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Rain Barrel, coconut oil, and my garden

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Rain Barrel, coconut oil, and my garden

Post  KF5IWR on 5/17/2012, 9:16 pm

I just got a few new rain barrels that used to be filled with virgin coconut oil. How good do I really need to clean them out? Will the coconut oil hurt my garden in any way? Possibly attract harmful insects? Clog the plants root? Anything like that?
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Re: Rain Barrel, coconut oil, and my garden

Post  claudiamedic on 5/17/2012, 10:01 pm

I'm jealous! I love coconut oil and need rain barrels! lol!

Virgin coconut oil has a very low melting pt (76 degrees F). I would suggest getting rid of as much as you can w heat (sun, hit water) and then use a vinegar solution. That shoud clean them out well enough. Coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid. I don't think any residue would hurt your garden. It even is a sunscreen and has anti microbial attributes. And it smells awesome! afro
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Re: Rain Barrel, coconut oil, and my garden

Post  claudiamedic on 5/17/2012, 10:06 pm

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Re: Rain Barrel, coconut oil, and my garden

Post  givvmistamps on 5/17/2012, 10:10 pm

Someone else had gotten some barrels like this that had carried some sort of oil, and one of the folks who had been around a while recommended a good washing. My barrel had carried pickles in it, so there was no getting the smell out, but we washed it well, also.
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Re: Rain Barrel, coconut oil, and my garden

Post  KF5IWR on 5/17/2012, 10:55 pm

Claudiamedic -
I knew it was good for skincare but didn't realize the anti microbial and anti fungal attributes!

I have 4 to wash out total and only had time to do one tonight. I filled it about 1/3 of the way with water and then poured in some dish soap. I shook it and rolled it around a bunch, let it sit, rolled it around some more and poured it out. I'm letting it dry out overnight and the heat of the day tomorrow should heat up any leftover residue. I'll check it out again tomorrow.

I don't think I'll do the vinegar rinse unless everyone else thinks I should.
Thanks!
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Re: Rain Barrel, coconut oil, and my garden

Post  trukrebew on 5/18/2012, 12:23 am

Vinegar will kill your plants. If you wash the barrel with vinegar to clean out the oil, you'll need to wash the barrel again really well to get the vinegar out!

How many times do you really want to wash those things, after all? I would do what you did for the first barrel, but then add a good scrubbing and rinse, too.
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Re: Rain Barrel, coconut oil, and my garden

Post  KF5IWR on 5/18/2012, 8:27 am

trukrebew - Good thought on the vinegar. The reason I haven't scrubbed it out is because it doesn't have an open/removable top, just 2 bung holes.

I will be cutting a 3 inch hole at the top to actually make the rain barrel so maybe I can shove some sort of makeshift mop in that hole to do a final scrub and rinse.

Thanks for all the advice!

Oh, and if anyone is curious, I will be making a compost tumbler out of one of them. That one will be easy to clean out Wink
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Re: Rain Barrel, coconut oil, and my garden

Post  claudiamedic on 5/18/2012, 12:00 pm

The plastic wouldn't absorb the vinegar....so I was thinking a thorough rinse would suffice...no? Sounds like a mild dish soap might be better??? If you did it right you could use the waste water as a plant spray...?? I've got so much to learn!
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