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Washing Fabric Pots

TurboBucket

Photo of the Month: Jan 2019 - Plant of the Month: Feb 2019
Not sure I've noticed a thread on this anywhere so I'll throw one up.

When I started growing I bought fabric pots for the whole root prune thing and was happy with the results. I was also disgusted by the condition of the pots after a run. Lots of folks said you can wash them but I was nervous. I continued experimenting with different container sizes in my garden until I found a combo that I like. Now I use 9x 3 gallon containers per cycle. No way I want to buy $50+ worth of containers every month. Or any $ worth of containers for that matter.

So I started washing them. I thought for sure it would destroy the washing machine and I would be in the doghouse forever. I looked into it first, the one line that stood out to me above all else came from a Maytag dealer. "These things are built to handle cloth diapers, your flower pots ain't nothin" lmao. Well when you put it like that what have I got to lose.


Here is the process that I use. It's super simple takes an hour or two and your good to go. I've washed some bags three times so far and they still look good.




Step one
Allow the pot and root ball to completely dry. This makes removing the rootball easier in my experience.
Notice all the buildup in the sides? It's from evaporation, these plants get 6 irrigation cycles per day all to run off. What's on the pot is everything in the water left behind as the water evaporates.

Step two
Get as much dirt out of the inside as possible.


Step three
soak the pots in a bucket or tote full of water. Agitate them in there swirl em around scrub em on each other, try to break any perlite loose so it floats to the top and not in the pots.

Step four
Dump your dirty water out or use a second bucket with clean water. Turn the containers inside out and agitate again. If there's a lot of roots stuck you can scrub them off with your hands or a soft bristle brush. (Nylon or boar hair, not wire)



Step five
Ensure there's no or very small perlite left on the pots by dunking them in a clean bucket. The perlite or any other hard chunky material is the one thing that can make problems for your washer the drain tubes are not overly large and too much larger debris could plug it up.

Getting the big chunky stuff out is the whole reason for the prewash, it's not to clean the pots it's to protect the washer.


step six
Toss them in the washer. I use a half dose of laundry detergent nothing special. Haven't had it affect the plants yet. I wash them on the normal cycle and they come out clean enough for me.



You could probably tumble dry them but I just let them hang dry. I have planted into them directly after washing with no Ill effects.


It's not rocket science but I was nervous so I'm sure other folks are or have questions as well. Hopefully this will help. Questions, comments, concerns, queries? Let em rip. Keep em green y'all.
 

Old Salt

Member of the Month: Apr, Nov 2019
I use DIY grow bags made from heavy duty landscape cloth.

Since the material is thinner than the ones Turbo is using, I use the same method, but don't toss them in the washing machine. The ones in my tent now are on their seventh grow.
 

NOOOBIENOT

Well-Known Member
i reuse my pots all the time , i rinse them off in the laundry tub and in to the washer after that , no laundry detergent just a hot water cycle and then hang to dry completely , they have to be cleaned as leaving all the left over roots in does cause root rot on your next grow and all the fertilizer salts need to be removed also , i get atleast 5-6 grows per bag .
 

TurboBucket

Photo of the Month: Jan 2019 - Plant of the Month: Feb 2019
my question is why to even clean it? it will be filled with soil and will look exactly same in few days

Actually it takes several weeks for the deposits to start to accumulate. Which is the main reason for washing them, the accumulation on the sides from evaporation. They don't breathe well at that point. Also as already noted removing the excess roots is always a good thing.

Some people like it dirty, I try to keep stuff clean. I used a couple pots for a second round without washing them and I ended up with issues on only those plants. Now I wash them after every run no more problems.
 

multiVortex

Well-Known Member
I'll run mine through the dryer. I ain't skert. :19::19::19:

Why? It has a sanitizing option, and I use it "just in case" something icky is still living after the scrub and wash cycle. Shouldn't be, but you never know. Works just fine so far and anything you can control to prevent something bad, you should handle. One less place to cause an issue.
 

captainhowdy

Well-Known Member
Cool post, I'm using smart pots for the first time this grow as well. I am starting in solo cups then going to 1 gallon smart pots and finishing in 5 gallon smart pots.

Would be nice to get another run or two out of the bags. I've heard they're a b*tch to re-pot and I may end up cutting the 1 gallons off. Anyone have any experience with this? (Transplanting from smart pot to smart pot?)



Stay high my friends

-The Captain
 

N420

Well-Known Member
I like to wash and reuse my fabric pots as well. My method is very similar to Turbo Bucket. Let the medium completely dry out and dump it out. I take 2 scoops of Oxy Clean and put it in a 5 gallon bucket then fill it with really hot water. I soak them in there for a few hours agitating the pots occasionally. After that I put them in the washer on the rinse and spin cycle they come out looking great.
 
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Edzzed

Well-Known Member

Old Salt

Member of the Month: Apr, Nov 2019
Gee, For the cost of them VS. electricity, Wear n tear on the washing machine and price of water I turf them and start new. I also throw out soiled underwear and any socks with a hole.
I don't throw them in the washer. A bucket of water for the wash, and another for the rinse, is all it takes. In less than five minutes per bag, they're ready to go again.
 

SmokingWings

Well-Known Member
Gee, For the cost of them VS. electricity, Wear n tear on the washing machine and price of water I turf them and start new. I also throw out soiled underwear and any socks with a hole.
The wear and tear is something most people don't think of but in the long run it should be cheaper to wash and reuse a fabric pot than to buy a new one every grow cycle.

So you throw out the underwear after one wearing but wash the socks a couple of times? That does not sound economically feasible unless you are using paper undies.;)
 

Edzzed

Well-Known Member
The wear and tear is something most people don't think of but in the long run it should be cheaper to wash and reuse a fabric pot than to buy a new one every grow cycle.

So you throw out the underwear after one wearing but wash the socks a couple of times? That does not sound economically feasible unless you are using paper undies.;)
Who said anything about one wearing. If I use the toilet, we have a bidet. On the other hand, If underwear has stains, Garbage. Socks get a hole. Garbage. Not rich but not hurting for cash either.
 

TurboBucket

Photo of the Month: Jan 2019 - Plant of the Month: Feb 2019
Cool post, I'm using smart pots for the first time this grow as well. I am starting in solo cups then going to 1 gallon smart pots and finishing in 5 gallon smart pots.

Would be nice to get another run or two out of the bags. I've heard they're a b*tch to re-pot and I may end up cutting the 1 gallons off. Anyone have any experience with this? (Transplanting from smart pot to smart pot?)



Stay high my friends

-The Captain

I've done it. Now I use plastic 1 gallons. There is a company that makes Velcro one and two gallon transplant fabric containers
 

TurboBucket

Photo of the Month: Jan 2019 - Plant of the Month: Feb 2019
I also throw out soiled underwear and any socks with a hole.

Well all my socks have holes. Except my huntin socks. But I've never soiled a pair of drawers lmao.

Even if I bought the cheapest fabric pots it's still $30 a run. @.17 /kw/h and using well water that's a ton of laundry. Get crazy throw the cost of the washer in there, it's a used HE front loader I paid $350 for the pair. 12 runs saves me almost enough money to buy a new one.

The closest city to me; 1 in 3 live below the federal poverty line, we live comfortably no debt except the mortgage, extra money's still hard to come by.
 

Edzzed

Well-Known Member
Well all my socks have holes. Except my huntin socks.
I also hunt. We have a house up country and get deer in our front yard. I have also only ever seen one moose though. Oddly enough, It was while I was on the Coquihalla highway near our exit. If you have not heard of the highway. They made a show about it. Highway thru hell. I also know Al's wife. lol. highway thru hell - YouTube
 

Elvin

Well-Known Member
I
I use DIY grow bags made from heavy duty landscape cloth.

Since the material is thinner than the ones Turbo is using, I use the same method, but don't toss them in the washing machine. The ones in my tent now are on their seventh grow.
I do the same. I just dump the old FFOF in the back yard and put new in. I don't wash; they'll just get dirty anyway.
 
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