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Old 08-28-2006, 04:46 PM   #1
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Default Cleaning and Sanitizing

Hello. I have been told that I can keep a solution of both the cleaner (One Step) and sanitizer (Iodophor) in a bucket for a couple of weeks without losing any effectiveness. First question. Is this true? Second question. If so, should it be a food grade bucket? I have a couple of unused 5 gal buckets from one of the big box stores and was wondering if I could use them. I don't know if they are food grade or not.

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Old 08-28-2006, 05:19 PM   #2
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There's been discussion on this subject many times. Do a search...

There are a few long write-ups, but in short Iodophor is only good for 24 hours. Star San is (supposed) to be good for months or until the water gets cloudy. In short, some tap water make the water cloudy overnight, but it's still good to use. One-Step...I forget. Sorry.

Since it's only water a food grade container is not really necessary...beer oon the other hand would require it.

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Old 08-28-2006, 05:21 PM   #3
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Iodophor's cheap enough (one capful for 2.5 gallons) where I'd just do up a new batch anyway. I've stopped using One Step, that stuff just started getting too expensive. Never sure if it was just a cleaner or if it also sanitized, that's another area of controversy.

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Old 08-28-2006, 06:02 PM   #4
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Those buckets that you can get at Home Depot are made from the same plastic as the food grade buckets. HDPE (high density polyethylene). The cloudiness that occurrs with Star-San is not related to its effectiveness, it is related to the mineral content of the water that it is mixed with. The main factor with regard to the effectiveness of Star-San is its pH. Star-San is a blend of phosphoric acid and dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid. This combination of acids provides a sanitizer that is unaffected by excessive organic soils. As long as the pH remains below 3, it is still effective. Even if the pH rises above 3, it can just be "sweetened" up with some more concentrate to drive the pH back down. I use some cheap test strips to check the pH and have kept batches of Star-San for up to 6 weeks. The only reason I dumped them was for piece of mind, and that I felt that I got my monies worth after 6 weeks of using the same batch.

How long is the One Step solution good for? Many factors come into play in answering that question. One Step works by producing hydrogen peroxide in solution, so the most important thing is to keep that peroxide. Peroxides are degraded by organic soils, light, and heat, so if you keep your solution away from those things, it will stay better, longer. In a closed, dark, and clean container, the solution will last up to 1 week. In a closed, clean container in a refrigerator, the solution is good for over a month (but let it warm up before you use it).

I can confirm that Iodophor looses its effectiveness after 24 hours and should not be reused. I sent an email to National Chemicals Inc., the maker of BTF Iodophor, regarding the shelf life of Iodophor that has been diluted to a working solution. A Dr. L. Charles Landman responded and explained that there are a number of things that work to degrade the products' effectiveness. Chlorine in the mix water and organic soils were the two mentioned first, but Dr. Landman agreed that both sunlight and exposure to the atmosphere are also factors.

Iodophor is very stable in it's undiluted form, but will begin to degrade slowly once it has been diluted to a working solution. The color of the Iodophor solution is a rough guide to it's effectiveness as a sanitizer. If the solution still has its amber color, it is most likely still active. It is recommended that a fresh solution should be mixed when the color fades or after 24 hours. I hope this helps.

John

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Old 08-28-2006, 10:45 PM   #5
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John, Thanks for the very informative reply.

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Old 08-30-2006, 05:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsma22
The cloudiness that occurrs with Star-San is not related to its effectiveness, it is related to the mineral content of the water that it is mixed with.

John
In the past I have mixed my Star-San with distilled water. Then it dawned on me that I have an in line R/O filter. I now always mix with R/O water (minerals filtered out.) If clarity is an indicator of effectiveness, my mixture lasts a long time.
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Old 08-30-2006, 11:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
Iodophor's cheap enough (one capful for 2.5 gallons) where I'd just do up a new batch anyway. I've stopped using One Step, that stuff just started getting too expensive. Never sure if it was just a cleaner or if it also sanitized, that's another area of controversy.
Bird, I was reading my bottle of Idophor the other day,(I know, I need a life) and the fine print on the side said 1/4 oz per 2.5 gal, 1/2 capful=1/4 oz. so by that I would see it as being 1 capful per 5 gals. I have always gone by the same amounts as you have and was wondering if anyone else here might back off to 1 capful per 5 gals and what results they have had. It's cheap enough when you get the big bottles but was just curious.
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