How to do patio cleaning on your own (1)

Did you know that learning how to clean your patio can transform your outdoor living space almost instantly? 

No one likes sitting in a dirty area. It’s not only unsightly, but mold and other bacteria can pose a serious health threat. So, how do you clean your patio on your own?

The following guide will provide information on how to properly clean your patio or outdoor living space. 

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Patio Cleaning Basics
  • How to Clean Your Patio Using Various Methods
  • DIY vs. Professional Patio Cleaning
  • Top Patio Cleaning Companies
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Patio Cleaning

Sprucing your patio is a much-needed step to ensure that your outdoor living area is an appealing place to spend time. Following a long winter or a rainy spring, it’s vital to remove any buildups of algae, mold, or dirt. 

The truth is that mold, algae, and other organic stains affect every patio at some point. This is especially true for those who live in cooler or rainy climates. We recommend that you clean your patio at least once per year, preferably in the spring, to remove any accumulated filth. 

Though it may not sound like a fun task, cleaning your patio is a very rewarding DIY project. The truth is that with just a little bit of work and time, you can make your patio look new again. You can go about cleaning your patio in many ways, so keep reading to learn more about each method.

Patio Cleaning Basics

If you want to make the most of your patio, there are some things you should know before starting the task. Taking the time to learn the best patio cleaning strategy will ensure you don’t have to use a lot of elbow grease, and nothing will be damaged during the process. 

The best way to clean a stained or dirty patio will depend on how affected the area is. If your patio is just a bit dirty or dusty, then warm, soapy water will do the trick. However, if your patio has been neglected for years, you may require a more intensive cleaning process. 

Perhaps the best part is that there’s a method for every patio and every person. From cleaning with vinegar or soapy water to specialized patio cleaning solutions and pressure washers – we will explain each method in detail below.

Patio Cleaning Using Soapy Water

If you clean your patio often or live in a region where winters aren’t brutal, then a soapy water solution should do the trick. Begin by tidying up furniture that stays outside. The best option with this is to use a bristle brush to loosen surface debris. You should also spend a few minutes pulling any weeds that you see. 

Add warm water and baking soda or dish soap in a nice-sized bucket. Pour the solution bucket over your patio and begin wiping away the stains with a stiff brush. Once you’re done cleaning, you can rinse the patio with water using a pressure washer on a low setting or the garden hose. 

Patio Cleaning Using Vinegar

Though vinegar is a very environmentally-friendly product, it is tough on stains. So, when your patio has stains that are set in and difficult to remove, use the power of vinegar to get the job done. Vinegar is much gentler than other products, but it’s still very acidic. For this reason, you should remove all potted plants and patio furniture before cleaning. Much like the soapy water solution, use a stiff brush to clear the patio of any stubborn debris. 

To do this, simply make a 50:50 water-to-vinegar solution and apply it directly to your patio. Some people use a watering bucket to achieve more coverage. Either way, allow the vinegar solution to soak for about 20 minutes while using the brush to remove stains. After you’re done, you can mop the area with clean, warm water and then allow it to dry. 

Please note that if your patio is extremely dirty, you may need to increase the amount of vinegar in your solution. 

Patio Cleaning Using Patio Cleaner

Though common household cleaning agents like dish soap and vinegar work well, some prefer to use products made especially for the job. Our personal favorite is Ultima-Plus XP Ultimate Patio Cleaner. However, just be sure to watch the local weather closely, as you do not want to use this cleaner within eight hours of rain. 

The main thing we like about this product is that aside from its powerful cleaning ability, it also guarantees to prevent regrowth for possibly six months. The product can be used on roofs, decking, sheds, fencing, greenhouses, and more. Furthermore, the cleaner is biodegradable and safe for use around kids and pets after the area has dried. 

If you want a more organic-type cleaner, check out Algon Organic Path & Patio Cleaner. Again, your patio will need to be cleaned with the solution when no rain is expected. Simply follow the instructions to make the mix and then apply it to your patio using a paintbrush or soft broom. This cleaner is fantastic because you do not have to rinse or scrub. All you have to do is be patient, and results will appear within a week or so. 

It’s important to note that when buying a patio cleaner, always ensure that it’s compatible with the material used to construct your patio. This is especially true for those who have travertine, limestone, or sandstone patio slabs. Moreover, colored concrete may be adversely affected by acid, so always be sure to read the label carefully! If you are unsure, test the product on a very small area that’s out of sight before using it on the entire patio.

Patio Cleaning Using a Pressure Washer

Pressure washing is generally a very effective and easy way to clean your patio. The only thing you must be mindful of is that not all suppliers recommend this method for their pavers. Again, if you’re unsure, test the method in an inconspicuous spot first. 

This method is easy and just requires that you sweep and clear the surface before beginning. Start with the machine at a lower setting and carefully increase the pressure as needed. Be sure to avoid high pressure on any areas where the paving is chipped. You can also use a fan setting or low angle if available. Clean by section, and do not allow the pressure to concentrate in one area more than others. 

Patio Cleaning Using Baking Soda

Finally, if you want to clean your patio using an eco-friendly method but don’t have vinegar, try baking soda instead. This method is simple as you combine one cup of baking soda with one gallon of water. You then allow the solution to sit on the patio for roughly 30 minutes or longer if the stains are tough. Then, simply rinse the patio with clean water, brushing away any stubborn debris. 

This method works great for patios that have many organic stains, such as dog urine or barbecue sauce. Though baking soda works great for organic stains, it’s not as effective for mold or algae removal.

DIY vs. Professional Patio Cleaning

Though patio cleaning is one of the easier home maintenance tasks, it still requires specialized tools and equipment. So, is it better to do patio cleaning on your own or hire a professional?

For those who don’t mind putting in some effort and investing in cleaning supplies or equipment, then a DIY project may be perfect for you. However, if you have limited space or time, it may be best to just hire a professional patio cleaning company. 

The only thing to remember is that not all patio cleaning companies are created equal. Before choosing the one that’s right for you, take time to learn about their methods and the products they use. The truth is that some professional patio cleaners only offer pressure washing services. Though pressure washing is highly effective, it is an abrasive cleaning technique. 

Pressure washing may not be the best option if your patio pavers are chipped or made from specific materials. In this case, finding a professional patio cleaning company that uses a soft wash is crucial. This cleaning method uses lower water pressure combined with specialized cleaning agents that are 100 percent safe and biodegradable. 

Top Patio Cleaning Companies

If you choose not to do patio cleaning on your own, consider hiring a professional patio cleaning company. We’ve conducted hours of research, and here are our favorite providers:

Ned Stevens utilizes a biodegradable soft wash solution that features a 100 percent kill rate on bacteria. This method of patio cleaning is less damaging and more effective than traditional pressure washing. 

Brite Solutions Pressure Washing is a leader in commercial and residential pressure washing services. They focus on using high-pressure water alone to clean the exterior of your building.

Men In Kilts are leaders in exterior home and business cleaning services. And yes, they actually show up wearing kilts! This company uses a mix of different methods, including pressure washing, soft washing with cleaning agents, and more.

Patio Cleaning FAQs

How Do You Clean Your Patio Without a Pressure Washer?

There are several methods that we discussed above that serve as excellent alternatives for pressure washing. For some people, a warm soapy solution will be all that’s needed. And if you’re unsure of your needs, soapy water is always a great starting place. 

Most people have vinegar or baking soda in their pantries. So, if you try soapy water and the method isn’t effective, this could serve as your next step. Just be sure to invest in a good stiff brush to help remove stubborn stains. If you’re worried about the smell of vinegar, don’t! The smell will wash away when you rinse the patio with water. 

A professional patio cleaning company is the way to go when in doubt. These experts are highly-trained in the correct methods for different materials. So, when you hire pros, you never have to worry about damage to your patio. 

How Do You Remove Green Algae and Clean Your Patio With Bleach?

If you’ve heard that bleach is required to remove green algae, then you’ve heard correctly!

In fact, bleach is often a simple way of solving what looks like a huge problem. Patios that have turned green are unsightly, but all it takes most of the time to wash them away is a small amount of bleach. The key here is to avoid any bleach designed to stick to a toilet bowl. You want the product to disperse evenly across your patio; bleach that’s made to stick will gather in certain spots. 

When using bleach to clean your patio, be sure to add equal amounts of bleach and water to a bucket. Then, apply it evenly around your patio without getting it on the grass or surrounding plants. If this happens, rinse with clean water immediately. 

The bleach solution will need a short time to soak and may require a repeat treatment if you have stubborn algae. 

How Do You Prevent Algae From Growing On The Patio?

If you think you’re losing the battle against the algae growing on your patio, you may need to revamp your cleaning strategy. Though you do not need to use a patio cleaner every time, it’s important to regularly sweep away dead leaves and dirt with a stiff broom. 

Algae feed on decomposing organic matter, so keeping your patio free of debris will prevent the growth of algae. Once you’ve removed the debris, you can choose to apply a slow-acting cleaning solution, as we discussed above, which provides effortless results. Not only do these products clean your patio, but they also prevent regrowth for up to six months. 

Can Bleach Damage Patio Slabs?

One of the reasons bleach is such an effective cleaning agent is that it’s harsh. Hence, you should only use this product as a last resort. The truth is that bleach is known to damage certain types of slaps, such as colored concrete and block pavers. When used repetitively, bleach will fade the slab color. Not to mention, bleach requires great care around grass and plants because it can “shock” and kill plant life. 

How Can I Deep Clean My Patio Slabs?

Though you can clean patio slabs with the help of a patio cleaning solution, the best method is often soft wash. This process combines the power of a biodegradable cleaning solution with a softer stream of water. Though most say that pressure washing is the best method, it’s vital to note that a soft wash is much more effective and less damaging to our property. If you decide to pressure wash your patio on your own, just be careful with the water pressure, and don’t focus on one spot for too long!