How to Clean Outdoor Fountains


Having fresh running water and the sounds that it brings in your front or backyard can encourage relaxation for you and your guests when spending time outside. If you have a fountain already, or are considering getting one, you should know how to clean outdoor fountains so they can run smoothly. A few minutes spent on your fountain regularly can keep your garden atmosphere healthy and beautiful.

Step 1

Clear any debris such as leaves, dirt, grass clippings or twigs out of the fountain weekly. Cleaning out the debris keeps the fountain pump free from clogging, which allows the water to flow freely.

Step 2

Follow the manufacturer's instructions to add the right quantity of algae-removing solution for your size fountain. If you are certain no wildlife or pets drink from the fountain, you could substitute the algae remover with a half a capful of bleach.

Step 3

Remove the pump from your fountain, and clean it by wiping off debris and buildup with a clean rag. Open the cover of the pump, and clean the inside of the pump with a small rag.

Step 4

Scrub smaller creviced areas gently with a toothbrush. Rinse the pump thoroughly before adding it back into the fountain.

Step 5

Drain the water from the fountain before winter, and remove the pump. Bring the pump indoors to clean and wrap it in an old towel to store until spring. Wrap the entire fountain with a tarp, and secure it with bungees to hold to protect the concrete from cracking.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you find birds are particularly attracted to your fountain, you may need to clean away debris more frequently than just once a week.

Things You'll Need

  • Algae remover or bleach
  • Clean rags
  • Old toothbrush
  • Old hand towel
  • Tarp and bungees


  • Outdoor fountain care and maintenance
  • Information on outdoor fountains
Keywords: cleaning fountains, cleaning outdoor fountains, outdoor fountain maintenance

About this Author

Writing from Virginia, Margaret Telsch-Williams specializes in personal finance, money management, gardening, crafts and sewing, cooking, DIY projects and travel. When not writing instructional articles online, she works for the website Widescreen Warrior as a contributor and podcast co-host discussing all things film and entertainment. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology and a master's degree in writing.