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How to Clean & Disinfect Plastic Plant Saucers & Pots

Clear plastic plant saucer under white plastic planter with green leaf house plant
Thinking about re-using your plant saucers and planters for a new plant? Make sure you clean and disinfect them first!

With high quality plastic plant saucers, planter pots, and other products, you might find they outlast your plants! Reusing these products is a great way to help reduce waste and pursue an eco-friendly container garden strategy. However, what many hobby gardeners don’t realize is that it’s necessary to clean and disinfect these items before reusing them for other plants. In this article, we’ll discuss why disinfecting plant containers is important and how to do so effectively.

Why Clean and Disinfect Plant Saucers, Planters, Hanging Basket Drip Pans, and Other Plant Products?

Mineral deposits, leftover soil, and other debris left behind by old plants can be the perfect hiding spot for organisms that are potentially harmful to plants. Therefore, reusing pots, plant saucers, and hanging basket drip pans without cleaning and disinfecting them can put your new plants at risk. 

Many bacteria and fungi can live for a long time off the remnants left by old plants on your plant products. Using them for new plants can mean putting your plants at risk for disease. Even if you thoroughly rinse the old debris and soil off, these organisms can still stick around and wreak havoc on your new plants. So, make sure you’re taking time to not only clean, but disinfect your plastic plant containers and products.

How to Disinfect Plastic Plant Pots, Saucers, and other Containers

Disinfecting plastic planters, plant saucers, and other items is actually pretty easy. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Items for disinfecting
  • Large container
  • Household bleach
  • Water
  • Gentle dishwashing liquid
  • Sponge or other cleaning tool

Start off by thoroughly cleaning away any visible debris, soil, and mineral deposits. You can take care of this with some warm, soapy water and a sponge or preferred tool for cleaning. Just make sure you use gentle items for cleaning so you don’t scratch the surface of the plastic. Scratches can be the perfect hiding spot for bacteria to hide and cause harm to your plants. 

Next, you’ll want to disinfect the items with a 10% bleach solution. In a container large enough to fully submerge the plant pots, saucers, and other items, mix 1 part of unscented household bleach to 9 parts water. Then, simply place the items you need to disinfect in the bleach solution. In some cases, you may need to clean off a rock or another type of weight to help keep the containers and saucers fully submerged. Allow them to soak for a minimum of 10 minutes to kill off any organisms that might hurt your new plants. After the soak, rinse the items thoroughly and allow them to drip dry.

It’s important to note that you need to dispose of the leftover bleach solution properly. Bleach can be harmful to plants, grass, and wildlife, so follow proper precautions for disposal. It’s generally best to avoid dumping the solution on the ground where it can reach living things like plants and animals. 

Quality Plastic Products Designed and Made in the U.S.A.

Looking for high quality, durable plastic product solutions for your plant and floral needs? Our experts at Curtis Wagner Plastics provide innovative options for everything from floral boxes to pet place mats. Since 1992, we’ve been providing design and manufacturing excellence for a wide range of heavy-duty plastic products. Reach out today at (713) 937-3784 to place an order!