Centrifuge Cleaning - How To Clean and Maintain Your Centrifugal Filter
of trouble-free motoring on veg oil since converting on 18th June 2008
If you've gone to the trouble of and expense of buying a centrifuge then it makes sense to keep it functioning properly.
Fortunately maintaining a centrifuge is very easy. There are no moving parts as such. In essence it consists of a tin can within a tin can, so there's no need to worry about wear and tear or complicated servicing. To keep your centrifuge working optimally, all you need to do is keep it clean.
The best time to clean your centrifuge is immediately after you've used it. At this point it will be hot (but make sure it's not too hot - obviously).
Allowing it to cool too much and then ignoring it for weeks on end after filtering is the worst thing you can do. Oil will congeal and harden. Any debris contained within the walls of the centrifuge will solidify. If this happens the chances are your centrifuge will now be inoperable.
This can easily be prevented by cleaning immediately after use!
Cleaning Your Centrifuge - What You Need
Thankfully cleaning a centrifuge is easy - MUCH easier than trying to clean out filter socks, that's for sure.
All you'll need it white spirit, a small plastic bowl and plenty of paper towels.
Carefully strip down the centrifuge to its component parts and lay them out on a suitable worktop. Don't drop anything! If you do it will dent and be ruined. It's that easy to damage it...
Take each part in turn and use as many paper towels as necessary to wipe away any oil and dirt. Working one piece at a time, place it in the bowl half filled with white spirit. White spirit and oil blend very well, so it's a fabulous cleaning solution. Give each part a gentle bath. Swill it around, use a brush or you fingers and make sure it looks like new. Remove the piece, dry it with a clean paper towel and repeat the process for all the parts.
The base of the centrifuge usually contains nozzles - tiny little holes that the oil jets out of. Make sure these are clear. They're small, yes, but you can still see daylight through them. Give then a good bath and, if they're clogged, use a fine pin or needle to free them.
Once everything is dry, reassemble. There may be witness marks - little arrows engraved into the casing. These need to be lined up.
With everything back together, your centrifuge really should look as good as new. If it's dirty, you clearly didn't clean it properly, so do it again and do it right!
Centrifuges are a doddle to maintain and other than any rubber o-rings, etc, they should last forever.
Recycle Your White Spirit
Personally I pour the white spirit carefully back into the container through a paper towel (acting as a filter). This then sits perfectly still, unmolested, until the next time I need it. The spirit does colour slightly and over several uses, and lots of good old settling, a thin. hard layer of oily debris collects at the bottom of the container - but it still works a treat.