Properly Clean Terra Cotta Pots

How to Clean Garden Pots

Growing a garden in containers is an increasingly popular way to adorn your outdoor space. Small space dwellers have the option to create a garden on a patio, deck or even a fire escape. Start the season off right by properly preparing your pots for the growing season whether they are terracotta, resin, glazed ceramic or plastic. How to properly clean your garden pots and why it's important

Here is the #1 tip that you may be overlooking when it comes to garden maintenance.

Wash. Your. Pots.

Don’t brush over this advice because you think they are just going to “get dirty” anyway. Here’s why: pots that are dirty can contain minerals, pests, bacteria, and fungus that can harm your plants before they even get a good start. Containers offer a unique set of circumstances to keeping plants healthy. They can be more vulnerable if the plants aren’t properly cared for because they won’t be able to draw off their natural environment for help. In other ways, they have an advantage because they will be planted in a favorable environment, with clean soil and no inherent pests or disease to contend with. That is, unless, you plant them in pots harboring pests or disease.

To clean your pots follow these steps:

  • Use a stiff brush to remove all the dried soil and debris from both the inside and outside of the pot.How to Clean terracotta pots
  • Fill a sink or large container with warm water and dish soap and add one cup of vinegar. Wash the pots as you would wash your dishes with a scrubby brush to thoroughly remove all the debris and staining.Cleaning terra cotta pots
  • I do this in the kitchen sink because I have a great faucet (which was sent to me by Pfister) that has a high arch to fit large pots, a sprayer attachment, and a 360 degree range on the head. The hose is actually so long that I can fill pots way over on the counter if I wanted to! I previously has to do this step in out in the garden with a bucket and cold water from the hose as I don’t have an outdoor sink, so this is a great step up.How to clean your terra cotta pots
  • After your pots are clean, rinse them well and leave them in the sun to dry completely.Properly clean terra cotta pots

They are now ready for planting!

A special thank you to Pfister for providing this new faucet that inspired me to write this post. Frankly, I never really thought about my kitchen faucet but since I was sent this one from the Mystique collection, I now wonder why I didn’t upgrade sooner. It was easy to install and the whole kitchen seems to be refreshed with just a small change to the hardware.

Here is what the kitchen looked like before:

Kitchen Sink A Before photo

And here it is after:

Kitchen Sink AFTER installing Pfister faucet - a simple makeover with big impact!And this is why I needed it (pots, plants, and even an air plant wreath in my garden sink).

Kitchen Sink AFTER installing Pfister faucet - used as gardening sink

Please note that I make sure to brush off all the debris so that it doesn’t go down the drain (I had to write this because of a previous river-stone-in-the-garbage-disposal incident that had Mr. Garden Therapy a wee bit frustrated with having a gardener in the kitchen!).

Pfister Mystique Faucet

More about the Pfister Mystique Collection

Sleek, sophisticated simplicity reigns with the clean design and versatility of the Mystique Collection. A modern presence that takes minimalist design to the next level, Mystique radiates style along with superb performance to create an exceptional and progressive kitchen setting.

  • Pforever Seal – advanced ceramic disc valve technology with a never leak guarantee
  • High arc spout for added clearance and reach
  • Spout swivels 360 degrees for maximum maneuverability
  • Installs with or without deckplate
  • Includes top filling, matching soap dispenser
  • Pfister Pforever Warranty® covers finish and function for life

About the Author : Stephanie RoseAn artistic gardener aiming to feed the body & soul through an urban potager garden & a community veggie plot in Vancouver.View all posts by Stephanie Rose

  1. Patti
    PattiApril 19,15

    Great post. I admit I sometimes forego this much needed step. Love the faucet from Pfister. It would be big help in the kitchen. I’ll have to look it up. Thanks.

  2. Jeannie Greer
    Jeannie GreerJanuary 19,16

    Great tips! I realize that many of us are unaware of how to clean garden pots. Thanks for the helpful post!!

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