A clean environment is good for you and your plants—it makes them healthier overall, and it makes your life easier. So are there any good techniques for how to clean a grow room? What is the best way to clean a growing space? Unlike our own living space, there can be some serious consequences to having a dirty grow space such as encouraging disease, pathogens, bacteria, and fungi to take root in the dirty parts of the tent.
Clean your space and you’ll reduce the risk of health problems for your plant. Let’s dive into some ways how to clean a grow room!
What is sanitation and why should you do it? – how to clean a grow room
First, let’s define sanitation. Sanitation refers to decreasing harmful pathogens to a safe level. In our home, this level is close to zero most of the time, meaning the risk of infection or illness is low. Disinfection refers to the removal of most of the harmful microorganisms that naturally emerge in life. When you sanitize a space, you will kill most of the bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
For plants, a dirty space is defined by having microbes that grow on or parasitize them. These microbes include viruses, bacteria, and fungi that are most dangerous to plants while likely having no effect on you as a human. These pathogens are brought into the tent when you enter—they catch a ride on your clothing, body, shoes, or hands and wait for an opportune moment to spread into an environment that is suitable for them.
If you do not regularly clean your space these pathogens will accumulate and will begin to affect your plants. The longer you wait to clean, the more difficult it becomes to clean.
Products you can use to clean a grow room
So what cleaning products should you choose for your growing space? There are plenty of choices on the market: some of the products can be used directly on plants, and some of the products can only be used on the surface of the space itself. Usually, we use hydrogen dioxide, bleach, vinegar, or cleaning salts for our space. These might surprise you (especially the bleach!) but it is true—with a small amount of chlorine-bleach diluted in water, you can clean mildew or fungus from your plants.
That said, we do recommend you are careful when you use any of these cleaning solutions in your grow space or on your plants—too much and you can kill your plants outright. Create your mixture (such as 3% hydrogen peroxide or bleach and 97% water), dampen a rag with the mixture, and then wipe down your grow tent. This will remove any pathogens, pollen, insects, eggs, and bacteria.
No matter which cleaning product you choose, make sure you know the product well before using them. Follow the manual and directions included with your product or on the website of the cleaning product. When you’re choosing a cleaning product, think about if the product is going to be safe for your plants and how expensive it will be if you use it—try looking on the company website for descriptions of safety.
How to wipe away powdery mildew? – how to clean a grow room
One of the most common issues indoor plants face is powdery mildew. Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that can quickly affect entire plants, and then kill them. It is easily recognizable: a white coating spreads to all the leaves and buds of your plant in a patchy or spotty pattern that looks white or grey, similar to talcum powder. Even if it does not damage your plants, it will cause a serious effect on the quality of your buds—when you notice powdery mildew on your plant, act fast.
Some resources might say to use hydrogen peroxide to kill the mildew from buds directly and yes you can do this, but it will affect human health if you do. The results might be a chemical burn on your skin or something even more serious—if you smoke hydrogen peroxide it may kill you so be careful!
Another product people might think of to clean buds is chlorine bleach, but this is not any better—while it is extremely effective at removing mildew, if you get it on the consumable parts of your cannabis you risk making yourself very ill and taking an expensive trip to the hospital.
So how do you remove powdery mildew from buds? Unfortunately, once they reach the buds you’re facing a tough reality. Some growers might recommend a solution of water and baking soda to kill the mildew, others say isopropyl alcohol because it evaporates and leaves no residue.
Unfortunately, in our experience, there is no solution that works—isopropyl can be dangerous and baking soda is not guaranteed to work out, so we recommend cutting off the diseased buds, cleaning your fan leaves as best you can with one of the solutions we mentioned above, and restarting the flowering stage.
Finally, make sure that you clean your tent thoroughly as we mentioned, but also make sure you control your environment carefully. Even minor humidity fluctuations can encourage powdery mildew to grow. You might want to add some potassium bicarbonate, Reynoutria sachalinensis, and better ventilation to help out. Also, be sure to clean out your ventilation as spores may have settled in it (also, try using a carbon filter to catch any mildew spores).
How to clean a grow room after finding powdery mildew?
When you see powdery mildew on your plants, clean your entire grow room thoroughly. Make sure you wipe down everything: the pots, the walls, the floor, the ceiling, ventilation ports and windows, fans, ducting, and even your lights. Let everything dry out by using your ventilation—decrease the humidity and then balance it back to the level you need for cannabis.
You don’t actually have to throw out your plants if you clean them well—but you will have to get rid of the infected buds because there is no safe, sure way to clean them and make them consumption-safe. Wipe down the leaves, and stems, flush your soil thoroughly and add supplements that stimulate the natural defense mechanisms of your plant, you may even want to repot your plant in a new, clean pot.
If mildew is still growing after you try all of that, you’ll likely have to get rid of your plants and do another thorough clean with some harsher chemicals (looking at you, bleach), and then let the space dry for at least 48 hours, and then reset the grow entirely.
Sum up – how to clean a grow room
We hope we’ve stressed the importance of why and how to clean a grow room. When you’re cleaning your grow room, make sure you know all the products well and how they’ll affect your space. It is important to focus on both the effectiveness and safety of products. For more info on growing and cannabis, follow our YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook accounts. Do you have any cleaning tips? What are your experiences Let us know about your grow!
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!
And be sure to check out our other blog posts for useful tips on becoming a great grower!
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