How to Clean Terracotta Planters in 5 Quick Steps

Terracotta planter is an everlasting decor item that will never fail to beautify your outdoor living space. They flow gorgeously with the natural surrounding.

How to Clean Terracotta Planters
Photo by Manfred Richter on Pixabay

When one of your plants in a terracotta planter died, you can’t just throw the planter away, you just need to clean it so you can use it for the next planting season. A thorough cleaning is necessary to ensure that the planter is ready to be a home for your next house plant.

Below, we share with you an easy tutorial on How to Clean Terracotta Planter for your reference.

How to Clean Terracotta Planter

Empty the pot from everything

Before you clean the pots, of course, you need to remove any old soil and debris inside and outside. You can do it manually by using your hands wrapped in plastic or rubber gloves. This method is considered quicker since you can remove old soil and debris easily.

To remove the residue which sticks on the surface of the pot, use a stiff scrub brush that you have soaked in the hot water. Rinse the pot with a strong stream of water.

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Wash with dish soap

Prepare a large pail (or the size depends on your pots) and mix water with dish soap until you get a nice soapy cleaning solution. Soak your terracotta pots into the mixture and scrub them using wire burh or steel wool until you get a shiny look. Rinse them with clean water and ensure there’s no soap residue left.

If you are not in a hurry and planning to use the planters next spring, you can just leave them in the rinsed water. Using damp planters for the next planting season is a good idea since they don’t take much moisture from the soil.

Soak them in a vinegar solution

If you still notice algae stains after cleaning the planters with dish soap, you need to further clean them by using a vinegar solution. Here’s what you can do:

  • Mix one part of white vinegar and one part of water in a large plastic container.
  • Soak the planters in the vinegar solution overnight.
  • Scrub the algae stains by using a wire brush or steel wool.
  • If the algae stains are still difficult to remove, you can soak a rag in a stronger vinegar and brush off the stains.

Disinfect the planters if you skip the vinegar solution

If you skip the step above, you still need to disinfect the planters to get rid of fungi and bacteria. Here’s what you can do:

  • Mix nine parts of water and one part of bleach in a container.
  • Soak the planters in the cleaning solution for about 15 minutes.
  • Rinse them with clean water.

Dry the planters thoroughly

Put the planters in the inverted position and let them dry thoroughly. Once dry, always store the planters in a shed or garage since terracotta pots may get cracked if you place them outside dueting the winter.

Stacking the planters is actually fine but you need to place newspaper between each level so they won’t stick to each other.

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