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Vinegar Wash your Ionizer

How To VinegarWash Your Water Ionizer Properly

What Water Quality Has to do with Water Ionizer Care

Air Water life Aqua ionizer 9.0

Water ionizer’s maintain themselves by doing acid washes periodically.

However some water ionizers have better self-care methods than others. Continuous-cleaning water ionizers have such fantastic self-care of the water cell they tend to get more efficient water ionization with time.

As explained, below, depending on where you live, you will have to do more in the method of taking care of your water ionizer.


hard water

When you have a water ionizer which has self-cleaning [acid washes] feature every so many liters instead of continuously, there could be some calcium which collects onto the plates with time. Even the smallest film of calcium on the plates will decrease the efficiency of ionization.

Therefore in case you reside in a hard-water area [over 120 PPM of hardness] we recommend that you do your "reverse-polarity" once or twice every day.

You can do this by pushing the acid button and allowing the acid water come from the top spot for about a minute. Incidentally, you may use the acid for several things and it is also possible to use the alkaline water which comes out the bottom hose in the process for cooking or drinking.

Vinegar Wash

Washing water ionizer

If either your pH-levels begin to fall [which is more likely with water ionizers which don't have continuous-cleaning systems] or your water-flow begins to slow down [which could happen at any water ionizer, no matter its automated cleaning system].

It is important to do a citric acid wash or vinegar wash water ionizer

Even if your water ionizer has slowed down to a trickle, then the vinegar or citric acid scrub will work to clean out the scale. You may need to repeat the process 2-3 times on different days if you have let it get so bad that one over-night cleaning does not do the job.

Things to know Before Performing Citric Acid Wash or Vinegar Wash Your Water Ionizer

Things to know

Please note: The chart, below, tells you what type of wash is approved by every water ionizer manufacturer. 

It's important that you know this, as you don't need to do anything to void your manufacturer's warranty.

A reason why some water ionizer businesses don't sanction the use of vinegar in their washes has something to do with the substance used for padding between the plates in their own water ionizer's water-cell.

If the padding isn't made of a sturdy enough material, then it may perhaps be spoiled by vinegar. It may also have to do with the producer desiring their clients to purchase their citric-acid-wash goods, but we are just speculating on this one.

Types Of Water Ionizers

Acid To Use For Wash

Jupiter Water Ionizers

Either Citric Acid or Vinegar

Nexus Water Ionizers

Either Citric Acid or Vinegar

Chanson Water Ionizers

Citric Acid

Enagic Water Ionizers

Citric Acid

KYK Water Ionizers

Citric Acid

Vesta Water Ionizers

Either Citric Acid or Vinegar

Tyent Water Ionizers

Citric Acid

The Way to Do a Vinegar or Citric Acid Wash

Vinegar Wash your Ionizer

There's a somewhat easy method of cleaning your water ionizer of its scale build-up. 

You might have done a high school experiment where a hard boiled egg is dipped in vinegar overnight. The next day, the egg becomes bouncy like a rubber ball. What will happen is that the calcium, which makes the egg shell hard, will eat away by the vinegar. In the same way, vinegar [soaked overnight] will react with the calcium, which is clogging up your water ionizer, and will loosen it up and let you then flush it away.

The most effective way to clean the unit in order to not damage the electrodes is to recirculate white vinegar throughout the unit with a small fish tank pump or little water-garden pump ($15 -- $40).

  • 1
    Unplug the Water Ionizer in the electric outlet. Remove as much water from the Water Ionizer by blowing through the tubes. Also remove the filter and shake as much water out of it as you can replace it. The filter needs to be securely placed in the Water Ionizer for cleansing the ionizer in this method.
  • 2
    Prepare a container of white vinegar for the pump. Attach the inlet hose from the Water Ionizer to the pump. Based on the pump you buy, this may require some minor modifications so the hose will fit in the pump properly. Submerge the pump into the white vinegar.
  • 3
    Plug the little fish tank pump or little water-garden pump into the electrical outlet. (A GFI security plug should be used for this so as to protect against electrocution).
  • 4
    Place both the silver tubing and acid water tubing from the Water Ionizer to the white vinegar jar so the whole system is recirculating.
  • 5
    Initially, there may be very little flow through the silver tube. However, provided that the smallest amount of vinegar is flowing through the silver tubing, the vinegar will gradually dissolve the calcium that's blocking the water from flowing out the tube.
  • 6
    Wash the Water Ionizer for 2-12 hours depending on how much calcium and other minerals are deposited on the electrodes.
  • 7
    Reconnect the Water Ionizer to your water supply and flush the device with water for 10-20 minutes to wash out the vinegar out of the device.
  • 8
    Begin Working with the Water Ionizer again.

Calcium buildup on the electrodes causes the pH of the ionized water to fall because the source water isn't coming in contact with the electrodes. Once your Water Ionizer is cleaned using this method, the pH of the potable water will probably be greater since the water is now coming in direct contact with the cleaned electrodes.

Hint: You can also remove the silver tubing from the unit and submerge it completely in the white vinegar overnight to get rid of most of the calcium build up.

The reason for the calcium build up on the alkaline side of the Water Ionizer is because the high pH of the water causes the minerals from the water to precipitate from the water and become displaced.

The Water Ionizer must be unplugged from its power supply while cleaning the device in this way.

Ed Carmichael

About the Author Ed Carmichael

Ed is a water specialist in Tampa, FL. He built to help his friends and family learn about DIY solutions to common water quality issues in the home.

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