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How to Clean & Maintain Your Grow Room and RDWC System

How to Clean & Maintain Your Grow Room and RDWC System

How to Clean & Maintain Your Grow Room and RDWC System Between Grows

When growing hydroponically it is important to keep your system clean and sterile. A dirty or contaminated system can lead to problems such as root rot, algae, pests, diseases, nutrient lockout, and reduced yields. Therefore, it is essential to clean your grow room and RDWC system thoroughly between each grow cycle. In this blog post, we share some tips and steps on how to do that.

What You Will Need

To clean & maintain your grow room and RDWC system, you will need the following items:

  • A shop vac or wet/dry vacuum
  • A bucket
  • A scrub brush or sponge
  • A pH meter and a TDS meter
  • A water filter or RO system
  • Clean water
  • Gloves and eye protection
  • A sterilizing solution, such as bleach, hydrogen peroxide or Physan 20

When using chemicals, always make sure the area is well ventilated. Never mix cleaning solutions, doing so may cause violent chemical reactions, including potential explosions. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions. You can use any of the following solutions, depending on your preference and availability:

    • Bleach: Use Clorox bleach diluted as per the manufacturers label with cool clean water. Bleach is cheap and effective, but it can leave behind some salt residues and chlorine smell. You will need to wipe down / rinse with clean water thoroughly after using bleach. Do not use warm water as this will reduce the effectiveness of the bleach.
    • Hydrogen peroxide: Use 3% hydrogen peroxide and 97% water. Hydrogen peroxide is a natural oxidizer that can break down organic matter and oxygenate the water.
    • Physan 20: Use 1 teaspoon of Physan 20 per gallon of water. Physan 20 is a broad-spectrum algaecide, fungicide, bactericide, and virucide that can sterilize your system without harming your plants.

How to Clean & Maintain Your Grow Room

Before you start cleaning your RDWC system, you should first clean your grow room. This will prevent any dirt or debris from getting into your system and reduce the risk of contamination. Here are the steps to clean your grow room:

  1. Remove all the plants, pots, trays, and other items from your grow room. Dispose of any dead or diseased plant material and wash any reusable items with soap and water.
  2. Sweep or vacuum the floor, walls, and ceiling of your grow room to remove any dust, cobwebs, or loose particles.
  3. Wipe down all the surfaces, including the lights, fans, ducts, filters, and controllers, with a damp cloth and a sterilizing solution. Follow the instructions on the label of the solution and wear gloves and eye protection when handling it.
  4. Rinse all the surfaces with clean water and let them dry completely.
  5. Replace any damaged or worn-out parts, such as bulbs, filters, or cords.
  6. Check the temperature and humidity levels in your grow room and adjust them if needed.

How to Clean Your RDWC System

After you have cleaned your grow room, you can move on to cleaning your RDWC system. This will ensure that your system is free of any residues, salts, pathogens, or organic matter that could affect your next grow. Here are the steps to clean your RDWC system:

  1. Drain all the water and nutrient solution from your system. Use a shop vac or a wet/dry vacuum to suck out any remaining liquid from the buckets, pipes, and pumps.
  2. Pull out the root mass and discard it. If you want to reuse the net pots and the hydroton, you can soak them in a bucket of water and sterilizing solution for a few hours and then rinse them well.
  3. Fill the system with sterilizing solution to the top of the buckets. Run the system for at least 4 to 6 hours to circulate the solution and kill any germs or algae.
  4. Drain the system and refill it with clean water. Run the system for another hour to rinse out any remaining solution.
  5. Wipe down the air hose, net pots, and lids with a sterilizing solution. Rinse them with clean water and let them dry.
  6. Replace the air stones and the air pump if they are clogged or damaged. Air stones and air pumps are essential for providing oxygen to the roots and preventing anaerobic conditions. You should replace them every few months or whenever they show signs of wear and tear. If the air pump has an intake filter, clean or replace it. Replacement air stones and air pumps are available here:
  7. Reassemble your system and fill it with fresh water and nutrient solution. Adjust the pH and the EC of the solution according to your plants’ needs. You are now ready to start a new grow cycle with a clean and sterile RDWC system.

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