A bucket is a tool that can hold water, lava, milk, or bucket with fish which can either be consumed (milk only) or spilled to make a pool (water, lava, bucket with cod, bucket with tropical fish, bucket with pufferfish, and bucket with salmon only). Buckets with cod, tropical fish, pufferfish, and salmon will have the same use as a water bucket, but it will also spawn one of the said fish, depending on the bucket's contents.
The main use of the bucket is to obtain liquids, mostly water, which is necessary for farming. Keeping some water on hand while mining can protect a player from lava. Thus, it's highly recommended to have at least one water bucket when mining to help avoid damage from lava and the occasional fire. Water cannot be drunk unless it is put into glass bottles.
Buckets can also hold lava which can be used in mob traps and creating useful resources like obsidian and cobblestone. Milk can also be collected in buckets and cures all status effects (e.g. Food Poisoning, Swiftness, Wither, etc.). It can also be used to make cakes. All liquids can be obtained by right-clicking on the source of liquid, e.g., a cow in the case of milk.
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- Interestingly enough, buckets are destroyed by lava (when dropped), but they can hold lava (when used).
- Even though buckets are stack-able, if two buckets are filled with the same liquid they can't stack and stay separate.
- A single bucket filled with lava can be used to smelt up to 100 items.
- After the lava is used up, the bucket will be given back to a player.
- Before Beta 1.8, the bucket would not be given back to a player after the smelting process was finished.
- Placing an empty bucket in the fuel slot of a furnace while it is smelting a wet sponge will fill the bucket up with water after the wet sponge is finished smelting.
- As of 1.13, buckets with fish inside them were added which work the same as water buckets, but it places the fish that is contained in it along with the water.
- Blacksmith villagers will buy a lava bucket in exchange for emeralds, and fishermen villagers will sell a bucket of any fish for emeralds.