Bleaching landscape rocks is a practical method for keeping your landscaping looking clean and neat as long as you know how to do it the right way.
You can safely use a diluted mixture of bleach on landscape rocks by cleaning the rocks thoroughly with a brush or pressure washer, clean the rocks with a solution containing 5 tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water, then let the bleach sit on the rocks for 10 to 20 minutes before rinsing.
Below you’ll find a guide on how to use bleach on landscape rocks to remove algae and other debris. Keep reading to learn more about bleaching landscape rocks and tips to get the best result when you do it.
A diluted bleach solution can be used to bleach landscape rocks. Bleaching landscape rocks can remove any discoloration from algae or dirt.
Bleaching landscape rocks can be performed on either large landscaping boulders or smaller landscape rocks like quartz gravel.
The process of bleaching landscape rocks is a simple one, but it’ll change depending on whether you’re bleaching large landscape rocks or small ones.
For large landscape rocks, you’ll need a stiff bristle brush, a pressure washer (if available), and bleach. You’ll also need access to water and a hose.
To bleach large landscape rocks, perform the following:
- Clean the landscape rocks with a brush. Use a stiff bristle brush to scrub any surface-level dirt from the landscape rocks along with any moss or other debris that might be present. Use a little water to help remove the dirt.
- Pressure wash the rocks. Using a pressure washer on the lowest setting, pressure wash the landscape rocks to remove any residual debris.
- Bleach the rocks. Using a diluted bleach solution of 5 tablespoons bleach per gallon of water, spray the rocks down and scrub them again with the bristle brush. Allow the bleach solution to sit on the rocks for ten minutes.
- Rinse the landscape rocks. Using a garden hose or the pressure washer, rinse the diluted bleach solution from the landscape rocks.
If you are wanting to bleach smaller landscape rocks like large quartz gravel, you’ll need a slightly different setup. Bleaching small landscape rocks requires a five gallon bucket or sink along with the bristle brush and bleach.
To bleach small landscape rocks, perform the following:
- Gather the landscape rocks you want to clean and brush them clean. Use the stiff bristle brush to remove any surface-level dirt from the rocks.
- After the landscape rocks have been scrubbed clean, submerge them in the bleach solution. Place the landscape rocks in the sink or bucket and allow them to remain in the submerged bleach solution overnight.
- Rinse the landscape rocks. After allowing the landscape rocks to bleach, remove them from the bucket or sink and dry them before returning them to the garden.
And there you have it! Being methodical when you clean your landscape rocks will help add that extra spark to your landscaping design and will prevent you from accidentally damaging your rocks.
Here’s a video showing how to bleach rocks:
Bleaching landscape rocks isn’t difficult, but there are a few tricks you can use to make the process easier. Follow these tips for cleaning landscape rocks with bleach:
- Use bleach in a 9:1 ratio. Using one part bleach to nine parts water will result in a diluted bleach solution that is strong enough to have a cleaning and bleaching effect, but not so strong that it will damage your landscape rocks or surrounding garden areas. (source: scripps.com)
- Wear gloves and old clothing. Bleach can irritate skin and eyes and can damage your clothes if it splashes on them, so wear something that you don’t mind getting bleached when you’re cleaning your landscape rocks.
- Avoid plant life. Bleach can potentially kill garden plants as well as wildlife like beneficial insects, so be sure not to get the bleach solution on grass or other areas where plants are present.
- Invest in a pressure washer. If you have a lot of landscape rocks to clean, getting a Pressure Washer (link to Amazon) can take a lot of the backbreaking toil out of keeping the rocks clean of algae and dirt.
Make sure to gather the supplies that you need to bleach your landscape rocks before you get started. Along with gloves, wearing protective eye gear is also a good idea when working with concentrated bleach.
It is not recommended to use bleach on natural stone in the home because bleach can damage stone countertops and indoor surfaces.
However, a diluted bleach solution should not damage your landscaping rocks, especially silica-based stones. However, bleach may gradually dissolve some other rock types over time.
When used in a diluted solution, bleaching landscape rocks is safe for both gardeners and the environment.
While concentrated bleach can be dangerous to both people and the environment if it is not handled properly, in the dilution used for bleaching rocks it isn’t used in high enough concentrations to be harmful.
The best way to ensure safety while using bleach is to follow the instructions on the bleach container and wear appropriate protection.
Bleach should be left on landscaping stones for ten to twenty minutes to give the bleach long enough to kill any present algae or bacteria on the rock’s surface.
Rinsing the bleach solution away from the landscape rocks is an important step in the process of bleaching them. If the bleach solution isn’t rinsed away, it could discolor the landscape rocks.
Bleach is an effective solution for cleaning landscape rocks, but if you’re out of bleach or you want some alternatives, here are some other chemicals you can use to safely clean landscape rocks:
- Algaecide: Commercial Algaecide spray (link to Amazon) can be used on landscape rocks to remove algae and moss.
- White vinegar: White vinegar (link to Amazon) is a common household cleaner that acts as a mild acid and can be used to clean landscape rocks. (source: rockstoneandpebble.com)
If you’re allergic to bleach, these substances can be used in its place. While white vinegar and algaecide might not get rocks as sparkling white as bleach can, they are still effective for cleaning outdoor stone.
It might not be a step that many gardeners consider, but bleaching landscape rocks each season can help keep your garden looking fresh and tidy.
Add bleaching landscape rocks to your garden chores to bring a fresh, clean look to your paths and borders.