Garden Advice

How to Clean Landscape Gravel

Landscape gravel is a great substitute for anyone who owns a driveway or a patio pathway. It also blends well with flowers and greenery. Gravel also makes a good alternative to decking if you budget is tight. Aside from these reasons, landscape gravel is a popular choice amongst gardeners as it’s quite easy to clean.

Cleaning garden gravel can be performed efficiently within a few simple steps, with most of the things you’ll need, just lying around the house.

Table of Contents:

Do you:

  • Have garden stone chips that need cleaning
  • Want to learn how to effectively clean garden gravel
  • Need information on what tools are needed to clean your landscape gravel

If so, keep on reading!

How to clean pea gravel

Pea gravel is one of the most popular types of landscape gravel. It’s mostly utilised for setting up paths and walkways. However, whatever you use it for, pea gravel is easy to sep up, affordable and best of all pretty to look at.

Although this type of landscape gravel is low maintenance, there are still cleaning actions you’ll need to take in order to increase its longevity. The method we will go over bellow can be used not only for pea gravel but for most other types as well. So if it’s cleaning of garden stone chips you’re looking for, you’re at the right place. 

To find out more about the cleaning process, keep on reading below.

Supplies you will need

Before you get into the pea gravel cleaning, you will need to have certain supplies at your disposal.

  • An old wheel barrel
  • Geotextile fabric

 Trusty tools

You will need the following tools to aid you in the gravel cleaning process.

  • Shovel
  • A garden hose
  • A drill (with an 8-inch drill bit) 

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 Cleaning the pea gravel

Step 1: Prepare the old wheel barrel

Equip an 8-inch drill bit to your drill and use it to make multiple holes on the bottom of the wheel barrel. Do this until it starts to resemble a spaghetti strainer. Also, don’t forget to drill some holes 2 to 3 inches up both sides of the barrel.

Step 2: Fill the barrel with some gravel

Shovel the dirty gravel into the wheel barrel, until a quarter of it is full. This will help the water drain easier through the garden gravel as you rinse it.

Step 3: Rinse the dirt off the gravel

Begin rinsing the dirt off the gravel, while a second person stirs the gravel back and forth using the shovel. In around 30 seconds all of the dirt and dust will be off the stones.

Step 4: Get the geotextile fabric out

Spread your geotextile fabric on a hard, flat surface. Then, dump out the moist pea gravel over it and wait for the water to drain through the fabric. Remember, the geotextile cloth can be reused multiple times. 

Step 5: Let the gravel dry

Wait for around an hour to an hour and a half for the sun to dry the rocks completely.

Step 6: The gravel is ready to use

Once dry take the gravel off the fabric and use it in whatever way you want.

A few additional tips about garden gravel cleaning

  • Piling your gravel in a pile and then hosing the dirt off it isn’t very efficient.
  • If you spread the washed stones over a larger area, the faster they will dry(for example, spread out about 2 inches thick). 
  • Wear gardening gloves when handling your gardening gravel to protect your hands and keep them clean.
  • Spraying the rocks with weed killer after you clean them can prevent weeds from sprouting in between.


  • Cleaning your landscape gravel will ensure that it lasts longer and also look nicer.
  • Using geotextile fabric will help dry the rocks much faster because of its miniature holes.
  • When starting the cleaning, it’s best if you have someone to give you a helping hand.


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Image source: Shutterstock / Girlgirl

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