"COATING" and Cleaning styrofoam incubators....? UPDATED........

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Junkmanme, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. Junkmanme

    Junkmanme Chillin' With My Peeps

    I will soon be cleaning and disinfecting my "Little Giants". I am also "concerned" about FUTURE cleaning of the styrofoam.

    I'm thinking of "coating" the styrofoam (after cleaning/disinfecting) with perhaps polyurethane varnish OR clear lacquer paint OR maybe even thinly applied silicone seal, in order to make cleaning easier in the future. My initial preference is to use polyurethane.

    Any opinions on this?

    (NOTE: I have some "scrap" styrofoam on which to "test" any applications.)

    ALSO........Would common "dish detergent" and a "bleach rinse" be sufficient for cleaning/disinfecting ?

    -Junkmanme- [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  2. EggCartons.com

    EggCartons.com Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 11, 2008
    Manchaug, MA
    May I suggest an incubator liner to help protect the incubator bottom. EggCartons.com sells an incubator liner especially for Little Giant incubators to make cleaning of the incubator more easy. Here is the link to it. Click Here . I wouldn't use varnish or lacquer paint as it may break down the Styrofoam. Not to mention what it may do to your hatch or baby chicks from the chemicals of these products.
  3. CindyS

    CindyS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2008
    Geneseo, Illinois
    I use dish detergent and bleach on mine and it works well. Some of the items you mention for sealing I believe will eat or melt the styrofoam. My son made a nice pyramid out of styrofoam blocks and used spray paint to color it, It shrunk and melted into a big blob! I have used 100% silicone caulk to repair breaks in mine and it works well. I think it would work the best to seal the bottom, although application may be a little tricky!
  4. alicefelldown

    alicefelldown Looking for a broody

    Aug 18, 2008
  5. Junkmanme

    Junkmanme Chillin' With My Peeps

    THANKS to ALL for your comments! [​IMG]

    I have the plastic liners for the bottoms of both incubators. [​IMG]

    I will try both the "polyurethane varnish" AND the "clear (or perhaps light colored) lacquer" on some "scrap styrofoam" to see how it reacts. I think it would be much easier to apply than the silicone (unless I can find some "spray silicone").

    ANY OTHER SUGGESTIONS or recommendations are certainly welcomed and appreciated !!!

    Best to you all! [​IMG]
    -Junkmanme- [​IMG]
  6. alicefelldown

    alicefelldown Looking for a broody

    Aug 18, 2008
    I'm pretty sure varnish or lacquer will eat through your styrofoam.

    Silicone is BEYOND easy to apply - it comes in a small tube for ~3$ (I used less than a quarter of my tube), you squirt it onto the bottom of your incubator and using your fingers or a brush (I used an old hair dye one, cleaned in soapy water and dried) to spread it around. Get the kind for kitchens - it comes in a variety of colors (clear, white, black, tan, brown, grey, silver, bronze, etc).
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
  7. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    Even a paper towel will work to spread silicone smoothly. I've resealed several aquariums. Just don't get the stuff on your clothes. The first pair of jeans I wore while resealing aquariums are permanently smooth and waterproof in a few places. Even 3 years later of washing and wearing it's still all there.
  8. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    South Alabama
    MinWax Polyurethane is usually friendly to foams. I've used it on foam wings when building some discus launch RC sailplanes. For the wings, though, we cover with fiberglass cloth to give it structural integrity and strength. The procedure is normally to wet the wing a bit with the poly so that the fiberglass will stick to it, then finished wetting it down *and then* squeegying most of the poly back off being as it doesn't take much resin to do the job. I'm curious about it's functionality inside the humid confines of an incubator...I've been flying when moisture was on the ground and it seems that it compromised the poly over a period of time. The silicone sounds like it might be more adequate for the humid environment.

    Something that you might want to try is some of the somewhat new "pressure activated" food dish covering film that is similar to "siran wrap" but that actually sticks with a "tackiness" to bowls and plates. I know it works on foam plates and bowls, so a good covering on the bottom of the incubator might do to help keep it clean during hatches. Just a thought...

    Best wishes,
  9. Junkmanme

    Junkmanme Chillin' With My Peeps

    UPDATE !!! [​IMG]

    This morning I "tested" both a spray polyurethane AND a spray clear lacquer, both of which I had on hand.
    I applied each of them independently to some "scrap" styrofoam that I had saved from a "shipping box".

    BOTH did indeed DESTROY styrofoam !!! [​IMG]

    I believe that I have a tube of 100% silicone caulking around here somewhere. WHEN I locate it....I will also "try" that on some "scrap" styrofoam.

    (I WONDER if silicone caulking is available as a "spray" ? I expect that any silicone that I would find in a spray would be more of a "lubricant" having petroleum products mixed-in ....and therefore also "likely" to destroy styrofoam.)

    PERHAPS the best procedure will be to use the "silicone caulking" and spread it as completely and evenly as possible with a spatula and damp rag.

    -Junkmanme- [​IMG]
  10. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    Silicone caulking is potentially dangerous. It's not usually 100% silicone but often contains antimildew agents and other things to help protect what your caulking. These continue to be toxic even after drying. It'll wipe out a fish tank so under the hot humid conditions of an incubator it may kill chicks. When using around animals it's best to get silicone labelled for aquariums or there is a specific brand of clear GE silicone that is safe but I forget the number. If you search up silicones to use on aquariums you should find a safe list somewhere.

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