How to Correctly Clean a Hydrographics Dipping Tank
Whether you’re a beginner at hydrographics painting or you’re setting up a commercial enterprise, the tank is one of the most important pieces of equipment you’ll use on a daily basis. The dipping tanks range from entry-level setups that are easy to learn how to use to production-level systems with high-tech features and add-ons. No matter what type you have, it will need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Use these tips to correctly clean your hydrographics dipping tank.
Remove Large Debris
The first step in cleaning the tank involves removing large debris. These are leftover bits of film that could clog the tank’s drain. Don’t be surprised if you pull out long, green strings of slimy material. This is algae, and it’s common in large, warm tanks of water. The best way to get them out is with an aquarium net. These nets have a long handle, and they’re made to go into dirty water filled with chemicals. Scoop the debris into a waste bin.
Drain the Tank
The next step is to drain all the liquid from the tank. It’s a good idea to wear long rubber gloves and a face shield while doing this. Small bits of debris may splash as the water goes down the drain.
Scrub the Tank
Use a scouring pad to remove debris and muck from the stainless steel tank. You’ll also need to do this on the adjustable baffles and any accessories you have in the tank. Most people go through at least one dozen scouring pads, so have a bunch of them on hand depending on how dirty your tank is. Keep a bucket with warm, soapy water nearby to dunk the scouring pads into.
Scrape Stuck Debris
An ice scraper or bondo spreader is a helpful tool to remove debris that has formed a film on the stainless steel. You can also try a stiff-bristled brush. If your tank is large, a janitorial broom will loosen sticky debris and film.
Rinse the Tank
Once you’ve removed the obvious film and muck from the tank, rinse it with a garden hose. The jet sprayer delivers enough pressure to loosen any leftover bits and particles left on the tank. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear.
Sanitize the Tank and Drain
Warm water is a perfect environment for algae and bacteria. You don’t want a clog in the drainpipe, so it’s important to sanitize and disinfect these surfaces. You can pour a 50% white vinegar solution or a 10% bleach solution into the tank. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes. Make sure there’s plenty of ventilation to dissipate the fumes from these disinfectants. Drain the tank. Rinse the tank again, and it’s ready to use for your next hydro dipping project.