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Drywall mud ... what's up?

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dthornton

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I buy drywall mud in the 40 lb buckets, but because I'm not working very quickly, one bucket lasts me several months. Now for the problem - after it sits for a couple of weeks, when I take the lid off, there is mold (black, green, and orange) on the surface of the mud. I usually just scrape the mold off the surface and then use the mud. Today, when I took off the lid, there was lots of mold and it smelled like rotten eggs!!! What causes this, and what can I do to prevent it? Is it safe to still use this stuff? :confused: Thanks for the help guys!
 

BridgeMan

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Hydrogen sulfide gas smells like rotten eggs, and I suspect that's what might be generated by micro-organisms growing in your mud. Have you switched brands lately?

I always make a practice of covering the mud in partially-used buckets by cutting a circular piece of heavy plastic, slightly larger than the bucket's inside diameter, and laying it right on top of the smoothed mud before the lid goes on. Does wonders for both preventing drying and keeping mold (colored crud) from growing.
 

kok328

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I have had the same experience and have decided that adding mold to the mud is not a good idea and therefore, discard any moldy mud or skim off the bad stuff before using.
 

nealtw

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When storing an open bucket clean the sides down to the smooth surface of the mud , put in a garbage bag and add a couple inches of water in the bag to seal out the air or fill the bag with the mud seal it up tight and store it in the bucket.
 
H

havasu

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I wonder if inverting the bucket during storage would help, like it does with paint?
 

nealtw

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Mold is everywhere, most people that buy big buckets will put some in a smaller container to work with, they use the same tool to work the wall and spoon out more filler and then return left overs back to the bucket. Now they have taken spours from the wall to a very good feeding ground and left enough air in the bucket for a lot of growth.
 

JoeD

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It's been while since I used large pails, but I used to put about an inch bleachy water on top of the mud. Pour it off when you need to use it and mix well.
 

dthornton

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Thank you to all for the suggestions. So, Lysol or bleach won't hurt the mud? I'll definitely try these ideas. :beer:
 

Drywallinfo

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Sounds like you put some of your own tap water back into the bucket? The rotten egg smell can come from an iron-loving bacteria present in high-iron water. We have a little of it in our water.

What I do with left over joint compound is clean up all the mud off the sides inside the bucket, level out the mud on the bottom, and then place plastic over the surface of the mud. This works well at preventing dry-out without the mold problem you can get by adding water. Works for a year or two - then it is time to dispose.
 

Workaholic

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Sounds like you put some of your own tap water back into the bucket? The rotten egg smell can come from an iron-loving bacteria present in high-iron water. We have a little of it in our water.

What I do with left over joint compound is clean up all the mud off the sides inside the bucket, level out the mud on the bottom, and then place plastic over the surface of the mud. This works well at preventing dry-out without the mold problem you can get by adding water. Works for a year or two - then it is time to dispose.
I agree with this post, never had a problem with mold in the bucket before.
 

Drywallinfo

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And you should use a magic marker or sharpie and label the date of your compound on the lid so you can dispose of it in a timely manner.
 

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