What do you recommend for cleaning barnacles off the exterior of the instrument?
Plug the ends of the conductivity cell to prevent the cleaning solution from getting into the cell. Then soak the entire instrument in white vinegar for a few minutes. After scraping off the barnacles and marine growth, rinse the instrument well with fresh water.
We do not advise using hydrochloric acid (HCl) to clean instrument housings. Such highly corrosive acids will not hurt the anodized surfaces, but will attack any bare aluminum — including the aluminum in the cracks — and can also damage O-rings, connectors, and other sensor components.
Note: If sending the instrument to Sea-Bird for calibration, remove as much biological material as possible before shipping. Sea-Bird cannot place an instrument with a large amount of biological material on the housing in our calibration bath; if we need to clean the exterior before calibration, we will charge you for this service.
For minimizing future growth on the housing, completely wrap the instrument housing with plastic tape. The bio-organisms still grow, but after recovery it is easy to peel off the tape, shells and mussels and all!