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Bacteria growth is a reality of any water fountain. Leave anything under water for any length of time and you'll likely start to see and feel a slimy, discolored growth. It's not pleasant and it can definitely leave your water fountain looking a little worse for wear. The trick to keeping fountains clean is to carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions. Think about cleaning your water fountain the way you'd think about cleaning your home. You wouldn't use the same cleaner on wood as porcelain because of the risk of damage to the material. Likewise, there's a different method to cleaning copper fountains as there is to cleaning bronze fountains.
As soon as you purchase your water fountain, look for the cleaning instructions. Keep in mind that the instructions may be minimal. If you've purchased your water fountain online, you can also purchase safe solutions that will clean algae from a fountain. You might think that using a copper cleaner is a safe bet on a copper water fountain, but wait! Before cleaning copper fountains, check to make sure the copper isn't covered with a powder coat finish. That powder coat is designed to slow down the natural oxidizing process that gives copper a greenish tint. Simply use furniture polish like Pledge® to wipe down your fountain. Regularly change the water and wipe your water fountain down with a sponge or soft cloth to help keep the bacteria and algae to a minimum.
Fountain cleaning is an important detail that should be followed every couple of months. A little cleaning will go a long way in keeping your water fountain beautiful for years to come.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|