Problem with bleach and cork bark...

Linear

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 2, 2014
Messages
32
So I finally have an enclosure big enough to fit a piece of cork bark I bought a long time ago... But after trying to disinfect it in a mix of water and bleach (so, diluted) and rinsing it multiple times... It still kind of smells like bleach to me. I tried boiling it and currently drying it again so see if it smells , again. But I was wondering what I should do... Is there a safe method to get rid of potential bleach residue? Is rinsing and drying really enough ? Should I just throw the cork bark out? My tarantula is pretty small and I don't want it to die because of bleach....X.x Just did it this way because it's what I read but I'm having trouble getting rid of that bleach smell.
 

Nightstalker47

Arachnoking
Joined
Jul 2, 2016
Messages
2,611
Was the cork bark used for something beforehand? Why bleach it in the first place? And if it smells like bleach definitely don't use it. Next time if your paranoid about your cork bark just rinse it under water and gently scrub off the old poop or whatever it was dirty from, then let it dry in the sun.
 

Linear

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 2, 2014
Messages
32
I wanted to sterilize it, it wasn't use beforehand but it was just sitting there. Was worried of bad stuff... Also now after boiling it smells sweet...Urgh I wish I knew what it smelled like before hand. Been smelling this for so long even my nose is confused. Been at this since Yesterday.
 

sdsnybny

Arachnogeek
Arachnosupporter
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
1,331
Sterilization by boiling or baking is good enough no need for chemicals. You just need to reach and maintain the correct temp to kill off any unwanted pests/bacteria/fungus/molds I wouldn't reuse it just out of caution.
 

D Sherlod

Arachnoknight
Joined
Dec 30, 2016
Messages
222
Leave it to air out for about a week. It should be fine.
In future no need to treat cork bark. Thst is why its used for enclosures
 

D Sherlod

Arachnoknight
Joined
Dec 30, 2016
Messages
222
Leave it to air out for about a week. It should be fine.
In future no need to treat cork bark. Thst is why its used for enclosures
 

The Grym Reaper

Arachnoreaper
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
3,876
In future just scrub any visible crap off, give it a quick rinse with water (or pour a boiled kettle over it if it makes you feel better lol) and bake it in the oven for 20-30mins on a low-ish heat (I think about 125-150°C/250-300°F should be OK, just check on it regularly), that'll kill anything that may be lurking in it and dry it out enough to prevent any mould issues.
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
Staff member
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
3,290
If a piece of cork bark is so nasty that you feel that bleach is the only solution, maybe don't use it at all ;)

But yeah, baking, that's the way to go. Just be sure to soak it first as to avoid a fire. A user recently brought up using a pressure cooker, which is sterilizing on two fronts - heat and pressure. If it's good enough for doctors (who use an autoclave), it's good enough for me.
 

Icculus

Arachnosquire
Joined
Oct 19, 2016
Messages
82
I wanted to sterilize it, it wasn't use beforehand but it was just sitting there. Was worried of bad stuff... Also now after boiling it smells sweet...Urgh I wish I knew what it smelled like before hand. Been smelling this for so long even my nose is confused. Been at this since Yesterday.
Throw that shot out and get a new piece or as @coldblood would say get a piece of driftwood
 

MrTwister

Arachnoknight
Joined
Mar 17, 2017
Messages
220
Just give it a week or so to air out. The hypo chlorite portion of the bleach will gas off.
 

G. pulchra

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
595
You expected to be able to wash an extremely dry piece of cork with a water/bleach mixture, and expected it not to soak in? :drunk:
 

Sana

Arachnoprince
Joined
Oct 26, 2014
Messages
1,143
I don't think that I would use the cork bark at all. I wouldn't want to take the chance on the possible chemical residue. I'm also one that recommends going to somewhere local that isn't generally sprayed with pesticides and grab whatever interesting pieces of wood or bark that you see. Take them home, rinse them off and then bake the heck out of them. It's worked for me so far.
 

D Sherlod

Arachnoknight
Joined
Dec 30, 2016
Messages
222
Cork bark is naturally anti bacterial and anti microbial. That is why it has been used in the reptile hobby for decades. Also why cork has been used to bottle wine etc.

Just let the bark air out for about a week . If you have doubts after that put the bark in a container with a few crickets and see if the crickets survive.
 

Tim Benzedrine

Prankster Possum
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 4, 2004
Messages
1,439
I agree with the above comments, I believe bleach becomes inert fairly quickly after exposure to air.

On the other hand, why risk a spider for the cost of a piece of cork-bark? because I THINK (and could be dead wrong), that it breaks down into NaCl (salt), which might not count as 'inert" in regard to spiders.
 
Top