Homemade Fountain Cleaner

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Fountains add interest to indoor or outdoor decor.
Fountains add interest to indoor or outdoor decor. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Fountains enhance gardens and patios as well as dining rooms and foyers. Indoors or out, fountains offer peaceful and soothing sounds of running water. Birds and other small animals may frequent outdoor fountains requiring fountain decontamination to prevent them from becoming ill. Leaves, twigs and dead insects can clog water pumps making cleaning necessary. Indoor fountains are prone to developing slimy residue and algae growth both of which can cause unsightly stains and pump failure. In addition, lime scale, mineral deposits and algae all build up on indoor or outdoor fountains without proper cleaning and maintenance.

Things You'll Need

  • Cup
  • Bucket
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Rag
  • White vinegar
  • Scrub brush

Turn the power to the fountain off at the electrical switch or unplug at the receptacle. Bail the water out of fountain with a cup or, if the fountain is small and light weight, tilt the fountain and pour the water out into a sink or drain.

Mix 1 gallon of water and 1 cup of chlorine bleach in a bucket. Adjust amounts of water and bleach proportionately based on the size of the fountain. Pour the water and bleach mixture into the fountain. Restore the power and allow the mixture to run through the fountain for one hour to clean algae from the pump and kill growth on fountain surfaces. Turn the power off. Remove the water and bleach mixture. Wet a rag with plain water and wipe the fountain surfaces to eliminate algae.

Blend equal amounts of white vinegar and water in a bucket. Dip a scrub brush or soft rag into the cleaning mixture. Scrub stone and concrete surfaces with a scrub brush. Scrub metal and resin surfaces with a rag to avoid scratching the fountain. Scrub the pump with a rag. Continue to scrub the surface of the fountain and pump until no lime scale or mineral deposits remain. Rinse the fountain with plain water. Refill the fountain and restore the power.

Tips & Warnings

  • Clean fountains weekly. If birds drink and bathe in your fountain, clean the fountain twice a week.
  • Wear rubber gloves when cleaning with chlorine bleach.
  • Drain outdoor fountains prior to the onset of freezing temperatures. Ice can cause the fountain to crack and ruin the pump.

References

  • "2,001 Amazing Cleaning Secrets"; Jeff Bredenberg; 2004
  • "Cleaning"; Time Life Editors; 1982
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