Cleaning Terra Cotta Pots?

Category Miscellaneous
Terra cotta is used to make many flower pots and other outside garden items. Usage and the elements can leave them dirty and stained. This is a page about cleaning terra cotta pots.


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How do you remove oil spots from an unsealed terra cotta ice tea jug. It is unsealed on the outside but sealed on inside. I tried Dawn, but it left rings. There must be another home remedy out there. Help!

By Meredith G.


July 5, 20110 found this helpful

Short of evening out the stains by evenly applying oil on the entire outside of the pot, then gently washing and then sealing with a terra cotta sealer you could call a terrazzo/terra cotta flooring dealer and ask what chemicals (which will be harsh chemicals) that might work to remove the stains.

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July 5, 20110 found this helpful

I found this on cleaning terra cotta floor tiles:


I will look a little further!

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Can terra-cotta be put in the dishwasher? I have a small terra-cotta bird bath that I was thinking about putting in the dishwasher (alone) to get it clean.

By Maryeileen from Brooklyn, OH


October 22, 20090 found this helpful

Because birds can carry diseases which cause dysentery, no I wouldn't. I'd put it in the back yard or basement or laundry sink if you have one and put in detergent and bleach when you are not in the room, at least a half cup. Leave for few hours.

Scrub with something you will throw away (a scrunched up plastic grocery bag works well). See how it looks, and soak again with less bleach, maybe a tablespoon and do again.Instead of detergent you could use dish machine detergent. When as clean as you think you can get it, rinse and dry upside down.

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October 23, 20090 found this helpful

Yes, go ahead and toss it in your dishwasher, add a cup of vinegar or 1/2 cup laundry liquid bleach to disinfect. If you have thoughts of contamination, use the sanitizer button or rewash empty dishwasher on short cycle. Make sure you have hot water heat or that it is hot. I have done this before.

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June 22, 2016

Will Goo Gone leave a stain on terra cotta? I need to remove tape residue.


May 12, 20170 found this helpful

It might but I feel like you could remove a goo gone stain with some dish soap and water. You could try a small test on the bottom.

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August 1, 2014

How would you clean the pots other than than in a dishwasher?

By Celia J.

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Home and Garden Cleaning MiscellaneousMay 20, 2013
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