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Old 09/12/2018, 07:33 AM   #1
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Filter Socks & Bleach

Now I know there are a lot of different methods when using bleach to "clean" filter socks, however my question has more to do with the actual chemical process.

The scope of using bleach, as I understand it is to "renew" the socks to a "clean" and almost "new" condition.

When I clean the socks in bleach, using a washing machine or by hand, they do in fact come out looking "clean" and almost "new".

My question is, does the bleach actually break down and dissolve the organics
or does it just "bleach" the organics so they appear white, but are still in the fibers of the socks.

If the latter, is there an alternative to bleach that is readily available and at a cost similar to bleach?


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Old 09/12/2018, 08:30 AM   #2
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I am new to the hobby so I havr very little experience. But after using bleach I felt I could still smell the bleach after mutiple rinse only cycles. So my new approach is to soak in vinegar and tap water. Rinse with power spray on water hose then soak in tap water again that is conditioned with seachem prime for a couple of hours then let air dry. I changed after losing a gisj on qt. Not sure but suspected it was the bleach. Socks looked pretty clean.

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Old 09/12/2018, 08:43 AM   #3
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Multiple systems, so I machine wash ~40 socks a month...1st time hot wash with bleach, 2x rinse, then hot wash again no bleach, 2x rinse, then air dry for at least 24hrs...doing this for at least 15 yrs, never a problem


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Old 09/12/2018, 08:49 AM   #4
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Iirc I read that the bleach does breakdown the organics, I'll see if I can find the post. After rinsing the sock with the hose I have a bucket with a little bleach added to the water and throw the used socks in there, once I'm down to the last sock I run them through the rinse cycle in the washing machine twice, let them dry for a couple of days and they're good to go.


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Old 09/12/2018, 08:52 AM   #5
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To answer my own question, after a lot of digging, I found this.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...1943735&page=3
Go to post #1.

Great info for others who might use the bleach method.

Guess I'm done using bleach!

Going to try hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle, spray both inside/outside
on socks that are DRY, let sit a day, then toss in the washer, NO BLEACH.

I'll use the "seat of the pants" method to determine if this works better. By that, I mean do they look clean, and do the last longer before I change them out.


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Old 09/12/2018, 02:24 PM   #6
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That sounds like a reasonable idea. Please let us know how it works!


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Old 09/12/2018, 03:58 PM   #7
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http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=1943735

I have posted that link many times but dont mind posting again if it helps people. It is also why I use strictly peroxide and soak 24hrs prior to washing. To me function is better then how it looks.

EDIT: Oops shame on me for not following the directions. I used the link but didnt go to page one like suggested. My mistake.


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Old 09/12/2018, 07:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by top shelf View Post
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=1943735

I have posted that link many times but dont mind posting again if it helps people. It is also why I use strictly peroxide and soak 24hrs prior to washing. To me function is better then how it looks.

EDIT: Oops shame on me for not following the directions. I used the link but didnt go to page one like suggested. My mistake.
Look two posts down, Page 1 link!


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Old 09/13/2018, 05:05 PM   #9
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I use Sodium Percarbonate to clean my socks. I like a powder better than liquid hydrogen peroxide.


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Old 09/22/2018, 07:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mako61 View Post
I use Sodium Percarbonate to clean my socks. I like a powder better than liquid hydrogen peroxide.
I use Sodium Percarbonate as well. It is available very cheaply from beer and wine making stores. It is quite safe as it is a simple matrix of Sodium Carbonate (washing soda) and Hydrogen Peroxide; both of which people add to their tanks.


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Old 09/22/2018, 07:38 PM   #11
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I just use hot water in the washing machine. they come out pretty clean and I don't have to wash them four more times to get the bleach out.


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Old 09/26/2018, 06:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Member No. 1 View Post
To answer my own question, after a lot of digging, I found this.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...1943735&page=3
Go to post #1.

Great info for others who might use the bleach method.

Guess I'm done using bleach!

Going to try hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle, spray both inside/outside
on socks that are DRY, let sit a day, then toss in the washer, NO BLEACH.

I'll use the "seat of the pants" method to determine if this works better. By that, I mean do they look clean, and do the last longer before I change them out.

I canít say I agree with him in that post. Bleach is a very powerful oxidizer. It oxidizes the organics and the water/rinsing flushes them out. Bleach has been used for decades in the aquarium industry to clean equipment both by hobbyists and public aquariums. Itís been proven safe as a cleaner regardless of any smell one may notice in the socks after cleaning. Also, bleach has a very short half life in salt water as well as when it comes in contact with the air. When you dry the socks out they are perfectly safe and Iíd argue that it would take MUCH more peroxide to effectively clean the socks than it would bleach and if you can see the socks are stained, then they arenít as clean as they could be.


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Old 09/27/2018, 12:40 PM   #13
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slief,
I've been washing socks in bleach for years, and completely understand how reef safe it is.
The reason for my OP was to find out if in fact, does bleach breakdown/dissolve the organics enough to allow them to be washed away. Or does it just "Bleach" them along with the fibers the socks are made of to give the appearance of being clean.
My fact finding was to see if this does happen, and if not, is there a alternative to bleach that will breakdown/dissolve the organics that is both reef safe and price comparable.
I change filter socks very often. Brand new socks last 4-5 days before they get to the point of overflowing into the sump area. Recleaned socks I only get 2-3 days. I'm looking for a way to restore the socks to an "As New" condition and regain some of the performance and increase the replacement interval.

My next cleaning cycle will be with hydrogen peroxide, and I will evaluate to see if the cleaning intervals increase, decrease or remain the same.

If hydrogen peroxide does breakdown/dissolve the organic matter better than bleach, but the socks look "dirty" but I get my performance back, I'll live with the trade off.


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Old 10/03/2018, 07:44 PM   #14
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Interesting back and forth responses.
Good discussion.


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Old 10/04/2018, 04:01 PM   #15
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Back when I ran socks I read the mentioned thread and tried peroxide for a while.



I found it no better performance wise(time between having to change) then if they were washed in bleach. The only difference was the bleach made them "look" cleaner.



I simply had a bucket full of bleach water, when it was full of socks I dumped all in the washing machine. Regular cycle, and air dry. Once they air dried the bleach smell dissipated. Never had an issue in the 3 years I ran them that way.


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Old 10/04/2018, 09:35 PM   #16
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I spray all of my socks clean with a hose. Next, I soak them in a bucket of bleach. Then i dechlorinate them using sodium thiosulfate crystals. Then i throw them in the washing machine on a rinse and spin cycle with a little more thio. After this process, I pull them out all, fold them and stack them up for future use.


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