A common€” if not the most common cause of system algae, slime, bacterial growth and stunted root growth in a clone machine is improper cleaning practices or lacking habits altogether. We cannot overemphasize the importance of cleaning to keep your system bacteria and pathogen free, which ultimately promotes healthy baby plant propagation.

We’€™ve decided to spotlight some of the more frequently overlooked€” or skipped steps in the EZ-CLONE cleaning process, which should be performed following each cycle. From the red misters, manifold, to the drain plug, below are some tips and tricks on best ways to successfully scrub those pieces.

Misters. These tiny devices need to be removed from the manifold during each cleaning and placed in a separate cup of bleach-water solution. Due to their intricate nature, “gunk” and root material gets trapped in their tiny grooves, between them and the manifold. If not properly cleaned, this material will infect the water and the stems. After 20 minutes sitting in the bleach-water solution, remove the misters, rinse with fresh water and use compressed air or a toothbrush to clear the misters of any residual buildup.

Manifold. This is one of the more common spots for bacteria and disease to flourish. It can become susceptible to SMS or “sick manifold syndrome” and become a haven for “gunk” to thrive. After each cycle, place the water pump and manifold (without the misters) back in the reservoir and fill to the top with a bleach-water solution (1/2 cup bleach for the 16 unit, 1 cups for the 32 unit and 2 cups for the 64 and 4 cups 128 unit), then plug the water pump in and let run for 20 minutes, fully submerged on its side. Rinse thoroughly afterward.

Cloning Collars. While using new cloning collars for each cycle is a guaranteed way to avoid system contamination, it’s not always realistic. So if reusing, place and submerge them in a bucket of bleach-water solution for 20 minutes, then flush with fresh water until there is no bleach odor. Individually scrub and squeeze each like a sponge to ensure no plant matter or tissue is stuck in the material. Allow them to air dry, but do NOT place in the sunlight.

Drain Plug. Disassemble the drain plug and wipe off the two rubber washers and adapter with a cleaning pad and bleach-water solution; reassemble when finished.

It’s fairly simple to maintain the EZ-CLONE System, and it’s best to always have bleach on hand for cleaning at the end of each cycle. Many prefer to take the system to the bath tub or shower; we agree that’s a fun trip to the bathroom. Good luck and happy cloning!

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