Some time ago while surfing liquid cooling section in XtremeSystems forums I found a thread where one of the members with nickname mlwood37 was telling about home made dyes for WC systems. To be honest, at first I wasn’t interested because colors were not that bright, in other words, I didn’t find any special for myself. Nevertheless, I added thread to subscription list. I was not going to use colored water in my system as well. As the time went by, color range became wider and colors became significantly brighter. Another outstanding feature is high concentration of these dyes — 1 to 5 drops per liter is fairly enough according to the color. Also, dyes were being tested for staining for several months before they actually became available for purchase.
The turning-point for me was forthcoming of the Deep Blue dye — I was so impressed by this bright color that decided to order one bottle to test it out, more over, price isn’t high at all. When I was about to place the order I talked to Mick (mlwood37) and we agreed that he’ll send me some more colors to test and review, so here they are.
For this review I used very well known EK Multioption 150ml reservoir and clear Tygon 3603 tubing with inner diameter of 7/16″ and outer diameter of 5/8″. As color brightness obviously depends on depth of water layer this reservoir and tubing will give the most accurate color impression. I mixed dyes in 1 liter bottle before pouring it into the reservoir.
Photos within one color set were made using exactly the same settings of white balance and shutter speed.
Dyes are sold in 5ml dropper bottles. First in the line is Candy Red dye:
Recommended concentration is no more than 2ml per liter and, as appeared, it is more than enough. I mixed red colors with 6 drops step, e.g. 6 drops, then 12 drops etc.:
Color turned bright red (truly candy) with a slight touch of pink. Unfortunately I was not able to capture this tint in the pictures.
Next one is my favourite Deep Blue dye:
Take a look at this, from left to right 1-2-3-4-6 drops per liter:
It’s concentration is extremely convenient for use — one drop of it considerably changes saturation of the color. 6 drops per liter is enough to get bright and deep color, further concentration increase doesn’t bring any noticeable color improvement.
And face to face comparison (I don’t have five EK reservoirs, that’s why I used glasses, however, due to the slightly bigger diameter dye will, probably, look a bit more saturated):
And last but not least Yellow/UV Green dye:
Recommended concentration is no more than 5 drops per liter. Due to the color it looks not so bright as red or blue but still good thought.
5 drops per liter:
This dye is UV reactive, but I’ve occasionally broke my CCFL UV lamp just before testing.
Now let’s talk about dye properties. I heard many times that dyes from major LC manufacturers (for example, Primochill Dye Bomb) immediately shake up into thick foam once added into the reservoir while system is running. Despite the fact that manufacturer recommends to make a mixture first and then pour it into the system, I decided to try and added the dye to reservoir while system was running. Well, I have Swiftech MCP350 pump, EK reservoir and 30 cm long tubing cut. Once pump is turned on I get the “tornado” in the reservoir — perfect conditions to test foam formation. To be honest, I was afraid that foam will overflow this small reservoir, however, nothing happened, take a look at the picture:
Still, there was some foam formed, but it became visible only after switching the pump off and then completely dissolved in 5 seconds. Excellent result.
Almost all dyes cause obstructions in water blocks (particularly in micro-channel ones), tubing, reservoir thus reducing overall WC system performance. Unfortunately, I could not test how hard this dye brakes down, because it takes at least 2-3 months to reveal it, however, I will present the data provided by manufacturer:
Blue, red, purple, UV-yellow and yellow dyes were tested for 14 months and showed no deposits on the tubing and water blocks, UV-pink dye left some deposits after 8 months, transparent (UV clear) showed no deposits during 18 months of testing. The dyes are compliant with EU and US safety standards, all colors are safe for humans and animals, except for UV-pink, which is unsafe for animals. All dyes are environmentally friendly.
Short summary of Mayhem’s Dyes testing.
- Convenient product packaging
- Dye concentration
- Very low foam formation
Tiny bottles with highly concentrated dye ensure low shipping cost and high mixture output, thus making them very profitable to buy. I don’t know for sure, but I can suggest that one bottle of blue or yellow-green dye will be enough to mix approximately 10 liters of highly saturated fluid (if 5 drops per liter used) and even more with reduced concentration. In general, Mayhem’s Dyes are really good ones and deserve the “Recommended” award: