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Cleaning Terra Cotta Pots

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


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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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October 21, 20090 found this helpful

What can be done to clean moss and algae off of terra cotta pots? What preventative measures would you recommend once the pots are clean that could help in eliminating this problem again? Thank you.

By Jemstone from Tacoma, WA


Cleaning Terra Cotta Pots

You'd need a strong spray attachment for your hose. I'd then spray them with a clear sealer when they're dry. Any kind of clear outdoor spray paint would work OR use the product below:

This stuff is amazing:

It's not bad for the environment. You buy it at Home Depot. You spray it anywhere you want to remove algae and moss or to stop it from to growing. Just spray it on once a year, then every time it rains, it binds with the rain and starts working. Amazing stuff. I use I on the north side of my mobile home and my large metal garage. I heard it advertised on KVI.


I live right by you (by Fort Lewis) so I know the Western Washington weather and I had so much moss at my place it was crazy. I've found that if you don't want moss or algae to grow, you'll have to keep your pots in a sunny south location and never on the north side of your home. In Seattle/Tacoma you may as well not fight it and just go ahead and cover the pots with moss. All you do is buy a package of dried (green) moss (at the craft store or dollar store) then add 1 container of plain yogurt and water in a blender then blend. You can then pour this on to your post and moss will grow in a couple of months and; cover up the algae. (04/20/2009)

By Cyinda

Cleaning Terra Cotta Pots

Use dish washing liquid and a scrubbing brush. The only way to stop it happening again is to paint it, but if not, make sure its in full sun. It's where is stays wet that the moss/algae grow. (04/21/2009)


By daisychain

Cleaning Terra Cotta Pots

While I don't have an algae or moss problem sometimes my pots get icky. I clean my terracotta pots with dish soap, water and just a couple of drops of bleach. I let it soak in a bucket for a few minutes then scrub. I give them a good rinse and soak them in clean water. Put in sunny spot to dry. I typically do this at the end of the season to make the new season easier. (04/27/2009)

By dvg

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