3 Useful Techniques On How To Clean Mold Off Terracotta Pots

In this article, you will learn the three ways on how to clean mold off terracotta pots. The easiest way to do this is to use hydrogen peroxide, but we included two alternatives just in case. Read on to know all three methods!


how to clean mold off terracotta pots

What are terracotta pots?

Terracotta pots are clay-based pots that may either be unglazed or glazed. The terracotta’s most distinct feature is its natural brownish-orange color.

It is porous, meaning it can absorb moisture. Its porous characteristic helps the plant inside it to be healthy because air and water easily pass through its walls. 

However, because of their permeable characteristics, they are prone to freezing and cracking during the winter season. Terracotta pots are perfect for succulents, cacti, and other types of plants that live on drier soil. 


How do terracotta pots get mold?

Terracotta pots get mold easily because of the mold it absorbs. It takes in moisture from the soil and its walls are porous, making it susceptible to mold contamination.

If you place them in low-light areas, the mold will likely fester. Watering them too much will also lead to mold growth.

Mold is common in gardens. So, here is an article on getting rid of slime mold in gardens that may help you keep your garden mold-free.


How to prevent mold growth in terracotta pots

Washing and drying your terracotta pots is the best way to prevent mold growth. Avoiding over-watering is the second-best method to prevent mold contamination in your clay pots.

Mold in terracotta pots isn’t the only issue when there is mold growth because it spreads. If you keep indoor plants, then the mold spores may have already infiltrated your home.

Here’s an article about killing mold spores that may help you. If you already have mold in your pots, though, the next part of this article will help. 


3 Ways To Clean Mold Off Terracotta Pots

Replacing your terracotta pots should be the last thing you consider when they’re mold-contaminated; disinfecting it should be first. So, here are the three methods of mold cleaning.


Method #1. Using vinegar


Step #1. Remove

To properly clean off the terracotta pots, remove the soil first. Carefully take the plant and its root ball out of the pot. Also, make sure the soil is dry; otherwise, you’ll be dealing with smears of mud. 


Step #2. Clean

After taking the plant and its root ball, remove the remaining soil. Then, take your scrub brush and clean the interior of the terracotta pot.

After that, rinse the clay pot while scrubbing it inside and out. Remove the gunk on the vessel as much as possible. 


Step #3. Soak

Vinegar is a good mold-killer and disinfectant, so using it in cleaning the mold-ridden pots is effective. Soaking your pots in a tub with diluted vinegar is efficient in removing mold stains.

To make the solution, prepare a large tub filled with water. Then, add about three cups of white vinegar.

After that, place the pots in the tub and soak them for 15 minutes. If there are still stains, scrub them with baking soda paste.

To make a baking soda paste, mix baking soda and water to make a hand lotion-like consistency. Then, put the paste on the marks and leave it there for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, scrub the pot lightly. 


Step #4. Wash

Now that there is no mold build-up, let’s work on bringing back the texture of your terracotta pots. Use a dishwasher, then wash the pots appropriately.

After washing, you will find that your terracotta pots have a light gleam texture. That’s it; now, you have clay pots that look good as new!


Method #2. Using bleach

Repeat the first two steps of the vinegar technique, then proceed with this bleach-water method. 


Step #1. Mix and soak

Combine a quarter-cup of bleach and five gallons of water. Then, soak the pots in the solution for thirty minutes. 


Step #2. Wash

After soaking the pots in bleach, wash them three to four times with clean water. Then, leave them to dry under the sun for a few hours. 

Place the plants back into the terracotta after two to three days. Do not place the plant immediately after drying the pots because the bleach may not have subsided entirely. 


Method #3. Using hydrogen peroxide

This is the most energy-efficient method of cleaning mold off terracotta pots. Repeat the first two steps of the first technique, then proceed with this method. 


Step #1. Sprinkle

Put a 3% hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle, then spritz it on the pot’s exterior. Let the liquid settle down on the terracotta. 


Step #2. Wash

After letting the hydrogen peroxide sit on the pot’s exterior, wash it with water and scrub it. Do not do this method under direct sunlight because the solution will be ineffective.

That’s it; those are the three ways you can clean mold off terracotta pots!



Mold may be natural with plants. However, you should still learn about how to clean mold off terracotta pots.

This is because too much decay on the clay pots may lead to degradation of their surface value. It also leads to health problems for you, so be sure to clean off mold from your pots!

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