Salt crust on clay pots?

Has anyone figured out how get the salt crust off their clay pots? I've tried white vinegar. It didn't work. Maybe I didn't do it right.
Will a normal springtime soaking pots in a wheelbarrow fill of water with a splash of bleach make it easier to scrub that salt off?
TIA,
Confused (as usual) in Alaska
--
Bedouin proverb: If you have no troubles, buy a goat.

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I don't know what you mean by salts. I would guess that it is calcium carbonate but vinegar should take care of that, unless it is too diluted. Try squirting the vinegar directly on the crystals. Otherwise, if it is regular salt, water should dissolve it.
Good luck, - Bill Cloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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wrote:

Buy a wire brush and use the vinegar or even a product called Barkeepers Friend in powder form. It is a stainless steel cleaner/scour. Stop using Miracle Grow and switch to liquid seaweed to fertililze potted plants and you won't have the salt build up.
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steel wool on glazed or plastic pots?
rob
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wrote:

I never said steel wool. But yes, a wire brush on clay pots which is what the original poster was asking about, not plastic or glazed.
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Similar proverb from a Taj Mahal blues song: If you can't get a wife, get a bear. I have no idea what he meant, but anyway...
With the pot in use, it's often not possible to get the minerals off because you need lots of water, like the soaking you mentioned. The bleach will neither help nor hinder your efforts, but it may soak into the clay, which you don't want. If you need to clean a pot that's in use, place it in the shower, cover the soil with heavy duty aluminum foil (to prevent splashing soil all over the place, and use the handheld shower head to rinse off the minerals while scrubbing with whatever brush you find easiest to maneuver. I use a fingernail brush because it fits the palm of my hand.
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Unpot the plants. Soak pot overnight, or at least a couple hours, in plain water with an acidifier of some sort (not bleach, it's basic/alkaline). Scrub well with a stiff-fibered brush, rinse and dry.
Don't expect to get all the salts off, but the pot will look much better and you won't be having water potential problems with your plants. I like a plain old 8" stiff-fibered palmyra pot brush for this work -- fingernail brush or surgical hand brush for the smaller ones, and a toothbrush for the thumbpots.
Kay
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Soak in a bucket of water with about 2 cups of bleach for 24 hours. Works like a charm. Very little scrubbing and in some cases none needed.
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