‘Best’ method to clean your patio slabs without a pressure washer

Gardening tips: How to remove moss on drives and patios

It seems obvious but regular cleaning of paving and patios is essential to maintaining their condition and ensuring they last as long as possible. Moisture and bacteria can cause moss and algae build ups which, while making the garden look tired and unkempt, can also make surfaces very slippery. Cleaning off the moss before it gets out of hand can help to prevent accidents. This also applies to deck surfaces.

While many opt to use pressure washers and chemical patio cleaners, experts at Christies Landscapes shared that households can use products that are readily available at home. 

They said: “Aside from that, they won’t pose a threat to your plants or pets, so it’s a must-have if you want to have clean paving slabs.”

The great alternatives the experts recommend are white vinegar and baking soda. The paving pros said: “When they are mixed with water, they can be a powerful cleaning agent. Also, they’re both safe for your pets and plants.”

Since vinegar is non-toxic and biodegradable, the experts claimed that it is “one of the best ways to clean your paving slabs” for those who don’t want to use a pressure washer to harsh chemicals.

Also, the acidity of the vinegar-water solution will “lift the dirt and grime”, which means that gardeners will only need a brush in cleaning and don’t need to use other equipment which may be complicated to use or expensive.

But since it is acidic, gardeners should try to move plant pots or other furniture away from the area that needs cleaning. There will also be a foul smell after cleaning the slabs, but it will be gone in a few hours.

Baking soda is also “useful” because it is “slightly abrasive”, which is “excellent” for the rough surfaces of paving slabs. 

The experts said: “When it is mixed with water, it can dissolve dirt and grease, and like vinegar, you’ll only need a brush or broom when cleaning.”

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The “effectiveness” of baking soda can also be improved when it is mixed with soap and tap water.

The experts said: “Since baking soda has alkaline properties, it neutralises the minerals in the water, so it magnifies the soap’s cleaning properties.”

What equipment to use

The tools that are needed for this task are quite simple and are readily available in almost all homes. But it depends on the current state of paving slabs which changes the steps that are needed to take to clean them.

So, for the most basic cleaning gardeners will need:

  • A stiff-bristled brush (preferably a big one) or a garden broom
  • A bucket or watering can
  • Warm water

Pressure washers are not recommended when cleaning paving slabs, especially for those who don’t have enough experience in using it because they can be exposed to a “significant risk”. 

Pressure washers can cause serious physical injuries or damage to paving slabs or homes.

How to clean patio slabs

The experts claimed that “there’s only one way to effectively clean your paving slabs” for those who want to do it themselves – manual labour.

Start by decluttering the patio and sweeping it. Then fill a bucket with warm water with a natural product of your choice (either baking soda or white vinegar).

Pour the mixture generously on the stained areas or over the whole patio if all of it needs cleaning.

Start scrubbing by using a broom or brush. For those trying to focus on the affected areas, a brush will be “more effective”.

After gardeners have seen that the dirt has been removed, rinse by using a garden hose or a bucket of water.

Finnish off by letting the paving slabs dry and place the plant boxes or furniture back to their places.

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