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Bokashi Composting – Frequently Asked Questions

Use, improve and troubleshoot your bokashi kitchen composting system. Questions answered and advice offered to help you get the best out of your composter.

  1. What food waste can I put in my bokashi kitchen composter?
  2. Can I or can’t I add tea bags and tea leaves to my bokashi bin?
  3. What’s the best way to store my bokashi bran?
  4. The contents of my kitchen composter smell bad. Why is this?
  5. White mould appears on the material, what should I do?
  6. Green mould appears on the material, what should I do?
  7. My Bokashi bin leaks, what should I do?

Contact us if you can’t find the answer to what you’re looking for here, and we’ll do our best to address your particular issue.

1. What food waste can I put in my bokashi kitchen composter?

You can add cooked food, meat, fish, egg and dairy products to your bokashi bin, plus of course, fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and dried tea bags. You shouldn’t add bones, paper, cardboard, or any liquids, such as fruit juice and milk.

2. Can I or can’t I add tea bags and tea leaves to my bokashi bin?

Whether or not you can add tea bags to a bokashi composter has nothing to do with the tea itself. It has to do with how moist the tea bags are. The EMs (effective micro-organisms) won’t work properly if the contents of the bin are too wet. If you let the tea bags or tea leaves dry out, on a saucer on the windowsill for example, you can then safely add them to your bokashi bin.

3. What’s the best way to store my bokashi bran?

The best way is to transfer your bran to a tupperware container or an old ice cream tub with a sealed lid. This way your bran will stay fresh and won’t dry out, and the EMs will be more effective.

4. The contents of my kitchen composter smell bad. Why is this?

This could be down to one of, or a combination of, 3 factors:

  1. Not enough bokashi bran has been added
    Add a bit more bokashi bran each time you add material. Try to sprinkle the bran evenly over the material so that it is covered more or less completely. Cutting your waste into small pieces will make this easier.
  2. There’s too much liquid in the bucket
    Drain off the bokashi juice more frequently. For best results, you should try to to draw off the liquid about once every 2 days. It is also important not to add material that is too wet to the bin. The effective micro-organisms will stop working properly if the material is too moist. If you want to add tea bags, let them dry out first and throw wet food scraps like melon pulp and seeds directly onto your compost heap
  3. Air has interupted the process
    Make sure your kitchen composter’s lid is sealed tight each time you add waste. The pickling process is anaerobic, so the waste needs an air tight environment to ferment properly. For this reason, it is also important to press the material down each time scraps are added to exclude any air pockets.

5. White mould appears on the material, what should I do?

Absolutely nothing. White mold is nothing to worry about and your waste is fermenting properly. You should carry on doing what you’re doing.

To successfully ‘pickle’ your waste, the lid on your bokashi bin must be sealed tight. As an extra precaution you can place a sheet of plastic over the waste before replacing the lid.

6. Green mould appears on the material, what should I do?

Oh no! Unfortunately, this is a sign that your bokashi compost isn’t fermenting correctly. It may be too moist, or the lid may not have been sealed tight. You’re going to have to get rid of this batch the old fashioned way – empty it into a plastic bag and put it in the dustbin.

7. My Bokashi bin leaks, what should I do?

If your bokashi bin leakes, your container’s tap may not be functioning properly. The tap may have been over-tightened, breaking the seal. Try loosening the bolt, make sure the washers are in place and do it up again but only finger tight. For more information see Bokashi Troubleshooting.

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