We are frequently asked whether Nafion™ tubing dryers can be cleaned. The answer is yes, but the performance can be effected. Perma Pure studies show that Sodium-containing disinfectants, such as bleach, Alconox, and other detergents, can reduce drying performance of the Nafion™ tubing by 50-60%.
How you clean: Use only deionized or distilled water. Tap water can reduce performance.
- Remove any solids or other visible deposits from the outside of the tubing and from the epoxy header.
- Brush or scrub away any solids deposited on sample header.
- Wipe off any dust or liquid residues from the tubing and header with a clean soft cloth.
- Blow clean, dry air through the sample outlet end of the header to remove any entrained particles.
- To dissolve any salt deposits within the tubing, briefly inject DI water into tubing bundle with syringe or plastic squeeze bottle. Do not immerse the headers of the dryer element in water or excessively wet the tubing inside the headers. Nafion™ tubing swells when exposed to water. If the tubing inside the epoxy headers becomes too wet, it may swell sufficiently to crack the rigid epoxy header.
Caution: De-ionized water must be used. Nafion™ polymer is a cationic exchange material, and when exposed to liquid water will exchange the hydrogen from the sulfonic acid with any cations in the water.
- Blow dry, oil-free compressed air through the dryer element tubing to remove any residual water.
- Begin blowing dry air through the dryer element quickly after wetting the element. This will minimize the risk of damage to the dryer due to swelling of the tubing.
- Continue for several minutes. This will reduce any swelling and restore the dryer to normal length.
- If the element appears to be free of all salt deposits and remains relatively clear in color, proceed to Reassembly of the dryer.
Isopropyl alcohol, and other alcohols, should never be considered for use as a chemical disinfectant. Therefore, products containing alcohol should never be used as a method of cleaning Nafion™ tubing.