Two methods to clean your patio without a pressure washer

Following months of high winds, rain and winter dirt, patio slabs and paving will have lost their shine. With the warmer spring weather arriving, it’s time to clean your patio so you can enjoy your al fresco area. But if you don’t have a pressure washer, don’t worry, a paving expert has shared their two solutions to remove dirt, debris and algae using common household products. 

Simply Paving said: “Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need any fancy products to clean a patio without a pressure washer. 

“In fact, one of the most effective patio cleaning products is good old-fashioned washing-up liquid mixed with warm tap water.”

How to clean your patio with washing-up liquid 

What you’ll need: 

Washing-up liquid
Warm water
Hard-bristled brush

1. Squirt a small amount of washing-up liquid into the bucket and fill with warm water, ensuring there are enough soap suds. 

2. Start in the corners of the patio and splash a little water and scrub with the brush. The dirt and debris should start to lift. Simply Paving’s top tip was to scrub diagonally as “this will be gentler on the jointing compound” and less of it will come out during cleaning. 

3. Repeat until the whole patio is covered and clean. You might have to replace the bucket of water if there is a large patio area to clean. 

4. Clean the dirty water away by hosing it down or brushing it off into a drainage point. 

5. Check the joint gaps between the patio slabs, if any of the compound has come out during cleaning, add more to fill in the gaps. 

6. Leave the patio to dry fully then replace the patio furniture and any pots. 

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How to clean your patio with white vinegar 

“In need of an environmentally-friendly, non-toxic and non-chemical patio cleaner? White vinegar can be found in just about any supermarket,” the paving experts said. 

“Tailored to tough cleaning jobs, you’ll want to opt for the white vinegar patio cleaning method if you are freshening up a very dirty patio or removing dirt from high traffic outdoor areas. 

“However, please note that you shouldn’t use this method on limestone pavers as the acid will permanently damage their surface.”

What you need:

White vinegar
Warm water
Hard-bristled brush

1. In a bucket, mix white vinegar and warm water in a 1:1 ratio. For really dirty patio slabs, or areas with stubborn stains, add more vinegar into the solution. 

2. Pour the solution over the patio – you might need several buckets if the area is large – and leave the vinegar to work for 30 minutes to an hour. 

3. Clean the vinegar solution using soapy water. 

Simply Paving recommends cleaning the patio once a year, and a small amount of maintence will “deliver a consistently clean finish all year round”. 

It is advisable to sweep the patio slabs regularly, especially during autumn months as this will prevent leaves building up and potentially discolouring or staining the slabs. 

Patio sealants are another option to keep slabs looking news as it helps prevent weathering and preverse the colour. 

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