Although pretty and calming is among just a small sample of water features stellar attributes, one tiny downside is that they do need regular cleaning and maintenance. It’s a really important task as having spent potentially £100s on your dream water feature you don’t want to throw that money down the drain. It’s such an important task that neglecting your water feature could be deadly – for your fish, plants and other wildlife.  

It doesn’t need to be an arduous task though. Follow our simple steps below for a dream clean water feature to be proud of. 

How often should you clean your water feature? 

This will depend on location and also the surface area of your water feature. A bigger surface area will mean more regular cleaning as more debris will be able to get in. Low to the ground water features or water features near any trees or other objects which might dirty your water feature, will also require more regular cleaning. During winter the water will be colder and less undesirable life will grow and produce in your water feature. However in summer months, for instance clean in ground ones several times a month during summer and in winter every couple of months. 

nice fountain

8 Simple Steps For Clean Water Features

  1. Make sure that your water feature is switched off or devoid of power, in order to avoid any nasty accidents.
  2. Consider what type of water feature you have if its water feature within a pond there are different cleaning options in comparison to if the water feature is stand alone or self contained
  3. Clean debris, get rid of any larger bits and pieces in your water feature first.
  4. Change the water in your water feature. Not only does this provide fresh water for your water feature keeping it clean but also particularly with recirculating water feature or any water feature with a wet pump this is particularly important as you don’t want to allow water levels to drop at all. This is particularly important in the summer months when the heat will cause more water to evaporate
  5. Remove algae from your water feature. For more detailed  advice check out our blog post on

How To Remove Algae From Water Features

  1. While some people may add dangerous bleach or chlorine we recommend our own concoction – fountain safe. It is best to add this periodically during the summer months, where the heat allows microbes to thrive in the water. 

Here’s what our Buying Director, Justin had to say: “Having two young sons I was concerned with the current water feature cleaners on the market that stated they were harmful to children and fish. I couldn’t imagine having a fountain in my garden that wouldn’t attract children’s attention. So, working with UK leaders, we developed Fountain Safe”

  1. Water feature pumps will also require some care. We recommend going over it with a sponge or toothbrush. As well as using a water cleaner to stop any hard water build up.
  2. For winter care add a frost free solution. This stops the water from freezing, our frost free solution is ideal as it won’t affect birds or other wildlife. Otherwise you can drain your feature and buy a cover to protect it. 

If your water feature is beyond hope (possibly it’s been left a few years or decades) then you might want to check out our range of water features.

3 Simple Steps For Clean Ponds

  1. If it’s a pond you need to clean then start with a filter pump. If you already have a filter pump it’s worth giving the filter a clean or replacing the filter on it, if possible. However, filter pumps can harm any wildlife or plants living in your pond if not separated from them. 
  2. The best way to clean a filter pump is with white vinegar, warm soapy water and a brush. The vinegar can help to break away any mineral deposits left by hard water. 
  3. We have a great range of pond cleaning supplies, including organic pond cleaners which will be kind to any wildlife and plants residing in your pond. Discover our full range of pond solutions and treatments here, able to tackle any kind of problem including filtration, dechlorination, cloudy water and algae. 

Purple lily with lily pads in pond

How to reduce the amount of work you put into cleaning your water feature 

Avoid overhanging trees

Overhanging trees can drop bits of twig, leaves and more that will mean you are constantly trying to clear debris out from your water feature. 

Use Plants to clean your water or even snails

Both plants and pond snails -Ramshorn and trapdoor snails can do an excellent job at naturally cleaning your pond. Oxygenating plants help to keep your pond clean and can also help to prevent algae. 

pink water lily


Pond snails such as ramshorn and trapdoor work to clean away at algae at the sides of your pond and also improve filtration. They will also clear away dead plants but not damage any of your plants. 

Choosing the Correct Water Feature 

If you want to minimise cleaning choose a water feature that is easy and simple to clean. Materials such as stainless steel are easy to wipe down with their smooth surface in comparison to other water features such as stone or concrete.

Take a look at our 15 Best Water Features guide to make choosing the right one a doddle.

Clean Little and Often

 Although this advice can apply to any type of cleaning, it’s always good to have a reminder that cleaning more often usually means less work!


Other Water Feature Cleaning Questions

How do I keep my fountain water clean naturally?

A mix of half white vinegar and water or even apple cider vinegar (although this is a more pricey option) can be a natural cleaner for your fountain water. There is also the option of emptying out your water regularly to avoid the need for any harsher chemicals. Otherwise do check out our fountain safe cleaning mix which is child and wildlife friendly. 

How do I keep my water fountain clean for birds?

White vinegar is the most useful for cleaning but still keeping your water feature bird friendly. However if its a bird bath these are normally made of stone or concrete. First you will need to empty the contents of your bird bath. Then use your hose to spray away any grimy build up. Follow this up by buffing the fountain with a scrubbing brush and a few drops of washing up liquid to discard any remaining grit or grime. 


Check out our full range of water feature cleaning products here.