The accumulation of debris on distillation equipment can drastically impact a processor’s ability to receive clean, high-quality products. Cleaning the various components of distillation equipment is essential in removing polymerized contaminants and other baked-on residues that can block the flow of clean materials. Given the substantial investment processors make in acquiring their equipment, improper care and handling leave these components at risk for increased damage.
Let’s discuss how to clean your cannabis distillation equipment properly to keep your product clean and your investment intact.
Separating and cleaning the components for cannabis concentrates is generally a high-maintenance duty. The distillation process requires crude oil to help boil out the desired compounds and leaves behind the undesired residues.
A viable option for some processors is having a stock of components on hand to keep production going while the other parts undergo a deep clean. Manually removing each piece is a time-consuming and tedious process, but it ensures the thorough removal of residue. Because of the time-consumption factor, a secondary set of parts is beneficial. Additionally, parts go through routine cleaning and handling, so they tend to break faster and need replacements.
In an effort to create an environmentally friendly operation from seed to sale, using an ultrasonic cleaning system is an alternative solution that contributes to efficiency. Ultrasonic cleaning systems use biodegradable solutions without the need or use of abrasives and toxic solvents.
An ultrasonic cleaning system uses transducers connected to the sides or the bottom of a tank containing the cleaning solutions. Generators activate the vibratory frequencies in the tank’s bottom and send pulsating waves through the solutions in thousands of cycles per second, also known as kilohertz.
These pulsating waves create millions of vacuum bubbles that release a stream of liquid. The force of the liquid, also known as cavitation, helps lift and remove the targeted contaminants from the component. This process is strong enough to cleanse engine parts but mild and sufficient enough to cleanse surgical instruments or electronics, making it the perfect system for short path distillation equipment.
Criterion for Ultrasonic Cleaners
Because the components go through an enclosed cleaning process within tanks, you should measure each piece to ensure they fit comfortably within the space. It’s best to keep in mind that there is a basket inside the tank with slightly deviated dimensions. Once you know the dimensions of your part, you can select a tank that will fully immerse them in the solution.
One of the most significant benefits of ultrasonic technology is the cavitation process. Cavitation will blast off the contaminants inside a multi-neck flask because the frequencies can travel through the materials and employ the cleaning solution inside.
Key Components To Look For in an Ultrasonic Cleaner
While there are various options on the market, you should always consider what components suit your distillation equipment and which features are most beneficial to your operation.
The frequencies will ultimately determine the vacuum bubble’s size in the cleaning process. A low frequency will produce large bubbles, which will create more substantial energy. Stubborn or hard-to-handle deposits are easiest to remove using a low frequency.
A frequency around 80 kHz and above can penetrate the narrowness of tubing or necks. These are most suitable for surfaces complex in nature that require gentler handling. In contrast, a high frequency will create small cavitation.
Short path distillation equipment can produce various cleaning challenges, and because of this, a multi-frequency cleaner is cost-effective for long-term solutions.
Other Useful Features
There are various other features to look for when choosing an ultrasonic cleaner.
- A sweep feature allows for small but automated variations to the frequency. It provides a uniform cavitation process.
- Pulsing features provide boosts in ultrasonic frequencies to help the removal of particularly stubborn contaminants.
- Timers allow processors to “set and forget,” enabling them to complete other projects.
- A heater can bring the solutions to the desired temperature suggested by the manufacturer. The ultrasonic energy alone will provide heat, but a heater will do this much more efficiently.
- Variable powers enable the processor to designate the cleaning mode based on what needs cleaning and the residue level on a component.
- Degas techniques will increase the speed of the removal process. A processor can accomplish this without placing the equipment in a cleaning mode, and it can move faster when utilizing a larger cleaning tank.
Cleaning Solutions for Short Path Distillation Equipment
Harsh solvents and extensive scrubbing are not practical for your distillation investments. The most optimal solution is an eco-friendly, biodegradable cleaning concentrate that you can dilute with water. Two cleaning solutions for short path distillation equipment are:
- CLN-SC75 contains a 3.5 pH and performs well as is or diluted with 50 percent water.
- A solution with a pH of less than one, with a dilution of 1-5 percent water, and the cleaning cycle lasts two to five minutes, dependent on the contamination levels.
To maintain an ethically sound operation, you should follow your local health department’s waste regulations when disposing of a cleaning solution.
Cleaning Interior Flask Surfaces
Cleaning a flask is primarily about its interior surface, considering most contaminants will not reach the exterior. The cavitation process will safely and securely remove the deposits through various frequency modes. Below is a suggested method for cleaning a flask’s internal surfaces:
- Add a wetting solution such as dish detergent and water to the ultrasonic tank’s fill line.
- Fill the flask with enough cleaning solution to completely cover the residue.
- Set the flask’s base in the water—you do not need to immerse the flask fully.
- Activate the frequencies to allow the cavitation to run through the flask’s walls and release the contaminants from the surface.
Knowing how to clean your cannabis distillation equipment can make or break a processor’s operation. Without effective solutions, you can slow your production, contaminate the consumables, or damage your investments. It’s essential to research the best methods for your equipment and partner with your vendor to ensure accuracy.
Partnering with trustworthy wiped film evaporator manufacturers can guarantee that your equipment meets all regulations and solutions are safe, effective, and reliable. Contact Beaker & Wrench today to discuss options for your distillation equipment and the best methods for success!