YOLO Compost Tumblers do not need much maintenance but to get longevity from this long-lasting, robust product, there are a few things that you can do.


YOLO shells are rotomoulded from UV-stabilised polyethlyene. This high-quality plastic can withstand being outdoors, much like a water tank. You’re looking at a decade-plus from the shells.

The graphics on the shells – logo and composting guidelines – are moulded-in graphics that won’t fade or peel as they are part of the shell.

The shells can be cleaned using a cloth and water or soapy water.


The latches and hinges are bolted into threaded brass inserts that are moulded into the shell. The inserts won’t pull out or rust. The bolts are stainless steel.

The latches and hinges are galvanised steel. Galvanising offers protection against rust but it is not a 100% guarantee especially in humid and coastal environments. On the highveld, you have little to worry about from rust. For coastal locations, we recommend cleaning the latches, hinges and bolts (soft cloth and soapy water). Then, once they are dry, use a silicone-based spray on them. This should be done every 2-3 months as a barrier to protect against rusting.


We use a steel frame for our YOLO unit that has been powdercoated to protect against rusting and to look good. We’ve found this outer frame will hold up well for years, even in coastal environments.

Take care when moving your YOLO around so that the powdercoating on the frame is not scratched. This would expose the steel to the elements much like an open would is exposed to infection. To clean, the frame can be wiped down using a soft cloth and water or soapy water (use a mild detergent – no strong cleaning products).

Wax is used to protect powder coating and keep it looking good. Wheel-and-rim and car waxes (in a tub or liquid form) are usually suitable for powder-coated steel (and other metals). These will be available from auto and hardware stores. Look for products that are labelled as non-abrasive and that include some form of UV protection.

A pipe passes through the shells and enables the shells to be turned. Until January 2022, the steel pipe was also powder coated.

The interior environment of the YOLO shell is generally warm and moist and the pipe will usually have content material stuck on it. Over time, the powder coating can be affected and impacted by rust, even in rust-proof environments like the highveld. For this reason, we changed to hot-dip galvanising for greater protection against rust. There is nothing that you can do in terms of maintenance for the pipe as it will be affected by the moisture inside the shell and also your location.

The pipe (and frame) can be powder coated or galvanised (hot-dip) again.

You can find powder-coating companies in the small industrial area of every reasonably-sized town. Powder coating cannot be touched up; the whole item must be recoated. Powder coating is best done on a clean surface. It is best to let the wear-and-tear get significant so that you can peel off the old powder-coating layer. Use a wire brush, putty knife or fine-grit sandpaper (not coarse sandpaper) to remove the old layer and reveal a clean surface. Sand-blasting will remove residue of the old layer and the frame and pipe can be powder coated again or hot-dip galvanised. Many powder coating companies also do sandblasting.

From January 2022, the centre pipe is now hot-dip galvanised. This should offer longer-term rust protection. The pipe is removed by undoing the bolt that fastens it to the frame and then pulling it out of the shells.

Do a visual inspection of your YOLO Compost Tumbler components every few months and pay attention to maintenance so that you can look forward to well more than a decade of use from your YOLO Compost Tumbler.

Caring for your YOLO Compost Tumbler