A patio is an excellent asset for any property, increasing its aesthetic appeal and market value while providing a wonderful space for entertaining, dining, relaxation, and more. However, harsh weather conditions and constant use will eventually lead to a buildup of dirt and grime, as well as moss and algae growth. This makes knowing how to clean a patio properly a must to maintain its looks as well as preserve its structural integrity. But what is the best way to clean patio slabs? Do you really need a pressure washer to clean the concrete patio? Below we’ll answer these questions and more on guide on how to clean your patio effectively and efficiently. We’ll also throw in a checklist which you can use as a reference for your patio maintenance.
Preparing the Patio for Cleaning
The first part of how to clean the patio is preparation. There are several steps involved in this process, all of which are outlined below.
1. Remove Furniture and Other Objects in the Patio
Before you actually start to clean the concrete patio, you need to remove all outdoor patio furniture like chairs and tables, as well as patio umbrellas and freestanding or movable patio heaters. Put them away in the garage or somewhere where they’ll be safe from damage while not in use.
While clearing your patio, take note of items that you no longer want or are beyond repair. Divide them into piles that you want to keep, give away, or throw into the trash.
2. Pull Out the Weeds
It is common for weeds to grow around your patio, especially along the edges. Naturally, getting rid of these unwanted plants is an essential step of how to clean the patio. In fact, the best way to clean patio slabs involves not only cleaning the weeds growing around the edges but also in the cracks between the slabs. When removing the weeds, be sure that you get the roots as well to prevent them from growing back again.
3. Sweep the Patio
This part of how to clean your patio is perhaps the easiest one. Simply sweep the surface of the patio using a broom to remove loose debris like dirt, leaves, pebbles, and others. You can also start removing loosely stuck debris as you sweep the patio’s surface.
Cleaning the Patio Using Baking Soda and Vinegar
One option to clean the concrete patio would be to use a baking soda and vinegar solution. This method will make patio maintenance easier since you don’t have to spend money on commercial cleaning agents and a pressure washer. You’ll find the instructions on how to do this below.
1. Mix the Solution
Put 1 cup of baking soda in a plastic bucket or a bowl, then slowly add 2 cups of vinegar and carefully mix thoroughly to prevent it from foaming up. Continue mixing the solution until it has a cream-like consistency. You’ll need to increase the number of ingredients used depending on the size of your patio.
2. Apply the Solution
Spread the solution over your concrete patio using a sponge. Be sure to wear rubber gloves to avoid burning your fingers. Let the mixture sit on the surface for at least 30 minutes.
3. Scrub the Surface
After 30 minutes, start scrubbing the surface vigorously using a hard-bristle brush. Again, wear rubber gloves while doing this, especially if you’re holding the brush. If your brush can be attached to a pole, that would be better since you don’t have to get down on your knees to do the scrubbing.
4. Rinse and Dry
Rinse the patio using a garden hose and running water. Afterward, allow the patio to dry completely before returning your patio furniture and other items that you removed earlier.
You might also like: DIY Repair Patio Umbrella Guide
Cleaning the Patio Using Pressure Washer
This method of how to clean your patio requires the use of a pressure washer. Using a pressure washer is the way to go if you are looking for a quick and efficient way to clean the concrete patio. It’s strong enough to wash away all forms of dirt, as well as moss and even algae that are covering your patio. The power generated by this cleaning equipment makes it one of the best ways to clean patio slabs, especially when you compare it to a normal garden hose.
1. Assemble the Pressure Washer
The assembly method will depend on the type of pressure washer that you have, that is whether it’s electric-powered or gas-powered. Refer to the owner’s manual that came along with your pressure washer when you bought it.
In any case, the steps will usually involve connecting the pressure washer to a garden tap, then connecting a hose with a nozzle to the pressure washer. Before you turn the pressure washer on, be sure that the hose is all unrolled and that there are no kinks that can impede water flow. Afterward, plug the pressure washer into the requisite power source and then turn it on.
2. Apply Detergent or Cleaning Solution
Before you start washing your patio with a pressure washer, it is best to sprinkle some powder detergent on the surface of the patio to help remove stains and oils that plain water can’t wash away. If you have a patio or concrete cleaner, follow the instructions on the label regarding how to apply them.
3. Rinse the Patio
After applying the cleaning solution, you can start rinsing the patio’s surface with the pressure washer. One of the best practices about the best way to clean patio slabs is to keep the nozzle at a uniform height as much as possible to ensure uniform cleaning. Also, direct the water away from pots, plants, and other garden accessories surrounding your patio to avoid damaging them.
If you have too much dirt and stain, you will likely need to spend more time during the cleaning process. You may also need to apply more cleaning solution and let it sit to let it for a while so that it can break down oils and stains before rinsing it off. For hard stains, you’re going to have to scrub them off using a hard-bristle brush.
4. Let the Patio Dry
After you’ve rinsed all the detergent and cleaning solution away, let the patio’s surface dry before returning the furniture and accessories that you removed earlier.
While waiting, you can use the time to clean your patio furniture like patio chairs and tables. This is also a good time to do fix broken or damaged items (e.g. DIY patio umbrella repair). Make regular cleaning and repairs of your patio furniture a part of your patio maintenance routine to prolong their service life.
Once the patio surface is dry, you can start returning the items to their places.
Patio Cleaning Checklist
To make things easier, we’ve included here a checklist on how to clean your patio. Save a copy so you have something to refer to on your next patio cleaning schedule.
- Remove all patio furniture, plants, and other accessories.
- Sweep away loose dirt and debris
- Pull out the weeds growing around your patio.
- Choose a cleaning solution like baking soda, patio cleaner, or detergent.
- Apply the cleaning solution on the patio.
- Scrub the patio using a hard-bristle brush or wash it with a pressure washer.
- Rinse with clean water.
- Let the patio dry before returning the items you removed earlier.
Q: How can I clean my patio without a pressure washer?
If you don’t have a pressure washer, you’ll need to clean your patio by manually scrubbing it. You can use a mix of vinegar and baking soda as a cleaning solution, or you can use detergent as well. There are also some patio cleaners which you can use.
Q: What is the best way to clean patio slabs?
The best way on how to clean patio slabs is by manually scrubbing all the dirt and grime off with a hard bristle brush. Although it is true that using a pressure washer can save you time and energy, there’s nothing like giving your patio a good old scrubbing to really remove dirt and even moss or algae.
Q: How do you clean algae off a patio?
To remove algae from your patio, follow the steps below:
- Rinse the patio’s surface with clean water.
- Use a hard-bristle brush and some detergent and vigorously scrub the algae off.
- For algae stains, mix 1 cup of bleach with 1 gallon of water and use this to scrub the affected area.
- Rinse the patio’s surface with clean, fresh water. Be sure to keep up with your patio maintenance to prevent algae growth in the future.
Q: How do you pressure wash a patio?
To use a pressure washer in cleaning your patio, you first need to remove your patio furniture and accessories then sweep the surface with a broom. Afterwards, apply some detergent or cleaning solution then wash the surface with the pressure washer. For more detailed instructions, refer to the steps outlined above.
Q: How do I get green off my patio?
The green stuff on your patio can be moss, lichen, or green algae. Moss and lichen can usually be cleaned off with the use of a pressure washer, although sometimes you may need to scrub them off with a brush. Algae are best dealt with by manually scrubbing them off then cleaning the algae stains with bleach and water solution.
Globo Surf Overview
Patios can help beautify our homes while serving as an extension of our indoor spaces by using them as dining or entertainment area. However, you’ll need to stay on top of your patio maintenance routine if you want to keep your patio looking awesome. As can be seen above, there are different ways to go about on how to clean patio, notably using a pressure washer or by manual scrubbing, with the former working better to clean concrete patio with light to medium dirt while the latter, also considered as the best way to clean patio slabs, is recommended for algae growth and heavily soiled patio surfaces. In any case, knowing how to clean your patio properly is an essential skill you need to develop to preserve your patio’s aesthetic appeal and structural integrity.