This Is How To Clean An Outdoor Water Fountain In 11 Steps And More

The only Master Aquascape Certified Contractors in Iowa

This Is How To Clean An Outdoor Water Fountain In 11 Steps And More

This Is How We Clean Our Client’s Fountains And Fountain Water Back To Beautiful In Des Moines

We want your fountain to be clean and your fountain water clear again as soon as possible. We hate seeing dirty fountains as much as you do!

In this post, you can find out how to clean an outdoor water fountain. You can also discover why these steps are important and what happens during them.

When Did This Happen?!

“Have you seen our fountain recently?” says Adam in horror.

“What? Why?! What’s happened?” says Angela worriedly. “It’s the dirtiest I’ve ever seen!” reveals Adam. “It’s actually really gross and needs cleaning.”

Angela frowns. “Do you know how to clean an outdoor water fountain? Or how to clean fountain water and keep it clean? Because I certainly don’t.”

Adam shrugs. “Let’s look it up on Google. We might be able to do it ourselves! If not, we can always hire a contractor to come and clean it for us.”

Here’s what the couple finds after searching:

How To Clean An Outdoor Water Fountain In 11 Steps

  1. Perform an overall inspection
  2. Drain the water
  3. Take out any decorations and plants
  4. Remove the debris and muck
  5. Flush some of the muck off of the walls and bottom using the fountain water
  6. Lightly pressure wash any algae and hardened muck away
  7. Backflush the garden fountain pump
  8. Clean the pump
  9. Put everything back where it was
  10. Refill the fountain
  11. Turn on the fountain to make sure it works

You can also install additions like lights or filters during a cleaning. They can make maintenance easier and your fountain more enjoyable!

What Happens During These Steps

Overall inspection. During this part, we’ll make sure everything works from the pump to any lights. If everything is working properly your fountain should stay cleaner for longer.

Draining the water. We can get your fountain way cleaner by draining the water. This way, we can have an easier time removing the muck, debris, and algae. We can do a deeper clean, getting into any crevices between rocks.

Remove decorations and plants. We don’t want to accidentally damage anything! We’ll be sure to carefully store any decorations until the cleaning is done.

Remove debris and muck. We use the good old hands and a bucket process for this step. This involves taking out sticks, leaves, and other organic materials. We may also use a bucket of water with some mild soap and a non-abrasive sponge to clean the sides.

Flush and pressure wash. These steps help get rid of the icky stuff hanging onto the sides of your fountain. We’ll make sure it’s nice and clean before we’re finished.

Backflush the pump. We see this all the time- unprotected pumps clogged with debris. If we need to, we’ll take out the pump, put a garden hose over the tube in the fountain, and backflush it out. This keeps it clear and lets water flow easily.

Cleaning the pump. We may need to clean the pump too. To do this, we’ll put it in a sink or bucket, remove the face, and brush out any debris before rinsing it under a vigorous stream of water.

How To Keep Water In Your Fountain Clean

We recommend using aquatic plants. They prevent algae by taking up nutrients and toxins that algae feed on, aerate the water, and shade the water.

You can also use String Algae Buster (SAB) in the water. It helps remove ammonia, nitrates, and phosphates, which bacteria feed on. It also makes surfaces harder for algae to attach to.

You May Also Like To Know

“That’s a bit too much for us,” says Adam. Angela nods. “Yeah, how about you look more into fountain stuff and I’ll contact our contractor for a cleaning,” she suggests. Adam nods and starts looking while Angela calls their contractor.

Who We Are

Just Add Water is a locally-owned company that serves the state of Iowa for over 17 years. Our team is very enthusiastic about upgrading the yards and properties for all of our fellow Iowans, and we have the experienced crew to do so!

Quick Links


I’ve worked with Just Add Water for two water features. They have always been good listeners and eager to get the work up to my specs. The Just Add Water Team is very creative and loves what they do! They take on any challenge, find a solution and get it done!

If you are looking for a professional approach to beautify your yard, I highly recommend Chris, Will, and their team for the project!

John Olsen


The crew & office staff at Just Add Water make the perfect team to create a water feature that enhances your life. If you are just looking for advice, or if you need repairs to an existing water feature, or if you want something totally new for your landscape… Just Add Water is the place to go.

They removed our old pond and invented a beautiful fresh look with a pondless system of 3 waterfalls. We’re very pleased and truly impressed with their artistry and sincere demeanor. Give them a chance. You’ll be glad you did!

John Gray


We hired Just Add Water to create a waterfall feature in our backyard. What we didn’t expect was the overwhelming beauty that happened when they were finished! Chris came to our house on a Sunday, no less, to plan our design, and his crew worked on a Saturday after a long week to do our project.

Amazing, stunning, and much more than we ever dreamed! Professional, and over-the-top design, you won’t be disappointed!!

Joan Campbell