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Old 09-02-2008, 10:34 PM   #1
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2009 25' FB Flying Cloud
Calgary , AB
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 33
ABS-friendly soap?

I can't seem to find the correct place to post this, so I thought anyone on the road might be able to answer it.

I am at a loss. The manual on my new Bambi says, "The only cleaning agents that can be used without causing harm to the system are household ammonia and tri-sodium phosphate in small quantities. Do not use any product that contains any portion of petroleum distillates. This attacks the rubber seals of your toilet and dump valve. Also, do not use any dish detergent or abrasive cleaners. All products should be marked approved for ABS drainage systems." The trailer guys in the parts/store had a laugh, and my husband thinks I am too worried. The trailer parts/store section had no soaps.

What does everyone else use for soap to clean dishes, hands, hair or bodies? I honestly have not been able to find any products that say "approved for ABS drainage systems". I took my Method hand soap for the bathroom sink, and my husband bought some green biodegradable camp soap (that made my dishes stink to high heaven, and the sippy cups). But, I would really like to use real dish soap. Can I use real dish soap to clean the dishes? Can I use Method hand soap?

Thanks in advance, to anyone who answers my questions.

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Old 09-03-2008, 03:44 AM   #2
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
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Boy oh about ducking liability! FWIW my 1975 has ABS plumbing and other than a couple of cracked fittings it has taken everything that has ever been dumped down the drains. I can see not using petroleum products in the toilet because of the seals, and there is a seal at the dump valve.

I read the label on my Palmolive dish detergent that I use. Didn't see anything that resembles petroleum...or any other recognizable products either. But that is what I use all the time. And FWIW my house is plumbed with ABS and is over 22 years old and we have never had a problem with that system either.


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Old 09-03-2008, 06:24 AM   #3
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1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
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ABS is a plastic that contains Acrylonitrile, Butediene, and Styrene. Many of the molded and extruded parts used by Airstream are made from ABS. Styrene is affected by "petroleum distillates". "409" and many heavy duty grease cutting liquids like Lestoil, contain small amounts of kerosene. If the detergent comes as a powder, then it can not contain "petroleum distillates". For liquids, the ingredients are included in the labeling. Normal dishwashing detergents should not be a problem. Dishwashing soap intended for automatic dishwashers usual contain high levels of Chlorine and may cause cracking of some plastics and I would not recommend you use them.
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