Best Practices for Using Fluorescent Dye
Fluorescent dye is a fast and efficient way to find all leaks in air conditioning and refrigeration systems but given the nature of the product it can be messy if handled incorrectly. Most fluorescent dye spills occur when a service port of a pressurized AC&R system charged with dye is accessed, resulting in a forcible spray of dye. Additionally, incomplete connection to the service port and/or injecting fluorescent dyes into systems with damaged or out-of-specification service ports may also result in dye spills.
The best cure is prevention! Here are some tips for cleaning up:
Always wear disposable latex gloves when working with fluorescent dyes. Discard gloves immediately after each use. Also keep a rag available to help handle the dye they absorb better than paper towels.
The quicker that the mess is cleaned up, the smaller it will be. Older stains can be very difficult to remove, especially on porous, painted, or plastic materials.
Try to Avoid Spills or Sprays
Always cover the service port connection with a rag when connecting or disconnecting dye injection devices. This way any dye spray will be kept to the access fittings where it can be easily managed.
Cleaning Up Fluorescent Dye:
Dye stains on hands can be easily removed with any waterless hand cleaner. One helpful tip when using these cleaners is to first apply them to hands or skin, rub them in vigorously, then wipe off the residue with a paper towel or rag. Do not rinse with water after the first application; wiping off first removes dye better and prevents spreading.
Following up with additional waterless cleaner or soap, both with a water rinse will complete the job. Any remaining skin staining should wear off and fade after a day or two.
Types of Solvent Cleaners to Try:
Several types of readily available solvent cleaners will work well on removing fluorescent dye spills from most surfaces however several factors will contribute to their effectiveness, including the spill size, type of material stained, and length of time before cleaned. Spectroline® offers GLO-AWAY™ Plus, a fluorescent dye cleaner in every kit and sold separately. Its concentrated formula works to dissolve and remove the toughest of stains. Simply spray, and wipe away immediately for fast acting dye removal.
These are suggested solvent cleaners yielding the best results:
• Mineral Spirits (Paint Thinner)
• Penetrating Oil (Spray Can)
• WD-40 (Spray Can)
• Isopropyl Alcohol
• Non-Chlorinated Automotive Brake Cleaner (spray can)
• GLO-AWAY Plus