quick question

Lamora(4)March 1, 2013

Hi, I was just wondering the best way to clean Clay pots? Make them safe for new plants? I bought one (thrift store) and they don't clean pots. This one smells of something that I can't tell what it is- didn't smell it till after i got it home. But I was wondeing how to "sterilize" a clay pot-- or can you?

thanks
Marjie :)

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larry_b(Zone5/CO)

Boil it in an old pot. I have an old burnt out pot that I only use for such things. Or soak it in Bleach (10 parts water 1 part bleach) for 12 hours. Soak the bleached pot in water for several days afterward. After that any remaining bleach should evaporate.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 2:05PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

After soaking in the bleach solution for several hours, soak in water for an hour or so then place in the outdoor sunlight for a day. Ultraviolet rays work wonders.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 2:19PM
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Lamora(4)

Thanks!! will do!! ummm sunshine?? HAHAHAHA! Will have to wait for that I think-- still pretty grey out there, no sunshine to be had~~ :( But I will soak it in the bleach for a while and then water-- humm wonder if I can find a container for it, We use the sink too much for that long. I will find something....

Thanks so much!! I wouldn't care so much if I knew what the smell was, but since i don't, I worry....

Marjie

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 3:21PM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

i thought plastic pots could be sterillized not clay

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 3:27PM
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larry_b(Zone5/CO)

Thanks Dorie,

I am never sure how long to soak the pot to get the bleach out of something porous like clay. Putting it in the sun is an excellent idea.

Larry

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 3:27PM
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larry_b(Zone5/CO)

Nope. You can boil, bake or soak in bleach. That will kill most things. I say most things because there are some bacteria that can survive boiling. It's a bacteria that one would be concerned about when canning food. That is why one needs to use a pressure cooker for canning non-tomato food. I know of nothing that would harm a plant that would survive boiling.

Larry

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 3:33PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi there Larry,

Happy March 1st!! (am getting ready to welcome Spring, can you tell?) ;>)

What excellent info, which I'd never heard before, thanks for sharing it w/ us!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 4:29PM
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eahamel(9a)

Yes, clay pots can be sterilized. It's recommended by orchid growers since they're sensitive to a lot of pathogens.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 5:06PM
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larry_b(Zone5/CO)

Hi Karen,

Thank you and Happy March 1st to you too. I can't believe it's March. The winter is going by fast for me this year.

Larry

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 6:15PM
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dellis326 (Danny)

Soak them in water for about a half hour and pop em in the oven at 350 degrees for about an hour or two. Let them cool in the oven overnight. The steam will sterilize inside the walls of the pots

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 10:16PM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

yes happy march first everybody!!!!!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 10:27PM
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Lamora(4)

Thanks everyone!! wow- so many ways. I let it sit in water and bleach for about 4 hrs, been sitting in water over hight, haven't taken it out yet. I don't think I will worry about baking it unless the smell is still there. (I hate our oven) but thanks for the tips.

Now for the hard water that didn't come off!! lol, but I can deal with that. Thought the bleach would do that, but there was a lot! oh well, like I said, I can deal with it~~ :)

Thanks again
Marjie

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 12:17PM
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larry_b(Zone5/CO)

Nope not bleach, vinegar.

Larry

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 3:59PM
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dellis326 (Danny)

Bleach is alkaline, you need something acid to dissolve the mineral deposits. Use white vinegar.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 6:03PM
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