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Machine and Hand Cleaning: How to Clean Small and Big Landscape Rocks?


When you are creating rockeries everything might look perfect. But there are some things which may transform your landscape in a negative way. These might be moss, dirt or droppings which can appear on rocks’ surface.

In this case you have to look for some solutions which can solve your problems, and instead of spending money and buying new rocks you can always use some cleaning methods. So, how to clean landscaping rocks? Let’s find answer in the article.


Cleaning landscape rocks

Over the years rocks may change their appearance. There are different factors which influence this process and everything depends on the environment, weather conditions, etc. Rocks may get covered with mud, dust, soil, moss or lichen. In places where is lot of moisture mould may appear.

There are two ways of rock cleaning:

  • water cleaning.
  • chemical cleaning.

Photo5Water cleaning is the safest and easiest way to clean rocks. Hot water is an effective way to get rid of organic dirtying. There is no matter how much lime water contains; it will not destroy rock’s surface.

The only problem here is that not all dirtying can be washed off with water. Water cleaning is suitable for any type of rocks.

But if you decide to use chemicals, you will have to choose them very carefully taking into account all rocks’ and chemicals’ features.

Things You Will Need

If you are not planning to spend money on special chemicals but you have to clean landscape rocks, there are always some things that you can find at home:

  • soft brush;
  • plain water (garden hose);
  • dish detergent;
  • bleach;
  • container (bucket, for example);
  • spray bottle;
  • sifter;
  • big container (wheelbarrow, for example).

How to clean medium and large rocks?

Medium and large rocks can be cleaned with regular soft brush and water. If you see mud or bird droppings there is no easier way than water cleaning. You will have to scrub rocks with soft brush first. Secondly, take your garden hose and with rush of water clean the rocks. If regular water is not enough, you can add dish detergent which will help you to get rid of stubborn dirt.

If you use regular water and garden hose, start with the lowest pressure. While cleaning the mud, use plain water first. If you decide, that regular water is not enough and you think that you need dish detergents’ usage, make sure that these detergents will not harm the plants.

To get rid of moss or algae you can always use bleach. Pour one part of bleach and one part of water in a bottle and spray this mixture on the rocks with moss or algae. After three or four days you can scrub and wash off the dead moss and algae. You will have to water the soil as well. If you accidentally spray some plants with bleach, wash it off with water immediately. You will also have to water the soil generously in order to send the bleach away from the plants’ roots.

Advice! To make cleaning process easier it would be better to replace medium and large rocks to a driveway or somewhere away from the plants, especially if you are planning to use bleach.
Here you can find more design ideas of rock landscaping:

How to clean small rocks?

Photo7Firstly, you will have to remove small rocks. After you remove the rocks most probably they would have a lot of pine needles, sticks or other dirt inside of them. So, you will have to clean the rocks and then put them back right in place where they had been before. In order to make the cleaning process faster and easier, you need to sift all the dirt.

Custom sifters are widely available and are sold in local garden stores. In order to make cleaning process more comfortable and less dirty you will also need a container. Place the sifter on the top of the container, grab some rocks (not too much) and put them on the sifter. After you start sifting all the needles, sticks and other dirt will go down to the container.

Once you finish taking out all the sticks and mud, you can replace the rocks to another container (wheelbarrow, for example) and give them a good wash. After you finish, pour out the water and try not to lose rocks. Repeat the rinse. When you finish washing the rocks, you can place them back to the ground as you were planning.

Advice! Pick out any big pieces that didn’t get sifted.

If you are planning to use dish detergent for cleaning, do it away from the plants. You will also have to rinse rocks with plain water after detergents. Also, it would be better to let the rocks dry out before you place them back.

Remember that sometimes it can be really hard to get rid of rust on the rock, that’s why it might be better to replace dirty rocks with new ones. Lazy house owners might prefer placing new rocks level on the top.

This articles can be useful for you: pool landscaping with river rocks, how to use river rock and basics of it’s installing.

Useful video

How to clean landscape rocks – watch a simple video-instruction:

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