I’m embarrassed to show you what my garden hose looked like after leaving it outside, in the elements, continuously, over about a 3 year period. Not only was it left outdoors, but it was lying on the ground in various locations – in the garden bed, in the grass.
So after the 3 years it was a mess, just soiled and spotted from one end to the other. Perhaps the spots were from mildew, but not sure.
My garden hose is not the type that has the shiny, slick outer surface that helps to repel dirt and stains. It’s not a rubber garden hose, but it has the same type of outer surface as rubber. So dirt sticks to it and perhaps mildew, too.
First, I didn’t feel good about the kids playing with the garden hose and filling the pool with it in this condition – that just didn’t seem like a good idea. And secondly, good garden hoses aren’t cheap, so I was determined to revitalize it.
Here at better Outdoor Living at Home we have talked about the wonders of cleaning with ultra-concentrated oxygen bleach powder. This is not chlorine bleach. Oxygen bleach is safe, non-toxic, and won’t harm the plants.
So that was my quest – to clean this awful looking garden hose. It is 75 feet long, and for some reason I thought a 5 gallon bucket would be big enough to hold it.
It was not! So then I thought that one of those little wading pools would be the perfect size. I bought one, and it was a perfect fit. It made the chore so easy, and it makes a great soapy basin for cleaning other outdoor things like window screens.
I used the amount of ultra concentrated oxygen bleach powder for ‘general purpose’ cleaning recommended on the label. Dissolving the powder in a reasonable amount of warm to hot water makes it dissolve faster. Then I just used the cold water from the hose bib for the rest.
I soaked the garden hose in the little pool (with the water and oxygen bleach) twice, each time for about 4 hours. After each soak I scrubbed the outer surface of the garden hose with a sponge that had a ‘rough’ side (I used the ‘rough’ side – please be careful, don’t use anything that will tear up or ruin the surface). I changed the water and the oxygen bleach after each soak. Side note: when I scrubbed the garden hose after each soak, I noticed a little of the garden hose’s green color on a paper towel I was using, but it doesn’t seem to be a problem. It looks great, bright and clean! The ‘loss’ of color seems to have been very slight (I do not notice it).
I am overjoyed with the way this cleaned the garden hose! See ‘After’ photo – what do you think? It seems to be closely restored to its once brand new condition (it still has faint signs of the spots). As an unscientific guesstimate, I’d say it is 80% good as new! It sure looks great!
Now I feel good about letting the kids play with this garden hose, again.