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Thursday, May 6, 2021

Reclaiming a Dingy and Stained Garden Pot

I should've taken a "before" photo. I've had this pot for about 25 years. It's had indoor as well as outdoor plants in it. For the last 7 or 8 years, it's been a outdoor pot and really took a beating in our damp weather. The pot was stained by mildew and looked very dingy. It was actually looking kind of gray instead of its original almond/beige.

I needed a large pot for 1 tomato plant to gift to my son and daughter-in-law for their porch. I thought I'd be able to scrub the plastic clean. When that didn't work, I decided to soak it in my oversized sink with bleach and water. After about a 2-hour soak (with me turning it over periodically to get all sides bleached), the pot came out very clean. It's now presentable enough to offer to someone else.

I was just really thrilled with this and wanted to share. After the fact, I looked up removing mildew stains from plastic outdoor furniture, and sure enough, bleach and water is one of the recommended methods. Garden Axis recommends a mixture of half bleach/half water in a pump spray bottle. Spray the furniture piece, wipe with the scrubby side of a sponge or a rag, and then rinse well with the hose. I'll be trying this on our plastic patio chairs this weekend. 


  1. The pot looks good as new. :) I gave my son a planting box for his balcony for his birthday this year with a tomato and pepper plant in it. He's not really into plants, but seems to be enjoying it so far. Yesterday, he sent me a picture with the first blossom. I on the other hand, haven't planted any tomatoes yet. But the last frost date is rapidly approaching, so soon.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      That's sweet that your son would send you a photo of the first blossom. Even if he's not into plants, I'm sure he will appreciate some free fresh veggies. My son and daughter-in-law are not really into gardening either, but I thought they might enjoy some free fresh tomatoes later in summer.

  2. Before I read more than the title, I thought, huh, the pot looks fine to me! Then I realized it was the after picture. This is good info! We don't like to toss old pots and it's good to know a way to freshen them up.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Yeah, I really should have taken a "before" photo. It was a remarkable transformation. I have some fiberglass-type pots that have faded badly that I'm looking into painting. I'll see if that works, soon.


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