Smelly weights

Asked September 23, 2017, 9:13 PM EDT

My husband made some sauerkraut in our crocks. Unfortunately he got sick and everyone forgot about it until yesterday. The main crock doesn't smell like the stones. They smell like poop. I have used bleach soaking, soapy water, boiling for ten minutes in distilled vinegar but it still has a slight odor. Is there something else to clean them with. They have only been used once. Sonny Swift

Stevens County Washington

2 Responses

Dear Client,

Oh My gosh! I sure hope your husband is alright?

As an entomologist, all I can do is show concern for his situation. The cause-and-effect link is beyond our expertise.

However, I can and I will ask one of the WSU Trained Master Preservers how to properly and safely clean your crock. I will post this in a separate response to this question.

With much concern,


I am the trained food safety person for the Stevens County WSU extension office. I am sorry to hear about the illness. If your husband is interested in making sauerkraut again please reach out to our office and we can provide some researched and tested recipes to follow. When it comes to cleaning your crock there are several options. First - when you say you cleaned with bleach- was it a 10% bleach solution and did you soak the crock for at least an hour? If you did do this your other options are wiping the crock with hydrogen peroxide or making a baking soda paste with water and letting sit on the surface of the crock over night before washing with hot, soapy water. In the future you may discover you prefer making sauerkraut with liner bags. I have included the contact information for the Stevens County Extension office. Please feel free to contact us with any further questions. Hope your husband is feeling better!