By Nanci Dixon
We had a leak at the end of our drinking water hose that no number of washers would fix. No big deal. It was so firmly attached to the motorhome hose reel that we decided to just cut the old male hose end off and replace it with a repair end.
I cut the leaking end off, glanced inside, and YUCK! The inside of the hose was coated with green goo. Algae! That is the white water hose we drink from! Algae forms with a combination of minerals, moisture, sun and heat. Our months in Arizona certainly left the hose exposed to sun and heat. The nutrients that algae thrive in are iron, phosphorus, oxygen and hydrogen. Most tap water has iron and phosphorus and oxygen is in the air in the hose or tanks.
While we sanitize our fresh water tank at least every three or four months, in three years had never thought to sanitize the hose. Will be doing that from now!
Follow these steps to sanitize a water hose
Both vinegar and bleach kill algae. Vinegar is less harsh but will require more.
- If you’re using vinegar, you can use full strength, but the results are not as sure as bleach.
- If using bleach, dilute 1/4 cup bleach in a gallon of water. When sanitizing the whole system the recommended amount is 1/4 cup bleach for every 15 gallons of water. Bleach is caustic to metal and can be harmful to plastic and rubber parts, so you want to use just enough to get out the algae. A 1/4 cup to a gallon ratio should not be used for the entire sanitation of the water system.
- Pour into the hose. Cap the ends.
- Another method of getting the bleach into the hose is to add the 1/4 cup bleach to the hose and slowly add water to the hose until full then cap the ends. (I gave up trying to pour the gallon of diluted bleach in and used this method.)
- Slosh around and leave overnight.
- Run water through until the bleach smell is gone.
After we sanitized the hose, we decided it would be good to sanitize the whole system. When I sanitize the whole system in the future I am going to add at least half of the bleach in the water hose first instead of just the tank.
Want to get rid of the bleach smell on your hands? Try rubbing your hands with lemon juice or vinegar and rinse well. Coffee grounds can also exfoliate and help remove odors.