How To Clean Out Garden Planters

Properly maintained outdoor garden planters will keep your plants healthy and your yard looking nice.

Types of Garden Planters

A modern planter made out of fiberglass or resin is easy to maintain and can withstand temperature fluctuations with little or no damage.

Concrete and terracotta planters left out in cold weather can crack due to water freezing in the pores of the planter.

An unpainted or unlined wooden planter will eventually rot when left outside.

However, using a liner makes cleaning any planter quite simple. Remove the plant, dirt and liner, and brush out any residue.

What You Need to Clean Garden Planters

  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Garden hose
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Bleach
  • Mild soap
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Stiff bristle brush  

Step 1 - Empty Garden Planters

At the end of the growing season, remove the dead or dying seasonal plant and old compacted container dirt. Use fresh dirt at the beginning of each potting season to give your new plant the nutrient-rich soil it needs to grow. Also, old dirt can harbor pests and diseases. 

Step 2 - Rinse Out Garden Planters

Spray the inside of the garden planter with a hose to loosen any dirt stuck to the sides. 

Step 3 - Cleaning Solutions for Garden Planters

When cleaning out a concrete planter, mix a little bleach into the water. It is a good idea to always wear gloves and goggles when working with bleach.

For a modern planter made of fiberglass or resin, use mild soap added to water.

Terracotta garden planters can be cleaned with either a water and bleach solution or water mixed with mild soap. 

Step 4 - Scrub Garden Planters

Dip a brush into the cleaning solution and scrub the inside of the planter. A soft brush is good for fiberglass, resin and terracotta. However, use a brush with stiffer bristles on a concrete planter to make sure you penetrate the pores.

Step 5 - Complete the Cleaning

Once the garden planters are scrubbed, rinse them out with the garden hose. Allow them to completely dry before storing.