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How to clean gunky buckets

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  • How to clean gunky buckets

    Our barn water is hard and sometimes rusty. The water buckets have developed a scale gunky brown that just does not scrub off. IDK if massive amounts of vinegar would do the trick or something like CLR, which I would be afraid to use. Any ideas? Throw away buckets and start over?

  • #2
    I have the same issue, and just scrub the buckets almost everyday. If there is some staining it really isn't a big deal, just cosmetic, but vinegar will work if you let it sit long enough (like hours to all day). I have done this with small animal water dishes and it worked really well.

    BTW, I have buckets that are 10+ years old with hard water stains, but otherwise fine. They still are used for water and the horses don't care.

    Christa

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    • #3
      I will be watching this thread for responses. Like an idiot, I bought my horse bright yellow buckets and I can never get them looking clean. I change her water every day and scrub them with a hard brush before refilling, and they've still got a gross film on the sides. Bleach doesn't seem to work, even if I let it sit all day.
      http://www.lucysquest.blogspot.com

      Custom Painted Saddle Pads and Ornaments

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      • #4
        I always used a hard scrub brush Hot water, and a bit of Plain white Vinegar, LEt them sit while I did stalls and then scrubbed and rinsed, They look great and get off the white and gunk, and safe too!

        Comment


        • #5
          I have used hot vinegar water for stuff like this but I put the hot water in first thing in the AM and left it "steep" until evening so I didn't have to use as much elbow grease.

          I think I used white vinegar - can't remember

          I don't have that problem anymore. The buckets get rinsed every day. When I remember, I throw some Clorox in there and swish it around with a brush.

          Comment


          • #6
            I remember hearing a rumor years ago that Anne Kursinski used white water buckets or something to make sure they are clean. If its true, wonder how they kept them clean??? We scrub ours atleast 1x per day, 2 if they are in and bleach 1x per week. The lighter buckets are hard to get stains removed

            Comment


            • #7
              You might have some luck with Baking soda, vinegar and a sponge. CLR can be used in a coffee maker, so it's probably o.k. too.

              Comment


              • #8
                If you have a pressure washer, they usually help quite a bit.
                As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If you have some dishwasher detergent powder try putting that in with the hot water in the morning and scrubbing with a hard brush after it's had a good long time to soak.
                  It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Thanks all, some really good ideas to try. Esp like the power washer idea, but have visions of shooting buckets across the paddocks. The buckets are quite usable, but I would like them to look cleaner, and since we have a helper this summer, it looks doable. My shoulders tell me scrubbing days are over for me.
                    The horses don't seem to care.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CrowneDragon View Post
                      If you have a pressure washer, they usually help quite a bit.
                      I just pressure washed all my water buckets and feed tubs and it got rid of most of the gunk that daily scrubbing didn't get. Of course pressure washing is addictive and I ended up washing the whole barn. :-)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Scotch Brite hand pads.
                        http://buy3mindustrial.com/scotch-brite-hand-pads.html
                        Usually found through an industrial supplier
                        http://www.mcmaster.com/#3m-scotchbr...e-pads/=n70nrj
                        ... _. ._ .._. .._

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by walkinthewalk View Post
                          I have used hot vinegar water for stuff like this but I put the hot water in first thing in the AM and left it "steep" until evening so I didn't have to use as much elbow grease.

                          I think I used white vinegar - can't remember

                          I don't have that problem anymore. The buckets get rinsed every day. When I remember, I throw some Clorox in there and swish it around with a brush.
                          White Vinegar works great for so many things!
                          But the trick is you are right, rinse daily and run the brush around them.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            CLR works great, just rinse well.
                            What you allow is what will continue.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If you have dairies in the area, ask the farmer where he buys
                              pipeline cleaner. There is a product I buy at Mills Fleet Farm
                              (which sells dairy supplies among other things) called
                              Milkstone Remover. It is meant to put in the lines that carry
                              milk from the cow to the storage tank when cleaning the
                              lines after each milking. It dissolves calcium buildup and
                              other grunge and is considered safe to have been in the
                              pipes that will subsequently carry milk (dairy safety inspectors are VERY picky). I use the product to keep my
                              coffee maker clean (we have hard water). I also use this
                              product to clean my stock tank heaters at the end of each
                              winter and they now last through more years.
                              Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
                              Elmwood, Wisconsin

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by SunkenMeadow View Post
                                I remember hearing a rumor years ago that Anne Kursinski used white water buckets or something to make sure they are clean. If its true, wonder how they kept them clean??? We scrub ours atleast 1x per day, 2 if they are in and bleach 1x per week. The lighter buckets are hard to get stains removed
                                I've used white water buckets for years - people think that's crazy but I can always tell when my buckets have even one speck of grime on them. I scrub mine daily with just a regular stiff brush and water - never had an issue with grime building up on them. Yes I am a fanatic about clean buckets .
                                "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I use straight white vinegar to clean my plastic bunny water dishes. The bunnies will pee in them and it makes a thick scale that comes out easily with the vinegar.
                                  Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                  Incredible Invisible

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    There is a product called "Kaboom" (smells awful!) which I've found works very well. Spray, let it sit for an hour or so and scrub with a ball of SS scrubber stuff. Then rinse well. I also spray straight Clorox in my buckets, let dry, rinse lightly then refill with drinking water. THAT really does a good job of keeping the scummy junk away.
                                    www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
                                    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I soak my stock tank heater overnight in straight vinegar at the end of each season. We also have very hard water, so I get the rust colored calcium build up on anything that sits with water. I usually pressure wash the stock tank, but I agree - pressure washing a bucket would send it shooting to the neighbors I would fill the bucket with water, and dump at least a full cup of vinegar in it. Let it sit overnight (or at least 12 hours)...dump the vinegar water into the next empty bucket while you check if the first bucket is clean. Warning: wherever you dump the used vinegar/water, it will kill the grass...so be careful where you dump it.
                                      Cindy

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Robin@DHH View Post
                                        There is a product I buy at Mills Fleet Farm
                                        (which sells dairy supplies among other things) called
                                        Milkstone Remover.
                                        AKA Phosphoric acid available at TSC; http://www.tractorsupply.com/webapp/...=&cm_vc=-10005
                                        ... _. ._ .._. .._

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