How to clean Terracotta Pots

How to clean pottery or terracotta pots easily and simply


Despite its antiquity, terracotta pots still have a charm and functionality that no other vase has yet managed to replace. Properties have porosity and great insulating ability.

In fact, loamy soil allows the exchange of water and air through the pores, protecting the roots from stagnation and overheating.

Another advantage of pots is that, when moistened, they prevent the substrate from drying out too quickly, especially during the first day after transplanting the plants, which is important.

However, the porosity of this material is also the cause of calcium deposits and other minerals deposited in the walls of the pot, which, if not cleaned, will worsen the health of our plants.

If you own pottery and don’t know how to keep them clean and in perfect condition, we recommend that you follow our helpful tips to ensure a long life for your terracotta pots. Let’s see together how pottery is cleaned.

How to wash terracotta pots


The best way to clean these containers is to do it outside, during the spring before sowing, or in the fall, after discarding dead or diseased plants.

Our cleaning process of jars begins with eliminating the mess that clings to both the inside and outside of the containers.

For this you can use a hard brush and water. If the salt deposits are stubborn and don’t want to be peeled off, you can scrape gently with an old knife and rinse again.

Once they are clean, make a solution of water and vinegar in the ratio of 3-4 cups of water to 1 cup of vinegar.

Submerge the dish and let the vinegar do its work and marinate for at least 10 minutes. This action will kill any disease-causing organisms that may be persistent.

After washing what to do:

If it looks like the jar is already clean, remove it with the vinegar solution and if there is still visible residue, brush it again with soap and water.

For very resistant stains, you can dip the jar in pure vinegar and rinse with plenty of water. After washing, let them dry in the open air.

Remember that terracotta is very porous and absorbs water, so remember to leave them to dry for a few days.

If you also want to reuse a terracotta saucer, you can use the same washing method used for the vase: Remove all residual soil as described above and use water and vinegar for a white patina.

Use a mixture. If the dirt is very stubborn and you’re having a hard time removing it, help yourself with a rough sponge.

Finally, allow the terracotta saucers to dry in the open air, possibly in the sun, so that they are ready in a short amount of time.

If you don’t have vinegar and you still have a greenish tinge at the end of the season and have taken on an opaque color, you can also use a mixture of water and lemon.

Fill a bucket with cold water, add the juice of one lemon and wash the stained area carefully with this solution. Remember to scrub the surfaces vigorously with a stiff-bristled brush.

Use a hard brush or rough sponge to wash terracotta utensils.


Why is it so important to clean pottery?


Why cleanliness is important for our healthy plants to grow.

Once you’ve finished washing the jars, don’t forget to leave them to dry for a few days.


Soil accumulates salts that build up over time and get deposited inside pots, which can damage plants.

Also, if a plant already placed in a pot has been affected by a disease, it may lead to the new plants that we are going to plant.

So, as with any other item, even terracotta pots require maintenance, which basically consists of careful cleaning, which is done when you’re out during a change of seasons. Cleans and removes utensils that are no longer needed. ,

It takes only a few minutes to clean a terracotta pot but the benefits are unmatched.

Knowing how to clean pots and reuse them later in the garden will protect the health of your future plants, and save you money.

It is a good practice to clean each pot as soon as it is emptied to reduce the chances of some pests being carried to a group of nearby containers.

After cleaning the pots with the method described above, we can also wrap them in PVC sheets and store them in a dry and sheltered place ready for the next flowering season.

As you have seen, this is a task that does not take more than half an hour and it allows us to retrieve different containers, no matter what material they are made of, to be reused.

using them without risking them holding pests or diseases that would harm our future plantations.


Why clean terracotta pots


The cleaning of the terracotta pots not only makes them “beautiful to look at”, but also gives them back their original splendor and gives a corner of the house or garden a warm touch.

Cleaning terracotta pots is very important, especially for hygienic reasons: if they are already in use by other plants, they can transmit germs, bacteria, fungi and mold that can be harmful to new plants that we plant.

In addition, there are aesthetically annoying stains because terracotta pots soak up everything, absolutely everything:

Lime, fat, salt, chemicals that are added to the water to fertilize it, etc. A white crust forms, which is very ugly and which you can see absolutely want to remove.


When should clay pots be cleaned?


With that in mind, it’s good to remember to clean terracotta pots if they are stained, if they have stains or traces of mold, and before you use them to repot another plant.

In this way we avoid the transmission of diseases and fungi from one plant to another that could harm them.

Remove excess dirt by hand


The first step in cleaning terracotta pots is to remove any debris by hand: moss, soil, and any plants. Remove everything you can, both inside and out, possibly with a hard-bristled brush.

Wash the glasses and let them soak


Wash the glasses with lukewarm water and Marseille soap with a brush or sponge.

In the case of very stubborn dirt, it can be helpful to soak the pot in the soap for a few hours. If there are limescale or mold stains, rub with the sponge until they are completely removed.

If the soaking didn’t remove the white spots, try again by soaking in white vinegar, a well-known natural descaler.

Disinfect the jars with alcohol or bleach


When you’re done, you should disinfect the terracotta pots with ethyl alcohol or bleach and let them soak for a few minutes: don’t worry, it will evaporate in minutes!

What to do if the vases are broken, chipped or cracked?


If the terracotta pots you’re trying to clean are broken or damaged beyond repair, it’s time to replace them with new ones.

Broken pots (even if they only have cracks) are extremely unstable and can break with light contact or simply open by pressing the roots. Better not to risk it!

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