View Full Version : active ingredient in waterbed conditioner?
Anyone happen to know a home-concocted chemical or mix that would do the same thing as waterbed conditioners (to be added twice a year to keep mold and fungus from growing within the mattress)? The stuff I've got doesn't list much other than saying:
"Caution: Contains Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride."
Any chemists here that know what that means?
My thinking was some Clorox might just do the trick, so I searched google to see if anything turned up and found a solitary reference. It says to use 2 ounces of bleach per 120 gallons of water, but I checked my bottle of Clorox and the active ingredient looked nothing like that on the waterbed conditioner.
This is for my guest bed that rarely gets used, so I'd like to find something along the lines of generic bleach at a buck or two a gallon instead of the actual waterbed conditioners which only come in small bottles here for around $5-8 for 4 oz. (6 mo. worth). Kind of silly to literally be pouring money down the drain (my best pun of the day!) for a bed that I got free and that gets used about as often as its water needs conditioning.
11-13-2003, 04:25 PM
Waterbed conditioner is vicious stuff. I made the mistake one year of reading the warning label, and it promised to do just about everything short of making my feet fall off.
I always feel like I should be handling the bottle with rubber gloves, even when it's unopened...
So unless it's some kind of scam to make people buy expensive chemicals and shorten their lives, I wouldn't think that Clorox is going to do the same job.
I didn't find anything useful searching for alternative or homemade waterbed conditioners.
11-13-2003, 05:39 PM
Furthermore, I'd bet that clorox (sodium hypochlorite) will breakdown your waterbed mattress a lot faster than whatever (buffered maybe?) gunk is in the waterbed "conditioner."
Is it a *problem* to have stuff growing in there? I mean, isn't it sealed in? You do have sheets and such over the mattress, so it's not an asthetics issue, right? I would think that whatever *might* grow inside the waterbed (and it would have to be something that can flourish without light and oxygen, so that does make a short list!) - it is highly unlikely to be harmful to vinyl, right?
<--is clealy not a waterbed owner
Failing that, I know there are lots of folks who do homemade pool chemicals - borax, baking soda, stuff like that. Maybe you'll find some links hunting those folks up?
I'd bet that clorox (sodium hypochlorite) will breakdown your waterbed mattress a lot faster
Precisely why I wasn't going to pour something in there without first researching it. :)
Is it a *problem* to have stuff growing in there?
I've wondered about that, too. Probably not an easy question to get an honest answer to from those likely to know... My mattress is one of those waveless ones that has some sort of fiber layer and chamber setup, so it's possible the fibers could be adversely affected by stuff growing in the water.
My neighbor has a cleaning business on the side and is big on finding generic chemicals that do the same thing as the expensive brand name items, so I'm planning on checking with him this evening if he has any thoughts.
11-13-2003, 07:32 PM
My neighbor has a cleaning business on the side and is big on finding generic chemicals that do the same thing as the expensive brand name items, so I'm planning on checking with him this evening if he has any thoughts. I'd be interested to hear about that myself -- mostly in the hopes of finding something that won't turn me into a mutant.
Are you sure it's not already too late? :P
I think it's to keep the smell away when the yucky stuff starts to grow. Out of curiosity, I checked google and found this: http://www.aquacide.com/product.htm
It doesn't seem to be any more expensive than bleach.
Thanks, that's a good find.
2 Year Conditioner 16 oz. $2.89
Roughly 1/10th the cost of the only place I know of locally. Of course, with that minimum order amount, I would need to order 8 years worth...
11-13-2003, 10:08 PM
Interesting -- they have a "permanent" formula that's supposed to last until you drain the bed, for $4.23 a bottle. But you can't use it in your fiber mattress, Dan.
They also have a Fibre Formula with extra conditioners. That one's $4.89 for 6-12 months' worth. For your protection and convenience, the company operates 100% on the Honor System - you place your order by fax, e-mail, or phone and pay for your products once they have arrived in your home. That's something you don't see everyday. Are you sure it's not already too late? :P Hmmm... Good question.
That is an unusual shipment/payment policy. Man, given all my fraud problems of late, I'd get slaughtered with a policy like that...
I was told at the store that fiber waterbeds require conditioning a bit more often, but there doesn't seem to be a hard and fast rule. I wasn't told about any special chemicals for them.
I might ask Aquacide if the burper they offer is what I think it is (a device made for removing the air bubbles -- very difficult to do by hand without creating a geyser). If so, that would help get me up to the minimum order amount. Those things are all $5-10 items from what I've seen elsewhere.
11-13-2003, 10:54 PM
I'd be very interested to hear about the burper. When I burp my bed it's a 20-minute ordeal -- sit on corner of bed, herd bubbles to plug, open plug, carefully release bubbles, close plug, repeat ad infinitum. With my mattress you can't see the bubbles, so I have to do the whole job by ear.
Of course, my other waterbed gripe is that changing the sheets becomes a major undertaking if you don't have space to walk around the entire bed. Mine is more or less closed in on three sides, so by the time I'm done I'm exhausted.
Which may explain why I don't change the sheets until the bubble noise is driving me insane. :o
11-13-2003, 11:00 PM
Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride... hmmm... isn't that one of the ingredients in Classic Coke?
11-13-2003, 11:16 PM
So that's why it tastes so good. Never mind the HFCS.
11-13-2003, 11:19 PM
Synonyms for Alkyl dimethylbenzyl ammonium chloride are Alkyl dimethylbenzyl ammonium chloride; ALKYLDIMETHYLBENZYLAMMONIUM CHLORIDE, POWDER; Arquad B; benzyldimethyl(mixed alkyl)ammonium chloride; Benzyl-C8-18-alkyldimethyl quaternary ammonium compounds, chlorides; Quaternary ammonium compounds, benzyl-C8-18-alkyldimethyl, chlorides; Roccal.
You could find health and other information by searching for Alkyl dimethylbenzyl ammonium chloride at http://chemfinder.cambridgesoft.com/ .
All the vinyl shower curtain liners (and my new woven one) I buy say they are mildew resistant, but Mildew always ends up growing on them and you aren't supposed to use products whose active ingredient is bleach to clean them unless you rinse it off before it gets clean. I prefer air mattresses.
11-13-2003, 11:25 PM
Originally posted by Wassercrats:
All the vinyl shower curtain liners (and my new woven one) I buy say they are mildew resistant, but Mildew always ends up growing on them... I prefer air mattresses.
I tried using an air mattress to keep the water from the shower from going all over the place, too.
It didn't get moldy, but I kept falling asleep in the shower.
Of course, my other waterbed gripe is that changing the sheets becomes a major undertaking if you don't have space to walk around the entire bed.
Ooh, I hear that. I tore my first sheet set trying to wrestle it underneath 1000 pounds of water. Since I don't really use the bed other than the occasional visit or nap, there's no point doubling my electricity bill to keep it warm. So, I decided to just put down lots of blankets (3 fleece and, a medium comforter, plus the double sheet) to insulate the coldness. Seems to work pretty well. Just put a flat sheet over that and forget about the regular sheet changing process.
but Mildew always ends up growing on them and you aren't supposed to use products whose active ingredient is bleach to clean them
That's good to know.
I asked my neighbor about the chemicals -- I forgot he used to have a waterbed -- but he didn't know of anything that will do the trick.
11-14-2003, 04:57 AM
What you need is an 50-90 pound kid to roll the bubbles to the vent . . . at least, that's how I spent my middle childhood. My parents were in the habit of moving and that was always my job upon arriving and setting up the house, my brother having been pronounced "too wiggly" for the job.
My folks have always just used flat sheets; waterbed sheets are not only an insane design to start with, but they are invariably the worst sorts out there, very rough. I still can't imagine making a waterbed hemmed in on three sides. My kids always push their (dry land ;) )beds up against a wall, and that's bad enough. Bunk beds aren't any fun either, at least the top bunk.
Which may explain why I don't change the sheets until the bubble noise is driving me insane.
Oh man...don't you date or anything? ~#
11-14-2003, 12:27 PM
Oh great, make me spit soda all over my monitor why don't you...:P
11-14-2003, 02:08 PM
Burping made easy.
80 - 90 pount kids are not tall enough! Ask your local carpet store salesman for one of those cardboard tubes that carpet is rolled on. Ask for a heavy duty (thick wall) one. They are usually free. Cut it with a carpenters ripping or trim saw as needed. One length = the width of your mattress and the other about 2 feet long. This is a two person two minute job. Slowly roll the long tube from top to bottom stopping two feet from the bottom of the mattress. Continue to hold the long tube or leave it tucked under the side rail padding and roll the short tube toward the mattress fill neck. Push down on mattress fill neck to remove last bit of air, replace fill neck cap and remove tubes. Done!
Or - buy an air mattress. Have you ever tried to burp an air mattress?
This is a two person two minute job.
How many minutes for one person? :) I always get myself into trouble trying to tackle projects single-handedly, like being on top of a ladder, holding 25' of PVC and a level in one hand and a hammer, nails, and clamps in the other. Don't ask...
11-14-2003, 04:05 PM
Oh man...don't you date or anything? What, and change the sheets every week? I don't have time for the sheets, let alone the dating. :P My folks have always just used flat sheets; waterbed sheets are not only an insane design to start with, but they are invariably the worst sorts out there, very rough. Flat sheets for me, too. I gave up on fitted waterbed sheets years ago. (How the heck do you "fit" sheets to a bag of water?)
Dan's layering idea sounds appealing, but if the layers started moving around I'd probably end up tucking them in anyway.
There must be a better way...
but if the layers started moving around...
As I said, my bed receives very limited use, so the same observation might not apply to those being used daily. However, the medium thickness comforter I have on top has enough firmness to it that it doesn't seem to bunch up or move at all. Holds in place better than most fitted sheets, in fact.
11-14-2003, 08:47 PM
Oh man...don't you date or anything?I've seen some inflatable women who might go well with Randall's funky waterbed.
...Have to add waterbed to iespell.
11-14-2003, 10:04 PM
Uh, I'll pass on that one. Thanks anyway...
I just pulled the sheets off the bed. Everybody happy now? ;)
Grrr. Now I'm gonna have to burp it, too.
Public humiliation does have an effect...:hehe:
Whoulda thunk a thread about waterbed conditioner would make it to 3 pages and counting??? Not I, to be sure.
11-15-2003, 08:08 AM
Sheet holders come in a variety of forms. Go to Bed Bath & Beyond (http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/), click on Bedding --> Bedding Accessories --> Gadgets. It's about the 2nd or 3rd page back after that. Clips, "suspenders," slip-on holders - all sorts of choices.
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