Easiest, Fastest and Most Effective Way to Clean a Copper CPU/GPU Water Block




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Easiest, fastest and most effective way to clean a copper CPU/GPU water block

What i did ?

I posted some time back a thread related to my custom GPU and CPU water block and i cleaned them and re-installed them in my system. But This time my water flow literary dropped to 1-2% ( To make it easier to understand instead of getting water stream i was getting droplets of water at the loop end ). And this time it happened so fast like within a month. As my CPU water block design is very less restrictive, i just removed my GPU from the loop so i can use my PC on integrated GPU. Before you go further i want to let you know that i am using a Bong for my setup and thus use tap water.

A pic demonstrating the gunk, plasticizer, algae AIO.( This is the worse i ever had )

Now previously i cleaned it just with a dishwasher soap having lemon as the main ingredient. This time i read on WWW and decided to go with acid cleaning.

The results are so good that it would be mean not to share it.

Required things

> Screw Driver set ( to open CPU/GPU water block )

> A toothbrush

> Diluted HCL ( I used toilet bowl cleaner because its active agent was HCL )

> A Bowl

> Rubber or plastic Gloves

What was used to clean ?

This time i used toilet bowl cleaner. Yes u heard it right. The main ingredient used in this cleaner was HCL (Hydrochloric acid). I will recommend only HCL as i found it to be among the best and as its the only one i had practical exp with. It was diluted HCL but the concentration isn't know neither it was written on the cleaner.


Use gloves, Use safety glasses and work in a safe area. Don't drop it on floor or your Mum might kill you.

Steps ( How i did it )

• Open the water block we only need the copper plate to work on.

• First time i just pored 2-3 drops of the toilet bowl cleaner directly onto the copper plate. Started bubbling i used an old teeth brush to clean and make sure the acid reaches every part and fins.

• After that cleaned with water it was pretty clean at this point.

• Then i took a plastic blow fill it with water so that the copper plate can be fully submerged. Then i dropped 5-10 drops of that cleaner and got that pinkish solution as shown in pic.

• Let the copper plate sit in it for around 10-15 min. Then resin with water again.

• In the end i used dishwasher soap having lemon as the main ingredient. Rubbed a toothbrush on that soap and clean the copper plate thoroughly and in the end resin it again.

• To clean rest of the water block ( For acrylic pieces and fittings i used the same pink solution it cleans really quick removing all that white powder thing that is formed )

After cleaning image is included too u will know which one i am talking about.

AND I need your help !

Before i put this beautiful clean and loving water block again in my loop i want to know There is no way i can use distilled water in my loop due to bong and with heavy system usage i evaporate about 1 liter of water daily so it would be expensive to buy distilled water 1 liter daily ?

Is there any ghetto mod/ thing used in our daily routine that can help me with algae reduction or elimination in my loop ?

What tubing doesn't produce plasticizer ? Or what that pipe or tubing is called that doesn't produce this white gunk ?

I cannot afford a copper rad they are rare and expensive here that is y i have to live with BONG ( it works awesome though)



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    9 Discussions


    2 years ago

    antifreeze is a bad idea if you are trying to prevent growth. look up the "whole room watercooling" video series posted on YouTube by Linus tech tips. they had the exact same problem and they used antifreeze. antifreeze has corrosion inhibitors but because it is designed to work at temperatures above boiling it has no growth inhibitors. also I don't think it will be a good idea to be atomizing it and breathing it in your house which is what bong coolers do.

    I would recommend trying iodine in the water. it shouldn't react with anything and should keep the growth down. They tried it in the video I mentioned but I don't remember the outcome. I think they scrapped the project for other reasons.

    The other thing I would recommend is adding a bit of acid to your loop. not much, just enough to make it a less pleasant place for things to grow. You could use HCL, also sold as muriatic acid for pools by the way, it's the same stuff that is just the old name for it but be careful with the strength. HCL doesn't react with copper but I can't speak to the rest of the materials in your setup.

    Muriatic acid for pools comes in gallon containers for around $15 I think (I could be completely off base) and depending​ on the volume of your loop and the strength I wouldn't use more than a few ounces.

    whatever you end up doing since you are running a bong cooler I would recommend changing the water at least once a month as you will have stuff collecting in the water such as dust. in fact I would guess that dust is what you are claiming to be the plasticizer. also if you made the bong out of PVC it should also be safe with HCL.

    3 replies
    Diy Techjohn12692

    Reply 2 years ago

    Man you have told me the most easiest solution of all. I am thinking of putting few drops of that toilet bowl cleaner. It smells good and has HCL in it too :)

    One more draw back of anti freeze which i didnt think of before was that it wont evaporate meaning making the bong pretty less effective as all we need is fast evaporation. The breathing thing u mentioned is a good point too that can not or should not be ignored. The next thing we know is i am high after playing a game for few hours after inhaling antifreeze.

    So thank you john i have locked this solution for my next maintenance to use small amount of HCL in my loop :)

    john12692Diy Tech

    Reply 2 years ago

    I would recommend either getting a pool ph test kit or some litmus paper/strips, I think the pool kit will be better as I have been decidedly underwhelmed by the strips I got (they don't respond well to mildly acidic or alkali solutions).

    I got ones like these: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Premium-160-Strips-Full-Range-PH-1-14-Test-Indicator-Paper-Litmus-Testing-Kit-/351725831892?hash=item51e47e46d4:g:pvwAAOSwHQ9WVQ-K

    I would get something like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/PH-Test-Strips-0-14-Universal-Strips-To-Test-Urine-Saliva-Water-Pool-Hot-/222351871838?hash=item33c5344f5e:g:yy0AAOSw5cNYWTcE

    or: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Micro-Accuracy-05PH-Digital-LCD-PH-Meter-Tester-Pen-for-Testing-Water-Pool-Sink-/201726838600?hash=item2ef7db4748:g:vqsAAOSwnHZYRM7m

    I wouldn't go lower that about a ph of 5 and the water out of your tap should be around 7. Remember you are just trying to slow the growth not make it impossible (doing so brings a lot of other issues) and you can shock the system every once in a while (push the ph lower than usual) to kill off what survives the normal range.

    Someone else mentioned mineral deposits from the water and I had forgotten that. If you are going through 1L of water a day you will have quite a bit of mineral deposits built up. I don't know if adding the HCL will have an effect on them but in my experience the best thing to remove them is citric acid. You can use vinegar but citric acid dosent have any smell. You cant use it in the loop because they both do attack copper (you can probably use it to clean it but will need to flush the loop afterwards).

    I know that here in the US you can buy a gallon of distilled water at Walmart for $0.88USD but that can get tedious after a while.

    You may want to consider a system like http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pure-Water-Distiller-All-Stainless-Steel-Internal-4L-Purifier-Filter-Effective-/262029182110?hash=item3d0228049e:g:3KQAAOSweW5VSyVx

    but it will take you a LONG time to make that worthwhile.

    HCL can be a irritant and a corrosive but at the concentrations we have been discussing, there shouldn't bee any real danger from that. The real danger is that it will cause the chlorine in your tap water to come out of solution creating chlorine gas which is not fun. I recommend you mix the two outdoors and allow them to mix/react for around 10min before putting into your cooler.

    I recommend you also look for how people keep growth out of their evaporative / swamp coolers as alot of the same principals apply.

    Diy Techjohn12692

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you again for the detailed help and solution John


    2 years ago

    Boil the water to sterilize it then add a bit of bleach to kill the survivors. Change to fresh solution at regular intervals to prevent concentrating the minerals in the water. Just an idea, I have no real knowledge here.


    2 years ago

    Use automotive anti-freeze, the ingredients are usually kind to aluminium and older copper core radiators, but check the bottle to make sure.

    You dont need a strong solution, just something unliveable for algae, 5% maybe.

    The antifreeze doesnt evaporate, so you just top up with water, try to use filtered water instead of straight from the tap.

    3 replies
    Diy Techpetercd

    Reply 2 years ago

    Antifreeze will be done ( Nice idea thanks )

    Our supply water is filtered by chlorination i think though, not 100% sure. Also dnt have any filters at home we use it directly. May be i should make something to distill water that would help me in wrong run or may be a cheap radiator.

    And petercd thanks for your time buddy its really appreciated :)

    gomibakouDiy Tech

    Reply 2 years ago

    I don't use this kind of systems, but what if you simply boil the water. It won't prevent all, but won't hurt and you'll get some benefits... as killing most of the bacterias, spores, etc. surely not all but mostly all. Then you can add anykind of aditives to it.

    Diy Techgomibakou

    Reply 2 years ago

    Its a lil too tiring to boil a liter of water daily for my loop. But surely boiling kills a lot of bacteria. Thanks for your suggestion.

    I am thinking of making something to make my own distilled water but currently m drenched in a CNC build. Will share the solution for sure once i have found one or that gives best results.

    Thank you gomibakou for your time and help its appreciated :)