Cleaning/sanitizing/disinfecting your gear

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chillyinCanada

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Would it eat glue?
 

topher10

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Would it eat glue?

Not sure if you are asking about Nolvasan and glue, but I don't really have the answer. We use if for stainless steel instruments or hard plastics (tube racks, beakers, containers). Most soft plastic stuff like tubing is considered disposable. My guess is that it would not eat glue, but I am not certain. It might also stain things blue if you use it very concentrated.
 
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KeithG

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are you over thinking this?

Just let your gear dry. Most (many, all?) germy things need moisture to survive.
 

lv2dive

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Between my boyfriend and myself, we own over a dozen wings and we don't clean/sterilize them. I did stop sucking the air out of my wing after I heard a first hand account of someone getting a nasty lung infection.

We also rinse/air dry our rebreather loops/lungs vs sterilizing them, except once or twice a year. It's worked pretty well for us.

I completely agree a dive center with students is a different story.

By the way the grossest thing I can think of is that communal rinse tank everyone dumps their gear in after getting off a boat. <shudder>
 

Dish

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I use denture cleanser tablets for my boots. Put in one tablet each, fill with water, leave it overnight, rinse in the morning.
No more smelly boots. :)

Also used them in BC bladders, though I'm not exactly sure if they are really suitable for that purpose.

Thanks @offfi ! Funny. I've used denture tablets to clean my coffee maker, stinky running shoes and my hydration packs. I also used them to clear a clogged drain with some vinegar thrown in (shades of elementary school science volcanos). I had not considered using them for dive boots... but I will start now.

I believe that most BC/Wing bladder material is the same stuff hydration packs are made from (I defer to those that actually know). If that's true, I'd consider periodically dropping a tab into a bladder and letting it soak for a couple hours... just like my hydration packs.

OBTW, I don't actually wear dentures...
 

spoolin01

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Listerine like most mouthwash is primarily alcohol, which is a pretty good general biocide, but something like rubbing alcohol or vodka would work similarly while avoiding the odorant and colorant stuff. Problem is it has to be used at fairly high concentration or exposure duration if you want good antimicrobial effect. That invites unfortunate chemical attack on susceptible components. There may not be any of those in your gear, but you might find out.

Steramine apparently is a quaternary amine, which also have good general biocide activity, as well as passable detergent quality. Hence, many if not most of the common household cleanser and disinfectant products are quaternary amine based.

Chlorine is the queen of biocides, with the benefit of working at relatively low concentrations and exposure durations, since it's pretty highly reactive with a wide range of biological material. It is broadly chemically reactive as well, so not only is there an outside chance some minor component of your gear will be particularly susceptible if exposed too much (the main stuff - rubbers, plastics, glass, metals - should generally be pretty resistant, but that call should be left to the manufacturer since they know their material formulations), but it's quickly used up by general levels of scum. If you were really worried about molds, spores, or viruses, general cleaning/rinsing with some sort of detergent followed by brief and dilute bleach exposure seems like it should work well. There's plenty of literature about microbial inactivation using bleach, and from what I recall learning, concentrations for that purpose (not including overcoming generic scum) can range well below 1% (store bleach is typically 4-6%, 10% if you find a good product), and literally only a minute to a few in exposure duration.

I don't think you can make a general call about "glue" susceptibility, unless you know what "your" glue is, since there are numerous glue chemistries and they vary widely in solvent reactivity. The good news for concerns about unexpected and unfortunate side effects is that for the most part they should be avoidable by limiting exposure concentration and duration. Since you don't need to soak to get good anti-microbial activity, use long soaks to clean gently with something mild, followed by brief exposure to your biocide of choice.

An interesting issue is the final fresh water rinse. Tap water is by no means sterile - so what have you now reintroduced? If you dry things promptly, it probably doesn't matter. If you can't dry something readily - like the bladder in your BC, maybe a final dilute alcohol rinse is a good compromise?...
 
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stuartv

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Listerine like most mouthwash is primarily alcohol, which is a pretty good general biocide, but something like rubbing alcohol or vodka would work similarly while avoiding the odorant and colorant stuff. Problem is it has to be used at fairly high concentration or exposure duration if you want good antimicrobial effect. That invites unfortunate chemical attack on susceptible components. There may not be any of those in your gear, but you might find out.
...
An interesting issue is the final fresh water rinse. Tap water is by no means sterile - so what have you now reintroduced? If you dry things promptly, it probably doesn't matter. If you can't dry something readily - like the bladder in your BC, maybe a final dilute alcohol rinse is a good compromise?...

Orrrrr.... you could just use Steramine, which does not require a final rinse.
 

spoolin01

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Sure, but many will think it's bad to leave anything behind. Even Steramine will leave a residue if you don't rinse it out, and the safety sheet says to avoid ingestion. To what extent that might truly matter is probably more a matter of personal taste than material risk - like most of the treatments under consideration here.

Last time I serviced my 2nd stage, I ran out of Simple Green and used a small amount of some household quaternary amine in the sonicator instead, probably some Lysol product. Despite a few warm water and cold water soaks, it took several salt water dives before the odor was no longer noticeable. That was surely the added odorant rather than the active ingredient, but it illustrates that even small quantities can have an undesirable effect.
 

Sunn

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used by search and rescue team for regulators and masks : Master | Huckert's International

(read the notice and do not put the 1st stage in the bath, even if it's not written...)
 

spoolin01

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Another quaternary amine, with isopropanol and perfumes. Also has something seems kinda harsh, isotridecanolethoxylate

Classification of the product
Acute Tox. 4 (oral) Acute toxicity
Eye Dam./Irrit. 1 Serious eye damage/eye irritation
Aquatic Acute 3 Hazardous to the aquatic environment - acute
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/peregrine/

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