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I am a non scientist and would like to know easiest way

  1. Dec 4, 2014 #1
    to dissolve a plant, that has outgrown the crystal decanter that it is in and is rootbound. I have cut the plant and will reroot it. but now I would like to have my decanter back. is there a safe way for me to do this?
     
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  3. Dec 4, 2014 #2

    Doug Huffman

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    Yes, simple decomposition - rot. Wet the decanter contents, keep it warm and out of sight. When the decomposition is complete then rinse the residue away.
     
  4. Dec 4, 2014 #3
    thank you, I will try that but was hoping that there would be something that would work a lot faster, possibly some sort of safe chemical that would speed up the process
     
  5. Dec 4, 2014 #4

    Doug Huffman

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    What do you consider safe for you and for your crystal? NaOH/lye/caustic soda is used in food preparation - lutefisk - but is also considered an NFPA 3 health hazard.
     
  6. Dec 4, 2014 #5
    from what I am reading, I should use a large container with a wide mouth - to prevent the fountain effect, but that's not possible- the opening is the size of a wine cork.
    then I read to use cool water, add the flakes at little at a time and then stir. but I am unable to stir because everything is jammed in there.
    so probably should not be trying this at home- was hoping for another safer chemical to try

    .
     
  7. Dec 4, 2014 #6

    Borek

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    I don't know how the crystal will react to caustic solution. Some kinds of glass can be etched by alkali and become dull.
     
  8. Dec 4, 2014 #7
    thanks for jumping in. would you have any suggestions?
     
  9. Dec 4, 2014 #8

    jim mcnamara

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    Consider:
    If you use a powdered chemical (or flakes), dissolve the stuff in a small amount of water first. Doug's idea about organic material is spot on.

    If you decide to do this next suggestion CLEAN ( rinse a lot) out any previous chemicals. Then try Clorox. Assuming what you see and want to get rid of is organic, bleach will break it down fast, just empty the vessel out every hour and then add more bleach. Should have most of it gone in a few hours. The brown stuff you see in potting soil residue on glassware is largely organic. Glassware often develops a patina of blue green algae on the inside when used as a pot. That breaks down with bleach, too. Do not reuse the vessel for small fish. Fish and even small amounts bleach in their water are very incompatible.
     
  10. Dec 4, 2014 #9

    Bystander

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    ... and, rinse thoroughly --- bleach is also very high pH.
     
  11. Dec 5, 2014 #10
    thanks will work on this tomorrow, when I have the time to devote to it and will let you know how it works.
     
  12. Dec 5, 2014 #11

    Doug Huffman

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    Depending on the product selected, bleach is likely Sodium hypochlorite NaClO ~5% and ≤0.05% NaOH mentioned above.
     
  13. Dec 5, 2014 #12
    and therefore, I'm sorry that means what? should I not use? or should I use something else?
     
  14. Dec 5, 2014 #13

    Doug Huffman

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    Based on your concerns and the cautions expressed here, I again suggest simple decomposition. Keep it warm and moist and out of sight until nature has taken its course. Then rinse and clean as you must for your purposes.
     
  15. Dec 5, 2014 #14
    Can I get a picture of the thing? I wouldn't ever try bleach, mainly if it is an expensive container or has sentimental value.

    Let time do its job.

    If you had proper supervision and a decent place for it, you could try a mixture of Sulfuric A. and Hydrogen Peroxide known as Piranha Solution. I won't grant you it would not damage your glass.
    Plus, using it in a fountain effect machine is a good recipe for an accident.

    Either wait the organic matter to rot or get a chemist or qualified technician to cleanse it for you (maybe with the solution I suggested).
     
  16. Dec 5, 2014 #15

    TeethWhitener

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    PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS. If you don't know what you're doing, you could seriously injure yourself. What's to stop you from cutting it out bit by bit? Too dense?
     
  17. Dec 5, 2014 #16
    "If you had proper supervision and a decent place for it (...)". I stated that he does not have what is required.

    Seems like he can't cut it because of the neck diameter, that's why I asked for a picture.
     
  18. Dec 5, 2014 #17

    TeethWhitener

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    To follow up: piranha solution is typically used to do things like completely remove organic contaminants from glassware that has already been thoroughly washed. I use it at work (research lab) to clean microscopic amounts of organic contaminant from the surface of silicon wafers. Applying piranha solution to a big block of organic material, particularly one that's confined to the inside of a bottle, is a good way to end up with a face full of glass and hot sulfuric acid.
     
  19. Dec 5, 2014 #18

    Borek

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    Using piranha solution would be a disaster waiting to happen.
     
  20. Dec 5, 2014 #19

    Doug Huffman

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    I am surprised that the recommendation of a hazardous procedure has been allowed to remain.
     
  21. Dec 5, 2014 #20

    Borek

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    I could edit it out or leave with several people saying to not use it - and I decided for the latter.
     
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