Convert a Salt Spreader into a Fertilizer Spreader

What You'll Need
Stiff wire handheld brush
Old toothbrush
Pressure washer
12-inch wide basin full of hot water

You can use your salt spreader as a fertilizer spreader or to spread grass seed. Just make sure you give it a thorough cleaning to prevent any salt residue ending up in your fresh furrows or on your lawn. Follow these directions to use your spreader all year round.

Step 1:    Empty the Salt Spreader

Dump out all the salt in the salt spreader hopper into the container where you keep your winter salt supplies.  

Step 2:    Brush Out all the Visible Salt and Dust

Brush the inside of the salt spreader hopper with a stiff wire brush to clean it completely of all visible salt and residue. Rinse the hopper with a pressure washer and check again for any salt in grooves along the top or in corners.

Step 3:    Clean the Rotator and Adjust the Spread Rate

Use the stiff wire brush to remove visible salt and dust from the rotator wheel or rod. Next, soak it in a hot water bath until the water is transparent again. Use an old toothbrush to scrub off any remaining visible white salt crystals. Rinse the rotator with the pressure washer. Dry it off and reattach it to the hopper. Adjust the spread rate to the width of the rows you will be fertilizing or seeding, to prevent waste.

Step 4:    Scrub and Rinse the Spreader's Tires

Even the spreader's tires must be cleared of salt crystals and residue before you take it into the field or garden to spread fertilizer. Scrub the treads thoroughly with the wire brush, then get into the grooves with the toothbrush to rid them of all visible traces of salt. Rinse them completely with the pressure washer.

Step 5:    Add the Pellet or Powder Fertilizer to the Hopper

Put the amount of pellet or powder fertilizer into the hopper that you will need to cover the area. Bring the bag of fertilizer along to the edge of the garden or field if you think you will need to add more. Run the spreader over the area you are fertilizing, and refill it as necessary.

Step 6:    Clean Out a Tailgate Spreader

Detach the tailgate spreader from the vehicle and remove all the salt from it. Use a stiff cylindrical bottle brush to reach up inside the spreader to scrub out all the salt crystals and residue you can see. Fill the tailgate spreader hopper with hot water and soak for 15 minutes, then pour out the water into sand or gravel. Scrub around the hopper nozzle to clear away salty buildup. Rinse the hopper with the pressure washer. Soak and rinse the revolving spreader arm and dry completely. Put an ample quantity of fertilizer, lawn grass seed or other organic material to be spread into the tailgate spreader. Attach the spreader arm and reinsert the tailgate spreader into the holder.

When you finish the fertilizing or seeding operation, clean the spreader thoroughly so it is ready for its next task.