Your grow tent may be the most crucial part of your home growing operation. In it, you nurture your plants, set up your equipment and keep your valuable investments safe. But invaders like insects, mold, mildew and other pathogens can cause serious harm to your plants and contribute to an unfruitful growing environment.
You need to know how to clean a grow tent to produce the best yield possible. In this article, we’ll explain the importance of keeping a pathogen-free grow tent. We’ll also look at how to clean grow tents as efficiently as possible with the best products for the job.
Why You Should Clean Your Grow Tent
Your grow tent is to your plants what a hospital is to patients. Imagine if doctors and nurses paid no attention to cleanliness, letting dirt and grime accumulate in patients’ rooms and operating theaters. Or, think of the health dangers that could occur if hospital workers never cleaned rooms between patients. You can easily imagine how quickly diseases would spread, existing conditions would worsen and patients would take longer to get better if they even got better at all.
Your grow tent operates in much the same way as a functioning hospital. Conditions in your grow tent should be conducive to your plants’ growth, like a hospital’s clean and nurturing conditions contribute to a patient’s recovery. But if you fail to clean your grow tent, it can have the opposite effect on your plants, leading to various negative consequences.
You should know cleaning your grow tent involves more than picking up dead foliage from the floor throughout the growing process. True, dead foliage can create unsafe conditions for your plants and encourage the breeding of unwanted organisms and pathogens. But you can regularly remove this foliage and still have a dirty grow tent if you neglect to engage in more intensive cleaning practices at least once per growing cycle.
Failing to give your grow tent an adequate cleaning can have many negative consequences on your plants. Most of these poor outcomes are a result of the following.
- Bacterial growth: Bacteria and other pathogens can reside in your grow tent and cling to plants and other surfaces. Then, when it’s time to bring in a new round of plants, the bacteria from the previous yield will move on to your new one, leading to a seemingly endless cycle of lackluster crops and unhealthy plants as the bacteria in your grow tent continue to accumulate and spread. Plus, you’ll be sending away plants covered in harmful bacteria, which is something you want to avoid.
- Mold and mildew: Many growers wonder how to keep mold out of a grow tent. Mold and mildew are destructive forces that leech off plants, reducing their health and even killing them. Mold and mildew can also proliferate on various surfaces and spread rapidly under given conditions. To stop mold in your grow tent, you’ll have to adjust your environment and clean your surfaces to remove the possibility of mold. Part of this is adequately cleaning your grow tent. We’ll touch more on this later.
- Pollen: When dealing with plants in a grow room or grow tent, you can be sure pollen will be part of the experience. Pollen is necessary to breed future generations of plants and to create hybrids. But the last thing you want is pollination to occur at the wrong time in the process, as this can cause unwanted germination of seeds and affect your entire yield. Knowing how to clean a pollinated grow room will help you control the course of your current grow.
- Insects: Insect infestations are every grower’s worst nightmare. Insects can eat your plants, causing irreversible harm and ruining entire batches of crops. They can also make your experience of tending to your plants in your grow tent less than pleasurable. Dirty conditions may attract these insects to your grow tent, so make sure you engage in deep cleaning to reduce your risk of these infestations.
- Insect eggs: One of the most significant threats of an insect infestation is the eggs they might leave behind. You could do a perfect job getting the insects out of your grow tent, but if you fail to remove the possibility of eggs, you could end up with an even more severe insect infestation on your hands. Insects often lay their eggs on your plants, compromising whole portions of your current grow. If you notice insects in your grow tent, chances are high that you’ll have eggs to deal with, too.
Each of the above items can wreak havoc on your plant life, making all your hard work and monetary investments go to waste. You can put up a defense against these outcomes by cleaning your grow tent the right way. Keep reading to discover some of the best tips for cleaning your grow tent.
Tips on How to Clean the Inside of a Grow Tent
Knowing best practices for cleaning your grow tent’s interior is essential to avoiding the consequences listed above. First, we’ll go over three tips for cleaning your grow tent. We’ll then discuss two of our most frequently asked questions regarding cleaning up after mold or spider mite outbreaks.
1. Clean the Interior of the Grow Room Tent Canvas
One of the first activities you should add to your routine cleaning schedule is the sanitization of your grow tent’s interior canvas. Left uncleaned, your grow tent’s interior surface can develop a noticeable layer of dirt, pollen, mold and other filth. The pathogens that accumulate on these surfaces can harm your plants, so it’s best to wash them regularly.
Here’s how you should clean your grow tent’s interior.
- Step 1: Take everything out of your grow tent to give you easy access to the inside surfaces of the canvas.
- Step 2: Use water to rinse off some of the grime from the canvas surfaces.
- Step 3: Use 3% hydrogen peroxide or bleach to disinfect the surfaces. These cleaning agents can kill any germs the water left behind.
2. Clean Pots, Saucers and Hydroponic Systems
The types of plants you grow will affect how dirty your pots and saucers become. Salt deposits and various other buildups from feeding nutrients can disturb your plants’ growing progress and health if left to accumulate unchecked. These deposits can lead to bacteria and other pathogens, so you must clean them frequently. Take pots and containers outside and scrub them with a disinfectant, letting them sit in the sun to dry. Put fabric pots in the washing machine for even easier cleaning.
Cleaning hydroponic systems is a bit more involved, but doing so is worth it. Here are the steps you should take to clean yours.
- Step 1: Run pure water through your system several times to remove any gunk that could be in the lines.
- Step 2: Then, you’ll want to run a disinfectant through the hydroponic lines to purge them.
3. Clean Your Grow Tent’s Fans and Filters
Your grow tent includes fans to bring air in from the outside and filters to keep out airborne pathogens that could affect your plants’ health. This function causes a lot of dust and dirt to accumulate on fan components over time. First, clean your fans and vents with the hose attachment on your vacuum. Then, spray a grow room cleaner on these components and gently wipe clean with a soft cloth.
You’ll also need to ensure your filters are clean to adequately purify your grow tent’s air. Your filters work hard to block dust, spores and other harmful materials from entering your grow tent. These materials will eventually clog your filters, causing them to stop working at their full efficiency. Your air intake can start pulling in dirty air. Avoid this by cleaning your current filter or replacing it with a new one as directed.
Some Extra Grow Room Cleaning Questions
The three cleaning methods above are an excellent start to fostering a healthier indoor growing environment for your plants. But sometimes, more specific issues arise that can seem challenging to fix. Here are the answers to two of the most common cleaning questions home growers ask us.
How Do I Stop Mold in My Grow Room?
Mold can be detrimental to your growing operation. But the good news is that you can get rid of it by taking the right action. Follow these steps to stop mold in your grow tent.
- Step 1: Remove everything from your grow tent, including towels, equipment, clothing, fan ducts and storage.
- Step 2: Use bleach or another potent cleaning agent to clean the entire inside and outside of your grow tent.
- Step 3: Clean every removed item before placing it back in your grow tent.
- Step 4: Consider installing a UV light inside your grow tent to reduce the chances of mold developing in the future.
- Step 5: Reduce the humidity level inside your grow tent, as higher humidity will increase your risk of mold.
How Do I Clean a Grow Room After Spider Mites?
Spider mites can strike fear in the heart of any home grower. Without the correct practices, they can seem impossible to remove from your location. Try the following step-by-step method for getting rid of spider mites to skip the trial and error and get those pesky bugs far away — permanently. Here’s what you should do.
- Step 1: Take every item out of your grow tent.
- Step 2: Use bleach or another cleaner to wash each removed component and your grow tent’s interior and exterior.
- Step 3: Put everything back in your grow tent once adequately cleaned.
- Step 4: Spider mites can latch onto equipment during production and sale, so be sure to clean any new tools or gear you buy.
- Step 5: If you encountered spider mites at another location, change and wash your exposed clothes and only enter your grow tent with a fresh outfit before entering your growing area.
Products to Clean Your Grow Tent
Ensure you use high-quality safety and sanitation products to clean and care for your grow tent. When shopping for cleaning products, you want them to be potent enough to remove threats to your plants, but you also want them to be gentle enough to allow for a healthy growing environment after the cleaning process has ended. Here are some product suggestions for cleaning your grow tent.
- Hydrogen peroxide: You can find this classic cleaning agent at your local grocery store or pharmacy. Opt for the 6% variety if you can, but 3% will work as well. And you can feel good about using this product in your grow tent because it leaves behind no harmful residue and is environmentally friendly.
- Bleach: Many people can recognize bleach from far away because of its pungent aroma. Bleach will get the job done, but you should make sure you have proper ventilation in your area before cleaning with it, as the fumes can be harmful. You’ll also have to make sure you remove as much of the bleach as possible from your grow tent after cleaning, as bleach puddles or drips can harm your harvest.
- Pest control products: HTG Supply sells a full line of pest control products to help you keep unwanted visitors at bay in your grow tent. Whether you’re looking to stop fungus from growing in your soil, remove spider mites or get a handle on an insect problem, these pest control products are sure to help you foster a cleaner growing environment for your plants.
- BioSafe GreenClean Acid Cleaner: This powerful cleaning tool uses a specialized mineral-acid blend and is perfect for removing deposits from your hydroponic system. You can also use BioSafe GreenClean Acid Cleaner to clean surfaces throughout your grow tent, including your floors and equipment — anywhere that can experience a deposit buildup.
- Cultured Solutions UC Roots: This product is another option for cleaning your hydroponic system. Cultured Solutions UC Roots is a mineral de-scaler that works to reduce and prevent mineral deposits throughout your hydroponic plants’ entire growth cycle.
- Climate control products: Controlling your grow tent’s climate is crucial for growing healthy plants and keeping pathogens like mold and mildew at bay. With the right climate control equipment, you can maintain a healthy temperature and humidity in your grow tent to meet your plants’ exact specifications.
Find Your New Grow Tent at HTG Supply
HTG Supply is a leader in the home plant growing industry. We have a reputation for being one of the fastest shippers of online orders in the home growing sector. You can be sure you’ll get your products on time when you shop online with us. Or, you can visit one of our physical locations to browse our selection of products yourself. When you need to clean your grow tent right away to save your plants, you can count on us for fast, reliable delivery.