How to Clean Landscape Rocks

Learning how to clean landscape rocks is pretty straightforward. When cleaning landscape rock, you only need a garden hose or pressure washer and some elbow grease. The process can be tedious, so many homeowners trust Lawnman Landscape Company in Sacramento to complete the task for them.

However, since you only need to clean your large landscape rocks once or twice a year, hiring us is quite affordable.

Follow our quick and simple tips if you have the time and the propensity to DIY.

The Benefits of Cleaning Your Landscape Rocks

Over the years, dirt, organic matter, and various types of debris settle in between and within landscape rocks. Over time, this may lead to:

  • Unhealthy accumulation: The growth of moss, mold, or algae degrades the rock’s surface, potentially posing a health hazard. The stones become slippery, and there’s a possibility of them housing toxic mold spores. At this advanced stage, replacing the rocks becomes necessary.
  • Unpleasant aesthetics: While moss or algae can look pretty in some settings, they can also stain the surface of white landscaping rocks and mar the landscape’s overall aesthetic. Regular cleaning will prevent the situation from advancing to this level.
  • Unwelcome vegetation: An accumulation of dirt and soil obscures the design and provides a place for weeds and other unwanted plants to grow. Over time, this will distort the landscaping design, leaving the area looking unkempt.
  • Uninvited guests: The build-up of leaves and other dry debris makes for a comfortable home for pests like rats, cockroaches, and ants.

Periodically running your leaf blower over the area will reduce the build-up, but eventually, you will have to consider cleaning the rocks in your yard.

How to Clean Landscape Rocks Quickly and Easily

1. Use a Leaf Blower to Get Rid of Loose Debris

The first step in cleaning landscape rocks is to remove loose debris. The easiest way to do this is to blow it out of the nooks and crannies using a leaf blower. You can also use a broom to clear out the debris if you do not have a blower.

It’s essential to remove any loose leaves or dirt before cleaning landscape rocks because adding water to them would make more of a mess. You should also inspect the results afterward because it may not be necessary to wash the rocks with water.

Showing How To Clean Landscape Rocks For Your Lawn

2. How to Maintain Rock Landscaping by Starting With Smaller Stones

Wind, rain, and foot traffic may cause gravel and other small debris to migrate into a bed of rocks. Learning how to clean rocks in this situation is one of the most tedious tasks.

To do this, you’ll have to sift the pebbles using a sieve. The holes must be large enough for the debris to fall through but small enough to catch the rocks. You will then sweep away the fallen debris and evaluate how to clean the remaining rocks. Cleaning them is usually simply a matter of rinsing the dirt off, but sometimes you may need to scrub their surfaces.

3. How to Clean River Rock Landscaping

Now it is time to find out how to brighten up river rock that is too big to fit on the screen. Start by dousing them in water to rinse off as much dust and debris as possible, and then reevaluate the situation.

In this case, cleaning landscape rock might entail brushing it with a stiff broom or scrubber to remove ingrained dirt.

4. Spray the Rocks Clean

Learning how to clean river rock landscaping can be fun in some cases. If you love gadgets, you may be able to use your pressure washer to blast away dirt. In cases where the stone is not that dirty, you can use a garden hose.

At this stage of how to clean rocks in the yard, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Use the garden hose and only switch to the pressure washer if you have to. We know it’s disappointing not to be able to play with this toy, but part of learning how to maintain rock landscaping is using the right tools.

While a pressure cleaner can do a good job, it may also scour the surface or damage concrete, so it’s best to use it with care.

5. Clean With Dish Detergent

You may encounter stubborn dirt at this stage of learning how to brighten up river rock. You might need to add dish detergent to the water with such an issue. Doing this helps remove grease stains and breaks down some of the bonds the dirt has with the stone.

You must rinse the rocks well to prevent spotting from the soap. It is also wise to use an environmentally-friendly cleaning product when learning how to clean landscape boulders.

6. How to Clean Landscape Rocks With Organic Growth Safely

Mold, algae, and moss can leave unsightly stains on rock surfaces. Unfortunately, killing off the growth itself may be simpler said than done. Tiny spores can remain even when you are very thorough.

When learning how to clean landscape boulders, homeowners should also consider deep cleaning processes using natural ingredients like vinegar. You must also keep the solution as far away from foliage as possible, as it could kill your plants.

Related: Low Maintenance, Drought Tolerant Front Yard Ideas

Other Tips and Tricks on How to Clean Landscape Rocks

The Ultimate Clean

A deep clean using bleach or vinegar once a year should be sufficient to kill off toxic mold or moss. However, you should keep a careful eye to ensure that there’s no recurrence. To effect this deep cleanse, follow these steps:

  • Load the rocks into a sturdy bucket or your wheelbarrow so that you can inspect every edge and surface. Mold might hide on the underside, and you’ll only notice it by picking the rock up. A cursory inspection should be sufficient, and it will also help to aerate the rock, promoting the drying of any moisture on it. Adding this step is especially useful with light-colored stone, as it effectively bleaches them. However, be careful to treat all the material in the same way. Otherwise, some items might look lighter than others, throwing off the aesthetic.
  • You should also remove smaller pebbles that the pressure washer might scatter. If you haven’t already, place these on the sifter to remove gravel and other unwanted debris.
  • Dilute a one-quarter cup of bleach in two gallons of water. Bleach is a better option for white rocks. However, be sure to check the type of stone, as bleach could create pockmarks on softer materials. Alternatively, a 1:1 ratio of white vinegar and water is ideal for most needs and won’t degrade the rock surface.
  • Pour the mixture onto the rocks, ensuring that it doesn’t splash on your skin. Leave it in place for twenty to thirty minutes.
  • While wearing good-quality rubber gloves, empty as much of the solution as possible. Be careful where you dump it, as it may kill your plants. You’re safer dumping it out into one of your outside drains.
  • Remove the rocks one at a time, rinsing them off in a second bucket or wheelbarrow. Another method is to empty as much water as possible from the existing container and refill it with clean water.
  • Empty the container again and repeat until all the residue is gone. This step is crucial because the acidity of the vinegar or bleach can degrade the stone’s surface.
  • When you complete this task, quickly sweep the site where you’ll place the rocks while leaving the stones to dry.
  • When most of the water has evaporated, set the stones back in their original positions and enjoy your refreshed new landscape.
  • Finally, take a break because you deserve it after all that hard work!

Related: Maintaining Rock Landscape

Call Lawnman Today!

If you think that the above sounds like a bit too much work, we hear you. There are fun DIY projects, and then some that involve backbreaking labor. Learning how to clean landscape rocks is the latter and is better left to the experts.

Our team ticks all the boxes if you want outstanding service, reliability, experience, and skill. Contact Lawnman Landscape Company in Sacramento today at (916) 794-8066 to see just how affordable our service is.



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