Terracotta clay pots are the perfect choice for patio décor. Moreover, it provides an ideal environment for the plants to grow perfectly.
However, these pots are notorious for getting somewhat crusty white residue over time. These molds impact the overall look of earthly pots. So, how to clean mold off terracotta pots?
Don’t worry! It’s quick and simple. Here in this article, I’ll show how to clean terracotta pots using this simple method.
Why Do You Have Mold On Terracotta Pots?
These pots absorb moisture from the soil; hence, the pores are always wet. Meanwhile, provided the excellent condition, fungus started to grow quickly.
Moreover, if you place the pots in a darker area, the humidity and less airflow trigger the growth of the fungus even more. Hence, you will find white and black molds surrounding the edge of the pots.
Basically, in low light, plants reduce their general photosynthesize capacity. Hence, it absorbs less water, leaving the soil moist for a longer period. These all conditions contribute to growing the fungus swiftly.
It not only looks nasty, sometimes, but it is also harmful to humans if you keep the pots uncleaned for a longer period. Moreover, it doesn’t take much time and effort for cleaning green off Terracotta pots.
When you can easily clean the molds off, why would you spend on a new one?
Cleaning Terracotta Pots With Vinegar Or Baking Soda
If you don’t have hydrogen peroxide available try out another process. The following method will be very helpful.
Follow the steps thoroughly and wait for the amazing result.
- Remove The Soil
The first step involves simply removing the soil from the pot. This step helps to clean the pots easily. So, take the plant and the root ball out of the clay pot.
By the way, do not try to take out wet soil. You will end up smearing mud here and there. First, allow the soil to dry out and then remove it clearly.
- Scrub The Dirt Away
Then, you have to clean all the remaining soil as much as you can. You can also take the help of a scrubbing brush to clean it thoroughly.
Once you are done, rinse the pot in clear water. Using the scrubbing brush inside and outside, clean the crusty gunk as much as you can.
- Soak The Pots In Water/Vinegar Solution
In the next step, you can use the magic power of vinegar. Apart from the fungal molds, minerals from soil and water also get deposited in the pots.
The marks of minerals become vibrant with time.
Vinegar does a great job to dissolve the marks. In a large tub, pour water to the rim of the tub. Then add two to three cups white (5% acidic) vinegar into the water.
Now, soak the pots in the solution for at least 15 minutes.
Now, wait for 15-20 minutes. Times up!
Now take out the pots, what’s the result? In an ideal condition, the marks get dissolve. However, if the marks persist, you have to try out another method.
Do you have baking soda available in your home? It’s time to take out in a good portion. Cleaning Terracotta pots with baking soda helps to remove additional marks of molds.
Sometimes, stubborn salt marks persist after the wash. In that case, make a paste banking soda and water. The consistency should be like a hand lotion.
Now, smear the paste on the build-up. Wait for another 15 minutes. Then use the scrubbing brush gently on the build-ups.
- Wash The Pots With A Dishwasher
Finally, the marks are gone! Now, you will see clear pots without any debris and white marks on them.
However, in the soaking process, you might have lost the subtle shining texture it had. So, it’s time to get back the texture again.
Here I never recommend using soap. However, I have seen many gardeners use it. But, my experience and preference suggest you use the liquid dishwasher.
Wash the pots again with the dishwasher properly. You will find a light gleam texture after the wash. If you are happy with the previous result, you can skip this step.
Now, let’s see how it’s easily can be done using vinegar from this video.
Cleaning Terracotta Pots Using Hydrogen Peroxide
The easiest method to kill the mold is by applying hydrogen peroxide. You need to pour 3% in a spray bottle and sprinkle it outside the pot.
Let it sit for a few minutes. Then, you will see a clear reaction against the molds. Wash the outside with water and a scrubbing brush.
Try not to attempt the process under direct sunlight. Otherwise, the solution would end up becoming ineffective.
Cleaning Terracotta Pots Using Bleach Water Solution
The above-mentioned ideas are simple and pocket-friendly. Apart from the simple way, you can also try out another alternative.
When cleaning of the molds is concerned, bleach water also works great. In that case, instead of soaking the pots in vinegar solution, you have to use bleach water solution.
However, the ratio of bleach plays a crucial role here. ¼ cup of bleach in 5 gallons of water goes perfect. Let the pots soak for 30 minutes.
If you are using bleach, you should be careful from the very beginning. Wash 3-4 times with water after removing it from the solution. Then, let the pots sundry for a couple of hours.
Moreover, you should wait at least two to three days before putting back the plants. Basically, it will ensure the smell and the chemicals of the bleach are completely obliterated.
Otherwise, the effect of bleach can damage sensitive plants.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Being porous, the outside part of the terracotta pots draw moisture constantly from the soil. Eventually, that’s how those pots develop green molds.
Using a mixture of white vinegar and water is the best way to clean terracotta pots.
Yes, but you need to use hot water and a nonmetallic scrubbing pad as well.
Of course, you can! In fact, pressure washing terracotta pots will remove any unwanted accumulation and make them look new!
To Wrap Up
I hope you got a clear view of how to clean mold off Terracotta pots? Try to place the pot under direct sunlight and proper airflow, if possible.
Especially for indoor plants, I like to treat them with an occasional visit under the sun. It is another great way to prevent the pots from developing molds.