After years of wear and tear your old garden hose can become covered in Mildew and dirt to the extent that you become scared of using them. In some cases, immediately after a long winter, your rubber garden hose can be covered in spider webs and dirt, instead of opting to buy a new one why not clean what you have.
We aren’t talking about leakages here either are we talking about broken hose pipes, so the best route to take is to clean them. The right question you should ask is, how do you get your hose cleaned up properly?
Rubber garden hoses are a lot easier to clean than expandable garden hose because expandable garden hoses only expand when there is a lot of water in them. Garden hoses that aren’t entirely made from rubber are very difficult if not impossible to clean.
Cleaning your garden hose regularly is a very effective way to ensure that you and your family are kept safe from harmful bacteria. The temptation to place the hose in your mouth and quench the thirst from the scorching sun can be overwhelming at times. This action alone is capable of introducing harmful bacteria to your system.
The environmental conditions of the hose during storage (months or periods of dormancy) are uncertain, so it’s hard to tell if the hose is sanitary enough to drink water from. Due to storage, your hose can be exposed to several of the following:
- Harmful bacteria in from the soil
- Fertilizers and various contaminants
Kids often drink from garden hoses if they see one before going inside the house to get a drink. To ensure you keep your pets and family safe, learn how to clean your garden hose.
Cleaning with Bleach
The best way to get rid of dirt and germs to make it safe for drinking is to dip it overnight in bleach and water solution. To do this:
- Add about ¼ cup of bleach to a bucket of water. Dip the hose into the solution and take care that the solution doesn’t splash over your skin or clothes.
- Allow the hose stand in the solution for about eight hours to soak out any germs, bugs, and debris that might have built up over time.
- After the 8 hour period might have elapsed, remove the hose from the solution and soak it in another bucket that contains water only(for 1 hour). Now connect the hose to a water faucet, open and allow water to run through it, effectively cleaning out the inner parts.
- Allow clean and clear water run through the hose for several minutes to adequately remove any germs and bleach residue. I can’t overemphasize how important it is to rinse the hose with clean water to remove the chemical solution.
*Word of caution*: Do not pour out the chemical solution on your lawn or grass because it will kill plant life. Avoid placing the chemical tub solution in areas where kids or pets play.
Cleaning Old hose with Vinegar
If you aren’t comfortable with using bleach, opt for vinegar. Although vinegar has a much stronger odor, this smell dissipates after rinsing to leave a clean hose product that is odorless and free from germs and bacteria. Here is how to go about using vinegar:
- Use a five to 10-gallon bucket to fill a container with water.
- Then pour out about half a gallon of distilled white vinegar into the container.
- Just as we did for the bleach cleansing process, soak the hose in the vinegar solution for about eight hours.
- After you have soaked the hose in the vinegar solution for eight hours, rinse it with clean water by passing water through it for about 30 minutes.
Vinegar is a food product and also a natural disinfectant, so any leftovers will be safe for consumption, unlike bleach. Make it a habit of wiping the ends of your hose pipe with vinegar weekly.
Hose Maintenance with Essential Oils
Tea tree oil is a type of essential oil that can be used to clean or maintain a hose pipe. To use this, add a few drops of essential oils to a clean cloth before wiping the inside and outside of the hose pipe.
Allow the hose top rest for about 10 minutes before you rinse with water.
This system is great for maintenance only. Follow the bleach and vinegar procedure illustrated above for more thorough cleaning. You can get essential oils from almost any organic or health food stores.