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-   -   Does Hydroton ever become fully clean? A.K.A. No More Red Dust! (http://www.orchidboard.com/community/semi-hydroponic-culture/99578-hydroton-clean-red-dust.html)

emmajs243 01-08-2019 10:56 PM

Does Hydroton ever become fully clean? A.K.A. No More Red Dust!
Ok guys, I have read all the posts just about on HOW to clean Leca beads, specifically hydroton, read Rays website on cleaning and prepping media....FYI not talking sanitizing used LECA for reuse JUST prepping new LECA.

I have soaked it for a few days with Epsom salts, hand agitated it more times then I can count, boiled it, and I swear, the stuff still had red dust to put out! I have seen some on YouTube saying a good boil really gets all the red dust out so it doesn't smudge the inside of the containers but so far, I don't see it.

Has anyone else had success with boiling and the majority of the red dust actually being gone? If so any tips? I am wondering if maybe I am boiling too much at once so it isn't get as equally agitated and maybe there isn't enough water so the dirt to water ratio is primarily just boiling in dirt? I don't know it's just the only thing I can think of.


estación seca 01-08-2019 11:27 PM

Rinse it once, soak it once, and use it. Look the other way. Like a relationship.

emmajs243 01-09-2019 12:22 AM

Thanks ES! So many people make such a blasted huge deal on how to prep the LECA.... 🙄...At this rate I'll be finished cleaning it all around New Years of 2020! Ok maybe only like Easter/Mother's Day BUT you get the point!

I just didn't know if getting it "perfectly" clean is really necessary or not or if it makes a difference or not....Around rinse number 10 I started thinking, "This is ridiculous...I mean, at the end of the day, we are growing plants that do grow OUTSIDE! Right?! Nobody goes and scours the darn bark on a tree for hours before saying, "Ok Cattleya, this tree has been scrubbed with a toothbrush for the past three days, you are now free to grow on it as you please!""

And that's about the time I figured I would post on here and see what popped up! So I absolutely LOVE your answer. I just needed someoe else more experienced to confirm I wasnt just being lazy about it!

Ray 01-09-2019 08:06 AM

When in a rush, I have been known to dump dry LECA from the bag into the pot, and then flood it like hell.

Neither mineral additives nor boiling has the slightest impact on dust removal (except maybe the agitation of a large volume boiling water).

The only additive that would accelerate cleaning would be a soap or detergent, and I would never consider doing that.

Rinsing is rinsing. Soaking is intended to remove manufacturing residues and to fully saturate the medium. I don't know what boiling new LECA is supposed to accomplish.

emmajs243 01-09-2019 07:18 PM

THANK you Ray!!! That's what I was thinking. Like maybe the agitation and the fact that the water is so hot will help loosen crap up but really, hot water in the sink and your hands do a FAR better job.

I will say though. Last night I was so sick of agitating leca beads by hand and it taking SO long to see any improvement I finally went and got a big Tupperware container, hot water, leca beads, lid, shake like crazy, repeat if your OCD. But I More just judge it by once there isn't any more larger particles and dark dirt colored residue on the inside of the Tupperware when dumping the water/LECA out, its great and if the water still comes up red, that's ok. For the most part, doing that got more crud out then ANY other method by far and a lot quicker!

---------- Post added at 05:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:11 PM ----------

Oh and Ray! I was more just throwing out how I have prepped it so far! Of course minerals aren't for cleaning! They are added because firstrays recommends it and I find it to make sense in my mind! Now, If only I could find the calcium nitrate mentioned on your site!

Ray 01-10-2019 08:37 AM

Amazon. Where else?

The stuff linked it what I used to resell.

cluelessmidwesterner 01-10-2019 01:10 PM


Originally Posted by estación seca (Post 889523)
Rinse it once, soak it once, and use it. Look the other way. Like a relationship.

Sounds like the advice MDH gave our future son-in-law. "Just smile and say Yes Dear a lot." :rofl:

emmajs243 01-10-2019 06:39 PM

Hahahahaha! Thanks Ray! So matter of fact! I didn't even think about Amazon but obviously I should of!

IngieBee 06-08-2019 03:09 AM

Just my 2 cents, which might not be worth much... I take a strainer, dump a bit in, jet water from my hose through it until it runs clean, dump it in my bucket, then rince repeat, literally 😝 works quickly and pretty well.

emmajs243 06-08-2019 11:44 AM

Thank you IngieBee!!!!! That's about what I was doing...I've come to learn, since this post, totally just the type of hydroton! I was talking with a friend recently about the different types he has tried and he too was having the same issue with the type of hydroton I had but then we both have settled on liking the same brand best and it isn't NEARLY as hard to clean! Good old hydro-crunch! Thanks to a member on here actually who turned me on to it!

---------- Post added at 09:44 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:42 AM ----------

BUT! I've been trying to do it over my sink...now that weather has warmed up finally....maybe I need to go give the hose a go!!! Far more water pressure!

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