The great thing about cleaning outdoor fountains is that you can make as big of a mess as you want! It does not matter if you spill a little water or splash here-and-there, because there is no carpeting, furniture or expensive decor pieces to worry about. When you are outside, you can use the hose, spray the kids, soak the dog and have a little fun with your cleaning project.
Empty the Water
All of the water will need to be emptied from the water feature. If you have a small one, then you will just be able to dump the water out. If you have a large one on your deck or one of those classic and mysterious tiered fountains on your front lawn, then your chore will be a little bigger.
You can use a pail, pitcher or whatever else you have handy to scoop the water out. You may want to scoop it into a bucket and then dump the bucket a few feet away so you are not standing in a puddle. Alternatively, you can always use a hose and siphon the water out.
Depending on how often you clean your water fountains, you may simply need soapy water. If there is a lot of algae buildup, then an algae removal product
will be necessary. Fountains that sit in the sun are more prone to algae than those that are placed in the shade.
No matter what material your fountain is made of, you always want to use a non-abrasive cleaning tool. You may think that you can use a heavy duty scrubber, but even slate will lose its luster, if you scrub at it too hard.
Your scrubbing does not stop with the fountain itself though! You need to get the pump and any rocks or polished stones clean too. An old toothbrush can prove to be very handy. Keep in mind that if your pump is clogged with algae and debris, it won’t work properly so the water will become dirty faster.
Always make sure that you rinse away every bit of cleaner from the fountain before you fill it. Chances are good that you have birds, butterflies and dragonflies drinking from it, so you don’t want any cleaning solution left behind. If your water feature sits low to the ground then wildlife and your pets may be helping themselves from time-to-time. Therefore, the final rinse cannot be stressed enough.
When you fill your water fountains back up with water, consider adding an animal-friendly water treatment product that will help reduce algae growth.