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Thread: Pan cleaning w/ white vinegar

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Adirondacks (and Socialist Republic of NJ)

    Default Pan cleaning w/ white vinegar

    Hi All

    Been awhile…. Question if you’ve used white vinegar to clean your pans do you do the baking soda rinse afterwards like with pan acid???


    Also find us on Facebook at Our Woods Maple Syrup and Products

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Wakefield,New Hampshire


    I have been soaking/cleaning my pans with white vinegar for the last 6 seasons and just rinse thoroughly with water afterwards. I supposed it wouldn't do any harm to take the extra step and use the baking soda after.
    6th season solo sugar maker in a young sugar bush of mostly red maples
    320 taps
    2x6 self built arch, Flat pans w/ dividers
    New 12x16 sugar house
    CDL hobby 250 RO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Orford Quebec


    We just rinse and go

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Nashville, MI


    I always just rinse with just plain water.
    2004 - 2012 2x3 flat pan 25 to 60 taps
    2012 2x3 new divided pan w/draw off 55 taps
    2018 - didn't boil surgery - bought new evaporator
    2019 new SML 2x4 raised flue high output evap. 65 taps
    made 17 gal syrup
    2020 - only put out 53 taps - made 16.25 gal syrup
    2021 - going for 50 bags and 50 on tubing

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Williston, VT


    There are two purposes of adding baking soda to any acid pan wash:

    1. Neutralize the acid mix for discharge into the environment
    2. Neutralize the acid that might be left behind in the pan.

    For discharge into the environment, I think that you should target a pH of 6 to 9 which may require you to neutralize the wash water. You should ever discharge directly into a wetland or waterbody.

    It is also good practice for all hobbyist, and required of a commercial operation, to have a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for all chemicals used in your operations. That could include vinegar and especially commercially available pan cleaners. The chemical specific SDS sheets provide information on a variety of things related to handling, storage, disposal, and exposure. I keep my SDS sheets in a binder in my sugarhouse since it needs to be readily available. If you have employees, it is required by OSHA under the Hazardous Communications Standard which includes other labeling and training requirements. And just because you have volunteer help doesn't mean that your exempt. I don't think you would need to worry about an OSHA inspection - unless you had a serious accident involving a follow up investigation.

    Organic and other certification programs require the sugar maker to manage their chemicals properly, including following the Haz Com Standard.

    Ken & Sherry
    Williston, VT

    2017 - 13 gallons on 65 taps (12 buckets, rest 3/16), 2x4 flat bottom, modified cargo box sugarhouse
    2018 - 90 gallons on 418 taps (gravity lines), Leader 30"x10' Vortex Arch & Max Raised Flue with Rev Syrup Pan, New Sugarhouse
    2019 - Burned through alot more money: heated kitchen, 2x2,000 and 375 gal ss sap tanks, CDL1200 RO, Bauch Vac Pump, More taps, etc., etc., etc.

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