The best-maintained bubble tubes are the ones that are cleaned regularly. Even if it doesn’t look like your bubble tube water is dirty, bacteria can form in the crevices of your machine, eventually forming bubbles and putting pressure on the pump.
To speed up your cleaning process, we’ve devised a guide for how to clean a bubble tube, including how to empty a bubble tube, cleaning the bubble tube water, and some general bubble tube maintenance tips.
The first and most important step in how to clean a bubble tube is turn the unit off and unplug it. This will keep you safe as you clean.
A reliable surface decreases the risk of spillages. Wrap a towel or other absorbent material around the base of the column to catch any spillages – if any water spills during the cleaning process, it could potentially damage the electronics.
Siphoning is a cheap and easy method of emptying your bubble tube. Minimal equipment is required; all you’ll need is tubing, your bubble tube, and a large bucket.
To begin, fill approximately 15 feet of tubing with water and plug both ends. Next, put one end into the bubble tube and the other into an empty bucket below the level of the bubble tube. Finally, unplug both ends, and the water should begin siphoning out.
If you prefer to take the easier route, our bubble tube emptying kit is ideal for changing your bubble tube water, with a hose that’s six metres long and a foot pump.
Important: DO NOT USE YOUR MOUTH TO SIPHON. Not only can there be algae or bacteria in the bubble tube water, but there are very harmful chemicals in BCB fluid that could make you seriously ill.
Use a soft brush or damp cloth to carefully wipe down the inside of the bubble tube. If any stubborn marks have built up on the tube, you can use a cleaning agent but it must be non-abrasive to avoid scratching or damaging the acrylic.
If you have any inserts, such as our bubble tube fish, you might also like to give them a quick wash at this point.
Refill your bubble tube with water and add a splash of biocide to help keep the bubble tube clean until next time!
We suggest the water is changed around every four to eight weeks – if your bubble tube is in a school, you might prefer to do it at the end of term.
This is just a guideline – your bubble tube water might need replacing more or less often, depending on the tube’s exposure to sunlight, its size, and the addition of anti-bacterial fluid (BCB).
Regularly replacing the water in your bubble tube is paramount to ensuring that the liquid stays as hygienic as possible. In addition, using B2B fluid and regularly replacing bubble tube water helps stop the growth of harmful bacteria.
The easiest way to empty a bubble tube is by using a bubble tube emptying kit. The kit consists of two pieces: a hose and a pump. To begin, you attach the hose to either side of the pump. Next, put one end of the hose into the bubble tube and the other end into a sink or drain. Then, simply start pumping – it couldn’t be easier!
You can slow down the build-up of bacteria in a bubble tube by adding a biocide product to the water every month. We suggest using a product called BCB fluid. It’s a specially designed formula that is gentle on the acrylic tube and doesn’t scratch or cloud it. A little goes a long way; only 20ml of fluid is needed at any one time, meaning a bottle will last almost an entire year! We do not recommend using sterilising tablets, as this could damage the inside of the tube over time.