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How to remove stains from block paving

How to remove stains from block paving

How to remove stains from block paving

Driveways, patios and pathways all suffer from stains at some point. From a wine spill on your patio during a summer BBQ to the accumulation of moss, algae and lichen over the winter months, stains can come from many sources.

This guide will walk you through different varieties of stains commonly found on block paving and what you can do to remove them.


4 steps for removing moss from your driveway and block paving

Moss – and other types of plant growth such as algae and lichen – grows naturally on block paving, especially in shaded areas.

Removing moss from your driveway or paved area is a simple job, but before you begin, check your paving manufacturer’s instructions before using any cleaning products. Also, for the best results, choose a dry day to begin removing moss and algae.

  1. Scrape off thick growths using a trowel and sweep them away
  2. Apply a suitable cleaning product with a brush to growth areas – usually bleach or moss or weed killer (use in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions)
  3. Leave for several days
  4. Repeat until the moss has disappeared

Some treatments leave a residue to discourage regrowth, but this might have a limited effect if it’s a very damp or shaded area, as moss and algae grows especially well in those conditions. For extreme moss growth, you can use a power washer or high-pressure hosepipe.


Remove oil stains from block paving in 4 steps

Oil stains on blocked paving are common, particularly on driveways where there is a lot of vehicle traffic.

However, permanent marks can be avoided if you react fast. With these five simple steps, you can effectively remove oil stains from your driveway:

  1. Soak up the oil with a paper towel or cloth - don’t rub the stain, as this can spread it over a wider area
  2. If the stain persists, scrub with a strong detergent using a brush
  3. Leave for the period specified by the cleaning product
  4. Wash the substance away with clean hot water

If you are using detergent or other cleaning product, read the paving manufacturer’s instructions – some strong cleaning products can cause discolouration in concrete and certain paving.

For extremely stubborn stains, an emulsifying degreaser should be used in the same was as a standard detergent – apply to the area, leave it to soak in and wash it away with plenty of clean water.

How to remove rust stains from driveways and paving in 5 steps

Rust stains can be unsightly and are usually caused by metallic objects reacting with oxygen in the presence of moisture.

Eliminating the sources of staining is the first step to preventing further rusting, so remove any piping touching the paving, and remove or protect metal garden furniture.

To get rid of existing rust stains, follow these five steps:

  1. Wet the affected area with water
  2. Test a small area first before adding any cleaning solution
  3. Apply a 10% hydrochloric acid solution with a stiff brush – again, check instructions before applying
  4. Wash off with plenty of clean water
  5. Take care to dispose of run-off accordingly

Household remedies are also effective at removing rust. Apply lemon juice or vinegar to the stained area for five minutes, scrub with a bristle brush and wash off with clean water.

Before using any acid-based cleaning products, we recommend you consult your paving manufacturer’s instructions. Some products are biodegradable, but others might cause contamination in your surrounding garden so make sure you wash the area thoroughly.


Remove paint from driveways and block paving

Removing paint from driveways and block paved areas can be a challenge because the substance tends to be thick.

How you clean it depends on whether it is freshly spilled paint or an older, dried-on stain.

Freshly wet paint

  1. Soak up the paint with paper towels or a cloth
  2. Don’t wipe the paint – this will spread the stain
  3. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and treat the stain with a suitable solvent, such as white spirit
  4. Wash the stain with general detergent
  5. Take care to dispose of the excess run-off

Dried-on paint

  1. Scrape off as much paint as possible
  2. Apply an appropriate paint remover
  3. Thoroughly wash the area once cleaned
  4. Take care to dispose of the excess run-off

Be careful when disposing of paint remover and other solvents as it can contaminate the area. It’s worth contacting the paint manufacturer before starting to clean to see if they have any recommendations.


How to remove tyre marks from block paving

Tyre marks are a pretty common occurrence in driveways, especially if they are regularly trafficked.

Over time, general weathering and wearing of block paving should remove any marks. However, if you want a quicker solution, there are three really easy steps you can take in order to remove them:

  1. Using hot water and a strong detergent, scrub the tyre marks
  2. Don’t apply too much pressure, as this can cause slight loss of pigment in some concrete products
  3. Dispose of the run-off material from cleaning

To remove tyre marks from a driveway even quicker, using a pressure washer can help remove unsightly stains.

Removing food and drink spillages

Some of the most common stains are spillages from food and drinks.

These can be removed with minimal effort and mild solutions to avoid potential damage to your block paving. Follow these four simple steps:

  1. Fill a bucket or bowl with hot, soapy water
  2. Scrub the stain with a brush
  3. If the stain persists, use a path or patio cleaning solution – first consult your paving manufacturer’s instructions
  4. Dispose of the run-off material carefully


Mortar stains

Faint mortar stains can appear on block paving surfaces during installation. They can be removed relatively easily with a stain cleaner.

As this is an acid-based cleaner, please consult your manufacturer’s instructions before beginning these four steps:

  1. Test a small area of your paving with the cleaner
  2. Apply to the mortar-stained area
  3. Scrub with a brush until stain is removed
  4. Wash off with plenty of clean water
  5. Take care to dispose of the run-off responsibly


If you still have questions about the cleaning your block paved areas, contact our technical support team on 0370 411 2233.

We also have helpful guides on cleaning your block paving, as well as using detergents and chemicals to keep your driveways, patios and pathways looking clean.

Find out more about how to clean block paving with Marshalls here

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