Adding bokashi bran to food waste

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What can I put in my bokashi bucket?

Food waste ready to be bokashi compostedUsing bokashi composting you can compost all of your kitchen and food scraps. Vegetable peelings, fruit skins, peels, leftover salads and everything that you would throw in a ‘traditional composter’. Unlike a traditional compost system, you can also add cooked food scraps, meat, bones, dairy, baked goods (bread, cookies etc), egg shells… All food waste!

To be honest, it’s probably easier to just think about what should not go in the bokashi kitchen composter. That list is much shorter!!

Things to keep out of your bokashi bucket

  • Moldy or rotten food (excessively moldy food will introduce too much blue/green mold and may send your bin bad. An occasional moldy grape or apple core is fine but don’t overload your bokashi bin with rotten items)
  • Excess liquids including grease and oil. Too much liquid prevents the good bacteria from thriving and may send your bin bad.

Can I put garden waste in my bokashi bucket?

We would not recommend putting cut flowers or garden waste in your bin. These will break down using the bokashi process but will take up a lot if space in your bokashi kitchen composter and they don’t have a huge amount of nutrient value. Throw your garden waste into your traditional composter or in your city’s green bin scheme. Save your space in your bokashi kitchen composter for items that are going to add lots of nutrients to your soil and those that would be hard to compost otherwise.

Can I put compostable plastics in my bokashi bucket?

The bokashi process even seems to break down compostable plastics. This statement isn’t based on stringent laboratory tests….. But the compostable plastic spoons that I put in my bin a couple of months ago broke down in my garden soil!! Again, they’re probably not adding much value to my soil but my local curbside green bin program doesn’t accept compostable plastics. If it hadn’t gone in my bokashi indoor composter then it would have gone to the landfill.

Order now! Find all your bokashi composting supplies in our online shop.

You might also like to read

Composting bones with bokashi

Bokashi composting: how to get started

44 responses to “What can I put in my bokashi bucket?”

  1. Chantel says:

    Hi am I able to put potato peelings in my bokashi bin? I really don’t want potatoes sprouting and taking over my garden ????

    • Nicki Casley says:

      Absolutely! The anaerobic, acidic environment in the bokashi bucket will kill most seeds and roots. So you can safely throw in potato peelings with no worry about potatoes sprouting in your garden.

      Happy composting!

  2. Mary Fisher says:

    I have two finicky cats who do not eat all the wet cat food I give them. Can I put the leftover cat food in the Bokashi compost bucket?

    • Nicki Casley says:

      Absolutely. Anything edible (by ourselves or our pets) can go in the bokashi composter.
      Happy composting 🙂

  3. Jay says:

    Will tomato and pepper seeds brake down in the bucket or will they be able to germinate in the spring?

    • Nicki Casley says:

      The anaerobic acidic environment within a bokashi bucket should kill the majority of seeds. Tomato seeds are notoriously resistant within composting systems but I regularly compost tomato seeds through our bokashi system and they don’t germinate the following year. Make sure to leave the bucket for at least 2 weeks to ensure that the seeds are adequately exposed to the acidic conditions.

      Happy composting

  4. […] to compost everything you want to add to it from remaining sections of this chart. Double check the bokashi living website for a more complete list of things you can add to your bokashi compost system […]

  5. Liz says:

    Hi, can I put bits of apple which have codlin moth in them in my bokashi bin? What about other fruit which has spots and bugs? Thanks. Liz

    • Nicki Casley says:

      Yes, you can add these to your bokashi bucket. The high acidity and anaerobic environment will kill off any bugs and insects in your food waste.

  6. Jean says:

    Hi! I boiled some eggs before realized they were rotten. Could those be put into a bokashi bucket?

    • Nicki Casley says:

      Absolutely. We don’t recommend putting moldy food in your bokashi bucket, but a few cooked rotten eggs should be fine. Make sure to chop them up before adding, and be a bit more generous when adding the bokashi bran.
      Happy composting 🙂

  7. victoria says:

    Can I put compostable parchment paper in the bucket? (As it is not food – will it just stay in there unchanged by the process?)

    • Nicki Casley says:

      Yes, you can add compostable parchment paper to your bokashi bucket. As you say, there’s not a lot of value to the microbes (they thrive on the carbohydrates and sugars in our food waste) so it will be largely unchanged by the bokashi process. However, it will break down with the rest of your food waste when you add it to your soil or compost pile. Plus it will keep the parchment paper out of the landfill.

      If you do add the parchment paper, make sure to check that it is fully compostable. Food wrap can sometime have a thin plastic layer on them. To check, rip the paper slightly and look closely, You will see the plastic layer ‘stretch’ as the paper tears.

      Happy composting 🙂

  8. Daniel Abbie says:

    Hi there I’m wondering whether I can put half a watermelon in the bucket?
    We have half a watermelon (flesh and rind) that is past the point of eating. Can I cut it into small pieces and put it in or will there be too much liquid/moisture from the flesh and cause issues?
    Thank you.

    • Nicki Casley says:

      Thanks for the question. Yes, you can add the cut up half a watermelon to your bokashi bucket. You will likely collect more bokashi tea than usual but as long as the watermelon is added with a mix of other food waste there should be no problem from too much liquid/moisture.

      Happy composting 🙂

  9. Jessica says:

    I have just purchased a bokashi system. I live in a townhouse and have a container garden. My question is, am I able to mix the bokashi scraps into some container soil and keep it in a container bin in my garage for storage until I amend my containers? I don’t have any garden beds that I can bury the bokashi in to let it break down fully

  10. Susan Langerman says:

    Hi, can I add tea bags and coffee in my bin?

  11. […] What can I put in my bokashi bucket? […]

  12. Maja says:

    Hi, I can’t find this information anywhere – can I put mushroom scrapes in Bokashi bin? As in raw mushroom peels. Any advice is great, thank you in advance!

  13. Sab says:

    Can I add hair, dryer lint, and vacuum contents to a bokashi bin? I can’t find this info anywhere!

    • Nicki Casley says:

      Thanks for the question. Hair is absolutely fine to add to your bokashi composter.

      You might want to be more cautious before you add drier lint and vacuum contents, as they likely contain microplastics. Many clothes contain plastics and the plastic fibres will be in the drier lint. Similarly, most carpets are made in part from plastic, so the contents of your vacuum will also include plastics. As such, you may want to avoid putting these in your bokashi composter and risk adding microplastics to your garden.

      Happy composting 🙂

  14. Maria Fenech says:

    Hi, I have just purchase my first Bokashi compost bin today, can I add things like cooked pasta salad & pototo salad, thank you

  15. Laura says:

    Can I put paper that has been soiled by food ie paper towels, paper napkins etc?

    • Nicki Casley says:

      There is no actual harm in adding paper products to the bokashi bin, but we don’t suggest you do this. As there is no nutrient value to these items, so the bokashi microbes will ignore them. This means that they will pass through your bokashi bin unchanged.

  16. Denisa says:

    Hi, I’ve just started using the Bokashi system in my kitchen but I’ve only just started with minimal organic waste like tea and fruit peels, so there’s not much waste in my bin yet. I was wondering if it was ok to put raw chicken drumsticks into the compost bin? I’m using liquid bokashi instead of the grains and I wanted to know what I can expect when I put it in as I’m quite new to all of this, and I’m kinda afraid of it growing mould or turning ugly ?

    • Nicki Casley says:

      Yes, you can add raw meat and bones to your bokashi composter. The bokashi microbes help to kill pathogens and make it safe to compost raw meat and bones. Note that bones will take longer to break down than most other items in your bokashi composter, but they will break down in your soil eventually. Make sure to be more generous when adding your bokashi bran (or bokashi spray) if you are adding harder to compost items such as meat and bones.

  17. Lisa says:

    Hello! Are yogurt and honey too liquidy for my bokashi bin?

    • Nicki Casley says:

      In moderation, they will be fine. You can also add drier materials, such as bread, to offset wetter items.

  18. Jo says:

    Hi thanks for all the helpful information. I’m keen to know if it’s ok to put bamboo baby wipes into the bokashi? Of course the amount should be limited but if I had one or two sheets I’d prefer it being kept out of landfill.

    • Nicki Casley says:

      If they say that they are fully compostable, then they can be added to the bokashi bucket and will break down in time. Remember, if the wipes contain human waste, then the resulting compost should be buried at least 2m away from any areas used for growing fruits or vegetables.

  19. Louise says:

    Is it ok for shredded newspaper to be added to my bokashi bucket? I use a small amount at the bottom of the caddy I use to collect food waste before transferring it to the bokashi bucket.

    • Nicki Casley says:

      Yes, the shredded newspaper can be added to the bokashi bucket. The paper will break down, although it will not add any real value to the bokashi microbes or the finished compost. We typically recommend that people use the space in their bokashi buckets for food waste; the highest value organic waste that will make the highest quality compost.

  20. […] The only things you want to limit are moldy foods (they can upset the bacterial balance and make the bin go bad) and excess liquids including oil. (Source.) […]

  21. Gina says:

    Can I add moldy cheese if the mold is white and not black or blue? I have some fresh cheese that is about 2 weeks – still white, with some white mold on it. Can I add old white moldy cheese to my bokashi bin?

    • Nicki Casley says:

      You shouldn’t add excessive amounts of moldy food to your bokashi bin as it can introduce too many bad mold microbes to your bin. However, a small amount of moldy food is acceptable. So, if it is just a small amount (say a few cubic cm’s), then chop it up and spread it through the bin, making sure to add a generous amount of bokashi bran as you do so. If it is a larger amount of moldy food, then it is best to keep it out of the bokashi bin. It’s not worth sending a whole bin full of food waste bad because of one piece of cheese.

  22. SquirrelGardener says:

    Can I put rotten fruit that is not yet moldy but acidic into my bokashi bin? It is watermelon that smells very acidic. I have poured out as much of the juice liquid as possible.

    • Nicki Casley says:

      I responded to your other comment before I read this! Glad to hear you have drained most of the liquid (excess liquid can cause your bokashi bucket to fail). Non-moldy rotten fruit is fine; maybe add an extra tablespoon or two of bokashi bran to be on the safe side as the watermelon sounds like it is close to going moldy. The bokashi fermenting process is naturally very acidic so the acidity of the fruit is not a problem.

      • Don Grant says:

        Hi Nicki,
        I am a small-hoping to go commercial next year-worm farmer. Naturally food supply is an issue. The Bokashi approach to creating worm food seems to be the answer. Where do I start? What characteristics should the bin have? What additives do I need?
        Would really appreciate your assistance.
        PS Maybe I will find the answers in the references you have provided.

        • Nicki Casley says:

          For successful bokashi composting you need a high quality, airtight bucket with a spigot for draining the bokashi tea as well as the bokashi microbes (inoculated in to our premium bokashi bran). You can find all bokashi supplies in our online shop

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