If you are a gardening enthusiast, you know a garden hose is simply indispensable. You will need it to water flower beds, maintain a beautiful lawn, and keep your patio spotless.

Like any other garden equipment, a hose is susceptible to structural damage such as cracking and bursts.

Metal connections on the ends of the hose are also bound to rust. More so since they constantly remain in contact with water.

Although the connectors have a protective coating to keep them from rusting, rugged or consistent use can wear away this protective layer, causing the metal to rust and corrode.

Hosepipe Garden Hose Hose Gardening - RyanMcGuire / Pixabay
Source | RyanMcGuire / Pixabay

Corrosion can lead to frequent leaks and hefty water bills. You may also find it difficult to attach/detach the hose from your faucet.

So, how do you clean a corroded garden hose?

Simply following our comprehensive guide shows you how to go about this in multiple ways.

What Causes Corrosion In Your Garden Hose?

Source| anaterate / Pixabay

There are a few reasons why your garden hose is undergoing corrosion, no matter how hard you try to prevent it. The reasons include:

High Oxygen Levels

Increased oxidation can accelerate corrosion in metals. If your water has higher-than-normal oxygen levels, your garden hose will corrode.

Low pH

The pH refers to the acidity or alkalinity of the water and is measured on a scale of 0 to 14.

The protective layer around your metal hose connectors dissolves if the pH of your water is 8 or lower, leading to corrosion. It also indicates that your water is slightly acidic.


Corrosion can also be accelerated by sand, sediment, or other particles in the water due, which cause wear and tear.

That is why a water filtering system is so helpful. It keeps sediments from getting into the garden hose or other equipment.

Hard Water

Garden Hose Water Spray Nature - Skitterphoto / Pixabay
Source | Skitterphoto / Pixabay

If you reside in a location where the water is ‘hard,’ it is simply rich in hardness, causing minerals such as calcium.

As per scientific studies, excessive corrosion around the hose ends can be caused by high calcium levels.

Exposure and Poor Use

Exposing your garden hose to harsh conditions such as extreme sunlight can also cause it to corrode.

Not cleaning and drying your hose after use or storing it in a wet area could also be responsible.

Different Methods To Remove Corrosion From A Garden Hose

Fortunately, most of the methods mentioned below to remove corrosion require household items that you may already have in your pantry.

Method 1 — Use White Vinegar

Source | birgl / Pixabay

This popular household item contains acetic acid, which is acidic enough to dissolve corrosion from your garden hose. To use white vinegar: 

  • Dip one end of the damaged hose in a medium tub, container, or washbasin. 
  • Pour the undiluted white vinegar into the container and make sure the rusted area of the garden hose is completely submerged into this solution.
  • Determine the amount of time to immerse the corroded part of the hose by measuring the magnitude of the oxidation.
  • Allow a maximum of three hours for the garden hose to soak in the white vinegar solution. You can increase the soak period if your hose is extremely corroded.
  • Once the soaking hour is past, remove the hose from the vinegar solution and clean the corrosion with tough cotton wool.
  • Return the garden hose end to the vinegar solution for another hour if the corrosion persists. Continue this dipping and cleaning process until it clears.
  • Repeat the same steps for the second end as well.
  • Once all corrosion has been cleared off, wipe the hose connectors with a clean cotton cloth after washing the vinegar off.
  • To prevent further corrosion, apply some petroleum jelly on both the outside and inside surfaces of the metal hose connectors, particularly the threading.

Method 2 — Use Baking Soda

Baking soda is a versatile ingredient that can be used in various ways, especially for cleaning or preventing water-based damages. Baking soda and a toothbrush are the only tools you’ll need to complete this process.

  • Pour baking soda into a large container and add some water. Create a concentrated mixture that resembles a thick paste.
  • Apply the potent remedy to the rusted ends of the hose and let it sit for a few hours before brushing it away with a toothbrush.
  • Keep reapplying and brushing away till you reach the desired level or have gotten rid of all corrosion.
  • Again rub some petroleum jelly to prevent further corrosion.

Method 3 — Combine Hydrogen Peroxide and Tartar Cream

The corrosion-fighting effects of cream of tartar are well known. Follow this procedure when combining hydrogen peroxide with cream of tartar:

  • Get yourself some protective gear. If you’re sensitive to the smell of hydrogen peroxide or suffer skin sensitivity to it, you should get a nose mask and some gardening gloves before you start this process.
  • Combine some tablespoons of cream of tartar with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide until the mixture is of consistent thickness.
  • Use a coarse sponge to apply the mixture to the corroded areas of your garden hose.
  • After a few minutes, clean it off. Keep reapplying the mixture till your garden hose is free of corrosion.
  • Apply petroleum-based jelly to prevent further corrosion and couple back the hose.

Method 4 — Use Lemon or Lime

Just as with baking soda, lime and lemon have numerous qualities for household cleaning.

Wear garden gloves if you suffer skin sensitivity to any of these ingredients.

  • Sprinkle some salt on the corroded areas of the garden hose and all over the couplings.
  • Further, apply lime or lemon juice and leave for three hours or more, depending on the level of corrosion you’re dealing with.
  • Scrub the area you’re cleaning of rust with toughened wool. Keep reapplying this solution till the hose is free of corrosion.
  • In some instances, hardened wool may damage the hose. In that case, use lime or lemon skin, which is also effective at cleaning corrosion.
  • Top up with some petroleum jelly for added protection.

Method 5 — Use Salt, Vinegar, and Baking Soda

Source | Monfocus / Pixabay

Vinegar, baking soda, and salt are all good cleaning agents in their own right. But, when combined, they are even more powerful.

  • Put the hose in a large plastic container.
  • Pour some white vinegar into the container until the hose is completely submerged.
  • Add some salt and baking soda to the container. This mixture will get rid of tough corrosion faster than the previous methods.
  • Soak the garden hose in the solution for at least 12 hours, but the longer you keep it in the solution, the more effective it will be.
  • Scrub the garden hose and remove it from the plastic container.
  • The corrosion should be removed at this point.

Method 6 – Use A Tomato Ketchup (Sounds Unbelievable!)

Source | blende12 / Pixabay

If you think ketchup is just made for fries, think twice. You could effectively use them to remove rust.

The vinegar and the acidity of the tomatoes work in tandem to dissolve rust.

  • Apply a thick layer of ketchup to the corroded ends of your hose and let it sit for about half an hour.
  • Rub with a coarse cloth and rinse off.
  • The solution is most likely to work on small spots of rust, not on instances where the entire connector is covered with rust.

How To Prevent Corrosion To A Garden Hose?

The best way to remove corrosion from your garden hose is to prevent it from building up in the first place. Here are some simple ways to go about this:

Regular Cleaning

When it comes to preventing corroded hose ends, regular cleaning can go a long way.

When you are done with the garden hose, make sure to drain excess water before keeping it in its place. Also, remove any filth that may have clung to the surface of the connectors by wiping them clean.

Always store your garden hose in a clean and dry area when not in use and keep it away from direct sunlight.

Apply WD-40

WD-40 is an excellent all-around lubricant, cleaner and powerful rust remover. Apply it to the garden hose ends now and then to prevent rust build-up.

Buy A High-Quality Hose 

Most low-priced garden hoses are likely to ship with coated iron or aluminum connectors that are susceptible to rusting.

Aluminum connectors can also fuse permanently with your faucet and prove difficult to decouple.

Always buy a high-quality hose with brass connectors that won’t rust at all.


While old garden hoses are more susceptible to corrosion, new ones can also get corroded. 

Luckily, you have a handy guide at your disposal to keep your hose well primed and corrosion-free.

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