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How to Clean A Garden Hose

A garden hose quickly gets dirty on the outside, but it can accumulate its share of filth inside, too. To keep one in tip-top shape, you should do some cleaning, at least occasionally. But how can you clean a hose and help preserve its lifespan?

Tools And Supplies

You’ll just need a few supplies to keep your hose in good shape, inside and out:

  • ½ cup of bleach or vinegar
  • 10-12 gallon bucket (size may vary, depending on the length of your hose)
  • ½ teaspoon of dishwashing detergent (for the nozzle)
  • Rag
  • Water

And that’s it! 

Cleaning Your Hose

To do this job, we recommend you work on the patio. You don’t want to pour or splash bleach on your plants or lawn; you’ll end up with a dead spot! It’s best to work near a drain, if possible.

It just takes a few steps to get the job done.

  1. Turn off the water and disconnect the hose from the spigot.
  2. Dampen your rag with water and a little bleach or vinegar
  3. Wipe down the outside of the hose with the rag to remove any dirt and debris.
    Be sure to include the couplers at either end. Wipe inside them as well to help remove debris or algae that may accumulate on metal or the rubber washer.
  4. Coil the hose and place it in the bucket
  5. Add the bleach or vinegar then fill the bucket with water
  6. Let the hose soak for 12-24 hours.
  7. Pour the water down a drain – again, don’t pour it on the lawn, as the bleach or vinegar will damage it!
  8. Reconnect your hose and run water for 20-30 minutes to remove any leftover cleaner from the inside. Direct the hose toward a drain!
  9. Use a damp (but not soaking) rag to clean off the outside again.

If you want to clean a hose nozzle, you can use a small amount of dish detergent on a damp rag.

How Often Should You Clean The Inside Of Your Garden Hose

We recommend cleaning the inside of your hose with the above method twice a year – in the spring before using it and in the fall before storing it. 

If the hose sits in the sun undrained for a week, you might want to clean it again because bacteria and algae are probably growing inside.

How To Keep Your Garden Hose Clean

To keep your hose in good shape, you should also take these steps:

Drain It When Not In Use

It’s not a good idea to let water sit inside a hose. It can lead to algae and bacteria growth.

Wipe Down the Outside

Regularly cleaning off the outside of the hose will help preserve its lifespan. Hoses are tough, but they can still suffer damage from the dirt and grime that accumulate over time.

Store In A Cool, Dry Place

Don’t leave your hose outside all the time. While not in use, hang it on a hose rack in the shade; heat and direct sunlight will damage it. During the winter, drain it completely and store it in a cool, but not freezing, place.


It’s easy to neglect a garden hose, but taking good care of it inside and out will help it last longer and serve you better! It’s a quick process and your plants and lawn will appreciate it.

About Us

Tom and Sarah Greenwood are the dynamic duo behind “Yards Improved,” dedicated to the joys and challenges of gardening, pool maintenance, and lawn and patio care. With Tom’s passion for landscape design and Sarah’s enthusiastic approach to gardening, they share their journey of transforming their backyard into a thriving retreat. We strive to offer practical advice aimed at helping you enhance your outdoor space.