May 14, 2010, Newsletter Issue #166: Keep Fountains Bowls Gleaming

Tip of the Week

Keeping water fountain bowls gleaming, inside and outside, enhances the appearance of any fountain and helps keep fountain waters sparkling. Since indoor and outdoor fountain bowls come in a delightfully diverse array of materials, there is no single best cleaning method. Different materials require different cleaning solutions. Use these tips for cleaning some of the leading fountain bowls:

Ceramic fountains may be cleaned like any other ceramic porcelain or glazed stoneware using warm soapy water and a cloth or sponge. Stubborn slime or mineral deposits may require a light scrubbing with a non-abrasive pad. Rinse thoroughly to avoid leaving soapy residue. Note: the coating on low-glazed ceramic bowls may develop pinpoint holes or tiny cracks with wear and heavy cleaning; if this happens, re-glazing is a must.
Resin fountains and fiberglass fountains require more careful cleaning than ceramics. They scratch easily and are best cleaned with a soft cloth and warm soapy water or with special fiberglass cleaning products. Copper fountains combine the positive Feng Shui elements of water and metal. Most copper fountains have a protective powder coast or clear finish coat to retard tarnish/greening; others are natural copper. All copper oxidizes and darkens over time. This natural process creates a patina that enhances the fountain’s beauty. Clean copper fountains with Pledge or another good quality furniture cleaner and a soft cloth. Apply a light coat of car wax/turtle wax and buff every few months to maintain the gleam. Never use a strong commercial copper cleaner on natural or powder copper fountains. Copper cleaners actually damage copper finishes by removing the coating and natural patina.
Stainless steel fountains offer a cool, chic modern ambience and are practically maintenance free. They are highly resistant to the elements and bacteria/algae find it difficult to get a grip on the sleek surface. Clean with a wet or dry cloth and stainless steel cleaner. Never use abrasive cleaners or pads that scratch the shiny surface. Avoid bleaches and chemicals that discolor or damage the finish.
Bamboo fountains and wood fountains offer uniquely soothing sound and natural beauty. Sealed bamboo and wood clean with a soft sponge or cloth and warm soapy water. They would not be allowed to dry out once they have been used. A light application of linseed oil to a wood fountains exterior protects and shines.Note: When in doubt, always follow explicit manufacturer’s recommendations on how to clean a fountain.

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