How to Clean Plastic Tubing

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Plastic tubing is used in several products from hydration packs to children's toys. Keeping the tubing clean, especially when you use it in a way that brings it in contact with the mouth, is very important. Because the tubing is usually too narrow to allow you to reach your hand or fingers inside to clean, it can initially present an obstacle to cleaning. However, it is possible to clean your plastic tubing with a little preparation and items that you most likely already own.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring cup
  • Water
  • Mild detergent
  • Bleach
  • Bucket
  • Hose
  • Funnel sized fit in the opening of the tubing
  • Sponge
  • Measure three cups of hot water into the bucket.

  • Add 2 tbsp. of mild detergent to the water.

  • Measure 1/8 cup of bleach and add it to the detergent and water mixture.

  • Position the plastic tubing so that the end will drain either into the sink or onto the ground outside, somewhere that you don't mind spilling the cleaning solution.

  • Place the funnel into one end of the tubing and carefully pour some of the cleaning solution through the tubing, allowing time for the liquid to move through the tube before pouring more.

  • Remove the funnel and rinse it thoroughly with clean, cool water. Set it aside.

  • Wash the outside and ends of the tubing with the sponge saturated with the cleaning solution.

  • Rinse the outside of the tubing by holding it in one hand while using the other to spray it with the hose or holding it under the flow of water in the sink, depending on the size and length of your tubing.

  • Rinse the inside of the tubing by replacing the funnel and pouring a stream of cold, clean water through the tube, either from the hose or directly from the sink faucet. Allow the water to run through for several minutes, until the water emerging from the end of the tube is clear of suds and holds no scent of bleach.

  • Place the tubing out on a flat surface and allow it to air-dry. This may take several hours, depending on the length and width of your tubing.

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References

  • "Cleaning Plain & Simple"; Donna Smallin; 2006
  • " Consumer Reports How to Clean and Care for Practically Anything"; The Editors of Consumer Reports; 2002
  • Photo Credit sponge image by Leonid Nyshko from Fotolia.com
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