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Cleaning Tool for Garden Containers

By 4susiesjoy
October 7, 2013

I've found that a round, pointed-edged paint brush is the perfect tool for cleaning pots, trays, and plant six-packs. It gets into edges and corners far better than a conventional scrub brush or cloth. The hard bottom of the paint brush is great for pushing out indents in the six-packs that were caused by ejecting the plants.

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Name: June
Rosemont, Ont. (Zone 4a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers Cat Lover Birds Cactus and Succulents Butterflies
Dragonflies Garden Ideas: Level 1
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JuneOntario
Oct 7, 2013 7:40 AM CST
I wish I'd seen this before I bought a fancy so-called pot brush with a rounded end, which I found was way too large and the bristles were too stiff to get into the corners of even the larger pots. I'm off to buy a paint brush (or raid my DH's collection)!
Name: Peter Dieckmann
Germany
Region: Europe Sempervivums Container Gardener Hibiscus Bee Lover Butterflies
Dragonflies Birds Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Dog Lover Cat Lover
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banker07
Oct 7, 2013 9:42 AM CST
I use a paint brush like yours for cleaning my pots and it works excellent Smiling

has been a discovery by chance 3 years ago;
[url=www.sempervivum-liste.de]www.sempervivum-liste.de[/url]
[url=www.hauswurze.de]www.hauswurze.de[/url]
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Oct 7, 2013 11:40 AM CST
Hmm, I've just been spraying them with "flat" or "jet" streams from a hose sprayer, and scrubbing with a green nylon scrubber wrapped around a finger. Your idea sounds better.

Often, after I get all the visible soil and salts off a lot of pots and trays, I'll do one dishwasher run for all of them.

With the racks stuffed full and plenty of dishwasher detergent, , I'll let it run for 2-3 minutes. Then I take out the soapy ones and stuff the racks again with the next batch of hose-cleaned pots and trays. Run that for 2-3 minutes. Repeat.

My dishwasher has three stages (pre-wash, wash and rinse). I make sure there is detergent in it for each phase, including rinse. I can get at least 5 batches washed that way with one dishwasher"run". I think the caustic soap is good for knocking out soil diseases and whatever.

Meanwhile I let the ones I took out "soak" in the detergent, like in a big plastic bag.

When they've ALL been through the dishwasher, I take the bag outside and rinse them with the hose sprayer on "Flat" and "Mist". Someone suggested making a chicken-wire "corral" so I could blast them all at once without them getting away. That sounds smart, but I haven't had a chance to test it yet. \
Name: Susie
Leonard, Minnesota (Zone 3b)
Composter Hellebores Garden Art Irises Xeriscape Echinacea
Sedums Foliage Fan Herbs Dahlias Frogs and Toads Bee Lover
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4susiesjoy
Oct 7, 2013 6:13 PM CST
Peter, I found it by accident too. I was washing my trays and I couldn't get into the corners, ends and the little ridges with my scrub brush and yes Rick I had already sprayed them too. When I went looking for something I saw this paint brush and thought I'd try it and it was great. So then I started on my pots and six packs. I loved it! It saved a lot of time and frustration. It also works great for cleaning off cantaloupe and gourds from my garden. nodding

Rick, I put my small enough pots and six packs in a 5 gallon pail of hot soapy water and let them soak and then clean the insides (with the brush) and then stick them in a 5 gallon bucket of clean water to rinse. The trays I rinse with a hose sprayer. Of course I have the pails in front of me while I'm SITTING on a canvas chair. Hilarious! on the patio.

June, I think you'll like it!
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Oct 7, 2013 7:00 PM CST
Until you got to the SITTING part, I was going to agree with you and say that I've broken my back that way, too.

But yes, the 5 gallon bucket is a good accessory.

Do you find the brush is stiff enough to scour off things that won't come off with water spray?
Name: Susie
Leonard, Minnesota (Zone 3b)
Composter Hellebores Garden Art Irises Xeriscape Echinacea
Sedums Foliage Fan Herbs Dahlias Frogs and Toads Bee Lover
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4susiesjoy
Oct 7, 2013 8:15 PM CST
I don't think the spray get's off as much as the brush but then again If the spray is on strong enough to do any good I haven't learned how to secure a plastic pot or six pack and not get about as much spray in my face and the rest of me as on pot! Whistling Smiling So maybe if you didn't mind getting that wet, it would. Nah. Big Grin
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Oct 8, 2013 12:19 PM CST
>> I haven't learned how to secure a plastic pot or six pack and not get about as much spray in my face and the rest of me as on pot!

Yup, a good strong soil-blasting spray is a little like taking a shower. I usually sandwich pots between two web trays to keep them in place. Propagation trays are easier and you can do many at the same time, laying them all down flat and spraying mostly from above, but at enough angle that you don;t get soaked by back-spray.

To reduce the amount of water I use, I spray them a bit, then scrub them a bit, then spray them again.
Name: Susie
Leonard, Minnesota (Zone 3b)
Composter Hellebores Garden Art Irises Xeriscape Echinacea
Sedums Foliage Fan Herbs Dahlias Frogs and Toads Bee Lover
Image
4susiesjoy
Oct 8, 2013 2:25 PM CST
I usually spray the trays, scrub them with my brush then spray again too. It isn't my favorite gardening job but on a nice day it's actually kind of relaxing to be out. You don't have to pay that much attention to what you're doing so you can listen to the birds and the other critters that are out and about and enjoy the fresh air. Smiling
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Oct 8, 2013 2:53 PM CST
Amen!

One mistake I made once was to leave the massive clean-up job until I wasn't busy. So I tried to do the spray-cleaning in cold weather.

MISTAKE!
Name: Susie
Leonard, Minnesota (Zone 3b)
Composter Hellebores Garden Art Irises Xeriscape Echinacea
Sedums Foliage Fan Herbs Dahlias Frogs and Toads Bee Lover
Image
4susiesjoy
Oct 8, 2013 5:20 PM CST
Ooooh! Not fun. It's hard to find time in the summer when there's so much going on but sometimes it's worth it to let something else slide. I've put it off and then had snow come and have to clean them in the laundry room. Then I have to carry the water up stairs and out because I don't want all that stuff in our septic. So now I make a real effort to do it before it gets cold!!

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