Clean garden rocks

How To Clean Landscape Garden Rocks?

Landscaping rocks are a staple in gardens. They add just the right amount of rocky, forested look to any yard and can be used at multiple places – edging the flower beds, laying the patio, or placed at random points. As good as they look when new, they tend to become covered with dirt and moss over time, and that’s fairly natural. However, in that case, your pretty landscape asset can transform into an eyesore that needs immediate replacement.

Luckily, there are various methods that can help you ease the hassle of buying a new load of rocks every time they get caked-on mud, weeds, and bird droppings. It’s by learning how to clean the garden rocks by yourself right in your garden.

Clean garden rocks

Your garden rock cleaning kit

Since there is more than one way to give your garden rocks a complete makeover, we will first go over the things you would generally need to carry out the chore.

  1. Water hose
  2. Buckets
  3. Broom
  4. Power washer
  5. Dish soap
  6. Nylon scrubbing brush
  7. Toothbrush
  8. Spray bottle
  9. Bleach (or vinegar for mold or fungus)
  10. Laundry detergent
  11. Baking soda
  12. Biodegradable cleaner

That’s about the complete list of cleaning gear you would need for landscape white rocks and large boulders. Let us find out the easiest and most effective ways to make your garden rocks as good as new.

How to clean landscape garden rocks?

1. Cleaning large boulders

First off, always move medium-sized to large boulders to a bigger space and away from the yard, such as the driveway. This makes cleaning them easier and more thorough. Next, using the broom, vigorously brush the rocks from one side to the other to clear away the bigger forms of dirt, like leaves and dust. Once you have swept off the rocks thoroughly, prepare for the washing part.

Take a bucket of water, squirt a bit of laundry detergent, and use the nylon scrubbing brush to scrub the rocks for a quick spruce up. You can use a hose or power washer to rinse them if the rocks have stubborn stains and require a continuous flow of water with scrubbing. Always remember to use a power washer only for larger-sized rocks as they can create a safety hazard for small-sized stones.

Alternately, for rinsing, you can use plain water or add a cleaner to it, such as a biodegradable cleaner that is safe for plants and effectively removes strong stains and dirt patches. Make sure you thoroughly bathe the boulders with water after you’re done scrubbing them. But be careful not to chip the rocks in the process.

2. Cleaning small-sized stones

Unlike boulders, small-sized pebbles or white stones are much easier to clean. There are few ways you can go about it.

This method is particularly helpful if you want to bring back the sprinkling whiteness of your garden rocks. Take a bucket, make a cleaning solution of liquid dish soap with warm water, and sock the stones in the water. Alternately, you can use the laundry detergent as well. Once the rocks are soaked for around half an hour, rinse them well with plain water. Next, put them in another deep bucket and pour in water until they are fully immersed, and add ¼ cup of bleach or white vinegar. If you are cleaning white rocks, you might want to use bleach. For other kinds of landscape stones, white vinegar is the best option. When working with bleach, make sure you have your gloves on!

In case of dirty rocks, you can leave them soaked for 20 minutes. Pour off the vinegar or the bleach slowly while keeping the rocks sedimented at the bottom. Ideally, you would find the dirt and debris leaving with the water pouring out. Rinse the rocks with clean water thrice in the bucket before taking them out.

In worst-case scenarios, where the bleach or vinegar fails to remove stubborn stains or grit, you can apply a paste made from baking soda and water on the rocks and use the toothbrush to rub the pebbles strongly. Once done, rinse thoroughly again with plain water and let them dry. This would ideally clear away all the grime and filth.

3. Cleaning moss or algae growth

To clean unwanted moss or algae, usually seen as green or grey growth on the rocks, you can apply this method to large-sized rocks as well as gravels or small stones.

Using white vinegar, saturate the landscaping stones with the liquid and scrub the growth with a brush or push broom. Rinse well to see if the growth has been removed. In case it doesn’t go away, take the spray bottle and make an equal blend of bleach and water. Spray the rocks thoroughly wherever you find the unwanted growth of molds or fungus and let it rest on the stones for two days. Make sure you do not spray the solution on the vegetation!

Carry out this method somewhere dry and away from the lawn. However, even if you accidentally spray it on foliage, there’s no need to panic. Rinse the affected area of the garden with water, and flush the soil with 3 inches of water to push the bleach solution deep inside the ground such that it passes the root zone. This way, you can save your foliage even if you make the slip.

Coming back to the rocks, thoroughly rinse with clean water after having sprayed it with bleach solution. You will easily clear away the molds and moss growing on the rocks to spruce them up neat and white.

Conclusively, you can always pull out the weeds by hand, pour hot water directly on them, or spray white vinegar. As a useful tip, remember to carefully clean and dry your rocks before moving them to their original places because the residue of bleach or vinegar can eat away at the surface of the rocks. So, get your garden rocks back to their tip-top shape by using these handy DIY techniques for easy and comprehensive cleaning!

Check out this video on Youtube on how to clean your landscape garden rocks

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