Patios take a beating over time. When you think about it, you keep the carpets of your home clean, so why not keep your patio clean as well? Spring is a great opportunity to clean so you’re ready for the summer which is peak patio season. Here’s how to clean a cement patio.
Move furniture, vegetation and other items off the patio. Broom out the surface to remove any build up of debris. Remove anyweeds that may have grown along the edges or between the cracks in the concrete slabs or pavers.
For a lightly soiled patio, you can clean with a cleaner and a brush. You can also use bleach mixed with water. Add 1/8 cup of liquid dish washing 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 items in your or around the house!
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 local Home Depot or Lowes or or most home improvement stores. Follow the guidelines on the machine on how to clean a cement patio. Be careful – always be sure to wear protective eyewear and gloves when using a pressure washer because the water comes out at a high level of pressure. If the paint around your home is likely to be rubbed off or affected by the high pressure wash or the elements being cleaned off of your patio – be sure to cover them with a sheet or cloth.
Once your concrete patio is clean, protect it from future stains by sealing it with a concrete sealant. You can yse a paint roller to apply the sealant. Start from the middle of the patio and push out the sealer out to the edges. Once it’s complete, you’ll have a sparkling clean concrete patio that’s ready for outdoor entertaining and meals!