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How to clean a patio

How to clean a patio

How to clean a patio

Marshalls’ patio paving will require regular maintenance to keep it looking its best. To remove general dirt and detritus, regular brushing is recommended. If the colour of the paving becomes masked, you can get it back by scrubbing with soap and warm water or by using a power washer.

Follow our step-by-step guides to cleaning a patio with:

  • Soapy water
  • Vinegar
  • A power washer


Quick guide: How do I clean a patio with soapy water?

  1. Mix washing-up liquid with warm water in a bucket
  2. Pour mixture over the affected area
  3. Agitate area with hard bristled brush
  4. Rinse with clean water
  5. Leave for 24 hours
  6. Repeat cleaning process if necessary

What tools do I need?

  • Bucket
  • Hard bristle brush
  • Pressure washer (low setting) or hose pipe

What materials do I need?

  • Warm water
  • Washing-up liquid


In detail: How do I clean a patio with soapy water?

Mix it

Fill a bucket with warm water and mix in some washing-up liquid.

Pour it

Pour the warm soapy water over the affected area.

Get scrubbing

Use a stiff bristled brush to scrub the surface of the paving.

Rinse it

Use a hose pipe or a pressure washer on a low setting to rinse of the soapy residue.

Leave it be

Leave the patio for 24 hours before re-assessing the area.

Repeat the process

If necessary, repeat the process again to ensure the area is fully clean.


Quick guide: How do you clean patio slabs with vinegar?

  1. Move all plants and furniture out of the way
  2. Sweep the area clean and remove weeds
  3. Mix a cleaning solution made of half vinegar, half water
  4. Pour the solution onto your patio
  5. Wait for 20 minutes
  6. Scrub clean with a brush
  7. Mop the area with water
  8. Put back patio furniture

What tools do I need?

  • Heavy duty broom
  • Watering can
  • Weeding tool
  • Bucket

What materials do I need?

  • Vinegar
  • Water


In detail: How do you clean patio slabs with vinegar?

Clear the decks

Take away any plant pots, furniture or ornaments so they don’t get covered in the vinegar water. If you have any unmovable items, cover them with a plastic or tarpaulin sheet.

Sweep up

Sweep the area clean of any dirt or weeds, using a garden brush. Make sure you get right in among the cracks to get rid of everything.

Mixing it up

Mix vinegar with water in equal parts. Depending on how muddy or mouldy your patio is, you might need to use more vinegar than water. Once you’re happy with the consistency, fill a watering can with it.

Pour it on thick

Apply the vinegar water to your patio, making sure it covers the entire surface. Let it soak in for 20 minutes.

Scrub down

The solution will have loosened up more dirt and grime, so use a brush to scrub your patio clean. Make sure you get deep into any cracks between the slabs.

From mop to bottom

Finish by mopping the area. The vinegar should not only have got rid of any spots of dirt on your patio, but effectively killed off any weeds between the patio slabs. Once it’s dried, you can move your patio furniture back.


Quick guide: How do you clean patio slabs with a power washer?

  1. Clear your patio
  2. Sweep the area clean
  3. Connect your power washer hose to the water supply
  4. Turn the tap on
  5. Hose down the patio from one side to the other
  6. Turn off the tap and disconnect the hose
  7. Move your furniture back

What tools do I need?

  • Power washer

What materials do I need?

  • Water


In detail: How do I clean a patio with a power washer?

A clean sweep

Sweep the area with a stiff brush and remove any loose dirt. Move any vulnerable items out of the way.

Set the power washer

Take care to find a setting that will remove the dirt without causing any unintentional damage. We’d recommend a low-pressure setting.

Test the water

Carry out a spraying test on a small area to check the force of the water isn’t too low or high.

Take care while spraying

Don’t direct the power washer directly onto the paving – it could damage the surface, and even remove some of the jointing material.

Make the right moves

Make sure your spraying motion is diagonal across the paving, not parallel to the joints, which could cause further damage. Ideally, a spraying movement should be adopted holding the power lance at a shallow angle, not greater than 30° across the diagonal (i.e. not parallel to joints)


How do I clean a patio in different seasons?

If you’re wondering how often to clean your patio, this will depend on several factors, including the area surrounding your home and what season it is. It’s a good idea to carry out your maintenance in line with changes in the weather to keep your paved area looking its best.

  • In spring, you should clean your patio thoroughly following the winter months, as there may be a build-up of organic growth as well as general dirt and detritus. Spring’s also a good time to check the joints between the paving slabs, which might need re-filling.
  • In summer, it’s likely you’ll be using your patio more as the weather warms up – so clean up any spillages when they occur to minimise the risk of staining.
  • In autumn, the fallen leaves from shrubs and plants can stain your patio if they’re left for long periods of time – so it’s a good idea to regularly sweep your patio clean.
  • In winter, many homeowners use de-icing salts so they can access their property easily. However, these can cause discolouration, so we’d recommend using other de-icing materials.

For more detailed advice about how to clean your patio, including how to remove stubborn stains, click here to download the full Cleaning & Maintenance Guidelines.

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