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how to clean greenhouse walls

This is a discussion on how to clean greenhouse walls within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hello everyone, I need to clean my greenhouse walls (and poss. ceiling) on the inside. ...

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  1. #1
    brit6v's Avatar
    brit6v is offline Senior Member
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    Default how to clean greenhouse walls

    Hello everyone,
    I need to clean my greenhouse walls (and poss. ceiling) on the inside. This will be my first time, so I need your advice as to what I should safely clean them with. The walls are Sunglo's double acrylic. I plan to move my orchids from one bench to the other bench (as well as underneath) across the walkway before I clean the opposite wall. I haven't counted my plants lately, but I'm guessing I have somewhere around 150 more or less out there now. I hope moving them from one side to the other is what I should do. If not, I guess I'll have to go back to the drawing board...or ask for your help again.

    I will appreciate any advice that you can give to me.
    Vicki

  2. #2
    Michael Saar is offline Senior Member
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    "Soap" and water.

  3. #3
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    The problem with acrylic is that it scratches very easily, so if you have a lot of algae growing on it, don't try to remove them with a scouring pad. Use soft sponges only and put some elbow grease into it. Any cleaning fluid will do to remove the brunt of the mess (washing-up liquid, diluted bleach, etc ...) and then, if you want a "sparkling finish" , you can give a final rinse with a window cleaner. I personally don't bother with the window cleaning stuff and prefer to use washing-up liquid first and then diluted bleach in the hope it will disinfect the windows and retard the algae from reappearing. A lot of algae on your windows is a good sign though, it means your greenhouse is nice and humid. If the windows of a greenhouse remain clean after a full year of growing orchids, then there's definitely not enough humidity in there.

  4. #4
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    What material is your greenhouse made of? The advice would vary depending on it.

  5. #5
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    If it's glass and there's algae on it then you're going to want to scrub with soap and water, use a brush on a pole. Then rinse with a mild solution of bleach and water, 1/4 cup bleach to a gallon of water, ALWAYS use safety glasses, rubber gloves with bleach. Rinse off with a hose.

    With acrylic you have to much more careful since it scratches so easily, you can wash with soap and water and a sponge and you can use the bleach solution on algae but if you want a nice clean, clear finish you have to use rubbing alcohol and a very soft, lint free cloth to dry it. There are special acrylic cleaners, you can usually buy them at framing stores. A lot of framed pictures use a high end clear acrylic instead of glass. If you're really ambitious you can polish your acrylic with car wax on a shady day! - martha

  6. #6
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    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    People clean the algae off of the greenhouse walls?? WHAT? hahaha.. Just kidding. We have lexan panels on our greenhouse and I give the walls a high pressure rinse every now and again to break down the algae. I never really remove all of it as it adds some shade. Bleach water will both kill and help remove the stuff if you want it gone. Keep the fans going though as the bleach gets to be overwhelming after a bit- at least to me.

    cheers,
    BD

  7. #7
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    What are you trying to clean off of the greenhouse walls?
    If it is just dust/dirt/mud that has collected on the walls just blast it with a garden hose.
    If it is algae you can spray it with a product like Physan-20 first, let the algae die off and then they will flake off when you blast them with a garden hose a week later.

    When I had a greenhouse, I did not scrub the sides because they were poly/resin panels and would have been scratched even by sponges.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for your reply, Michael. I agree. Not much better for cleaning than simple "soap" and water, but in my case, I think I'll have to use a little elbow grease and something safe as an algae retardent.
    Thanks again,
    Vicki

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Saar View Post
    "Soap" and water.

  9. #9
    Michael Saar is offline Senior Member
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    OK, my answer was simplistic, but the point was, start with the least intrusive method possible. I found that cleaning the interior of my greenhouse (polycarbonate) detergent and water, along with gentle scrubbing(similar to a fleece wax applicator)was adequate and as effective as Physan. (I also have some orangish stains that haven't yielded to anything.)
    Whatever you decide to use, start in an inconspicuous place and check for damage before proceeding.

  10. #10
    brit6v's Avatar
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    Hi Tony...thanks for your reply.

    I appreciate all of your advice. I plan to tackle the job one day this next week, and I'm not expecting it to be an easy task.

    Unfortunately, there's not as much algae growth on the walls as I wish because it's a struggle to keep the humidity up as much as I would like. Most of what needs to be removed is an accumulation of built up dust and some algae.

    Thanks again for your help,
    Vicki






    Quote Originally Posted by serama View Post
    The problem with acrylic is that it scratches very easily, so if you have a lot of algae growing on it, don't try to remove them with a scouring pad. Use soft sponges only and put some elbow grease into it. Any cleaning fluid will do to remove the brunt of the mess (washing-up liquid, diluted bleach, etc ...) and then, if you want a "sparkling finish" , you can give a final rinse with a window cleaner. I personally don't bother with the window cleaning stuff and prefer to use washing-up liquid first and then diluted bleach in the hope it will disinfect the windows and retard the algae from reappearing. A lot of algae on your windows is a good sign though, it means your greenhouse is nice and humid. If the windows of a greenhouse remain clean after a full year of growing orchids, then there's definitely not enough humidity in there.

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