How to Clean Water Buckets Naturally
By Kelly Sheehan
Keeping water buckets clean is a critical, on-going chore for most equestrians. Clean buckets aren’t just for aesthetics, they’re crucial to maintaining proper horse health. Any horse owner knows that most horses are finicky drinkers, they generally prefer clean, temperate water but can often pick up on the slightest changes in water’s taste that humans don’t perceive. Proper bucket maintenance and adding a product such as Horse Quencher to encourage drinking and mask any minor differences in water will ensure that your horses are getting the 8-10 gallons of water that is required to maintain good horse health. While there are many cleaning products on the market, using one that is naturally based and won’t impact the taste of water is most important when you choose a cleaning product.
Water bucket maintenance should be a part of your daily routine. If there are no obvious health concerns such as infection or disease and your horse is drinking consistenly, just spend a few minutes a day scooping out any debris. Plan on a thorough bucket scrubbing once a week.
Step 1- Choose your cleanser and your brush. In most cases, a stiff, long-handled brush is the preferred tool. Natural cleaners to consider for the job:
- Apple cider vinegar and a brush, be sure to rinse thoroughly
- 10 parts bleach to 1 part water mix and a brush rinse thoroughly. Actually, rinse buckets two more times
- 4 oz. of generic mouthwash and a small amount of water with a brush, rinse thoroughly.
If you have a specific concern or target for disinfecting, talk to your veterinarian to discuss what type of cleaner will best address your issue. (This may be a situation where something stronger than naturally based is needed.)
Step 2- After you have washed and rinsed the buckets allowing them to dry in the sunshine is the best, natural UV light is Mother Nature’s disinfectant, although sunlight alone should not be relied upon to protect against disease.
Step 3- Continue to monitor buckets and water intake. Cleaning may change the taste of water so watch for decreased water consumption for the few days after cleaning. Using a product such as Horse Quencher can increase the predictability of water taste both at home and while traveling and promote consistent water consumption.
The saying you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink was coined for a reason. Proper equine hydration is not an easy thing to achieve so make sure to clean using products that come from nature and add a product such as Horse Quencher to avoid any drinking issues. Do you have any natural bucket cleaning tips to share? Post them in the comments below.
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