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How to Clean Old Plastic Planters

Carole Ellis

Many gardeners spend a large portion of their annual gardening budgets on new planters to make their yards look neat and beautiful, even though they have many old plastic planters in their garden sheds that are still perfectly serviceable.

There is no need to buy new planters each year.

If you want to spend that money on plants instead of new containers, you will need a strong arm to clean old plastic planters and get them looking bright and new again. But you will find that the effort is worth it when your garden budget is blooming as never before.

  1. Disinfect the planters. Soak the planters in a tub filled with 9 parts water and 1 part bleach. This will help eliminate any fungal remnants or diseases that may have affected plants in the planters during previous seasons. Leave the planters in the bleach for at least 10 minutes.

  2. Scrub down the pots. Move them to a tub of warm, soapy water. Use the plastic brush to scrub away crusted dirt and grime and to remove mineral deposits. When you are done, the planters should have bright, clean surfaces without roughness or irregularities other than those due to their inherent composition.

  3. Rinse off the pots. Use a hose or another tub of water to make sure that the pots are free of all cleaning residue.

  4. Wipe the pots down with rubbing alcohol. This will further sterilize them before you put new plants in them. Saturate a cleaning rag with rubbing alcohol and rub down the inside and the outside. Store your clean, sterile plastic planters until you are ready to use them.

  5. Tip

    Wear gloves to protect your hands from the cleaning chemicals.