Your Waterpot Olla will last for years, with a little attention.
If leaves or light rubble fall into the olla, fill the olla with water and as the item floats up, swish it out. If a lot of dirt has accidentally fallen into the olla you can dig it up if it's possible to do so without disturbing the surrounding plants, tilt in on its side and spray the inside with your hose until the dirt washes out. A bit of dirt inside the olla will not affect it's functioning.
Sometimes you may discover a fine or thick matting of roots that has developed around the Olla's surface - the water nourishes the plant, not the surrounding soil and weeds. This can be easily cleaned off by pulling away the roots.
Cleaning your Waterpot olla is possible with a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water if your water is full of minerals. Pour a litre of water and a litre of vinegar in your olla and let it sit for a few hours. Use a scrubbing brush to lightly scrub debris on the outside. First, remove the Waterpot olla from the ground if using a vinegar cleaning!
DO THESE 3 THINGS TO PREPARE YOUR OLLA FOR WINTER IF IN A FROST ZONE
Should you remove your Waterpot olla? No, this is not necessary in most cases, however emptying them of water should be considered an option if winters are severe. Every area is different, so we say error on the side of personal experience and common sense.
1. 14 days BEFORE your last frost, make sure the ollas are empty, no water should be in them.
2. Cover the lid. Some straw and an inverted bucket will do.
3. Pay attention to your particular location. If your area is prone to heavy rains quickly followed by freezing temperatures, we suggest you dig up your ollas for the winter and store them in a dry place. (follow cleaning instructions above)