How to Clean Your Garden Hose? – Cleaning & Care Tips

Isn’t this interesting, garden hoses pass out the universal cleaning agent-water, yet you regularly need to clean them! That sounds odd, right? However, after continuous use, garden hoses can be covered with dirt to the extent that you become scared of using them. Often we find ourselves drinking water from a garden hose instead of having the drink inside the house. This may cause untold infections if we don’t clean the garden hose.

Rubber garden hoses are easier to clean compared to the expandable garden hoses. As a result, non-rubber garden hoses are very difficult to clean, but not impossible. Experts recommend cleaning of garden hoses every 3 to 4 months. So, how do you clean your garden hose properly?

Tools Required

  • Bucket 
  • Bleach 
  • Measuring cup 
  • Rubber gloves (recommended) 
  • Mild dish-washing detergent-for the nozzle.
  • Sponge
  • Toothbrush 

How to Clean Your Garden hose

1. Use of Bleach

This is arguably one of the best methods of cleaning your garden hose that helps get rid of all germs thus making its water safe for human consumption. As a word of advice, try out the most natural bleach to minimize any effects of the toxic chemicals. Also, we recommend that you put on rubber gloves during the process to protect your hands against corrosion.

Use of Bleach


  • Put water in a large bucket.
  • Add ¼ cup of bleach to the bucket with water.
  • Dip the garden hose into the resultant solution. The insertion of the garden hose should be slow and easy to prevent any splashing of the bleach-water solution over the eyes, clothes or skin.
  • Let the hose stay inside the solution for about 8-24 hours. This ensures that any bugs, germs and debris therein get soaked out.
  • After the elapse of this period, soak the hose in another bucket of water for approximately one hour. Note: This second bucket shouldn’t be containing any bleach.
  • Remove your garden hose from the (water only) bucket and connect it to a water faucet.
  • Open the water faucet and let water run through it for some minutes. This allows for effective cleaning out of the inner walls. It will also ensure all germs and any bleach residue is removed.

connect hose to a water faucet and run water


  • Avoid placing the chemical solution near kids of pets, or near where they play. It might harm them.
  • Don’t pour the chemical solution over your grass or lawn. It might interfere with their ecological life and kill them.
  • Ensure you sufficient rinse of the hose to remove all of the chemical solution.

2. Use of Vinegar

There are many ways to skin a cat. As such, if using bleach to clean your garden hose isn’t your cup of tea, use vinegar. Despite its strong odor, the smell miraculously dissipates after rinsing to leave an odorless and infections-free garden hose that’s safe for usage. 



  • Use a bucket to fill a large-enough container with water.
  • Pour approximately ½ of distilled white vinegar into the container using the bucket used in the above step.
  • Dip the garden hose into the resultant solution. 
  • Let the hose stay inside the solution for about 8-24 hours. This ensures that any bugs, germs and debris therein get soaked out.
  • Remove your garden hose from the vinegar solution.
  • Rinse it with clean running water for half an hour.

Rinse the garden hose with clean running water

Unlike the bleach method above, any residue left inside the hose will be safe. This is because vinegar is not only a food product but also a natural disinfectant. It produces the best of both worlds. 

What’s more, vinegar is cheaper. To keep your hose clean and all germs at bay, get used to wiping the ends of your garden hose with vinegar regularly.

3. Use of essential oils

This method is best used for maintenance but can also be used for cleaning your garden hose. Luckily, essential oils such as tea tree can be bought from any organic food store. Tea tree can also be used as a natural disinfectant. The oils come at different prices, as expected. However, since so little is used, they are worth the buy.

Use of essential oils to clean garden hose


  • Add a few drops of essential oils to a clean piece of cloth.
  • Use it to wipe the hose inside and outside of the hose to kill bacteria.
  • Let the garden hose rest for about 10 minutes.
  • Rinse it by passing running water through it for some minute.

We can have a clean garden hose without a clean nozzle. Therefore, we also have to know how to clean nozzles for us to have a totally clean garden hose.

How to Clean a Garden Hose Nozzle?

clean a garden hose’s nozzle


Detach the hose nozzle and give it a thorough rinsing beneath a running faucet. This helps detach any filth that may have attached to the nozzle over time.

  • Mix warm water with a mild liquid soap.
  • Put the garden hose nozzle into the resultant solution.
  • Allow the nozzle to soak for about 30 minutes.
  • Do a vigorous scrubbing on the nozzle. Use a mini scrub brush or toothbrush for the scrubbing.
  • Once all the dirt is removed, rinse the nozzle and dry it using a paper towel or clean piece of cloth.
  • Reattach it to the hose.

 So, you’ve finally cleaned your garden hose off that tormenting dirt, the next question is how to maintain it.

Watering plants with garden hose

Taking Care of Your Garden Hose

  • Avoid storing it under direct sunlight: UV rays from the sun can crack of rapture its exterior layer. Any water therein can also easily heat up thus damaging the inner tubing.
  • Repair any leaks as soon as possible. This ensures that the water pressure from the hose nozzle is always at its optimal best.
  • Don’t cut the water on the nozzle but from the spigot. Relying on the nozzle to stop the water supply leads to water pressure build-up thus bursting your hose in a short-run.
  • Avoid dragging it by the spray nozzle: Doing so weakens the connection between them thus causing leakages. A hose reel will go a long way towards preventing any kinks and tears.

Final Thoughts

Has your garden hose been covered with dirt and spider webs? Do you feel scared by its look? Fret not! This happens to many, don’t opt to buy a new one. It won’t guarantee you an ever clean garden hose. Instead, use the above methods to clean your garden hose and also learn how to maintain it for longer use. Best of luck as you clean your garden hose in a bid to make it harmless to drink from and let it look like new again.

About Jennifer Igra

Growing up in Brooklyn, New York City known for it’s green gardens. Jennifer, a 30 year old gardener and green living fanatic started Igra World to share her gardening journey and increase gardening awareness among masses. Follow Igra World to improve your gardening skills.

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