Properly cleaning your foam stopper

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McCoonigan

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So I got a new foam stopper for my starter flask as the old one was getting pretty ragged. Any tips on how to clean foam stoppers well? Thanks and RAHAHB
 

MaxStout

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You could try rinsing and squeezing out with water several times until it comes clean. Then boil in water to sanitize.

If it doesn't come clean, toss it and buy another. Keep extras on hand, foam stoppers are cheap.
 

day_trippr

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I use those stoppers for my e-flasks. I give them a thorough squishing in the kitchen sink loaded with some dishwashing liquid then a squishy rinse. When I go to use them I spray them soaking wet with Star San then squish them damp before stuffing them into the e-flasks...

Cheers!
 

jpakstis

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I vote for this. I used a foam stopper for a while. Bought another one but have never used it. Foil is so much easier. After use either toss it or recycle it. No cleaning...

Yeah not to not answer the original post but I first used a foam stopper but it got all gunked up with starter krausen. It seemed the only way to “fix” it was to chuck and buy a new one. Instead the guy at my local store told me he just uses aluminum foil with a spray of Star San losers covering the flask. I’ve done it that way ever since with no issues.
 

SEndorf

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Don't be too quick to toss that foam stopper.
Not a big fan of oxygen depriving aluminum foil.
I'm not very concerned with the typical discoloration of foam stoppers. A good soak in StarSan takes care of it. Though they're cheap and easily replaced.
 

triethylborane

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Don't be too quick to toss that foam stopper.
Not a big fan of oxygen depriving aluminum foil.
I'm not very concerned with the typical discoloration of foam stoppers. A good soak in StarSan takes care of it. Though they're cheap and easily replaced.


The gaps in a loosely fitted square of Al foil are huge for CO2 and O2 molecules, tbh "huge" is an understatement. There is plenty of gas exchange when using this method.
 

MaxStout

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The gaps in a loosely fitted square of Al foil are huge for CO2 and O2 molecules, tbh "huge" is an understatement. There is plenty of gas exchange when using this method.

Plus the foil keeps microbes out just as well. They won't float under the foil and into the flask. If they could, every petri dish with a loose-fitting lid would become contaminated.
 

SEndorf

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MaxStout... I've followed your excellent posts / advice, but the above isn't tracking with me.
I don't see how a loosely fitted piece of aluminum foil can possibly compare to a 1+ inch thick piece of StarSan infused foam to keep those microbes at bay. Maybe it's just old habits of mine?
 

kh54s10

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MaxStout... I've followed your excellent posts / advice, but the above isn't tracking with me.
I don't see how a loosely fitted piece of aluminum foil can possibly compare to a 1+ inch thick piece of StarSan infused foam to keep those microbes at bay. Maybe it's just old habits of mine?

Microbes don't fly. They cannot navigate up under the foil and over the rim of the flask. Unless you have a fan blowing up under the foil the microbes will not get into the flask.

The last time I was going to use my foam stopper, I rinsed it in Starsan and was just about to put it in the neck of the flask when I noticed that the foam itself was disintegrating. A 1/4 inch layer on one side was crumbling. I used foil instead and haven't used a stopper since. That was about 4 1/2 years ago.

I have foil on hand for cooking so it is always available. I must save as much as $2.75 a year not buying stoppers.:p
 

chris000

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another vote for the good old aluminum foil!
and I don't even bother with the sanitizer: just put the foil over when I boil the starter or bake the empty flask with the foil in the oven.
 
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