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momoceio

Radiator Cleaning

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There was a thread over on XS and the guy was asking how to properly clean a radiator. I responded to fill it with white vinegar, let it sit over night, rinse with distilled and repeat (if necessary). Everyone else that responded said that vinegar was pointless and to only use hot distilled water and that if you needed more cleaning power to use automotive radiator flush. Supposedly "newer radiators don't need to be cleaned with vinegar" and the vinegar is bad. Is vinegar not the way to clean a radiator/wc components anymore?

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Be very careful cleaning with vinegar. Vinegar is actually glacial acetic acid and will "attack" the copper inside the radiator. Read the stickied thread regarding this topic at XS. It has been amended to read "do not let the vinegar sit inside the radiator longer than one hour." There is a very nice picture of the blue colored vinegar, after sitting inside the rad for one hour. The blue color is dissolved copper.

 

Somewhere inside that thread, there's a reference that Thermochill & Swiftech now use a water soluble flux. If it was my rad, I would just rinse it with distilled water first. It's entirely up to you. Just keep in mind that vinegar will attack and dissolve copper. Not rinsing the vinegar well could lend itself to corrosion.

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From what I've read/heard (in particular from Alex @ Tetra's Tech) Vinegar was believed to kill bacteria, but actually doesn't really do much at all; the best is to fill them with very hot water, shake i t around a bit then flush them out.

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