I'm curious to find out what everyone uses to clean buckets and troughs with? My trough gets a layer of orange slime in it that I scrape off with a paint scraper and rinse thoroughly. But that's just not cutting it. I need to use something more than water. I've read bleach, but I don't know if that's a good idea? Baking soda is another thing I've read about.
Bleach is fine. Many folks who are on well water add bleach to their troughs to keep the gunk from growing in it. My horses are on city water, which is treated with chlorine, without issue.
I usually use an old ice scraper to get the worst of the gunk out, then I scrub it with a wire brush to get it as clean as possible. Hard work and I end up with goop from my hair to my boots but that doesn't bother me much LOL.
Bleach is good to clean with. It dissipates into the air in a very short time. I do like apple cider vinegar in the tanks to keep the stuff from growing. Keeps mosquito larvae out too, and is good for the horse.
I use a pot scrapper thingy with a long handle and bleach once in awhile. But if you keep the water trough out of the sun, that scum doesn't form, unfortunately I don't have a choice, it's where my hydrant is located. When I had water troughs in the lower pastures and hauled water, I kept them in the shade, rarely did scum grow.
That's where I run into trouble too, Ware. The closest tree(s) to my barn is longer than my water hose will reach (and longer than I want to make a hose reach, I'm not too fond of the idea of dragging 300 feet of hose to fill the tanks every day) and it's really skimpy and small so it doesn't even really qualify as a "shade tree" LOL. Best pic I could find, the trees are in the background.
I guess I'm lucky. I switch my buckets between food duty and water duty. When they start to look nasty, I dump the water and replace the water bucket with a food bucket. I then let the Arizona sun bake any scuzzy stuff in the former water bucket. If I rotate them thru about 1/week, maybe 2 weeks, the gunk doesn't build up before the sun destroys it.
If it does get too nasty, I turn it into Cowboy's food bucket. He's a BLM mustang who may have been crossed with a goat. That would explain both his size and his eating habits...and the fortitude of his tummy!
We then rinse the soap out and refill. During the summer, when we get algae growth, we scrub with bleach instead of dish soap because that's more effective at killing the algae. We do not, however, leave bleach in the trough. We rinse and refill with just water. This method has always worked fine for us.