How to Clean a Fish Net

Mariah asked: How do I clean gunk from a fish net? I have a little fish net for my aquarium. It’s about a year old, but still in good shape, except that it’s got all kinds of food and other dirt and gunk stuck in the little holes of the net. I’ve tried soaking the net in hot water and running it under a stream of high pressure water, but nothing works.

Cleaning aquarium supplies can be tricky because no soaps or detergents can be used. Fortunately, with a little time and light effort, you can get your fish net back to fully operational.

You Will Need:

  • Soft cloths
  • Old toothbrush
  • Hot water
  • Gloves (optional)

Steps to Clean the Net:

  1. Begin by filling the sink with hot water.
  2. Place the net in the water and allow it to soak for about 10-15 minutes. The heat from the water will help to loosen some of the gunk that has built up on the net.
  3. Next, place your hand inside the net, so that a single layer is resting on your fingers.
  4. Use the old tooth brush to gently scrub away any debris that may be present. If no brush is available, use a soft cloth wrapped around your finger.
  5. Rinse the net under running water while you are scrubbing at the same time. This will allow any loosened particles to quickly be washed away.
  6. Turn the net inside out and repeat on the other side.
  7. Some particles will be pushed through to the other side and you may need to go back and clean the other side again.
  8. Work your way around the net until the entire piece is clean.
  9. Rinse with clean water.
  10. Shake out any remaining water and dry with a soft cloth or allow the net to air dry.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Give your fish net a light cleaning after each use to minimize the amount of build up that occurs.
  • Never use soaps or detergents when cleaning fish supplies. It is difficult to remove them completely and they are deadly to fish.


  1. Jamil says:

    Can I use a brush instead of an old toothbrush?

  2. Melanie says:

    You can use any type of brush that will work well for cleaning your fish net – a dish scrub brush, a nail brush, etc. Old toothbrushes are recommended because the bristles are soft and will prevent any damage to the net fibers. If you use a more stiff brush like a dish scrub brush, just be very gentle when scrubbing the net.
    Also, old toothbrushes are usually boiled to sterilize them before they are used for cleaning. If your fish net is used in your aquarium, you should sterilize whatever brush you use first to prevent any bacteria from contaminating the aquarium. It would be a good idea to boil the brush afterwards as well to prevent any aquarium bacteria from remaining on the brush and transferring to other items (dishes, nails, etc.).

Leave a Comment