Washing Buds After Harvest, for a Cleaner Smoke

Soft Secrets
15 Oct 2022

It might seem strange when you first hear about it, and it can seem scary, but washing your buds after harvest, can seriously improve the quality of your final product, especially if you have had pest problems, or have grown in a dusty environment.

Over the weeks of the flowering period, your plants will gather all sorts of contaminants. It can be dust, dirt, bugs, all of which will affect the final flavor and quality of your buds. To get a good clean product, you can wash your buds after harvest, to remove these contaminants from your flowers. It is easy to do, it doesn’t wash off any of the oils, cannabinoids or terpenes. All growers are skeptical of bud washing at first, but everyone who has tried it, has sworn to never harvest again without washing their buds. They claim the difference is that big. So, why not give it a shot and see what you think? Follow this guide below, and let us know how you do.

Washing Buds After Harvest

Preparation is important. Make sure you have everything you need ready, before you harvest the plant. You want to chop a branch, trim if you like, then wash the bud, and hang it in the drying room. Ensure your drying area is clean and ready, and prepare the equipment you need to wash your buds after harvesting them.

What You Need to Wash Buds

You will need 3 containers, preferably buckets, to hold water. These containers need to be big enough to fully submerge your buds into. [IMG 1]

Bucket A

In bucket A, you will need warm water, not too warm, around 20°c is fine. For every litre of water in your container, add 2 teaspoons of Baking Powder, and 2 teaspoons of Lemon Juice. The 2 will work together to help break down dirt and other contaminants off your buds, but will not dissolve or break off the trichomes.

Bucket B

In bucket B, you will have just warm water, again around 20°c, but with nothing added to it. This bucket will be used to rinse off the water from bucket one.

Bucket C

Bucket C will have cold water in it. This is the last bucket and it is used to ensure everything has been washed off the buds.

How to Wash Your Buds After Harvest

Make sure everything is ready and prepared before you chop anything off the plant. You want to chop, wash, then hang to dry. The more prepared you are, the easier and more stress free this task will be. Have all buckets lined up ready, and have your drying area clean, and ready to have buds hanging in it. Once you are ready, it is time to harvest your plant! Step 1: Chop a branch off the plant Remove a branch from the plant, it is recommended you try not to touch the buds, so chop enough stem for you to be able to handle the branch, without handling the buds themselves. Step 2: Trim the buds If you trim your buds whilst they are wet, then it is a good idea to trim them now before washing them. This will remove any chlorophyll that has leaked onto the buds from the chopped leaves, and remove any small fragments of leaf that may have been left behind. If you intend to dry trim your plant, then continue onto step 3. Step 3: Dip into Bucket A Take the branch, and fully submerge it into the water in bucket A. The lemon juice and baking soda work together to remove dirt and debris from your buds. You will see particles rising to the top of the water. Shake the buds gently from side to side, and leave them submerged for about 30 seconds, shaking them in the water constantly. Don’t be too rough, but the more you can shake, the more contaminants can be removed. Step 4: Shake the excess water off After thirty seconds, remove the branch from the water, and shake it, for around thirty seconds to help remove large droplets of water, and any debris that is still attached to the buds. Once you are satisfied that most of the water has gone, dip the branch again, but this time into bucket B. Step 5: Bucket B Repeat steps 3 and 4, but in bucket B. This is to remove any of the water left over from bucket A. Shake in the water for around 30 seconds, and then shake again for around thirty seconds outside of the water. Remove as much water as you can before finally submerging the branch into a cold bucket of water, bucket C. Step 6: Bucket C To ensure all contaminants are removed from the buds, a final rinse is done in some cold water. By now, you will have noticed the buildup of particles on top of the water in buckets A and B. Removing these particles from your buds will give you a much cleaner tastier final product, especially if you have had problems with bugs or dust in the grow room. Step 7: Hang to Dry After the buds are washed, and all of the excess moisture has been shaken off, you should hang the branch to dry, with a strong breeze blowing at it. Turn the fans up high just for an hour or so to make sure the bigger droplets of water have been evaporated, good air flow is key to keeping mould and mildew away from your harvest. When all of the large water droplets have gone, reduce the speed of the fans and keep a light breeze blowing around the grow room at all times.

Does Bud Washing Increase the Chances of Mould?

No, it doesn’t. It might seem like a strange thing to do for indoor growers, but you have to realise, cannabis plants grown outdoors will be rained on and get wet all the time. Getting buds wet isn’t what causes mould and rot to form, it is stale air and high humidity. As long as you keep a good flow of fresh air to your plant, and keep humidity levels below 55%, the chances of getting mould is minimal.

Will Bud Washing Wash Away THC and Terpenes?

It might seem as if washing your buds would remove something from the plant, but the cannabis plant is used to getting wet in its natural environment, and its resins and oils are not affected by it. To remove the cannabinoids and oils from a cannabis plant, usually solvents are used to dissolve them, or cold temperatures are used to break them down. Just washing the buds with the process above will only improve the quality of your buds. And don’t worry, the flavor of your buds will not be affected by the lemon juice and baking soda either.


Washing Away Bud Rot and Mould

Though washing your buds will clean them, if your plant has suffered with bud rot, it cannot be washed, and it should not be used under any circumstances. Not even for oils and extracts. Smoking, or ingesting mould particles can be very damaging for your health. If you do find bud rot in your buds, then the buds should be thrown away, washing them will not fix it. Powdery mildew is another form of mould that can attack a cannabis plant. In some small cases where powdery mildew is only on the leaves, it can be washed off with a 3% hydrogen peroxide, and water solution. If you find any kind of rot or mould on the flowers of your plant, then it is strongly advised you throw them away, washing it will not remove all of the mould from the buds.

Should You Wash Your Buds After Harvest?

It is completely up to you of course. But, if you have had any kind of bug problem during the flowering cycle, it is recommended that you wash the buds after you harvest them. If you have had bugs during flower, they would have died on the flowers, laid eggs, produced waste and reproduced. All of that will be left on the flowers. These are things that you do not want in your buds, and washing the buds will remove them. Also, if you have noticed a large buildup of dust on your fan during the grow, the same would apply for your buds, you just can’t see it as well. If you have grown in a dirty environment, or your intake brings in dirt from outside, then you should wash your buds. You wash fruits and veg before you eat them, maybe you should try washing your buds before drying them.

Try It!

If you have considered washing your buds before, but like most are reluctant, then you don’t have to wash your whole harvest to try it. Why not wash just a few branches, and leave some unwashed. You can then try the difference between the two, and see if it has made a difference to the quality. I'm sure you will not be disappointed. Ref: percysgrowroom.com

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