How to Clean Terra Cotta Pots

by AEA on February 1, 2010

Clean and Prepare Terra Cotta Pots for Crafts

Terra cotta pots are becoming increasingly popular for craft projects. You can turn terra cotta pots into a variety of things, from birdfeeders to Christmas ornaments. When working with terra cotta pots, there are a few things that should be done before starting. First you should clean your pots so the paint will adhere better. Working with a clean and dry surface will help avoid paint chipping and bubbling. You can clean your pots by sticking them in the dish washer, washing them with water and bleach (1 part bleach and 9 parts water) or just with soapy water. Then rinse well.

Next you need to let them sit out for awhile until they are completely dry. Terra cotta pots are porous and it is important not to let any moisture stay inside, to avoid future bubbling of paint. After your terra cotta pots are clean and dry, spray them inside and out with a non-toxic sealer. You can purchase sealer made especially for terra cotta pots at most craft stores located with their pots. Other acrylic sealers will work, just read there labels before purchasing them. Some sealers are not made to be used with paint. After your sealer is dry you are ready to start your project. Good luck.

Clean Terra Cotta Pots for your Plants

When cleaning terra cotta pots for plant use, there are a few different ways to get them clean.

  1. Bleach, water and a scrubber (1 part bleach and 9 parts water)
  2. Vinegar and a scrubber
  3. Baking soda paste (water and soda) – helps with salt build up from your fertilizer (white rings around your pots)
  4. Baking them at 200 degrees for a half an hour kills all bacteria
  5. Dishwasher

Terra cotta pots are porous and can build up with mildew or other bacteria quickly, so it is important to keep them clean. It is also a good idea to bring them inside for the winter. The continuous cold and wet weather is hard on them.

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