How to Clean a Garden Fountain


A garden fountain is an excellent way to create a focal point in your yard, drawing in wildlife and providing a relaxing retreat. If you don't regularly clean the fountain, however, you will start noticing some unpleasant consequences such as algae growth, murky water, unpleasant smells and a reduced water flow. Anyone can clean a garden fountain quickly and easily to keep it sparkling and fresh by following these simple steps.

Things You'll Need

  • Fountain Instruction Manual or Sheet
  • Rag
  • Fountain Algaecide
  • Old Tootbrush
  • Fountain Water Treatment to Prevent Mineral Stains
  • White Vinegar
  • Read the instruction manual or sheet that came with your fountain, if available. If you don't have one, call the manufacturer to inquire about special cleaning methods that may be required for your specific fountain.

  • Unplug the fountain pump.

  • Drain the water from the fountain. Use the fountain's drain plug, if there is one, or pump it into a bucket with your fountain's pump and a long piece of tubing.

  • Remove any debris that is left inside, such as twigs, leaves or grass.

  • Wipe the fountain surfaces thoroughly with a rag, using an old, soft-bristled toothbrush to gently scrub detailed areas or algae spots. White vinegar may be used to remove stubborn algae growth or discoloration caused by dirt and mud.

  • Rinse the fountain surface with a hose.

  • Pull the cover off the fountain pump and remove any debris that may be trapped inside.

  • Wipe the inside and outside of the fountain pump and replace the cover.

  • Perform any extra steps that may be recommended in your fountain instruction manual.

  • Re-fill the fountain with water, adding water treatments to prevent algae and mineral stains as directed on the bottles.

Tips & Warnings

  • Draining the fountain water is not necessary every time you clean your fountain. Do it seasonally or when it seems like the water needs to be replaced.
  • Keep your fountain looking good between cleanings and prevent clogging the pump, by skimming debris from your fountain as needed.
  • Vinegar is a mild cleaner that is appropriate for most surfaces, and much safer than using bleach or other harsh chemicals. However, since fountain materials vary widely, it is imperative that you read your instruction manual or call the manufacturer to ensure that it won't harm any component of your fountain.

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