Blog Follower Tip: How to Clean an Outdoor Fountain


Peter, a blog follower, from southern California sent me this photo that he took of a fountain on is patio. He offered the following tip on how to clean a fountain to fight algae:

Awhile ago we were exchanging emails on fountains for your back patio. I told you that a little bleach to fight algae goes a lonnnnnnng way.

This picture taken this morning is from ONE CAP of Clorox Regular I put in the fountain after hosing it out and refilling it yesterday.  There was algae in it, so I added bleach to kill the last of it off after putting fresh water in.  The bleach is reacting with the remaining algae and sudsing. I’ve read that using Clorox HE, Clorox Smart, etc creates even more suds. Since the birds love the fountain, I try to keep bleach and suds to a minimum.

One thought on “Blog Follower Tip: How to Clean an Outdoor Fountain

  1. I would be too concerned about birds and butterflies poisoning themselves on the bleach.

    I think you can neutralize it with vinegar but I still would avoid it.

    You can keep your fountains clean by treating them like aquariums.

    First, try to avoid full sun all day in placement. The less sun the better as far as algae goes.

    Second, scrub it with a brush at least once a week and refill.

    Third, there are algaecides and other treatments that are used for aquariums and ponds that are safe for fish that may also be safe for wildlife, such as birds and insects but be sure the read the package and google if need be.

    My fountain sits on the ground and I can’t keep the dog from drinking out of it so I am fussy about chemicals. The pump is broken so I need to replace it before getting it going again. My sister cut me glass for the bottom and I laid tile around the sides so it is easier to scrub than bare or even sealed concrete.

    You can make your own fountain by buying your own pump, nozzles if you want, and then looking around for interesting containers.

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