RO Membrane Chemical Cleaning


Howdy! This is my first post : )
I have an Axeon HF-5 4x21 RO membrane in a SS housing that I have been using intermittently for about a year & a half. Unfortunately, I did not sufficiently educate myself on proper RO maintenance, storage, & cleaning. I have tried to run water through it at least once a week, & once I used a membrane preservative while we were out of the country for 3 months. Unfortunately, much to my dismay, I discovered that the membrane preservative dissolved the plastic fittings I had on my RO housing, and I imagine that the membrane dried out while sitting there so long. That was about 6 months ago. I replaced all the plastic fittings with brass fittings, & the membrane still worked after I started it up again.
Although the rejection rate remains quite good, my permeate production rate has dropped significantly even when I use my booster pump @80-90 psi. Last time I measured, I was only producing 1 gallon of permeate every 2.5 mins at almost a 1:1 production ratio with 5 GPM feed flow @85psi. The Axeon is rated to produce 1000 gallons per day (at ideal conditions), but I calculated that at my current production rate I would only be producing about 575 gallons per day, about a 40% reduction.
I have been reading about reverse flushing with permeate water & also chemical cleaning to restore the performance of the RO. I can easily perform a reverse flush, but I was wondering about the chemicals used for cleaning. I read on Axeon’s website about the Axeon C-10 & C-20 cleaners. They each run about $75 for a 4-lb tub. Has anyone used these cleaners with any effectiveness? Does anyone know of any generic alternatives that use the same basic chemical composition? I understand that they are basically a low PH & a high PH cleaner. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much! : )


This great video from @Pure_Water_Window_Cl may help