You’ve embarked on your bokashi composting adventure, you’re feeling good about your green credentials, but to your dismay, your bokashi bin leaks. This is what to do:
My Bokashi Bin Leaks! How do I Fix It?
This is a problem for two reasons:
1. It smells bad
2. The composting process is anaerobic; a leaking bin means air can get in and your waste may not ferment properly.
So, what do you do?
Well, you need a two pronged attack – fix the leak and reduce the juice. If, after that, your bokashi bucket still leaks, you’ll need to replace the tap’s washers.
1. Fix the leak
Assuming the leak is coming from the tap at the base of the unit, the likelyhood is that the silicon seal isn’t doing its job. Remember, it should only be finger tight. Any tighter and the washer may stretch. You can’t access the nut without first removing the waste, so try to tighten it by turning the tap clockwise. If this doesn’t work, try applying some silicone sealant to where the tap joins the bokashi bin. Otherwise, I’m afraid, it’s a case of removing the waste, replacing the seals and making sure the nut is only finger tight.
2. Reduce the juice
You can easily reduce the amount of juice your bokashi bin produces by only adding dry material. Avocado skins, egg shells, potato peelings and bread crusts, for example, won’t produce much liquid. Fruit scraps like pineapple peelings and apple cores, and tea bags do produce a lot of juice, and for now at least, should go straight on the compost heap, or dug directly into the garden. While your bin is drying out, stand it on a tray just in case there is any further leakage.
3. Replace the washers
The tap screws on to the bokashi bucket and a rubber washer should be placed on both the inside and the outside of the unit. If the nut holding the tap is too tight, the washer may stretch and the seal will be broken. Consider replacing the washers with good quality washing machine inlet hose washers to ensure a water tight seal. You can buy a set of six from Homebase or B&Q for about £1.20. These won’t stretch, which means you can tighten the nut more than you could with the standard issue silicone washers. Once the tap is in position, fill the bucket with water and test for leaks before adding your next batch of bokashi compost.[ratings]