Switching out your EZ-CLONE System’s cloning collars following each cycle is a fail-safe policy against infecting it with bacteria. With that in mind, we understand thatâs not always realistic and many users reuse the collars at the start of new cycles. Making sure that collars become part of your EZ-CLONE cleaning process is the next best solution for maximizing the potential of your aeroponic system.
And as with all parts of the EZ-CLONE System, cleanliness is the best defense against bacterial and pathogen growth. If not killed and left to flourish, bacteria can destroy oneâs baby clones, causing much grief and heartache. Especially with the collars, the porous material can become traps for leftover roots, creating opportunity for recolonization. This can be avoided.
So weâve compiled a few handy tips on how to clean the neoprene collars without warping or damaging the material. Use these as a guide, as the best insurance policy is to start with fresh ones each time:
- Remove the cloning collars from the lid and place in a bucket of bleach-water solution (1/2 to 1 cup of bleach per 5 gallons of water). Fully submerge them for 20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with fresh water.
- While rinsing the collars, be sure to devote individual attention to each, scrubbing them with your fingers and squeezing and releasing them like a sponge. This is the only way to ensure there is no plant matter or tissue left in the material. Once rinsed, there should be no residual bleach smell; leave them to air dry.
- Some users wash their neoprene inserts in the washer, which works too. Using hot or cold water (itâs not the temperature that makes the difference, but the cleaning solution), and a mild bleach solution, throw them in for a cycle. But donât use detergent and donât put into the dryer afterward; let them air dry.
While reusing the collars is possible when cleaned properly, we still recommend only doing so for so long. Itâs best to replace the cloning collars after three cycles, because as you clean, depending on the makeup of the bleach-water solution and personal cleaning practices, the material will erode.
It’s also best to treat the collars with the utmost of care â be gentle when cleaning. As our Research and Development Manager Scott Thompson-Montague puts it, The best way to get longevity out of your cloning collars is to be gentle and use care.