Dee W
Dee W
  • Hometalker
  • Senecaville, OH
Asked on May 22, 2012

How to keep a rainbarrel clean?

DeAnn LDee WKelly F
+10

Answered

I have a 35gal. and a 55gal. rainbarrel and was wondering since they are homemade from food-grade plastic barrels is there a way to keep them clean and discourage mosquitos and other bugs from breeding in them? Or algae- one is in morning sun.
13 answers
  • Walter Reeves
    on May 22, 2012

    Water from your roof stored in a barrel in the sun can be quite stinky after just a couple of days. You can add 1/8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of household bleach for each gallon of water to disinfect it.

  • Vicki T
    on May 23, 2012

    Walter, the chlorine won't hurt the plants the water is used for will it? I am a novice who is going to start using a rain barrel system for watering my plants so am trying to learn as much as possible about it.

  • Dee W
    on May 23, 2012

    Thank-you Walter. Can I also safely use this water for my birdbaths?

  • Vicki
    on May 23, 2012

    i use window screen over the top w/ bungle to hold the window screen to keep mosquitoes, birds from drowning{one young bluebird drowned!} I used long handle brush to clean it when I use almost all the water for plants, then rinse and dump the rain water out of the rain barrels. Yeah, physical work out to clean my 8 55-gallon barrels. ;-) And thank u, Walter for bleach tip.

  • Walter Reeves
    on May 23, 2012

    The added bleach brings it up to tap water chlorine levels.

  • Dee W
    on May 23, 2012

    Window screen,mmmmm. Good tip-never would have thought of that. Last year I just used an old broom to scrub my barrels at the end of the season. Maybe that would help save your back.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on May 23, 2012

    Mosquito pucks...and keeping them "dark" will help. The algae needs sun light to grow, so opaque barrels are better in that dept.

  • Dee W
    on May 23, 2012

    We did spray paint them dark brown and green, but because of where my gutters are located only on is in shade most of the day.

  • Melissa K
    on May 23, 2012

    I add a drop of clorox every couple of weeks.

  • Kelly F
    on May 29, 2012

    bleach.

  • DeAnn L
    on Jun 5, 2012

    I have 2 rain barrels also both white. One is in the sun the majority of the time the other not so much but the one in the sun has little to no algae growing in it and the other alot. And it grows back real fast. I keep goldfish in the barrels to keep the mosquito populations down so I was wondering if any of these things mentioned will hurt them. Mine are 55 gallons barrels.

  • Dee W
    on Jun 5, 2012

    Don't know about the additives hurting your fish-but what a neat idea!! Lke gold fish from a pet store-and you bring them inside for the winter?

  • DeAnn L
    on Jun 6, 2012

    Yes I just bought the feeder fish and keep them warm and happy in the winter in the house. I also have a small plastic type pond in the back yard and keep a few in there also.

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