How to Clean Your Outdoor Fountain


Outdoor fountains are beautiful pieces of art that can be used to spruce up a backyard of any size. These fountains sometimes have sculptures or recognizable figurines as a part of their design. The size of outdoor fountains will typically depend on your personal preferences. Perhaps you enjoy small and compact fountains over larger ones. However, the scale of the fountain will also depend on the size of your yard. Often, the question is raised in regards to how outdoor fountains can be cleaned. Smaller fountains will take less time to clean, unless there are lots of intricate details that require more time. On the other hand, larger fountains have more water and room for buildup. We will be discussing more specifics in the article below!

How often does the fountain need to be cleaned?

If you have a fountain that is small in size, you should be cleaning it approximately every few months. There is not much opportunity for it to get covered in leaves or buildup. If the fountain is larger, then you should be cleaning it more frequently, approximately once every month. Both the basin and the pump need to be cleaned often so that the water can flow freely through. However, the frequency of cleaning also depends on your own discretion. If you notice that there was a wind storm that knocked a lot of leaves into your fountain, you may wish to clean those out right away. If you live in an area that has more severe weather, you may find yourself needing to clean your fountain more often than other people will be.


How to clean the fountain

Before cleaning your fountain, you will need to make sure that the water is turned off. Unplug it from the wall, or whichever power source it is connected to. You will need to remove all the components of your fountain and clean them. This includes stones and the pump. Stones can be easily cleaned off, but you may find that pumps are a bit more difficult.  While cleaning your pump, you may find that there is a buildup of unwanted materials on it. Pumps have many hard-to-reach areas, and so you could try using an old toothbrush to scrape them clean.

Once the stones and pump are removed, you can drain the water out of the fountain. Depending on the material that your fountain is made of, cleaning it should be fairly simple. Just use a bucket of water and a non-abrasive sponge.  A mild soap or detergent can be used to clear away algae, or similar build-ups. There will likely be a large amount of algae and sulphur on the inside basin of your fountain. This area will need a lot of careful attention to ensure that all of it has been removed. When you are finished cleaning the fountain, do a final rinse. Use a rag to wipe down the walls to ensure that there is no leftover soap or detergent. After this, you can return the pump and fill the fountain with water once more. Everything can return to its rightful place so the water can flow.


How to keep your fountain looking nice

There are a few alternatives that you could try in regards to your outdoor fountain. Distilled water is a good option to use. If you used distilled water, there will be less of a mineral buildup in the fountain and on the pump. This will mean less frequent cleanings. Also, if you happen to notice pieces of debris in your fountain, it is a good idea to pick them out as soon as you see them. This could include twigs, leaves, stones, or insects. By leaving them in the fountain, there is a greater chance that they will cause the fountain to clog and stop working. Finally, try to keep an eye out for when the water is dirty. If you notice this, you will need to drain the water and replace it. It may be that the fountain does not require cleaning at this time, but having fresh water often will make a difference in the upkeep.

Stubborn stains

If fighting with your fountain for many hours, trying to get it clean, does not bring good results, it is easy to become frustrated. One secret cleaning solution is vinegar and water. Vinegar has the ability to loosen algae and crusted dirt. Mix approximately one half cup of vinegar for every one gallon of water (preferably warm), and pour it into the fountain. Leave it for a few hours, and then check to see how it is doing. Theoretically, the fountain should be much easier to clean after being exposed to the solution. Another option to fight stains in your fountain would be to rent (or buy) a pressure washer. This is a device that has a powerful stream of water for cleaning. If you direct is at the mildew, algae or stains in your fountain, they should come off much easier. Before using a pressure washer, be sure to remove the pump from the fountain first. It is more delicate than a stone basin, and should not be pressure washed.


Installing an outdoor fountain is definitely one way to bring up the value of your backyard. A fountain has the ability to turn a space into something more elegant than it was before. A neglected backyard is initially a turn-off to friends and family. They wouldn’t want to go near it any more than you would. However, giving a backyard a facelift can be so simple! A little bit of gardening and trimming combined with the addition of an outdoor fountain can do wonders. Of course, a fountain must be regularly maintained in order to continue looking beautiful. A dirty fountain is not likely to help the look of your backyard. By keeping the fountain clean, your whole backyard will simply shine due to the attention you are giving it.

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  • Candace Osmond