Whole Leaf Tobacco

what is the best way to wash tobacco leaves

jimbob

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I was wondering what the best method of washing tobacco leaves before hanging to dry, would a mild washing up liquid be suitable or would it strip too much oil from the leave surface any thought welcome
 

deluxestogie

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I would not wash them. If there is dirt on the leaves, just let it cure there, then brush off the dried dirt later. Washing increases the risk of mold, as does harvesting wet leaf.

Bob
 

GreenDragon

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What Bob said!

Although, it does beg the question what’s going on that you would need/want to wash your leaves? The bottom-most leaves (mud lugs) are generally discarded. And the taste of burning soap residue is horrible (don’t ask me how I know this). If you have some particularly dirty plants hose them down a few days before picking the leaves. Once the leaf or plant is harvested you don’t ever want to wet them down.

Last year the wife decided to brush down our Collie next to some of my tobacco plants. Let’s just say that dog hair and tobacco leaves are nature’s velcro. I had to write those off.
 

fimbrew

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If I have some leaves full of dirt and/or bugs I spray them off. When stuff is really stuck on I have soaked them in big tubs and rubbed off the bugs. When I soak them it seems they soak up some water and make the leaves fuller and stiffer which may or may not help them to color cure in my dry climate. I lay them out or hang till dry but that doesn't take long here. When it is time to harvest the main crop I usually don't bother,
 

deluxestogie

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If I have
I'm sure that works out well for you in Arizona. I admit that I have hosed off leaf that had heavy bird droppings, but I had to take extra care in drying them prior to moving them to the shed. But most debris will just drop off of curing leaf as it dries.

I guess that the point I'm not making very well is that the risk of mold in the curing shed is greater than the risk from cruddies on the leaf.

Bob
 

dubhelix

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Though it’s not usually necessary, one option is to plan ahead and rinse the leaves with a pressurized sprayer or hose-end mister while they are still attached to the plant, a day or two before harvest so that the leaves are both clean and dry when harvested.
 

ChinaVoodoo

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Due to stuck fruit flies, spruce needles, dandelion fuzz, and random chaff, etc, I have washed plenty without damage.

I use a garden hose on rather low, and use a wide gentle spray. I have a board sitting nearly verticle, and hold the leaf flat against the board so there is no flopping and spray one side at a time. I immediately drain them.
 

Damanadaplaya

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I lightly hosed aphids off my leaves with a garden hose while on the plant, once a week or two weeks. As I hung to air cure I used a dry paint brush and dusted them off; pretty clean leaves.
 

jimbob

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Thanks for the advise, it is sticky insects and general muck that's the problem
 

Moth

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I'll echo what others have said. Lower leaves were gently sprayed with a hose a few days before harvest (child's sandpit, soil and wind = dirty lower leaves)
When I box cured and subsequently hung the leaves I used a small paintbrush for any obvious insect or debris.
As the leaves dried / fan circulated air, the floor caught any further detritus as it fell.
Now I am slowly bagging the leaves, I also use the paintbrush, although, rarely, as they're clean.
Each leaf gets my attention a few times : before curing in a box, when hanging to dry and when bagging.
Plenty of opportunities over the months ...
I wouldn't worry too much
 
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