Cleaning winter sowing containers is much faster than finding and preparing new ones every year. But it can also become a huge chore. So, in this post, I will share my best tips for how to speed things up, and make it fast and easy to clean them.
Reusing plastic containers that otherwise would have been thrown out is one of the great things about winter sowing seeds. As an added bonus, some containers can even be saved and reused again year after year.
There are tons of different types of containers you could use, and many of them are durable enough to be used more than once.
Reusing all those mini greenhouses makes life easier, since you don’t have to find and prepare new ones every year. And who doesn’t love saving time?
How To Clean Winter Sowing Containers
There are really only two ways to clean winter sowing containers: either in the dishwasher, or by hand washing. Obviously washing them by hand will take much longer. So you may want to try to find as many dishwasher safe containers as you can.
Examples Of Dishwasher Safe Containers
This probably goes without saying… but not all types of containers will survive the dishwasher. Most of the ones you find in the bakery section, and ones that are used for restaurant takeout are not dishwasher safe. But, many types of food storage containers are.
Even if something looks like it would be, sometimes I will find one or two that have melted in the dishwasher (oops!). Here are a few of my favorites that are usually dishwasher safe…
- Old food storage containers (look for these in the free bin at garage sales)
- Disposable food storage containers (I like the larger 64 oz size, or the 48 oz size for shorter seedlings)
- Ice cream buckets
- Restaurant take out containers – but they can be hit or miss, so use caution. (these are some of my favorites, and they are dishwasher safe).
- Containers from the grocery store deli (I like these)
Cleaning Winter Sowing Containers In The Dishwasher
It’s easy to clean winter sowing containers using the dishwasher. First I use a dry rag or a brush to wipe off the bulk of the left-over dirt. Then I load the containers into the dishwasher.
Once it’s full, I run it on the rinse or quick-wash cycle. It’s the shortest cycle, but runs long enough to clean off much of the dirt and residue.
I don’t put soap into the dishwasher, because the hot water rinse will clean them good enough. But you could if you want to, it’s not going to harm your seeds.
Hand Washing The Containers
If you have any containers that aren’t dishwasher safe, then you need to hand wash them (examples are milk jugs, 2 liter bottles, containers from bakery goods…etc.). Don’t worry, you don’t have to spend too much time on this task.
First, soak them in the sink filled with soapy water to allow the dirt to soften up. Then use an old rag or a paper towel to wipe out the insides.
You don’t have to totally scrub clean winter sowing containers. Just a quick wash to remove some of the dirt and residue will be fine.
Cleaning winter sowing containers can save you tons of time. It means you don’t have to hunt for new ones every year, and spend time preparing all of them. Be sure to look for containers that can withstand the dishwasher, that will make cleaning them even easier!
Or, if you want to learn how to grow any type of seed you want using a mix of methods, then you should take my Seed Starting Course. It’s a fun, self-paced online course that will teach you exactly how to grow any seed that you want. Enroll and start the course today!
More Winter Sowing Posts
- Winter Sowing Questions & Answers (FAQs)
- How To Prepare Containers For Winter Sowing
- When To Start Winter Sowing Your Seeds
- Tips For Winter Sowing During A Mild Winter
Leave a comment below, and share your tips for cleaning winter sowing containers.