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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know some people just throw out cultures after they are exhausted, but I can't stand to waste the containers. I've happened upon a way to clean them out that I thought I might share.

After a culture is done, pop it in the freezer. Not only does this kill any remaining flies/maggots, but it also freezes everything into one mass. I let them build up until I have 6-10 in there. When you take them out, you can "pop" the contents into the trash in one piece. Usually all that's left are some of the casings on the side. Now put them in the sink and fill them all with hot water. Let them sit about 15 minutes, then swirl and dump the water. Very few casings will be left, just wipe them out with a paper towel under the faucet and voila, you are done. I assume they are dishwasher safe and I could skip that last step and just put them in the dishwasher, but I'm not too keen on the idea of maggot carcasses getting in the silverware.

Hope that's useful to someone.
 

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I also have moved to the recycling of these cups. I live in AZ and do it a bit different. With "dry" heat here I set them on the back patio and let them dry out. The results are very similar to freezing and can pop the contents in the trash bin. I do rinse under the hose then let them soak in a water bleech mix for 24-48 hrs. I find this helps with making the lids be as good as new. After the soak in this mix I rinse with tap water and air dry. Almost as good as brand new! The more frogs I breed the more overhead and this little bit helps out!
 

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I just dump them out ( all the old mess goes to my compost pile). I then fill them with water and let them soak overnight. After soaking I wash them with Dawn dishsoap, rinse and soak them in bleach water for a minimum of 15 mins. After a final good rinsing I let them air dry and reuse. I go thru about 60 cultures a week so buying new is not an option.
 

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I only discard fruit fly culture containers if they deteriorate. Some of my containers are probably 3-4 years old or more. I prefer the heavier duty containers with foam plugs because they don't crack as easily.

I take my containers outside, dump out the contents, and spray them with a hose.

Then, I scrub my containers in a bleach solution. I dump out the bleach solution and fill with water and add chlorine remover. I soak the containers for a few minutes until I don't smell bleach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I put them in a freezer in the garage (well, usually), but I see your point. Believe me, though, popping out a frozen culture is way less nasty than cleaning out a squishy one with maggots.

But, to each his own.
 

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I use glass canning jars for my cultures. The canning ring holds down a quarter sheet of paper towel which allows the culture to breath while containing the flies. When the culture is spent it's time for clean up.


CLEANING UP A SPENT CULTURE
When a culture is done producing and it is time for cleaning up the jar, I will soak the jar / jars over night in the sink. This drowns any remaining flies and softens up the casings that are stuck to the sidewall of the jar.

Then, after the overnight soak, I will then use a kitchen tongs to grab what is left of the Spanish Moss to do an initial quick scrub down of the interior walls and bottom of the jar. This removes most of the pupa casings and most of the gunk at the bottom which is dumped out into the screen strainer in the bottom of the sink. After the water drains out the casings and moss fragments either go into the compost pile or into the trash depending upon how lazy I feel.


Next the jar gets a last quick scrub with a baby bottle scrub brush which cleans out any remaining pupa casings and crud. It is fast and easy.

Then the jars, tongs, and baby bottle brush all go into the dishwasher with the rest of the dishes for the final cleansing and sterilizing.


THE DISHWASHER CLEANS EVERYTHING
In the past a few folks have raised concerns about using soap or detergent to clean their jars. Their expressed concerns were about soap residue and it’s possible impact on the flies and then frogs. Over the years I have found that this is not an issue. To me any lingering mold, bacteria or mites are much more of a concern then are a bit of soap or detergent that might make it past the rinse cycle. All of my glassware goes into the dishwasher where the soap and heat from the dishwasher will kill any nasties that might be left in the jar. I have used the dishwasher for close to 25 years and have never had an issue with any of my cultures, critters, or frogs.

I used to wash the metal rings that cover the culture, but I don't any more. I found that the rings rust up a little bit more with each trip through the dishwasher. Not washing them has not been a problem because the paper towel keeps the rings from being exposed to the flies or the media.
 

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i reuse mine untill they cant be reused anymore and clean them almost the same as you boondoggle except before filling with hot water i use a rag and clean the inside at this point it gets most everything out then after soaking a quick wipe down with a paper towl and they are ready to rock. Another thing to consider is that the vented lids pop right onto taco bell,7 eleven and many other places plastic cups also. At the end of the month a few of my friends drop of their left over cups from fast food at my house and i have a stock pile going now :)
 

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I also have moved to the recycling of these cups. I live in AZ and do it a bit different. With "dry" heat here I set them on the back patio and let them dry out. The results are very similar to freezing and can pop the contents in the trash bin. I do rinse under the hose then let them soak in a water bleech mix for 24-48 hrs. I find this helps with making the lids be as good as new. After the soak in this mix I rinse with tap water and air dry. Almost as good as brand new! The more frogs I breed the more overhead and this little bit helps out!
I prefer t let them dry out as well. They seem to fall out of the sulture cleaner and in one peice, without very little effort.
 

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I also let mine dry until I can just tap the contents out. Once they are that dry they aren't too hard to wash either.
 

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I freeze, then run hot water over the outside bottom real fast which helps the stuff pull out in one piece, then run them through the dishwasher with no soap, the blasting hot water and heat drying seems good enough, then I nuke the lids to kill any mold since I don't wash those.
 

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I am definitely going to try some of these tricks because it smells so bad just dumping out the old media and washing them out. The smell stays with me for a few days. Its such a bad smell.
 

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I use glass quart jars. I use about 6 coffee filters held down by the lid ring. Once the cultures are spet, I just soak for an hour in the sink, then scrub them out with my designated fly culturing sponge. I use soap, and I don't worry about residue.
 

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I use glass quart jars. I use about 6 coffee filters held down by the lid ring. Once the cultures are spet, I just soak for an hour in the sink, then scrub them out with my designated fly culturing sponge. I use soap, and I don't worry about residue.
Hey frogparty,

I'm curious, why 6 coffee filters? I've been using glass canning jars for years, covering them with a single sheet of paper towel with no burrowing through, no loss of flies, no problems. The use of so many sounds like a waste.
 

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because when I used a single filter or piece of paper towel the culture seemed to dry out faster. The few extra filters seem to hold moisture in a bit better
 

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I just dump them out on a couple of sheets of newspaper (in the Garage), then I roll up the newspaper and double bag it and the containers I let them soak in hot water and wash them out, and then they go in the garage freezer for a few days just in case there are any mites or eggs in the containers.
I've been doing this for the last couple of years now. :D
 

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Chris when you say "nuke the lids" what do you mean? Just microwave? How long? I'm going to try do clean my cultures this time in the dishwasher, to kill remaining mold and stuff, I just dont know how to clean the lids..
I freeze, then run hot water over the outside bottom real fast which helps the stuff pull out in one piece, then run them through the dishwasher with no soap, the blasting hot water and heat drying seems good enough, then I nuke the lids to kill any mold since I don't wash those.
 
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