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Home » Fountain Cleaning Guide

Fountain Cleaning Guide

Step by Step Cleaning for your Indoor and Outdoor Water Fountains

Whether it’s a custom water fountain, garden fountain, feng shui fountain, outdoor wall fountain or an outdoor fountain, they all need to be cleaned. Cleaning water fountains is an easy task that only takes a couple of hours for a large fountain and minutes for small tabletop style and needs to be done periodically. We recommend you clean smaller fountains once a month or so, they are quite simple to clean and have less water in them so it tends to get algae quicker.  Wall mounted fountains or larger floor standing fountains can go longer between cleanings, often times you can go 2-3 months between fountain cleanings.  Without cleaning a water fountain, it will not look as appealing and may not even function properly. Algae and mineral deposits are the key things to be cleaned as they have the tendency to build up. Algae is a plant like organism that grows in water and mineral deposits form from the fountains chemical composition.
Taking the fountain's pump apart and cleaning the inside can stop the buildup of algae and mineral deposits. Pumps should really only be used when water is running, if it runs without water it may burn out quickly. The best tools to clean the fountain are those of dish detergent, warm water and an old toothbrush. To prevent the growth of algae, clean with bleach and for calcium deposits, clean with bathroom lime remover.  Below is a step by step guide on cleaning your indoor or outdoor water fountains as well as how to clean your fountain's pump (very important).  If you have a fountain made of a material that you are not sure what to use to clean it, be sure to contact us or refer to your manual that came with your fountain.

Follow these simple steps to a clean fountain:

  • Be sure you unplug your pump, you will be cleaning this too so everything must be turned off.
  • If your fountain has pebbles or stones take them out and clean them as well.  This is especially important if they are sitting in water.
  • Remove the fountain pump. This will need to be cleaned as well as it is filtering the water continuously and sitting in a stationary spot so you will notice slime and algae build up on the pump first(see below for how to clean your pump)
  • Empty your fountain, table fountains, go ahead and bring the whole fountain right to the sink, if you have a wall hanging fountain or large floor fountain, you can keep it where it is, just use a shop vacuum to empty the dirty water. 
  • Use a mild cleaner, soap, or CLR (calcium lime remover) to clean the inside of your fountain.  Any part of the water fountain that touches water will need to be cleaned.  It is ok to use a non-abrasive sponge to scrub all the areas of your fountain.  Wall mounted fountains and larger floor standing models fountains can be cleaned by using a bucket of water and a non-abrasive sponge. 
  • Once the fountain is clean be sure to rinse out any soap or cleaning product by just wiping with clean rags or cloths. Now you are ready to replace your “clean” fountain pump and replace with fresh water.

Your fountain pump is the heart and sole of your fountain, bringing you those beautiful water sounds.  Taking care of and keeping the pump free of debris and algae is crucial to a long-lasting pump.    

  1. After removing the pump from your fountain, place it right in the sink.  There should be one of the sides on the pump that has a removable cover (almost like a battery compartment).  Take off this cover, this is where the "motor" is. 
  2. Once removed, take a toothbrush or some other type of brush that will get in the small holes of the pump to clean out any debris. Hard running water over the pump usually will clean most of this out as well.
  3. Place the cover back on and hook your pump back up in your fountain. If possible, it is good to clean out the tubing that connects the pump to the distribution unit of the fountain. This is a little trickier as it is hard to get inside it, but even hard running water through the tube will clean out a lot of build up. 

The easiest solution to a clean fountain is to not let the white scale or algae build up.  Easier said than done, right?  There are some great fountain care products that come to the rescue for us!  Below you will find the products the offers and what each will do.

Preventing White Scale and Hard Water Mineral Deposits: White scale can be hard to get rid of in fountains, especially outdoor fountains, if it is allowed to build up.  There is a product specifically for this called No More White Scale.  This will reduce the chance of build up if used properly and regular cleaning is done.

If you already have mineral build up try the following to remove it:

CLR - Calcium Lime Remover
- find at a home improvement store or a discount store such as Wal-Mart or Target.  It is a general kitchen/bathroom cleaner used for removing hard water and mineral deposits.  Be sure you use a soft, non-abrasive sponge to scrub your fountain. 

Vinegar and water may also help get rid of some of the deposits.  Let it soak on your fountain to allow it to work and break down the deposits and then scrub with a non-abrasive sponge. 

Preventing algae growth in your water fountains: Algae will occur over time in your fountain because anywhere there is water algae will grow.  The best solution is to clean your fountain regularly as explained above and to use a type of fountain care product/algae preventative.  Although fountain care products will prolong algae build up, you will still have to clean your water fountain.

No More Algae  - This will prolong algae growth for indoor or outdoor fountains.  No More Algae should not be used if you have children, pets, fish or birds that get in the water as it can be harmful if digested.

Care Free Enzymes - Prevents organic contaminants, mineral deposits, stains, sludge.  A non-toxic, all natural product that can be used in all types of fountains.

Fountain Fresh - A water clarifier that prevents algae growth and colored water.  It is a great for small or large fountains and outdoor water fountains.  Also safe for wildlife and pets.

Fountain Block - Controls and prevents algae growth in large fountains as one block will clear up to 50 gallons of water.  The fountain block should not be digested as it is hazardous to animals and humans.

If you have any specific questions not answered here please contact us.  You may also find our Water Fountain Guide helpful as well as our Water Fountains and Relaxation Blog

See all:  Fountain Care Products            Water Fountains


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