If you are lucky enough to have your own outdoor space around your home or at the top of your garden, you will know that keeping garden patio clean all year round is very much ongoing labour of love.
After all, keeping your patio area clean is not just a case of ensuring that the overall effect looks good. It is also about keeping your patio safe from slip hazards and uneven paving and ensuring that leaves and debris do not cause blockages which can affect the drainage of the patio and the area surrounding it.
The internet is full of how-to guides and satisfying videos which show dirt and debris being blasted away from patio slabs using everything from pressure washers to high-intensity cleaning solutions.
Cleaning your paving: Prepping the area
Before you can get to work on removing the dirt and grime from your paving area, you first need to prepare the area and ensure that you have removed as much loose dirt and fallen leaves as possible.
Using a stiff brush, make your way over the patio a couple of times making sure not to miss any corners. You should also remove the patio furniture and decorative items, and where possible place them far away from the area that you are going to clean.
This also the stage where you need to do as much weed removal as possible – a manual task which requires a combination of pulling the weeds up and removing weeds. Several weed-killing chemicals can be found at your local supermarkets, garden centre and DIY stores like B&Q, Homebase, or Wickes. Follow the step by step guide on the packaging.
The clean: Patio Cleaner
When it comes to the clean itself the best course of action is to start with the least invasive cleaning method and work your way upwards – using a bristle brush and water to rid the patio of as much grime as possible before pulling out the pressure washer.
To make a DIY patio cleaning solution, mix washing up liquid or white vinegar with warm water and pour onto your patio, then scrub with your brush.
TOP TIP: Try a small patch of the patio paving as a starting point, to ensure that the acidic ingredients in your washing up liquid are not damaging to your specific patio material.
Once you have scrubbed at the affected area, use your garden hose to rinse the cleaning solution away with clean water and repeat if necessary.
This is often the stage where homeowners like to use pressure washing, and as a professional cleaning company we can absolutely herald the benefits of a pressure washer in blasting away those loosened bits of dirt and grime on the surface and along the edges of the paving slabs.
Some of our top tips for using a pressure washer safely include:
- Start by directing your pressure washer outwards instead of at something. Do this until you are used to the kickback and feel able to control the device completely.
- Set the nozzle to spray in a fan rather than a single stream jet. This will help minimise damage caused by the high-pressure spray.
- Remember to focus on the joints between paving slabs as well as the slabs themselves – but do not use the pressure for this! Instead, use a hard-bristled brush and water.
- Use your pressure washer regularly to keep on top of the cleanliness of your patio.
Other tips and tricks
If the soapy water is not cutting through the dirt as you might like, consider using bleach – under the ratio of one-part bleach to five parts water. This will provide your patio with that little extra wow which can leave it looking brand new, though it is important to note exactly what the material of your patio paving is and how the bleach reacts with the cleaning of your paving slabs.
Finally, if you are in any kind of doubt about how and when to perform a thorough patio clean, contact your local professional cleaning company for a free quote and expert advice.