How to Clean Deposits From Flower Pots


If you water your plants with tap water that contains high levels of minerals (referred to as "hard water") you have probably noticed a white, cloudy or crusty discoloration on your plant pots. This discoloration is a buildup of minerals from the water. Although a few mineral deposits on the plant pot won't hurt your plant, it does detract from its beauty. Removing the deposits is relatively simple and can be accomplished in an afternoon.

Step 1

Remove plants and soil from the pot. Rinse away soil residue with plain water.

Step 2

Fill a bowl or bucket with equal parts white vinegar and water. Submerge the pot into the mixture and allow it to soak for one hour.

Step 3

Remove the pot and scrub the deposit with an old toothbrush or kitchen cleaning pad. An old electric toothbrush works well as the circular motion lifts the residue free of the surface of the pot.

Step 4

Soak the pot, if residue resists, in a bath of three parts vinegar to one part water or saturate a cloth with white vinegar, place it over the stubborn area, and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Scrub to lift the mineral deposits from the pot.

Step 5

Rinse the pot with water and wipe the surface with a soft cloth to remove any remaining residue.

Tips and Warnings

  • Clean pots that may be damaged by vinegar (like marble) with hot soapy water and a scrub brush.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Bowl or bucket
  • White vinegar
  • Toothbrush or kitchen cleaning pad
  • Soft cloth


  • Alaska Environmental Resources Hub On-line: Quick and Easy Green Cleaning Recipes
  • The Bonsai Society of Brevard: The Art of Bonsai
Keywords: remove mineral deposits, clean plant pots, clean mineral deposits

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.