How to Clean a Patio: Depending on Surface Type

Homeowners need to know about quick, easy and effective ways of cleaning their patios. They should also keep the surface type in mind so that they choose only safe cleaning materials that won’t harm the surface of their property.

Even the best looking patio can end up looking grubby and grimy after a long winter or even after a windy day with lots of dust. Twigs, leaves, dust and debris can accumulate on the surface. If not cleaned regularly, they can embed in the surface and become harder to clean later on. So thrifty homeowners should make it a point to clean their patios a few times each month.

How to Clean a Patio Correctly

In general, you should avoid using a wire brush since this can damage certain patio materials. Using a wire brush can leave scratches and marks on the patio surface material; hence its use is not advisable.

How to Clean a Patio: Depending on Surface Type

Soap and Water

Good old fashioned soap and water is the way to go for most patios. Soapy water is mild yet effective enough to clean most patio surfaces without ruining them. The soap solution is gentle enough for a wide range of patio materials.

If your patio is not extremely dirty, soap and water can make your patio shiny and squeaky clean.

You will first have to move away from any furniture to not get in the way when you are cleaning. First, make sure that you dust your furniture since these items must be clean for your patio to return to its pristine condition.

Then brush away dust and debris on the patio surface and pull out weeds, if any.

Pour warm water in a bucket and add to it washing up liquid. Mix it nicely so that it becomes foamy and frothy. Pour this solution onto the patio and start cleaning with a brush to remove any stains and dirt that you find on your patio.

Once you are done applying elbow grease, and the stains are gone, you can now pour clean water over the soapy surface. This will help clean up the soap solution. For this rinsing step, you can use the garden hose at low pressure.

Cleaning Dirty Patios

If the patio is so dirty that soap solution alone won’t do, it is time to use tougher cleaning agents like vinegar.

For removing stains on your patio, you may want to use a strong vinegar solution. You may think of using a 50/50 vinegar/water solution. You can pour the vinegar solution over the stained parts of your patio and let it sit for 20 minutes before using a stiff brush to clean up the remaining stains.

You may rinse with pure water once that is done.

Special Cleaning Solution for All Sorts of Patio Materials and Surfaces

If you are not really into DIY and would like to use a solution, especially formulated for cleaning patios, you may want to try out the Simple Green Total Outdoor Cleaner.

The cleaning solution is tested to clean various patio materials safely, including asphalt, bricks, stone, concrete, wicker, plastic, fabric, metal, vinyl, composite and wood. Chances are, your patio is made out of one or more of these listed materials. In that case, the cleaning agent may be suitable for the job.

Not only does this top-rated solution clean out most stains, dirt and grime, it is also effective for driving away annoying algae, moss, mold and mildew that make your patio look bad and are hard to clean.

You can feel good about using this cleaning solution since it is eco-friendly. The solution is safe enough for direct release into streams, lakes and oceans. The EPA has awarded the Safe Choice certification to this product since it meets EPA environmental safety standards.

You just have to mix in the recommended liquid quantity into clean water, pour it out into your patio, let it sit for about 5 minutes and then rinse it off.

The product is free of harmful chemicals, including bleach.

You may use other cleaning materials for your patio. But whatever selection you go for, take care of one thing. Make sure that it is certified safe for natural stones like sandstone, travertine and limestone. These materials are susceptible to harsh chemicals. So before buying any branded patio cleaner, read the label carefully to ensure that it is safe for natural stone or any other material used in your patio.

Besides material, another key aspect to look out for is paint (or any other surface finish). Strong chemicals and cleaning agents may harm the surface finish of your patio, like paint.

But how can you ensure that the cleaning agent is safe for your surface to finish? First, read the label carefully to ensure that it is designed to work for your patio material and finish. Second, test it before using it just to be sure. Apply a minuscule amount of the cleaning agent to a very small inconspicuous point of your patio and see what happens. If, after 20 minutes, there is no adverse effect on the patio surface, then the solution is probably safe.

Pressure Wash

Pressure washing might seem like a good option. But since this is a harsh cleaning method, it might be detrimental to your patio surface.

Certain manufacturers instruct customers to avoid pressure washing since the high pressure can harm the gentle surface.

If the patio is so dirty that a pressure wash is imperative, then you should consult experienced professionals for the job to make sure that nothing goes wrong.

Our Final Thoughts

You can clean your patio using various cleaning solutions if soap water alone won’t work.

Just be careful when buying the solution. Please read the label carefully to ensure that it is compatible with your patio surface.