How To Clean A Garden Fountain As We Did For This Maryland Client

Get Rid Of Muck, Algae, And Nastiness So You Can Love The Look Of Your Garden Fountain Again

In this post, you can watch a video and read about how to completely clean a garden fountain. The steps are ones we take as water feature professionals. You can also discover how we like to keep algae from growing in your fountain. This includes the garden fountain cleaner we would recommend using.

Ew, It’s Filthy!

“Our garden fountain is filthy,” Christina says in disgust.

Matt slings the filth from his hands into the grass. “Can confirm seeing as how it’s all over my hand. Not sure why I put my hand in there like that,” he says with a dry chuckle.

“Do you know how to clean a garden fountain?” asks Christina. Matt frowns, barely stopping himself from crossing his arms with his dirty hand. “Not enough to do it well. I could get the nasty stuff out of the bottom,” he says.

“That’s great, but I don’t know if it’ll be enough,” says Christina worriedly. Matt nods. “I understand. We definitely need to clean this so it’s worth the cost. I don’t remember if that short guide to pondless fountains had a cleaning process or not…” he trails off.

“Aha! I found the steps on our contractor’s blog,” crows Christina happily. “Here, check it out.”

How To Clean A Garden Fountain In 11 Steps

Larger black fountain in a smaller water feature
  1. Overall inspection
  2. Drain the water out
  3. Remove decorations and plants if necessary
  4. Remove debris and muck
  5. Use the fountain water to flush out any muck from between any rocks
  6. Lightly pressure wash algae and hardened muck off
  7. Backflush the garden fountain pump
  8. Clean the pump
  9. Put everything back and rearrange rocks if necessary
  10. Refill
  11. Turn on and make sure everything works

What To Know About These Steps

Small basalt fountain in small feature

Overall inspection. We check the lights for damages, burnt bulbs, and if they need repositioning. Also, we check the motor and anything else. Nobody wants any unknowns when cleaning their fountain.

Remove decorations and plants. Accidentally damaging something isn’t what anybody wants. Carefully store any decorations until the cleaning is done.

Drain the water. Draining the water allows for more detailed cleaning. You can get between rocks and crevices on the sides and bottom of the fountain.

Remove debris and muck. You usually do this with your hands and a bucket. Debris involves leaves, sticks, and anything that falls into the pond. Muck is the other nasty stuff that gathers. You can use a bucket of water with some mild soap and a non-abrasive sponge to clean the muck off of the sides. 

Hand holding string algae

Flush and pressure wash. This helps make your fountain look cleaner and your water clearer. It gets rid of muck and algae, even the hard-to-remove stuff.

Backflush the pump. Many pumps sit unprotected in the fountain’s bottom. Debris often falls in and clogs the propellers. If we need to, we’ll take out the pump, put a garden hose over the tube in the fountain, and backflush it out. This keeps it clear and lets water flow easily.

Cleaning the pump. Place the fountain pump in the sink or in a bucket. Remove its face and brush out any debris before rinsing it under a vigorous stream of water.

How To Keep The Water Cleaner And Clearer

Small red clay fountain spilling into a small feature with aquatic plants in it

We prefer using aquatic plants. Aquatic plants take up nutrients and toxins that algae feed on. They also aerate the water, which is great for algae prevention and any fish.

Another way to deal with the algae is to put String Algae Buster (SAB) in the water. This will help to remove ammonia, nitrates, and phosphates, which bacteria feed on. It also makes surfaces hard for algae to attach themselves to. It’s always a good idea to check if chemicals are plant and animal safe.

You May Also Like To Know

“I feel like we could do this ourselves if we had the time,” groans Matt. Christina nods. “Well, we don’t. We might want to look into a garden fountain cleaning service. In the meantime, let’s see what else this blog has on fountains.”