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Hydrogen peroxide is a versatile and effective product for cleaning and sanitizing around the home.
But is it safe to clean your reverse osmosis membrane with it? It sure is!
Let’s take you through the process of how to chemically clean your RO membrane using hydrogen peroxide.
Here is how to clean an RO membrane with hydrogen peroxide:
Hydrogen peroxide, or H2O2, can be utilized to kill bacteria and other pathogens that may accumulate on your RO membrane, though it is usually not a procedure done in the home if the reverse osmosis system is simply being used for drinking water, and the feed water is deemed biologically safe. It will also not break down and remove scaling and contaminant residue from the membrane.
Anyway, the process involves soaking the RO membrane in an H2O2 solution and then forward flushing the membrane to rinse it out. This works much better than bleach, as the carbon filter won’t absorb it, and after it is utilized, it breaks down into plain water (the extra oxygen molecule falls off, and H2O2 becomes H2O).
If you are planning to clean your RO membrane with hydrogen peroxide, you can use a 2-3% solution from your local drugstore and follow these steps:
Then, you will need to flush the membrane, which you can do a couple of ways depending on what you have available. Some systems come with a flush kit, which makes it easier. If your RO system doesn’t have a flush kit, it can usually be purchased as an add-on for your system.
Theoretically, a reverse osmosis membrane could be cleaned in a few other ways, including backwashing and air flushing. In commercial and industrial applications, sometimes, these cleaning methods are combined, for example, cleaning with hydrogen peroxide and then air flushing.
Here is a brief overview:
This is when water pressure is increased from the feed water side, which blasts the accumulated debris and fouling from the membrane. It may not work so well if the membrane is heavily clogged, but it’s effective for a regular maintenance clean.
Also, forward flushing is what we have described above, and it’s the only method really available for home users.
Backwashing or backflushing is the opposite; the water pressure comes from the other side of the RO membrane (the filtered water side) and blasts any dirt off the membrane. While this is more effective than forward flushing, it usually cannot be done in smaller home systems.
Air flushing is the third option, which is also performed from the feed water side, like forward flushing. This uses air bubbles to create turbulence in the water that can shake contaminants off the membrane. It is a great, cost-effective cleaning solution as the wastewater is minimal, but again it is usually used in commercial and industrial settings only.
Wash your hands, and grab your materials!
If you have any questions about RO membrane cleaning with hydrogen peroxide please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!
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