Make your own bokashi bucket – a DIY step by step guide . In my post about making your own biochar , ”Emma” posted a comment that got me interested.

Bokashi comment
Translated: ”Why not start with bokashi? A simple method to turn your food waste into soil”

So… Why have I not started with bokashi? Probably because of the start up cost. I have seen prices of around SEK 800 (USD 80) and up for a starter kit. It´s a big investment to make, especially if you just want to try out what bokashi is all about. So I need to come up with a way of making an inexpensive bokashi bucket myself.

What You’ll Need to make your own bokashi bucket

Equipment / Tools

  • Drill and drill bit


  • 2 5-gallon plastic buckets
  • Lid for a plastic bucket
  • Dirt trap
  • Spigot
  • Bokashi bran or EM spray

What is bokashi?

Bokashi is a composting method that quickly converts food waste into soil. With the help of a special mix of microorganisms, all ordinary food waste such as meat, fish, vegetables and coffee grounds are transformed in a couple of weeks into a fermented compost that can be buried. When buried it is then converted to soil in record time (2-4 weeks). Bokashi enriches and nourishes the soil and increases micro-life, which benefits the plants you grow.

How to bokashi

To be able to compost bokashi, you need a bucket with an airtight lid and preferably a distance at the bottom so that liquid can be collected without soaking the compost. A tap to drain this liquid is also good. The bokashi liquid itself is a resource and you can use it as fertilizer (dilluted 1:10). It benefits the micro-life in the soil.

Bokashi composing is easy. You put your food waste in the bucket and sprinkle on a bokashi bran loaded with effective microorganisms (also called EM). The dosage is about two tablespoons per kilo of food waste. EM is also available as a spray. When the bucket is full, it is allowed to mature indoors for a couple of weeks and then you can bury the compost in a garden bed. 

If the weather is cold or if for some other reason you do not want / can not dig down the bokashi compost, it can be stored inside or outside until you feel it is time.

Shopping list: make your own bokashi bucket – step by step guide

So what do we need to make our own bokashi bucket? My shopping list is as follows:

  • Bucket with air tight lid 2-5 gallons
  • Drain spigot with coupling
  • Dirt trap for car wash buckets
Bokashihink material
Material for making your own bokashi bucket

Total cost for this project is about USD 10 per bucket. I made two buckets and also bought myself an extra bucket just in case. 

I also bought 2 kilos of bokashi bran with EM for USD 20. It should last about six months or more. 

Total cost for two DIY bokashi bucket and bokashi bran = USD 40

Make your own bokashi bucket – step by step guide

  • Measure the diameter of the spigot and find a suitable drill
  • Drill the hole
  • Mount the spigot and screw it tight from the inside.
  • Put in the dirt trap
  • DONE!
Bokashihink DIY
Measure the hole and find a suitable drill bit
Bokashihink crane
Drill the hole and mount the spigot
Bokashihink DIY
Screw the plastic nut to the inside.
Make your own bokashi bucket - step by step guide
Dirt trap
Make your own bokashi bucket - step by step guide
Make your own bokashi bucket - step by step guide
Both bokashi buckets finished!
Bokashi bran two-kilo bag

Does this work?

I´ve been using the buckets for some time now and they are great. No smell, no leaks.

Make your own bokashi bucket
Bokashi in action. Food waste with bokashi bran on top
Make your own bokashi bucket - step by step guide
Bokashi composting in action

Want to know more about bokashi? Sara Backmos articles on bokahi is a good resource.

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