Patios take a beating over the years. You keep the floors of you house clean, so keep your patio clean as well. Spring is a good time to clean so you’re ready for peak patio season. Here’s how to clean a cement patio.
Move plants, furniture and other accessories off the patio. Sweep the surface to remove dirt and debris. Remove the weeds that may have grown along the edges or between the cracks in the pavers.
For a lightly soiled patio, you can remove dirt with a cleaner and a stiff brush. You can use bleach mixed with water. Add 1/8 cup of liquid dishwashing detergent to the solution and put into a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the surface, let sit for a few minutes and then scrub with a stiff nylon-bristled brush. Don’t use a metallic brush because it can leave metal bits on the concrete that rust and stain the patio. If you have flowerbeds surrounding your patio, protect them as well. Bleach will harm the plants. Rinse the bleach off with the hose. Oxygen bleach (like OxiClean) is a safer option. Dilute with water and spray on the patio, then rinse off. For tough stains, mix oxygen bleach with water to make a paste the consistency of peanut butter. Apply to stained areas and let sit for an hour. Scrub with a nylon-bristle brush.
You can also make natural, eco-friendly cleaners from ingredients in your kitchen.
Vinegar is the go-to natural cleaner and it works on patios. Mix it equal parts of vinegar and water to clean stains, or use full-strength vinegar on heavily soiled patios. Baking soda is another good natural cleaner. Mix 1/2 cup baking soda to one gallon of water for a gentle cleaning solution. Add 1/8 cup of liquid dish detergent. Spray on patio surface, let sit for 30 minutes, then scrub and rinse.
For heavily stained or mildewed patios, you may need a pressure washer. You can rent one at a tool rental center or home improvement store. Follow the directions on the machine on how to clean a cement patio. Be sure to wear protective eyewear and gloves when using a pressure washer because the water comes out at a high force. Protect your house’s exterior walls and doors from loose debris the pressure washer will remove from the patio surface by covering the walls with plastic sheeting.
Once your patio is clean, protect it from future stains by sealing it with a concrete sealer. Use a paint roller to apply the sealer. Start from the middle of the patio and roll the sealer out to the edges. Once it’s dry, you’ll have a sparkling clean patio that’s ready for outdoor entertaining.