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?
Confused (as usual) in Alaska
Bedouin proverb: If you have no troubles, buy a goat.
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.
Cloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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.
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.
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
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