How to Remove Salt From Fertilizer in Clay Pots


Administered in the right dosage, fertilizers are necessary to maintain healthy houseplants. Plants can't thrive without salt nutrients, but fertilizers, especially those with high salt indexes, can be harsh on the clay pots plants live in. Salt stains form a residue that sticks to porous clay pots after water evaporates from fertilized soil. Since it's difficult to avoid salts without hurting your plant, the best option is to clean the clay pot to remove salt stains. Clean pots like a pro, using an advanced treatment such as a light duty cement cleaner on the most stubborn stains, while giving the pot's color more depth and brightness.

Step 1

Spray and/or wipe the pot down with water using a sponge.

Step 2

Apply cleaner directly to the wet pot surface using a sponge or brush, wearing gloves. Begin from the bottom, working your way up using scrubbing motions.

Step 3

Let cleaner stand on the pot for three to five minutes.

Step 4

Reapply the cleaner in the same manner as in Step 2.

Step 5

Rinse immediately (no need to let stand) with water to remove the cleaner, either by spraying the pot down while scrubbing, or wiping it down with a sponge soaked in fresh water.

Tips and Warnings

  • If cleaning an occupied pot, be careful not to get bleach or cement cleaner in the soil or on the plant. You may want to cover it with a plastic bag, secured by a rubber bound around the rim of the pot. When doing a big cleaning project, use a face mask to protect yourself from product fumes.

Things You'll Need

  • Fresh water (in a hose, spray bottle or basin)
  • Sponge
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Rubber gloves
  • Light-duty cement cleaner


  • Tech Bullet: Clay Paver Maintenance
  • Chase Phipps: Prosoco Light Duty Concrete Cleaner
Keywords: light duty cement cleaner, cleaning clay pots, stubborn stains on clay pots

About this Author

Karina has been writing professionally and freelancing since 2009. She writes a monthly gardening column and copy edits for her local newspaper. Karina has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California Los Angeles and enjoys writing on finance, home and beauty topics. Karina has a background in real estate sales and finance.

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