99% Isopropyl Alcohol -- Cleaning New Tank

AlaskaMatt

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Hello Everyone,

I'm in the process of building out a 20-gallon long after a 10+ year absence from the hobby. I spray-painted the back of the tank black and I accidentally got some significant overspray on the inside of the tank -- I neglected to tape off the inside of the tank. I want to clean the spray paint off and I've been using 99% Iso on the outside of the tank with great success and I just wanted to make sure it was safe to use on the inside of the tank, I won't be filling it with water for probably another 2 weeks once I finish building out the stand and connecting all the plumbing.

Thanks in advance!
 
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Jay Hemdal

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Is this a glass tank with silicone sealant? High percent isopropyl like that may soften the sealant, I would be careful. It won’t hurt the glass though and leaves no residue when it evaporates.
Jay
 

vetteguy53081

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Hello Everyone,

I'm in the process of building out a 20-gallon long after a 10+ year absence from the hobby. I spray-painted the back of the tank black and I accidentally got some significant overspray on the inside of the tank -- I neglected to tape off the inside of the tank. I want to clean the spray paint off and I've been using 99% Iso on the outside of the tank with great success and I just wanted to make sure it was safe to use on the inside of the tank, I won't be filling it with water for probably another 2 weeks once I finish building out the stand and connecting all the plumbing.

Thanks in advance!
Agree- a big No-No. Can act as a solvent. Only when cleaning glass to reseal a leak would I use it. Vinegar water mix works well and is safe
 
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A

AlaskaMatt

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Thank you for your responses everyone — I’ll certainly avoid using the alcohol on the inside. I already used on the outside earlier today and yesterday, I’m hoping there won’t be any issues. I bought some distilled vinegar and I’ll dilute it as the bottle suggests and use a razor blade. I’ll post back here once I’m done in a day or two and let y’all know about my progress.
 

Jay Hemdal

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Yes it is a glass tank. I take it distilled vinegar would be somewhat effective with some elbow grease and not cause the same issues with damaging the sealant?

I've cleaned paint splatter off glass with a single edge razor blade at a 15 degree angle - but I've also scratched glass doing that. How about a dampened melamine pad, "magic erasers"? I've gotten material off with those that I thought would never budge, and they are safe for glass (I even use them on acrylic).

Jay
 
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AlaskaMatt

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Just wanted to report back and say I ended up cleaning the tank glass with diluted distilled vinegar (50%) and a razor blade. Let it soak for about 10 seconds or so and went to town and took it right off. Thanks again for the help everyone!
 
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Jay Hemdal

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I thought silicone was inert? Why would wiping with iso alcohol damage the silicone provided you didn't fill the tank with alcohol and let it sit for an extended time?

Hi-test isopropyl acts as a solvent for silicone sealant. Trouble is, it isn't clear if it has any effect on long-cured silicone, or just fresh material. Best to avoid its use inside a tank.

Jay
 

DeputyDog95

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Hi-test isopropyl acts as a solvent for silicone sealant. Trouble is, it isn't clear if it has any effect on long-cured silicone, or just fresh material. Best to avoid its use inside a tank.

Jay

Interesting. I thought once Silicone was cured, no issues as an inert material. I had a new Waterbox tank arrive recently and it was pretty dirty inside from the factory and transport. My maintenance guy did a wipe down on the inside and out with iso alcohol on a paper towel to clean it up. Gave me a little pause as well... When I called Waterbox to ask if that was ok, support told me that's actually what they recommend to do if the tank is a little dirty upon arrival.

I know that prior to being cured, Silicone definitely doesn't play well with iso alcohol and you have to make sure it's fully evaporated before applying silicone to any areas cleaned with iso alcohol.

I did a little research and here's an online tool that allows you to select a rubber and a chemical, and it lets you know if it's ok to use or not. I'm far from a chemist, but this seems to be an ok practice for cured silicone.

https://www.customadvanced.com/chemical-resistance-chart.html?chemical=Isopropyl+Alcohol&rubber=SI
 

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