How To Clean Outdoor Fountains And Keep Them That Way

This Is Our Process For Cleaning Our Nashville Client’s Fountains So They Love Them Again
Spillway bowl fountains in natural area

Having a nasty-looking fountain is the worst! It went from an amazing, attractive feature to an embarrassing eyesore.

In this post, you can find out how we clean outdoor fountains in 10 steps. You can also discover how to clean algae from a fountain and how to keep fountain water clean.

Ew, It Looks Gross!

“Our outdoor fountain is gross,” says Amanda in disgust.

James wipes the filth from his hand onto the grass. “My hand would agree with that,” he says with a dry chuckle.

“Do you know how to clean outdoor fountains?” asks Amanda. James frowns, barely stopping himself from rubbing his beard with his dirty hand. “I mean, we can drain it and scrub it, but that’s about it,” he says.

“Do you think that’ll be enough?” asks Amanda worriedly. James shakes his head. “Nope. It’ll clean it, but it probably won’t stay that way. It may be best to get a pro out here. I don’t know how much a fountain cleaning costs* though.”

“Then let’s” -Amanda slides her phone from her pocket- “see what we can find.” She starts searching Google for answers. “Here’s something, a how-to on a contractor’s website.”

This is what the couple finds out:

*click the link, scroll to bottom, and see WATER FEATURE MAINTENANCE PRICING

How To Clean Outdoor Fountains In 1o Steps

Completed fountain with basalt column fountains in it
  1. Fountain inspection
  2. Remove any plants and decor
  3. Drain the water
  4. Take out the muck and debris
  5. Flush out any muck that’s hard to get to
  6. Lightly pressure wash to remove anything still stuck on the fountain
  7. Clean the pump
  8. Put the fountain parts back together
  9. Leave the fountain on at a trickle for the homeowner to turn off once it’s full
  10. Make sure everything works and is in order

What Happens During These Steps For Cleaning A Fountain

Collection of stacked slate urn fountains

Fountain inspection. We like to know what we’re getting into before we just start cleaning. It’s also a great time to make sure everything’s working properly. During this step, we’ll check out the motor, pump, and any additions like lights.

Remove any plants and decor. We don’t want to hurt anything accidentally, so we’ll carefully move put any plants and decor out of the way.

Drain the water. We like to drain the water when cleaning an outdoor fountain. It allows us to clean more deeply, giving you a cleaner fountain.

Take out the muck and debris. Now we get our hands dirty! We’ll take out leaves, sticks, muck, and anything else that doesn’t belong. A bucket with a mixture of water and mild soap paired with a non-abrasive sponge is great for cleaning the sides.

Flush and pressure wash. This allows us to remove the muck and algae we couldn’t get off using our hands. Your fountain will be cleaner and have clearer water because of this step.

Clean the pump. Sometimes backflushing isn’t enough to clean the pump. In this case, we’ll remove the pump’s faceplate, place the pump in a bucket, brush out the debris, and rinse it.

How To Clean Algae From A Fountain

There are a couple of ways to clean algae from a fountain. You can scrape algae off, use a net to fish it out, or use chemicals. 

You can use String Algae Buster (SAB) in the water. It takes out ammonia, nitrates, and other stuff algae feed on. It also makes the sides and bottom harder for algae to stick to.

Aquatic plants are a great way to prevent algae from growing.

How To Keep Outdoor Fountain Water Clean

One of the best ways to keep fountain water clean is by using aquatic plants. Aquatic plants absorb the same nutrients and toxins that algae feed on. They aerate the water too, which helps with algae prevention.

Plus, aquatic plants can make your backyard fountain look even more amazing!

You May Also Like To Know

“I have a feeling as though our fountain will soon be better than ever,” says James happily. Amanda nods and smiles. “I agree! While we’re here, let’s see what else we can find out about outdoor fountains.