Devices to help clean root crops

naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan(5B SW Michigan)July 20, 2014

Does anyone know of tools beyond the basics to help clean root crops. I use assorted brushes and peelers and they work, but I'm wondering if there are other ways, maybe quicker, easier, or more fun. Anyone have a favorite gadget for fast processing?

One tool I'm thinking should exist (but I've never seen or heard of it) would be similar to a golf ball washer at golf courses. Stick the ball in, push the lever up and down, out comes a clean golf ball. Why not a a similar device to deliver a clean potato, beet, or carrot?

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Check this one out. Based on an old model of washer from the 1800's. We prefer to use our big old salad spinner. :)


Here is a link that might be useful: Pedelpower root crop washer

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 10:57PM
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Looks like that would subject them to a lot of bruising.

Maybe you need to find a soft enough brush to put on a drill or drill press that would help. Then you move the veggie around.

Maybe look at something like a shoe buffer for inspiration.

Or maybe if you took several of those corn silk brushes, or other suitably stiff brushes, and glued them inside a suitably sized piece of PVC pipe, you could make your own dunk and clean tool. Sink it in a bucket of water and have at it. Just have to figure out how to push/pull.

You can get rubber fingers to make your own chicken plucker. If you mounted those inside a 3 or 4 foot length of 6" PVC pipe, that might be enough to provide friction to rub off dirt. Then you could make it spin somehow and leave it tilted and a 30 to 45 degree angle, it would be slow enough that they wouldn't just drop through. Run water through with the veggies for lubrication and dirt removal. then just feed them one at a time and run them through again if it didn't work the first time. Maybe stiffer floor brush bristles would work if they could be mounted somehow. Hmmm.... Catch the water in a bucket for watering your plants. You could even reuse the water if it's not cloudy from mud floating around. A pond recirculating pump would be perfect.

Maybe in a large round wash tub, create a veggie whirlpool for those that float with a pond pump moving the water. Add a little chlorine bleach and you could use it over and over to save on water.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 10:57AM
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AmyinOwasso/zone 6b(6b)

There are these inexpensive exfoliating gloves (I got mine at walmart in the bath section) that supposedly you can peel a potato with, if you just rubbed lightly while wearing them they should clean a potato. I swear I saw this on pinterest, but couldn't find it again.

Here is a link that might be useful: Exfoliating gloves

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 6:00PM
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naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan(5B SW Michigan)

Wow digdirt, that would wash more in one batch than I grow all year! I think I saw a similar homemade one over on the market garden forum that saved the grower a lot of time. I admire those who can piece together reclaimed things and make useful items.

Chrisb, I like your brainstorming. I'll be watching for parts and inspiration and may end up making something to try. Sounds like fun even if it doesn't work out.

Amy, I'll have to try those gloves. The price is right and if they don't work well for potatoes and carrots they can be used as intended.

I'm looking forward to digging potatoes!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 2:28PM
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jcpyburn(z7b/8 West Texas)

I have absolutely no experience with anything like this but when I saw your question I remembered that I had seen an article on how to build one of these for the home gardener out of inexpensive materials in the July/August 14 issue of Hobby farms magazine. I don't know how well it would work but if you can find a copy of the magazine you could check it out.

If you can't find one I would be happy to scan it and send it to you. Don't know how well the thing would work but it is on the smaller side and looks fairly simple. Just let me know!


    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 6:29PM
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naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan(5B SW Michigan)

Thanks Carly, how timely. I'll check and see if I can get a copy through our library. Sounds like a magazine I'd enjoy looking through.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:59PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

A simple plastic scrub brush can do. If not good enough, how about a brass metal brush ? I use one of those some times to clean russet potatoes for baking under running water.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 12:29AM
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