Can Bleach Keep the Water Clean in Indoor Water Fountains?

Updated February 21, 2017

Indoor water fountains make a soothing addition to your home decor. Fountains are made of a variety of materials and come in many styles. Some fountains feature water flowing over rocks or into a pool of water. When you have a constant flow of water or sitting water, algae is likely to form on the fountain walls and may cloud the water. In your quest to keep the fountain clean, consider the facts when deciding whether to use bleach to keep water clean.


Typical household bleach consists mostly of water, with about 5 per cent sodium hypochlorite and as much as 2.4 per cent chlorine. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using bleach diluted with water to clean some household surfaces, such as countertops, tile and floors, the ingredients in bleach tend to be too harsh for indoor fountains.

Fountain Compostition

Indoor fountains can be made of a variety of materials, including ceramic, stone, glass and stainless steel. Fountains also contain pumps and filters that control the water flow. These mechanisms can be sensitive to corrosive materials, such as bleach, causing damage over time. Considering this, pouring bleach into a fountain to clean it or remove algae is not recommended.

Recommended Cleaning

Wiping out an indoor fountain regularly with a clean, damp rag, along with maintaining the water level as directed by the manufacturer, is typically all you need to do to keep your fountain clean. Fountain bowls made of glass can be cleaned with a bleach and water combination, using a rag to wipe the solution off before filling the bowl with water. This bleach solution may damage materials like marble or slate. Consult the manufacturer's recommendations for cleaning products to use on these materials.

Other Considerations

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, you should never mix chlorine bleach with any other cleaning products as poisonous gasses may result. Always use caution when using full-strength bleach, as it can irritate your skin

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About the Author

After attending the University of Missouri St. Louis, Stephanie Rempe worked as a documentation manager in the finance industry 10 years before turning to her first love, writing, which she's been doing professionally since 2008. She currently divides her time between Missouri and her fiance's hometown in Oregon. In addition to her freelance writing, Rempe is working on a romance novel and short stories.