A big benefit of WakeUP Summer in your sprayer tank: It doubles as an excellent spray system cleaner. In fact it’s acting as a tank cleaner as you use it, etching out the residues from hoses and hidden crevices.
You can use it for system cleanup when you’re switching between types of chemicals, and for a final complete cleanup after the season. Many of our regular clients tell us that using WakeUP Summer greatly reduces chemical residue accumulation in the hidden pores of hoses, tanks, pumps and other crannies of sprayer systems.
June 26, 2017 — Tiny residues of today’s powerful herbicides can have major yield impacts if they leach out of hoses, filters and tanks in your sprayer. AgWeb’s Sonja Begemann reports up to 20% yield losses from herbicides leached from rubber hoses in a spraying system. Her article linked here lists a useful cleanout procedure.
One of the most thorough spray-system cleaning presentations we’ve seen is by Vern Hofman, professor emeritus, North Dakota State University. Here’s a link to the PDF with detailed instructions.
Purdue Extension also has a detailed PDF how-to guide at this link.
Back in 2010, we wrote a four-page sprayer cleanup guide which has been picked up and published on at least one other website, but plugging in a different tank-cleaning product. Since those days, we’ve enhanced the cleaning power of WakeUP Summer.
There are many spray tank cleaning products on the market. Most of them carry toxicity warnings. In contrast, WakeUP Summer is user-friendly like a quality dish soap, but more effective than the harsh chemical-type tank cleaners. The unique aspect of WakeUP Summer as a sprayer system cleaner: It builds a cleaning solution of colloidal micelles when blended with water. WakeUP concentrate contains billions of negatively charged colloids. In water, each colloid attracts the positive ends of 50 to 100 water molecules into a sphere around itself. This sphere is called a “colloidal micelle,” a little cluster of water molecules with their negative ends facing outward. The negative ends make the micelles hydrophilic, meaning they bond to oils and other hydrocarbons. They also bond to positively charged metals such as manganese, copper and other micronutrients, which is what makes WakeUP Summer a super carrier for foliar nutrients.
Step-by-Step spray tank cleaning Instructions
These procedures are intended for field-sized sprayers with tanks of 500 to 1,500 gallons. For other tank sizes, please adjust amounts of cleaning solution accordingly.
Caution: Observe all safety and operating manuals of your equipment and your state’s recommended cleanout guidelines in conjunction with these instructions. Also, check the labels on any chemicals you use for specific cleaning guidlines. WakeUP Field Sprayer Tank Cleaner has been extensively used with common herbicides, but makers of specialized chemicals may call for specific cleaning compounds to neutralize them.
A. Clean tank interior walls with a high-pressure blast of WakeUP solution.
1. Add 50 gal. of clean water to main sprayer tank. Pour in one-half gal. (64 oz.) of WakeUP Summer.
2. Agitate this cleaning solution with the sprayer’s sparging system for five minutes for thorough mixing.
3. Scour interior sides of tank with the system’s portable spray wand under maximum pressure to loosen caked deposits of old spray material. If you have no wand, use a pressure washer with injected WakeUP Summer.
4. Drain the tank, capturing the waste water in accordance with product label instructions and safety rules of your state. With a pressure hose and fresh water, rinse sides and bottom of the spray tank to make sure any fine particulate matter is flushed out the main drain outlet of your field sprayer.
B. Clean embedded residues from hoses and pump housings with an overnight soak.
This second cleansing is often overlooked on the presumption that rinsing lines and pumps will clean them. Even if you have all-stainless lines instead of rubber hoses, old residues can build up at fittings.
1. Add 50 gal. of clean water to main sprayer tank. Pour in 32 oz. of WakeUP Summer and circulate for thorough mixing.
2. Spray just enough of this cleaning solution through the entire system to make sure all tips are delivering a uniform flow.
3. Leave the remaining solution in the system at least four hours or overnight. Longer is better. This allows WakeUP Summer to react and etch away chemicals clinging to hoses and other interior parts of the sprayer system.
4. Spray the remaining WakeUP Summer solution through the tips onto a safe area. Check the filters and rinse out any residue which broke loose from spray lines.
5. Add 100 gal. of clean rinse water to the spray tank and spray this through the tips.
6. Check the filters one final time. If you see very little residue, particularly on any fine-mesh nozzle filters, virtually all significant amounts of caked residue should be gone.
If you find significant amounts of particulate residue in the filters, you may benefit by repeating the steps of Section B again. Or, remove the filters and bottom filter housings and soak them in a solution of WakeUP for about 24 hours. Flush the filters with a pressure washer and replace them.
Keep in mind that as you incorporate WakeUP in your spray program, its cleansing action will continue scrubbing all parts of your field sprayer system.
A few of our grower customers say “It’s worth using just for keeping my sprayer clean.”
Special note: If you have a computer-controlled sprayer system which you set to deliver a constant volume per acre, you may note that the tip pressure can drop 2 to 4 lbs. if you’re using WakeUP Summer in the spray solution. This is because lower surface tension solutions are easier to pump, and WakeUP adds a lubricating quality to the solution. This stuff is slippery.
Other helpful guides to
cleaning your sprayer system
We’ve studied several state Extension guides to sprayer system cleaning and safety. Each of them has a useful background on why today’s highly specific and concentrated chemicals need careful cleaning from spray systems.
For your convenience we’ve posted these in downloadable PDF format on our website at:
Our site lists each guide by the name shown in color below:
IOWA spray tank cleaning guide:
Warns about the risks and limitations of using common products such as ammonia, chlorine bleach and kerosene. Points out that a common source of damage on soybeans is switching a sprayer from 2,4-D to a postmerge application on soybeans — when the postmerge application contains a surfactant.
MISSOURI spray tank cleaning guide:
6-page brochure shows photos of crop damage. Includes details on cleanup after using specialized chemicals.
TENNESSEE spray tank cleaning guide:
Prescribes ammonia and water. We’ve found that WakeUP Summer is more effective in place of ammonia.
PENNSYLVANIA spray tank cleaning guide:
Specifies only water as a cleanser, but this isn’t enough, in our experience.
KANSAS spray tank cleaning guide:
Provides a more detailed list of cleaning agents depending on the chemical. However, our choice would be WakeUP Summer in place of any of these.