Green Film Build up in Glass Water Bottle

So I have this Large Water Jug that I fill only water with. And this is the 2nd time there has been a layer of green film that builds up at the bottom of the bottle. I don't have any way of getting to the bottom to clean this.

I wanted to know.

  1. What does this green film consist of?
  2. What Chemicals or methods can I use to remove the film without having to manually scrub the bottle?


ps. not sure if this was the correct place to ask this question.

What seems to be forming in reusable water bottles and water coolers is a biofilm. Since it is a complicated system, after maturation biofilm might be very hard to remove without scrubbing. There is a nice article about cleaning water coolers, which might give you some information.

If you look closer on the Google Scholar search results, you'll find that quite a bit of research has been conducted in the area of sanitation of water coolers and study of their flora. For example, consider the following paper from 1996: Analysis of the Virulence Characteristics of Bacteria Isolated from Bottled, Water Cooler, and Tap Water.

There is a very nice list (Table 1) of different bacteria isolated from water. But I would like to point your attention to following table from the paper:

Quote from methods section listing tested antibiotics:

The natural and first generation antibiotics included: penicillin, ampicillin, erythromycin, kanamycin, streptomycin, tetracycline, chloramphenicol, and sulphonamide. The synthetic and later generation antibiotics included: gentamicin, cefoxitin, cefoperazone, oxacillin, piperacillin, imipenem, ciprofloxacin, and sulphonamideftrimethoprim

The green slime you observe, I think, is a combination of all those bacteria, plus some that were brought after the water was poured into the container. And it seems that all commercial sources that you didn't purify yourself, will have a variety of microorganisms growing. And around 5% of the total bacterial cell mass is resistant to common antibiotics.

How to Clean Old Bottles: 9 Tips and Tricks to Make Them Shine

Who would have ever thought that glass bottles, one of the most common objects we neglect everyday, would essentially be a treasure to some? Well, these are the wise people who thought that there is money in empty bottles, and sometimes, these turn out to be more expensive than the liquids they used to hold!

In the recent decade, old bottles have been fetching some good amount of money from auctions.

Some good empty bottles can fetch up to a couple of hundred dollars. But mint condition bottles and antique bottles like the Remy Martin King Louis XIII can soar up to $8,000. To date, the most expensive bottle ever bought cost more than $200,000. It was an old tequila bottle from Mexico.

So if you think about it, collecting bottles isn’t so bad after all right? Who knows, the bottles you’ve kept in your storage for so long might just cost some good money.

All you have to do is check and clean them if needed. Whether you’re a collector or someone who wants to reuse items for other purposes, consider the following tips on how to clean old glass bottles and restore them.

A million bottles a minute: world's plastic binge ɺs dangerous as climate change'

A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and the number will jump another 20% by 2021, creating an environmental crisis some campaigners predict will be as serious as climate change.

New figures obtained by the Guardian reveal the surge in usage of plastic bottles, more than half a trillion of which will be sold annually by the end of the decade.

The demand, equivalent to about 20,000 bottles being bought every second, is driven by an apparently insatiable desire for bottled water and the spread of a western, urbanised “on the go” culture to China and the Asia Pacific region.

More than 480bn plastic drinking bottles were sold in 2016 across the world, up from about 300bn a decade ago. If placed end to end, they would extend more than halfway to the sun. By 2021 this will increase to 583.3bn, according to the most up-to-date estimates from Euromonitor International’s global packaging trends report.

Most plastic bottles used for soft drinks and water are made from polyethylene terephthalate (Pet), which is highly recyclable. But as their use soars across the globe, efforts to collect and recycle the bottles to keep them from polluting the oceans, are failing to keep up.

Fewer than half of the bottles bought in 2016 were collected for recycling and just 7% of those collected were turned into new bottles. Instead most plastic bottles produced end up in landfill or in the ocean.

Between 5m and 13m tonnes of plastic leaks into the world’s oceans each year to be ingested by sea birds, fish and other organisms, and by 2050 the ocean will contain more plastic by weight than fish, according to research by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Experts warn that some of it is already finding its way into the human food chain.

Scientists at Ghent University in Belgium recently calculated people who eat seafood ingest up to 11,000 tiny pieces of plastic every year. Last August, the results of a study by Plymouth University reported plastic was found in a third of UK-caught fish, including cod, haddock, mackerel and shellfish. Last year, the European Food Safety Authority called for urgent research, citing increasing concern for human health and food safety “given the potential for microplastic pollution in edible tissues of commercial fish”.

Dame Ellen MacArthur, the round the world yachtswoman, now campaigns to promote a circular economy in which plastic bottles are reused, refilled and recycled rather than used once and thrown away.

“Shifting to a real circular economy for plastics is a massive opportunity to close the loop, save billions of dollars, and decouple plastics production from fossil fuel consumption,” she said.

Hugo Tagholm, of the marine conservation and campaigning group Surfers Against Sewage, said the figures were devastating. “The plastic pollution crisis rivals the threat of climate change as it pollutes every natural system and an increasing number of organisms on planet Earth.

“Current science shows that plastics cannot be usefully assimilated into the food chain. Where they are ingested they carry toxins that work their way on to our dinner plates.” Surfers Against Sewage are campaigning for a refundable deposit scheme to be introduced in the UK as a way of encouraging reuse.

Tagholm added: “Whilst the production of throwaway plastics has grown dramatically over the last 20 years, the systems to contain, control, reuse and recycle them just haven’t kept pace.”

In the UK 38.5m plastic bottles are used every day – only just over half make it to recycling, while more than 16m are put into landfill, burnt or leak into the environment and oceans each day.

“Plastic production is set to double in the next 20 years and quadruple by 2050 so the time to act is now,” said Tagholm.

There has been growing concern about the impact of plastics pollution in oceans around the world. Last month scientists found nearly 18 tonnes of plastic on one of the world’s most remote islands, an uninhabited coral atoll in the South Pacific.

Another study of remote Arctic beaches found they were also heavily polluted with plastic, despite small local populations. And earlier this week scientists warned that plastic bottles and other packaging are overrunning some of the UK’s most beautiful beaches and remote coastline, endangering wildlife from basking sharks to puffins.

The majority of plastic bottles used across the globe are for drinking water, , according to Rosemary Downey, head of packaging at Euromonitor and one of the world’s experts in plastic bottle production.

China is responsible for most of the increase in demand. The Chinese public’s consumption of bottled water accounted for nearly a quarter of global demand, she said.

“It is a critical country to understand when examining global sales of plastic Pet bottles, and China’s requirement for plastic bottles continues to expand,” said Downey.

In 2015, consumers in China purchased 68.4bn bottles of water and in 2016 this increased to 73.8bn bottles, up 5.4bn.

A worker sorts plastic bottles at a recycling centre on the outskirts of Wuhan, Hubei province, China. Photograph: Jie Zhao/Corbis/Getty Images

“This increase is being driven by increased urbanisation,” said Downey. “There is a desire for healthy living and there are ongoing concerns about groundwater contamination and the quality of tap water, which all contribute to the increase in bottle water use,” she said. India and Indonesia are also witnessing strong growth.

Plastic bottles are a big part of the huge surge in usage of a material first popularised in the 1940s. Most of the plastic produced since then still exists the petrochemical-based compound takes hundreds of years to decompose.

Major drinks brands produce the greatest numbers of plastic bottles. Coca-Cola produces more than 100bn throwaway plastic bottles every year – or 3,400 a second, according to analysis carried out by Greenpeace after the company refused to publicly disclose its global plastic usage. The top six drinks companies in the world use a combined average of just 6.6% of recycled Pet in their products, according to Greenpeace. A third have no targets to increase their use of recycled plastic and none are aiming to use 100% across their global production.

Plastic drinking bottles could be made out of 100% recycled plastic, known as RPet – and campaigners are pressing big drinks companies to radically increase the amount of recycled plastic in their bottles. But brands are hostile to using RPet for cosmetic reasons because they want their products in shiny, clear plastic, according to Steve Morgan, of Recoup in the UK.

You’ll find them on the beaches, too. Photograph: Barbara Walton/EPA

In evidence to a House of Commons committee, the British Plastics Federation (BPF), a plastics trade body, admitted that making bottles out of 100% recycled plastic used 75% less energy than creating virgin plastic bottles. But the BPF said that brands should not be forced to increase the recycled content of bottles. “The recycled content . can be up to 100%, however this is a decision made by brands based on a variety of factors,” said Philip Law, director general of the BPF.

The industry is also resisting any taxes or charges to reduce demand for single-use plastic bottles – like the 5p charge on plastic bags that is credited with reducing plastic bag use by 80%.

Dame Ellen MacArthur, sailor and long-distance yachtswoman. Photograph: Linda Nylind/The Guardian

Coca Cola said it was still considering requests from Greenpeace to publish its global plastics usage. A spokeswoman said: “Globally, we continue to increase the use of recycled plastic in countries where it is feasible and permitted. We continue to increase the use of RPet in markets where it is feasible and approved for regulatory food-grade use – 44 countries of the more than 200 we operate in.”

She agreed plastic bottles could be made out of 100 percent recycled plastic but there was nowhere near enough high quality food grade plastic available on the scale that was needed to increase the quantity of rPET to that level.

“So if we are to increase the amount of recycled plastic in our bottles even further then a new approach is needed to create a circular economy for plastic bottles,” she said.

Greenpeace said the big six drinks companies had to do more to increase the recycled content of their plastic bottles. “During Greenpeace’s recent expedition exploring plastic pollution on remote Scottish coastlines, we found plastic bottles nearly everywhere we went,” said Louisa Casson, oceans campaigner for Greenpeace.

“It’s clear that the soft drinks industry needs to reduce its plastic footprint.”

Liquid Biohazardous Waste


This includes bulk biological liquids such as culture media, pooled clinical specimen liquids, etc.

Collection & Storage

Vacuum flasks and liquid “pour-off” containers should be charged with disinfectant prior to use to help prevent growth of contamination in the flask during the holding period. Collection vessels need to be labeled with the biohazard label and name of the disinfectant. Non-breakable vessels should be used whenever possible.

Vacuum flasks should be stored in a non-breakable and leak-proof secondary container when not maintained inside a biosafety cabinet (BSC). Vacuum flasks must also be equipped with an overflow flask and/or HEPA filter on the line to protect vacuum lines in the event of a flask malfunction. Flasks should be discharged and cleaned weekly, or when they are half-full, whichever comes first, to prevent overflow and prevent growth of contaminants.

Treatment & Disposal

Treated liquid waste may be disposed of via the lab sink. Use a lab coat, gloves and splash goggles (or safety glasses with a face shield) when discharging waste to the drain. Use care to minimize generating “splash back” and thoroughly rinse the sink following waste discharge.

Liquid waste may also be autoclaved and then disposed of via the sink. NOTE: If you will autoclave your waste, you should not pretreat with disinfectant, or you should instead use only a disinfectant that is safe to autoclave based on information from the manufacturer. Bleach is not safe to autoclave.

Biofilm: The Common Slime That’s Poisoning Your Pets & Family

As pet owners, we’ve all seen and felt that nasty slime that forms in our pets’ food and water dishes.

This slime is called bacterial biofilm, which forms when bacteria attach themselves to your pets’ dishes and release a slimy, gluelike substance that can stick to plastic, stainless steel, ceramics, glass, and many other surfaces.

Biofilm appears in many colors, including red, green, pink, yellow, purple, orange, brown, colorless or black. It also creates a putrefied smell that’s incredibly offensive to pets. You might not be able to detect an odor, but remember that many types of pets can smell 14 times better (or more!) than humans.

Biofilm can cause life-threatening conditions when ingested or inhaled by pets or humans, and can contain:

    (the pink film you see in bowls, shower curtains, and other wet areas)
  • E.coli
  • Candida albicans
  • Chlamydia pneumoniae
  • Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease)
  • Clostridium difficile (the most common cause of human GI infection and a growing epidemic)
  • Clostridium perfringens
  • Helicobacter pylori (causes human stomach ulcers and gastritis)
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • Legionella pneumophila
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Salmonella typhimurium
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis
  • Vibrio cholerae (some strains cause the disease cholera)
  • and many more (including those causing diverse chronic, debilitating human illnesses)

What are the Risks to Humans?

In humans, “…infectious processes in which biofilms have been implicated include common problems such as bacterial vaginosis, urinary tract infections, catheter infections, middle-ear and sinus infections, formation of dental plaque, gingivitis, coating contact lenses, and less common but more lethal processes such as endocarditis, infections in cystic fibrosis, and infections of permanent in-dwelling devices such as joint prostheses and heart valves.”

Biofilm present in the human body:

  • Prevents the full absorption of nutrients across the intestinal wall.
  • Protects disease-causing microorganisms from the immune system.
  • Protects disease-causing microorganisms from antibiotics and antifungals (both herbal and pharmaceutical-grade).
  • Promotes inflammation.
  • Contains heavy metals such as copper, lead, and nickel

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that 60% of all human infections and 80% of refractory infections (unresponsive to medical treatment) are attributable to biofilm colonies.

Common places for biofilm around your home include:

  • Remote controls, cell phones, lamps, door knobs, reading glasses, tools
  • Toilets, showerheads, toothbrushes, and shower curtains
  • Kitchen sink drains and plugs, sponges
  • Cutting boards, silverware, coffee pots, water bottles
  • Toys, rattles, baby bottles, pacifiers
  • Spas and hot tubs
  • Teeth, skin, catheters, sinuses, implants

What are the Risks to Pets?

The biofilm on your pet’s bowls could contain algae, bacteria and fungi that come from stuff your pet licks or eats while out walking or in the yard, in addition to his food, says Joseph Kinnarney, DVM, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association. This isn’t limited to dog and cat dishes–biofilm can form on pet bowls for parrots, rodents, reptiles and any others who rely on a bowl, dish or bottle for food and water.

Periodontal diseases are the number one health problem in small animals. By just two years of age, 70% of cats and 80% of dogs have some form of periodontal diseases.

Bacteria that form biofilm cause dental plaque formation that leads to dental calculus formation, periodontal diseases, dental caries and systemic diseases.

Biofilm bacteria can also cause systemic inflammation, cardiovascular diseases, urinary tract infections and chronic kidney disease in pets (especially in cats).

The fact that we can prevent major health conditions in our pets simply by keeping their bowls and toys clean and sterile is sobering.

It’s a little bit of effort for such a large return!

Whether from our animal’s bowls, or household biofilms in places all over our home, biofilm bacteria are a constant hazard to our health. Imagine your child touching or playing with the pet’s bowl or toys, then putting their fingers in their mouth? GROSS!

Go to the Source! Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Pet’s Bowls & Fountains

A study conducted by National Science Foundation International looked into the absolute grossest places in people’s homes and in the top five nastiest areas were pet’s food and water bowls.

Provide Clean Bowls & Dishes at Every Feeding

First things first: clean the bowls. If you feed your pets kibble, seeds, or other dry forms of food, it’s not sanitary to simply keep refilling the bowl. Using a fresh bowl for each meal is essential. Oils from the food and the pet’s saliva mix to create a particularly gruesome biofilm, in addition to the oil going rancid. One of the many causes of cancer in pets and humans has been linked to rancid oils.

Cleaning Different Types of Bowls and Dishes

Wash food and water bowls in hot, soapy water, or your dishwasher on high heat for even better sterilization. Keep a set of food bowls handy, to help with rotating bowls and ensuring a clean dish for every pet, every day. This goes for pet water fountains as well, which can form biofilm rapidly between cleanings.

IMPORTANT: Use a separate sponge, rag etc when cleaning, avoiding the use of your regular dish/kitchen sponge. You don’t want to wipe biofilm from your pet’s dishes onto yours. Also, if possible, wash pet dishes in a bathroom or other sink, rather than using the kitchen sink, to further protect your food prep areas from cross-contamination.

The following types bowls are highly recommended–clear glass (Pyrex type), or white (Corningware type) bowls. Plastic bowls absorb odors, grease, saliva, and old food particles and are difficult to keep truly clean.

Glass and ceramic-style bowls are especially useful, as you can easily see dirt, slime, sediment, and mold. Be sure not to scrub stainless steel bowls with anything abrasive, as that causes scratches that can allow biofilm to grow. (As pet sitters, we will always wash your pets’ bowls at every visit.)

Also, be sure not to use an abrasive sponge when cleaning stainless steel, plastic, or other easily-scratched materials.

What About Pet Toys? Yup, They’re GROSS, Too!

Pet toys are a particularly nasty source of biofilm and bacteria. All household members should wash their hands after playing with pets and their toys, especially before meals or food preparation.

Hard toys can be cleaned with hot soapy water, rinsed very well with clean, fresh water, disinfected with a mild bleach solution and thoroughly rinsed to remove any residue. Soft toys can be washed with laundry on the highest temperature setting.

Taking a few minutes each day to properly clean and sanitize your pet’s bowls can mean the difference between a healthy pet and a pet who develops chronic and sometimes fatal conditions. And your pets will be happy to eat and drink fresh, clean food and water at every meal.

How to Remove Hard Water Stains From Glass

This article was co-authored by Raymond Chiu. Raymond Chiu is the Director of Operations for, a residential and commercial cleaning service based in New York City that provides home and office cleaning services at affordable prices. He has a Bachelors in Business Administration and Management from Baruch College.

wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 12 testimonials and 100% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status.

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Hard water stains appear as white, hazy spots on glass surfaces. This is due to a build-up of alkaline and other minerals in your water. While these stains are notoriously tough to remove, you can use both liquid and non-liquid cleaners to help get your glass back into sparkling condition. There are also several ways that you can prevent hard water stains from returning once you’ve successfully removed them.

You may have read what’s bad about plastic bags and decided to reduce the amount of disposables you consume, and that’s a great direction to be heading in. But there’s another problem in the plastic-trash minefield that needs tackling — in the U.S., 1,500 plastic water bottles are consumed every second. Here’s why that’s a major problem for humans, the environment, and the animals on our planet.

The Human Impact

Plastic bottles contain Bisphenol A (BPA), the chemical used to make the plastic hard and clear. BPA is an endocrine disruptor which has been proven to be hazardous to human health. It has been strongly linked to a host of health problems including certain types of cancer, neurological difficulties, early puberty in girls, reduced fertility in women, premature labour, and defects in newborn babies – to name a few examples. BPA enters the human body through exposure to plastics such as bottled drinks and cleaning products. It has been found in significant amounts in at-risk groups such as pregnant women’s placentas and growing foetuses. A study conducted last year found that 96% of women in the U.S have BPA in their bodies.

The good news is that you can have your BPA levels measured and make lifestyle changes to lower them, as demonstrated by Jeb Berrier in his film about plastic consumer merchandise, Bag It.

Bottled drinks also contain phthalates, which are commonly used in the U.S. to make plastics such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) more flexible. Phthalates are also endocrine-disrupting chemicals that have been linked to a wide range of developmental and reproductive effects, including reduced sperm count, testicular abnormality and tumors, and gender development issues. The FDA does not regulate phthalates or class them as a health hazard due to the supposedly minute amounts present in plastic bottles. This decicsion does not take into account the significant presence of plastics in the average American citizen’s daily life, the fact that phthalate concentration increases the longer a plastic water bottle is stored, or the fact that a bottled drink that is exposed to heat causes accelerated leaching of harmful plastic chemicals into the drink.

In addition to the negative impacts of BPA and phthalates on human health there are also growing concerns regarding carcinogens and microbial contaminants that have been found in test samples of bottled water.

Bottling plants also cause problems for the humans who live near them. Water extraction surrounding bottling plants involved millions of gallons of water to make the bottles. This often leads to local water shortages that affects nearby residents, especially farmers who need to provide food for the surrounding neighborhoods.

The Animal Impact

Plastic bottle tops are currently not recyclable, and as with plastic bags they often end up at the bottom of the ocean, and in the stomachs of a variety of animal species that mistake them for food. One albatross that was recently found dead on a Hawaiian island had a stomach full of 119 bottle caps.

Marine life falls prey to this problem on a daily basis. A sperm whale was found dead on a North American beach recently with a plastic gallon bottle which had gummed up its small intestine. The animal’s body was full of plastic material including other plastic bottles, bottle caps and plastic bags.

The Environmental Impact

Plastic bottles are made from a petroleum product known as polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and they require huge amounts of fossil fuels to both make and transport them. In the 1970s the U.S. was the world’s largest exporter of oil, but now it is the largest importer. If you fill a plastic bottle with liquid so that it is 25% full, that’s roughly how much oil it took to make the bottle. For a single-use disposable item, that’s a lot.

It’s harder to recycle plastic bottles than you think. Of the mass numbers of plastic bottles consumed throughout the world, most of them are not recycled because only certain types of plastic bottles can be recycled by certain municipalities. They either end up lying stagnant in landfills, leaching dangerous chemicals into the ground, or they infiltrate our streets as litter. They are found on sidewalks, in parks, front yards and rivers, and even if you chop them into tiny pieces they still take more than a human lifetime to decompose.

It gets worse. In the case of bottled water, the plastic-making process requires over two gallons of water for the purification process of every gallon of water.

In the U.S., bottled water and tap water are regulated by different federal agencies. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates bottled water and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates tap water. Therefore, the enforcement and monitoring of water quality for bottled water vs tap water does not add up. Due to strict EPA policies, incidents of tap water contamination have to be reported immediately to U.S. citizens, however there is no such rule for bottled water, despite numerous bottled water recalls taking place over the years.

Who’s to Blame?

Bottled water companies and beverage producers work together to turn huge profits. Manufacturers of bottled water advertise their products as being of higher quality, purer and safer than tap water, despite the fact that tap water is actually held to more stringent quality standards than bottled water. Some brands of bottled water have been found to be tap water in disguise.

Although several scientific studies have been done into the problems of chemicals found in bottled drinks, there have been various campaigns to undermine the results of the research. The American Chemical Council (ACC) still claims that BPA is safe.

So Who’s Doing What?

In Germany bottle recycling is a common-practice and efficient process across the country. Machines or staff members in stores across take used bottles from customers in exchange for cash payments. Recycling rates are therefore consistently high and companies are encouraged to reuse the bottles. Some ‘new’ bottles have indents on them to indicate the number of times they have been reused. Other German towns such as Neustadt an der Weinstrasse prefer to tackle the root of the problem by providing further cash incentives to reduce household waste in the first place.

In 2009 in Australia, the New South Wales town of Bundanoon voted to ban bottled water out of concern for the environment and the health of the local community. Selling or dispensing bottled water within the town precinct became prohibited, and drinking fountains and filtered water dispensers became common features of the town instead.

In 2010 Canada became the first country to declare BPA a toxic substance, with the European Union closely following by banning BPA from baby bottles in 2011. The United States, France, Germany, Denmark and Sweden have taken some steps to limit the use of BPA in products.

In order to reduce litter in the natural wonder earlier this year the Grand Canyon National Park Service approved a plan to halt the sale of bottled water within 30 days. Water stations are available at the park for visitors to refill their own water bottles.

What Can We Do About It?

  • Avoid the need for bottled drinks altogether. You can save resources by drinking from glasses or water fountains whenever possible when you are out.
  • Do the research. Don’t fall for advertising that tells you that bottled water is purer or safer than tap. If you are concerned about your tap water you can obtain a water quality report for your area and buy a water filter if necessary.
  • Invest in a BPA-free reusable bottle. Carry a refillable, BPA-free bottle when you are on the go, and refill it whenever the option arises. This guide looks at some of the options on the market.

But above all, reduce. Think of the whales and albatrosses and buy fewer plastic products in general, particularly when you know that you are unable to recycle them. It will probably have a much larger and positive impact than you think.

Water Fountain Cleaning Guide and Removing White Scale

Cleaning and caring for your water fountains is the most important thing you can do to keep them in working order. Whether your fountain is large or small, indoors or outdoors, you must clean it regularly to remove white scale and algae for it to continue working properly. Below, you will find a general step-by-step guide to cleaning your fountain. Keep in mind that if you have a fountain made out of a material you aren't sure how to care for, refer to your fountain instructions.

How Often Should You Clean Your Fountain?

Fountains should be cleaned once per month or every couple of months, depending on the size, to keep water clear and to keep the pump clean and free of algae or white scale buildup. Clean smaller tabletop fountains at least once per month, as they have less water to dilute algae and white scale. You can probably clean larger wall and floor standing fountains every other month. The most important thing to know is that it doesn’t matter whether you have a garden fountain, a small desktop fountain or a homemade water wall, you should be cleaning your water fountain regularly to ensure that it stays in tip top shape.

To clean your water fountain take the following steps:

  1. Turn the fountain off.
  2. If there are stones in your fountain, take them out and clean them as well.
  3. Once you have access to your pump and water, remove the pump from the fountain. This will need to be cleaned as well (see below for cleaning pumps).
  4. Empty all water from the fountain if you have a wall fountain or large floor fountain, empty water out of the fountain with a shop vac (you can get water out however you wish, this is just the way we have found to work best).
  5. Clean your fountain in the sink or for wall fountains and large fountains, take a bucket of water and a non-abrasive sponge to clean the inside of the pan. We recommend using a mild soap or a product such as CLR on the inside of the pan to remove any buildup. For the outside of the pan, be sure there are no water drops left to sit on the outside of the fountain. For copper, you can always “dust” it with a furniture polish as often as you would like to keep the outside of the fountain looking polished.
  6. Wipe and scrub until you have gotten rid of any algae and/or white scale buildup your fountain may have.
  7. Once the pan is clean try, to rinse out any soap or cleaning product by just wiping with clean rags or cloths. Now you are ready to replace your “clean” pump.

Don’t Forget to Clean the Fountain Pump

Cleaning your pump is very important as this is what makes the fountain tick! Your pump will be the first thing to see buildup because this is what the water is flowing through and where the water is filtered.

  1. Once your pump is removed from your fountain, place your pump in the sink to clean. Remove the back of the pump, most fountain pumps should have a removable face on one side of the pump. This is where the propeller is.
  2. Once removed, take a toothbrush or some other type of brush that will get in the small holes of the pump to clean out any debris. Hard running water over the pump usually will clean most of this out as well.
  3. Place the cover back on and hook your pump back up in your fountain. If you can, it is good to clean out the tubing that connects the pump. This is a little trickier as it is hard to get inside it, but even hard running water through the tube will clean out a lot of build up.

Prevent & Eliminate White Scale Buildup & Algae Growth:

Learn how to remove water calcium deposits, white scale and algae growth from your water fountain. These pesky pollutants can turn your lovely indoor fountain into an unsightly mess. Follow the simple steps below to get solve each of these problems. White scale can be hard to get rid of in water fountains if it is allowed to build up for too long. The best solution is to prevent it from forming altogether. To do this, you can use distilled water in your fountain or use a fountain care product such as Protec Scale and Stain Remover.

Once you have mineral build up on your fountains you can try the following to remove it:

CLR - Calcium Lime Remover - This is something you will find at a home improvement store or a discount store such as Wal-Mart or Target. It is a general kitchen/bathroom cleaner used for removing mineral deposits. Be sure you use a soft, non-abrasive sponge to scrub your fountain.

Vinegar and water may help get rid of some of the deposits as well, you will want to leave this sit on your fountain for awhile to let it work and break down the deposits and then scrub with a non-abrasive sponge.

Algae in your fountain: Algae is going to occur over time in your water fountain because anywhere there is water, algae will grow. The best solution is to clean your fountain regularly as explained above and to use a type of water clarifier and algae preventative. Even though using a fountain care product will slow algae buildup, you will still need to clean your water fountain. Algae buildup is easily removed by following the cleaning instructions above and can be prevented by keeping your pump running all the time.

Additional Fountain Care Resources:

· You can also Contact Us to find our more information.

We look forward to helping with all your water fountains and fountain care needs. Should you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Author: Amber Liddell, Net Health Shops, LLC


The idea of growing plants in environmentally controlled areas has existed since Roman times. The Roman emperor Tiberius ate a cucumber-like vegetable daily. [2] The Roman gardeners used artificial methods (similar to the greenhouse system) of growing to have it available for his table every day of the year. Cucumbers were planted in wheeled carts which were put in the sun daily, then taken inside to keep them warm at night. The cucumbers were stored under frames or in cucumber houses glazed with either oiled cloth known as specularia or with sheets of selenite (a.k.a. lapis specularis), according to the description by Pliny the Elder. [3] [4]

The first description of a heated greenhouse is from the Sanga Yorok, a treatise on husbandry compiled by a royal physician of the Joseon dynasty of Korea during the 1450s, in its chapter on cultivating vegetables during winter. The treatise contains detailed instructions on constructing a greenhouse that is capable of cultivating vegetables, forcing flowers, and ripening fruit within an artificially heated environment, by utilizing ondol, the traditional Korean underfloor heating system, to maintain heat and humidity cob walls to retain heat and semi-transparent oiled hanji windows to permit light penetration for plant growth and provide protection from the outside environment. The Annals of the Joseon Dynasty confirm that greenhouse-like structures incorporating ondol were constructed to provide heat for mandarin orange trees during the winter of 1438. [5]

The concept of greenhouses also appeared in the Netherlands and then England in the 17th century, along with the plants. Some of these early attempts required enormous amounts of work to close up at night or to winterize. There were serious problems with providing adequate and balanced heat in these early greenhouses. The first 'stove' (heated) greenhouse in the UK was completed at Chelsea Physic Garden by 1681. [6] Today, the Netherlands has many of the largest greenhouses in the world, some of them so vast that they are able to produce millions of vegetables every year.

Experimentation with greenhouse design continued during the 17th century in Europe, as technology produced better glass and construction techniques improved. The greenhouse at the Palace of Versailles was an example of their size and elaborateness it was more than 150 metres (490 ft) long, 13 metres (43 ft) wide, and 14 metres (46 ft) high.

The French botanist Charles Lucien Bonaparte is often credited with building the first practical modern greenhouse in Leiden, Holland, during the 1800s to grow medicinal tropical plants. [7] Originally only on the estates of the rich, the growth of the science of botany caused greenhouses to spread to the universities. The French called their first greenhouses orangeries, since they were used to protect orange trees from freezing. As pineapples became popular, pineries, or pineapple pits, were built.

The golden era of the greenhouse was in England during the Victorian era, where the largest glasshouses yet conceived were constructed, as the wealthy upper class and aspiring botanists competed to build the most elaborate buildings. A good example of this trend is the pioneering Kew Gardens. Joseph Paxton, who had experimented with glass and iron in the creation of large greenhouses as the head gardener at Chatsworth, in Derbyshire, working for the Duke of Devonshire, designed and built the Crystal Palace in London, although this was constructed for both horticultural and non-horticultural exhibition.

Other large greenhouses built in the 19th century included the New York Crystal Palace, Munich’s Glaspalast and the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken (1874–1895) for King Leopold II of Belgium.

In Japan, the first greenhouse was built in 1880 by Samuel Cocking, a British merchant who exported herbs.

In the 20th century, the geodesic dome was added to the many types of greenhouses. Notable examples are the Eden Project in Cornwall, The Rodale Institute [8] in Pennsylvania, the Climatron at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Missouri, and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky. [9]

Greenhouse structures adapted in the 1960s when wider sheets of polyethylene (polythene) film became widely available. Hoop houses were made by several companies and were also frequently made by the growers themselves. Constructed of aluminum extrusions, special galvanized steel tubing, or even just lengths of steel or PVC water pipe, construction costs were greatly reduced. This resulted in many more greenhouses being constructed on smaller farms and garden centers. Polyethylene film durability increased greatly when more effective UV-inhibitors were developed and added in the 1970s these extended the usable life of the film from one or two years up to 3 and eventually 4 or more years.

Gutter-connected greenhouses became more prevalent in the 1980s and 1990s. These greenhouses have two or more bays connected by a common wall, or row of support posts. Heating inputs were reduced as the ratio of floor area to exterior wall area was increased substantially. Gutter-connected greenhouses are now commonly used both in production and in situations where plants are grown and sold to the public as well. Gutter-connected greenhouses are commonly covered with structured polycarbonate materials, or a double layer of polyethylene film with air blown between to provide increased heating efficiencies.

The warmer temperature in a greenhouse occurs because incident solar radiation passes through the transparent roof and walls and is absorbed by the floor, earth, and contents, which become warmer. As the structure is not open to the atmosphere, the warmed air cannot escape via convection, so the temperature inside the greenhouse rises. This differs from the earth-oriented theory known as the "greenhouse effect". [10] [11] [12] [13]

Quantitative studies suggest that the effect of infrared radiative cooling is not negligibly small, and may have economic implications in a heated greenhouse. Analysis of issues of near-infrared radiation in a greenhouse with screens of a high coefficient of reflection concluded that installation of such screens reduced heat demand by about 8%, and application of dyes to transparent surfaces was suggested. Composite less-reflective glass, or less effective but cheaper anti-reflective coated simple glass, also produced savings. [14]


Ventilation is one of the most important components in a successful greenhouse. If there is no proper ventilation, greenhouses and their growing plants can become prone to problems. The main purposes of ventilation is to regulate the temperature and humidity to the optimal level, and to ensure movement of air and thus prevent the build-up of plant pathogens (such as Botrytis cinerea) that prefer still air conditions. Ventilation also ensures a supply of fresh air for photosynthesis and plant respiration, and may enable important pollinators to access the greenhouse crop.

Ventilation can be achieved via the use of vents – often controlled automatically via a computer – and recirculation fans.


Heating or electricity is one of the most considerable costs in the operation of greenhouses across the globe, especially in colder climates. The main problem with heating a greenhouse as opposed to a building that has solid opaque walls is the amount of heat lost through the greenhouse covering. Since the coverings need to allow light to filter into the structure, they conversely cannot insulate very well. With traditional plastic greenhouse coverings having an R-value of around 2, a great amount of money is therefore spent to continually replace the heat lost. Most greenhouses, when supplemental heat is needed use natural gas or electric furnaces.

Passive heating methods exist which seek heat using low energy input. Solar energy can be captured from periods of relative abundance (day time/summer), and released to boost the temperature during cooler periods (night time/winter). Waste heat from livestock can also be used to heat greenhouses, e.g., placing a chicken coop inside a greenhouse recovers the heat generated by the chickens, which would otherwise be wasted. [ citation needed ] Some greenhouses also rely on geothermal heating. [15]


Cooling is typically done by opening windows in the greenhouse when it gets too warm for the plants inside it. This can be done manually, or in an automated manner. Window actuators can open windows due to temperature difference or can be opened by electronic controllers. Electronic controllers are often used to monitor the temperature and adjusts the furnace operation to the conditions. This can be as simple as a basic thermostat, but can be more complicated in larger greenhouse operations.


During the day, light enters the greenhouse via the windows and is used by the plants. Some greenhouses are also equipped with grow lights (often LED lights) which are switched on at night to increase the amount of light the plants get, hereby increasing the yield with certain crops. [16]

Carbon dioxide enrichment

The benefits of carbon dioxide enrichment to about 1100 parts per million in greenhouse cultivation to enhance plant growth has been known for nearly 100 years. [17] [18] [19] After the development of equipment for the controlled serial enrichment of carbon dioxide, the technique was established on a broad scale in the Netherlands. [20] Secondary metabolites, e.g., cardiac glycosides in Digitalis lanata, are produced in higher amounts by greenhouse cultivation at enhanced temperature and at enhanced carbon dioxide concentration. [21] Carbon dioxide enrichment can also reduce greenhouse water usage by a significant fraction by mitigating the total air-flow needed to supply adequate carbon for plant growth and thereby reducing the quantity of water lost to evaporation. [22] Commercial greenhouses are now frequently located near appropriate industrial facilities for mutual benefit. For example, Cornerways Nursery in the UK is strategically placed near a major sugar refinery, [23] consuming both waste heat and CO2 from the refinery which would otherwise be vented to atmosphere. The refinery reduces its carbon emissions, whilst the nursery enjoys boosted tomato yields and does not need to provide its own greenhouse heating.

Enrichment only becomes effective where, by Liebig's law, carbon dioxide has become the limiting factor. In a controlled greenhouse, irrigation may be trivial, and soils may be fertile by default. In less-controlled gardens and open fields, rising CO2 levels only increase primary production to the point of soil depletion (assuming no droughts, [24] [25] [26] flooding, [27] or both [28] [29] [30] ), as demonstrated prima facie by CO2 levels continuing to rise. In addition, laboratory experiments, free air carbon enrichment (FACE) test plots, [31] [32] and field measurements provide replicability. [33] [34]

Teaching notes

In a garden greenhouse, visible light passes through the glass and is absorbed by darker surfaces inside. This absorbed energy heats up the materials, also warming the surrounding air. But convection is restricted by the enclosing glass and the inside temperature of the greenhouse rises. This is the main cause of warming in a garden greenhouse.

However, in addition the warm surfaces re-radiate some of the absorbed energy, but at longer wavelengths in the infrared region of the spectrum. Some of this infra-red radiation is absorbed by glass and contributes to the warming of the greenhouse. It is this latter effect that is called the ‘greenhouse effect’. The greenhouse effect in the Earth’s atmosphere is caused by a number of gases that behave in a similar way to glass. They are transparent to visible light, but absorb in part of the infrared spectrum. Some of these gases are listed in the table. It can be seen that carbon dioxide is the most important greenhouse gas because of its relatively high concentration in the atmosphere rather than its intrinsic greenhouse efficiency.

Gas Relative greenhouse efficiency per molecule Concentration in the atmosphere/ppm Relative efficiency x concentration/ppm
Carbon dioxide 1 350 350
Methane 30 1.7 51
Dinitrogen 160 0.31 49.6
Ozone 2,000 0.06 120
CFC 11 (CCI3F) 21,000 0.00026 5.46
CFC 12 (CCI2F2) 25,000 0.00024 6

In part 1, the experiment demonstrates the situation in a greenhouse using a plastic bottle. It also shows the effect of a black surface absorbing the energy from visible light.

In part 2, however, replacing the plastic bottles with open beakers removes the restriction on convection. The difference in temperature rise between the two beakers comes mainly from absorption by the gases of the radiant (infra-red) energy from the lead discs at the bottom of the beakers

Water vapour, carbon dioxide and ozone are the most important of the greenhouse gases, the first two because of their relatively high concentration in the atmosphere rather than because of their intrinsic greenhouse efficiency – indeed water vapour accounts for more than a third of the overall greenhouse effect. However, methane also makes a significant contribution, and it is the increasing proportion of carbon dioxide, and to a lesser extent methane, that seems to be producing the effect of global warming.

Additional information

This is a resource from the Practical Chemistry project, developed by the Nuffield Foundation and the Royal Society of Chemistry. This collection of over 200 practical activities demonstrates a wide range of chemical concepts and processes. Each activity contains comprehensive information for teachers and technicians, including full technical notes and step-by-step procedures. Practical Chemistry activities accompany Practical Physics and Practical Biology.

Watch the video: Glass Water Bottle (November 2021).