How do you Sanitize a Water Hose like a Pro?

The water hose is one of the most important home items. It is very important to keep a hose clean. Not just for your plants, but when the kids stick their mouths on the end to get a fresh drink. Don’t worry, it is very easy. As a homeowner, look out for your home and keep everything up to tip-top shape. Here is a step by step process on how to sanitize a water hose.

How Many Times Should I Clean my Hose

One should sanitize their hose at least twice a year. In the months when it is not being used all sorts of bacteria store up on the hose throughout that period of time. 

Why Should I Clean my Hose?

As mentioned above, your children and dog drink from the hose. To ensure their safety, you should clean the hose to make sure that nobody gets sick. Look at it this way, do you ever use your hose from the fall into the winter months? Be smart as soon as you fetch that dusty hose out of the garage once the gardening season has arrived. Here’s how to clean your hose with the right tools.

What Builds up on My Hose?

Your hose is exposed to a number of different bacteria whether outside or in garage storage. 

  • Harmful bacteria from the soil
  • Mildew
  • Fertilizers and other various lingering contaminants 

Does it Matter What Hose I Buy?

You bet that it matters what hose you buy. Choose the right hose makes a big difference for your children who drink from the hose. It’s better safe than sorry. We recommend the expandable hose since they are easier to manage. They do this in several ways: by being extremely lightweight and thus much simpler to maneuver than traditional hoses. In our opinion, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, especially if you follow the manufacturer’s directions on how to use and maintain your hose.

Nevertheless, the next time you go out to the store, examine all the hoses first. Choose a food-grade plastics hose over a hose made from polyurethane material. Polyurethane is not healthy to inhale fumes. These types of hoses are made out of polyvinyl chloride which has a brass fitting on each end, containing lead.

Hose manufacturers make hose out of food-grade plastic. Food Grade plastic is a safe material when it is kept clean. If your hose has been sitting around for some time, the brass ends build up a lead, thus causing harmful bacteria. To find a food-grade plastic hose, search in the gardening section of a hardware store. 

Rubber Hose vs. Expendable Hose

Garden hoses are more impossible to clean. You’re still going to have clean an expendable hose either way, but just know the difference between the two.

Just Use Bleach

Bleach is the main cleaning resource to use when getting rid of messes from your hose. Simply dip it in a container of bleach and leave the hose in there for a night.


  1. Add 1/4 cup of a bleach to a bucket of water
  2. Place the hose into the bleach solution (Warning: Never splash bleach on your clothes of skin)
  3. Leave the hose to soak in the bleach for 8 hours. 

Why Should I Soak it for 8 Hours?

Soaking the hose in a container of water ensures that any bacteria is killed. Another reason is that it will give the bleached water enough time to get rid of any lingering bugs or debris.

What to do After That?

It is guaranteed that bleach will remove any bacteria that have made a home on the hose line. Once you have soaked the hose, it is time to remove it from the solution. Let it rinse by connecting it to a water faucet. To make sure that all the bleach residue is gone, clean water through it for several minutes. 

What to do with the Bleach

The main reason who some people are against sanitizing their house is bleach residue is the uncertainty when it comes to draining the tub of soaked water. How should one do that you might ask? We have an answer.

What You Should Never Do with Bleach

  • Take the process slowly. There is no need to rush. Anybody who inserts the hose too quickly causes a splash of bleach water. Bleach water is harmful to clothes and skin.
  • When the process for sanitizing the hose is complete, do not (we repeat, do not) pour it onto your lawn! The bleach residue is only going to damage your grass and you don’t want that. 
  • Don’t dump the bleach residue down the drain either. If you end up Pouring the chemical-based solution down the drain, it will damage wildlife in streams and rivers. While this method feels more effective than pouring it outside, it can be a bit troubling due to the chemical makeup of the bleach.
  • Children and animals should not be in the surrounding vicinity when you dump the tub of bleach. And it should not be in an easy reach where pets can easily lick it up.
  • Keep the bleach away from your eyes. One safety tip is that you should wear goggles in this process to keep your eyes safe. 

The Magic of Using Vinegar

Most people are uncomfortable using bleach to clean off their garden hose. Let’s talk about cleaning a house with a vinegar solution. Don’t let the smell turn you off because it gradually dissolves. Vinegar is known to have a strong odor, the smell eventually goes away, leaving an odorless, natural disinfecting product that you can safely use around the vicinity of children. 

Step 1: Fill a 5-10-gallon bucket with water

Step 2: Pour a half of gallon of distilled white vinegar into the bucket of water

Step 3: Soak the hose in the bucket of vinegar for eight hours

Step 4: After that, rinse the hose clean with water for a total of 30 minutes

What to Watch out for with Vinegar

There is not much that you have to watch out for with vinegar, in contrast to washing products with bleach. After the process of soaking the hose in vinegar water, don’t worry if there is any residue left on the hose. Any residue left on the hose is safe for use. Since vinegar is a food product and is also a natural disinfectant, it provides the best as a cleaning resource.

Vinegar is a safer bet over bleach. It’s not as cheap, but it does a better job to sanitize your hose to get rid of dirt and germs. To keep your hose from any more bacteria, just wipe the ends of the hose with a vinegar solution each week. Use a total amount of three tablespoons worth of vinegar for maintenance use. 

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