Hello! I had no plans of doing a post on this, but, as with so, so many things, my own research did me no good when I was looking online, so if I can help someone who comes across this post, that’s awesome.
My husband gave an AeroGarden to Harlow and me for Christmas two (three?) years ago.
We enjoyed outdoor gardening so much that he thought it would be a fun opportunity to indoor garden during the winter months. And it was! It has been super fun! In fact, just this past summer, I finally planted the final tomato plant from the AeroGarden into the actual outdoor garden so I could clean it out and start again! (And the tomato plant did GREAT in the actual garden!)
When I took the last plant out, I read up on how to clean the AeroGarden before I “replanted”. All I could find at the time was to run 5 cups of vinegar through it, run water through it, dump, refill, and go. But within a VERY short time, it was disgusting again. It started growing this algae looking stuff that it never had before! As gross as it sounds, the plants themselves were thriving, so I let it go.
I grew dill and basil (and thyme, but that never really did much). After a much, much shorter time-frame, the plants started looking pretty bad (maybe 6 months vs the 2 years of the other ones). So I took on the task of cleaning it out again.
This time, I looked (and looked and looked) for more tips, and still found the same stuff, except that this time I found out that the components are dishwasher safe. I read that if you have a dishwasher, then, viola, you’re done! So, being the person who likes the easy way, I ran it through the dishwasher.
It came out… gross. It really hadn’t gotten it clean AT ALL. (And we have a kick-ass dishwasher.) I tried scrubbing it by hand, and with a toothbrush, and with a Mr. Clean magic eraser. Nothing. So, then I remembered when I had read that soaking a grimy refrigerator drip tray in vinegar cleans it right up. I had tried it, and it had worked like magic! (Take THAT Mr. Clean!) So, I took the large tray from our cake carrier and filled it with vinegar, then soaked the disassembled top plate, and eventually each side of the base.
It seriously looked brand new again. All the crud just fell away. I did pop it back in the dishwasher to re-wash and sanitize it, but it is amazing how good it looks. And the photos are AFTER a lot of scrubbing and a trip through the dishwasher! Gross! I wish I had taken true “before” photos. Although you would be so disappointed in me. Maybe it’s better I didn’t.
I know these aren’t the best photos, because, as I previously mentioned, this was an after-thought post. But look how sparkly clean it is! Vinegar is seriously awesome.