    I have a good deal of chemistry background, as well as safety in handling hazardous materials. I used to work in a nuclear plant, and was responsible for Primary and Secondary plant chemistry. I've worked with some fairly nasty stuff. As a result I have a pretty good background in how one deals with nasty stuff. However, not everybody has a background in this stuff, and it behooves one to be able to make a rational decision as to whether you have a decent handle on what you are doing. My best advice would be if you aren't sure what you're doing, you probably shouldn't jack around with it. You only GET one set of lungs. Try not to bugger them up. (I know this sounds a bit stupid coming from one who smoked a pack a day for several decades but still...)

    As a result, I fairly fluent in the notion of dilution factors and the difference they make in PPM values. I also have access to gear that most people don't.

    Still, while there very well may be some risks with this stuff, in my mind, it's FAR less than the very well known and documented risks we were taking with analogs.

    That said, you still should be careful and avoid unnecessary risks.

    For instance, I won't even TOUCH the flavorings that have the additional warning line on the bottle that says "irritates mucous membranes". Not all of them have that, and for those that do, it's there for a reason.

    We're all learning as we go here. Forums like these are good ways to exchange information and stuff learned. Sadly, there will always be some portion of the population who will believe anything they read on the internet and not have the ability to do any research and reasoned thinking on their own, and invariably, it's these folks who go out and do Darwin Award level stunts that cause the gov't to have to intervene, thus mucking up an otherwise good thing for those who aren't suffering from a terminal cranial-rectal inversion.
  19. exogenesis

    exogenesis Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 1, 2009
    When you say you have access to gear,
    is there anything you can analytically or (chemically) objectively add with
    your resource, with any dead / dying atomizers you may have?

    Everything helps.
  20. kinabaloo

    kinabaloo Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Sambuca Lu - While a weak clean doesn't do much for an older atty, there would be merit in a 'surface clean' if it prevents build up; a 'preventative or maintenance clean'.

    Although this has not been studied with any rigour, a basic wash would at least clean out unhardened dry residue from the metal wicking, although it might barely touch the hardened gunk on the coil (it might if done regularly, but we can't say for sure).
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