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    Bud washing

    Hi Gang - bud washing seems to come up occasionally with interest but not sure how many others actually do it so I thought I would post a few lines on the subject and see if anybody had a better process or comments.

    In short, I started washing my buds as a one-time thing to get rid of some fungus gnats stuck in the resin on an outdoor grow. Instead of doing this one-time I saw the benefit and decided to expand and now wash all indoor and outdoor grows.

    For those wondering why - the most common analogy is eating fresh home grown lettuce without washing it. Sure it is natural and you know everything that has gone on and into the lettuce but I think very few people would consume it without washing. Same goes for your bud. Bonus is that the wash buckets contain common natural products used for veggie washes. Even h2o2, while it doesn’t sound very natural, is a very common household item, it is produced naturally in the body and it breaks down to mostly oxygen and water.

    Bucket one is the primary dirt wash. It is a 5 gallon bucket with lukewarm tap water and about a cup of baking soda. The baking soda has a slight foaming action good for cleaning and it also creates an alkaline environment that is hard on pathogens.

    Bucket two is for getting rid of spores and pathogens. With the 5 gallons of Lukewarm tap water is about a half cup of hydrogen peroxide and the juice of a lemon. Some people put the lemon juice and the baking soda in the same bucket but I figure that negates the benefit of having high and low acidity to shock the baddies so I keep them separate, plus baking soda is cheap so replacing the water in the first bucket, which will get dirtiest, is more economical. The first bucket is alkaline and the second is acidic (lemon juice is acidic and diluted h2o2 is usually slightly acidic).

    Bucket three is just plain lukewarm tap water for rinsing.

    This system is pretty gentle and is not going to kill every pathogen known to man but it will get rid of some of them and it will wash away dirt and debris.

    Process -
    1- Cut off all fan leaves, mold etc that you don’t intend to save
    2- Cut the branches so they will fit in the bucket.
    3- Swirl a branch gently in the first bucket for a couple minutes (not sure the appropriate amount of time but I don’t think baking soda and water will hurt your bud so I sometimes just put them in and leave them for a few minutes while doing other things). Try not to grind it against the sides and bottom - a gentle swirl will do. When you are ready to move it let it drip a bit before moving on.
    4- Do the same thing in the second bucket. I think the lemon juice and h2o2 is pretty mild so it isn’t a big danger to your bud but given it is slightly acidic I leave the branches in this bucket for a shorter amount of time. Let it drip a bit before moving on.
    5- Rinse your bud in the third bucket. This is plain water so no hurry taking it out.
    6- Let the branches drip a bit before you hang them up to dry or you will get a wet floor. I do my wash outside and let the branches hang for a few minutes outside before moving them to the room where I will dry but not for too long given I want to reduce exposure to more dirt and spores.
    7- After letting most of the water drip I give them another manicure. I do it after washing so the trim I want to keep is also washed. Normally I do one big wet trim before I hang to dry but I am trying to assembly line two 13 ft tall outdoor plants before I get lynched by the neighbours for the stink factor so I am rough trimming them wet, hanging them indoors and then a final dry trim a few days later once the leaves are a bit crispy but the bud is not fully dried. I know bowl trimmers are a polarizing subject but I swear I am going to get one after all of the time I’ve spent trimming on this grow.

    I don’t see any trichome damage from gently washing plants and I don’t believe there is any loss of strength (untested observation). The bud look plumper and brighter afterwards and it take a little longer to dry which is good for those of us in dry areas. You may want to have slightly more air flow where you are drying but it only matters for the first day and then you just continue to dry as usual.

    That’s it - a simple way to improve quality.

    Need some proof that there is a point to the extra work, see the pics below. First pic is with clean wash water and the second is after washing just 8 small and medium size branches. Ignore most of the floating stuff, which is just loose trim, and focus on the colour of the water. The first bucket is by far the dirtiest and if you look close you will see a floating earwig that was hiding in the foliage. It’s hard to see but the second bucket has a bit of a sheen on the water which I think (a guess) is a mix of built up environmental pollutants, stuff like insecticidal soap residue and broken down WPM (and lemon pulp from the juice). Imagine what the water would look like if I had washed the rest of the branches as well. I’ve read that it can be invaluable to wash if you are in an area with smoke/fires or a lot of dust although I don’t have that where I am so I don’t have first hand knowledge.

    happy growing!

    Click image for larger version

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    #2
    Yup, that is just about how I do it. I put the lemon & baking soda in the first together, but however you like it. The washing definitely removes dirt, bugs and other nastiness from your plants. Imo outdoor grows this is a must.
    Don't worry, be happy, grow sticky buds.

    Comment


    • DeadlyFruit
      DeadlyFruit commented
      Editing a comment
      At the cost of some relatively cheap items like a couple lemons, a bottle of h2o2 and a box of cow brand it seems like a no-brainer to achieve a visible improvement in the quality of the buds (I’m calling it a visible improvement to be able to see the dirt that comes off). If even once the wash removes spores that might otherwise have come to life in a jar(s), turning the bud to fuzzy mush, then the cost/benefit shifts further. There is a little extra work but to be honest I see it as a good opportunity to stretch my legs and back switching between trimming and washing. For me there is literally no down side.

    #3
    Thank you for posting on the subject! I recently started looking into washing

    Comment


      #4
      I've done bud washing once. Was a pain in the ass but very much needed. Might do it again because of the dog hair I've had issues with. Similar to how your doing but a few things different. Baking soda and lemon juice in first bucket followed by 2 rinse buckets. I found the 2nd rinse get the Baking soda and lemon juice rinsed off better. No peroxide either don't see a point unless suspected mold and then I would throw it away anyways.
      640 watt hlg quantum board
      320 watt diy chilled pucks x4
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      Water only i don't check ph
      6 pot fabric autopots with GH trio nutes

      Comment


      • DeadlyFruit
        DeadlyFruit commented
        Editing a comment
        Ive definitely seen arrangements like the one you use, I just thought it would be better to rearrange so there was one bucket that is alkaline and one that is acidic to improve the impact on pathogens. I’ve considered doing a 4 bucket wash so I could add a second plain water rinse but haven’t done so yet. I think it could improve things slightly but carrying another 5 gallon pail full of water from my basement laundry room out to my back patio makes my back hurt thinking about it 🙂

        I get what you are saying about peroxide and I might not use it on an indoor grow but given it is almost impossible to have an outdoor grow without at least a small amount of bud rot I want to have that little extra help removing spores (I cut away all mold and anything that was touching it but any other spores that might be present). Having peroxide and lemon juice in the same bucket has the benefits of an acidic environment as well as other antibacterial/anti-fungal properties.

      • Cloud
        Cloud commented
        Editing a comment
        I do like the idea of doing them separate and will prolly do it in the future and the peroxide. I guess it might be better to place it safe.

      #5
      Two thumbs up DeadlyFruit, That's how I wash any outdoor grow, except that I was combining the Acid & base in the first wash and I won't do that anymore cause, as you pointed out, it don't make sense!
      I grow exclusively in large pots using soil comprised of the compost I make combined with Foxfarm or other quality commercial soils as an amendment. Appropriate nutes as needed. State of the art LED lighting and an evolving system of environmental controls allows me to pamper my plants and let them tell me what they need.
      My goal is epicurean quality rather than high yield.
      I'm learning how to create cannabis tinctures and hashish and I almost always use a vaporizer to spare my aging lungs.
      Despite my avatar name I'm generally amenable and helpful. So, if there's a question I'm qualified to answer, hit me up!

      -Grouchy

      Comment


        #6
        This year I actually used 5 buckets. Total overkill but man what a year. 1st baking soda. 2nd lemon juice. 3rd h2o2 , and 2 water rinses. Took forever. Next time combining the h2o2 and lemon and only one rinse will help.

        Comment


        • DeadlyFruit
          DeadlyFruit commented
          Editing a comment
          I considered exactly that setup, but then switched to this set up for probably the same reason you are thinking of switching - too much work lugging around 5 gallon pails every day of trim. The one real downside I have with washing is you can’t really just go trim a branch here and there when you have a minute. For it to be worth the effort of lugging pails you probably want to trim a fair bit and wash it all at once the same day. Yesterday I trimmed them throughout the day and then washed them just as I was losing the light. I still had to lug the pails but it felt a bit better to just get stuck into the trimming and then get the pails when I needed a break.

        #7
        Planning on washing some this weekend. The videos I've seen usually go 1st h202, 2nd soda and lemon, 3rd water. Does it matter which one first? The chicken or the egg?
        DIY 4x12 Farmacy box w/2 4x4x6 grow areas
        TrolMaster HydroX runs the whole show
        Dual tank Co2 injection w/ rain tubing
        10000 btu thru the wall A/C / 5000 btu heater
        50 pint dehumidifier/ cool mist humidifier
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        w/ added 4 2ft T5 Pure UV bulbs on each fix.
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        2"x4"cyl.stones in buckets, 8"disk in reservoirs
        GH Flora series (entire line) + Orca
        Photo Grow #2 = Blue Dream and Black Widow

        Comment


          #8
          The egg came before the chicken. As far as washing goes, I use lemon & soda in #1, peroxide in #2 and water rinse in #3. Theory is remove physical dirt, sanitize, rinse.
          Don't worry, be happy, grow sticky buds.

          Comment


            #9
            Saw Deadlyfruit uses 1/2 cup peroxide. Is that 3% or 34% ? Curious as to what strength everyone else is using also. Most stuff I've seen is like 32oz. of 3% to 5 gal.
            DIY 4x12 Farmacy box w/2 4x4x6 grow areas
            TrolMaster HydroX runs the whole show
            Dual tank Co2 injection w/ rain tubing
            10000 btu thru the wall A/C / 5000 btu heater
            50 pint dehumidifier/ cool mist humidifier
            8" intake fan w/ hepa filter / 8" exhaust fan
            2 Timber Fatty-vs COB 950 watt draw fixtures
            w/ added 4 2ft T5 Pure UV bulbs on each fix.
            2 DIY Hybrid DWC 5 gal bubble bucket systems w/ 55 gal reservoirs w/ PH dosers
            2"x4"cyl.stones in buckets, 8"disk in reservoirs
            GH Flora series (entire line) + Orca
            Photo Grow #2 = Blue Dream and Black Widow

            Comment


            • DeadlyFruit
              DeadlyFruit commented
              Editing a comment
              I use 3% but you could dilute a higher concentrate down to the correct strength.

            #10
            Sure wish I’d learned about this before harvest...

            Comment


              #11
              Harvesting my two clones. Trying your bud washing tips today. Thanks for mentioning this

              Comment


                #12
                DeadlyFruit Excellent tip! Thanks for covering this.
                "I can't stop thinking big, I can't stop thinking big. In a world where I feel so small. I can't stop thinking big." Caravan | RUSH
                GWE4ME

                Comment


                • DeadlyFruit
                  DeadlyFruit commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Happy if it is useful! 🙂

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