Congratulations on owning your very own AeroGarden! Not only are AeroGardens super great to have as far as sustainability and fun goes, but anytime you’re able to watch your own plants grow is truly rewarding! Take a minute to pat yourself on the back for being so green and earth conscious!
Ok, now that that’s done, one of the most important parts in owning an AeroGarden is learning how to properly care for it and clean it. Everything comes with a certain level of maintenance and an AeroGarden is no exception.
Since these are living plants that you’re caring for and growing, pathogens and bacteria naturally collect on the inside of the AeroGarden bowl and surface areas. This is nothing to be concerned about, but you do need to clean the surfaces to your AeroGarden regularly in order to prevent harmful bacteria from overtaking your plants.
In this handy article, we discuss how to clean your AeroGarden safely and effectively so you can continue to care for and grow your favorite plants all year long! Your plants will thank you for keeping them clean by flourishing and growing strong!
What You Will Need:
In order to clean your AeroGarden safely and effectively, you’ll need just a few materials.
You should fully clean your AeroGarden in between plantings, but if you do have existing seedlings or plants, be sure to clean around the exposed roots or plant areas gingerly and minimally. Using a damp paper towel can work on these more delicate areas. Use the white vinegar and warm water solution.
Bleach or White Vinegar
Bleach and/or vinegar can be used to effectively clean your AeroGarden. If you’d rather keep your AeroGarden clean without using harsher chemicals such as bleach, using vinegar will absolutely work. Vinegar is a natural cleanser that removes bacteria without any harsh chemicals. Although the smell of vinegar isn’t the most pleasant, the smell is almost undetectable after it dries.
A large bowl
A large plastic bowl is needed to submerge the plastic pieces of your AeroGarden in a vinegar or bleach bath. Being able to soak all the pieces guarantees that every nook and cranny of the parts will be cleansed by the vinegar.
Soft towels are needed in order to wipe down pieces of your AeroGarden that can’t be submerged in the bleach or vinegar bath. Simply wiping down some parts of the AeroGarden that won’t do well underwater, such as the light hood or touch screen/meter. This way you make sure the entirety of your AeroGarden is wiped down and rid of any bacteria or pathogens growing inside or on the outer edges of your garden.
Paper towels will work fantastically for getting those tough to reach areas around seed pods or underneath the grow deck. Be careful when cleaning around exposed roots, as roots are sensitive and can be susceptible to tearing or pulling off.
Hooray! Now that you have all your materials gathered, it’s time to get cleaning! Make sure to read all your AeroGarden’s instruction manual and parts information before disassembling entirely. If there is just a certain area you’d like to clean without having to take it all apart, that’s fine – just be sure to watch out for any plant pieces or roots that are exposed. It’s highly suggested to wait and clean your AeroGarden between planting so you don’t disturb any growing plants, but if you do need to clean your AeroGarden in between, be wary of plants growing.
Step 1: Disassemble
Make sure all the pieces of the AeroGarden are disassembled and ready to be cleaned. Make sure the light hood is disconnected properly. Be sure the AeroGarden bowl and base are also separated from each other and ready to be cleaned. Any other parts should be removed.
Step 2: Bleach or Vinegar Bath
All parts except for the light hood and bowl should be able to be fully submerged in a bleach or vinegar bath. Fill up the large bowl with about a gallon of warm water. (NOTE: Make sure the bowl is big enough to fully submerge your AeroGarden pieces. A larger or smaller bowl may be used depending on the model of your AeroGarden.) Use about a cup of bleach or vinegar for the pieces to soak in. Agitate the water with your hand or a large wooden spoon to make sure the water and vinegar or bleach solution get into all the tiny nooks of your AeroGarden pieces. Leave the parts sitting for about 20-30 minutes so the solution can kill any pathogens or bacteria.
Step 3: Sanitizing the Bowl
Unlike the smaller detachable parts to the AeroGarden that can be fully submerged in the bleach or vinegar bath, the bowl to the AeroGarden has water that flows through it via motors or other devices to create the hydroponic garden. Due to the constant flow of water, bacteria or mold may begin to form inside the base of the AeroGarden. Make sure all existing water is emptied from the bowl. Add some of the warm water and vinegar or bleach solution inside the base and turn on the motor. Allow the water solution to run about 5 minutes before shutting off. Make sure to empty all of the solution down the sink and hold the bowl under fresh running water for a while. Make sure the entire bowl is rinsed fully before adding your distilled water for your existing plants or next seedlings.
Step 4: Wipe Down
Now that your bowl is fresh and clean, and ready for your plants or ready for you to plant new seeds, it’s time to wipe down the other surfaces to your AeroGarden. Using a soft washcloth with the vinegar or bleach solution or paper towels, gently wipe over the surfaces of your AeroGarden. Be extra gentle with the light hood as the LED lights are made of glass and extremely delicate. A simple wipe down will suffice, no need to try to get in between the bulbs or into smaller spaces. Allow all wiped down surfaces to dry on towels in open air.
Step 5: Removing Parts from Bleach or Vinegar Bath
After 20-30 minutes have passed, the time is right to remove all the smaller parts from the vinegar or bleach bath. Depending on your version of the AeroGarden, you may have fewer or more parts than other machines. Make sure all pieces are held under running water in order to remove all the vinegar or bleach solution from them. If you are working with especially small parts, you may want to put a stopper in the sink that you’re using in order to prevent any tiny parts from going down the drain. Most parts to the AeroGarden should be large enough to not fall down an open drain, but it never hurts to be precautious. Set pieces onto a towel to allow drying in open air. Make sure all parts are fully dry before reassembling. Run a dry towel or paper towel gently over the parts to make sure.
Step 6: Reassemble
Now that all the parts of your AeroGarden are sanitized and clean, it’s time to reassemble to get ready for your next seedlings or to keep your existing plants healthy and happy! Make sure all pieces have dried fully before assembling. Using your machinery guide, make sure all pieces are snapped back into place and that all electrical parts are kept away from any water remaining in the machine. Once the AeroGarden is all hooked up again, you should be ready to go! The machine should start normally after plugging it in or starting the motors again. If for whatever reason the machine doesn’t start like it should, consult the manual. It could just be a part that isn’t hooked into place correctly or something that is loose that needs to be snapped in.
NOTE: Always be wary of water around electrical outlets and parts. Never plug in or start your machine around open water and make sure any spills are wiped up before starting or move the machine entirely away from any water on the counter surfaces.
So how did it go? Pretty simple, huh? Cleaning your AeroGarden definitely shouldn’t be viewed as a chore since you don’t have to do it very often and your AeroGarden will pay you back tenfold with gorgeous herbs and plants! Even though you may have to work with small pieces, using the vinegar or bleach bath surely saves a lot of cleaning effort so you can spend more time planning out your garden seeds!
If you’re an avid Aero Gardener, what are some of the most effective ways you clean your garden? Do your methods match ours? We’d love to hear about it! Feel free to share any helpful tips and/or insight in the comments so that our community of Aero Gardeners can get all the crucial details for their next planting project. Hopefully you enjoyed our tutorial and it helps you plant many more gardens in the future. Happy planting!
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