How to Clean a Concrete Patio Without Pressure Washer

Home Inspiration

A clean patio gives your home a fresh update without having to spend a lot of money. You may have delayed this project previously because you thought that you had to buy or rent a pressure washer to make this task happen, but there are other ways of getting this chore done.

Did you know that using a pressure washer can actually harm a concrete surface if used incorrectly? So it is worth it for many reasons to clean a concrete patio yourself. Depending on the size and stains on the patio, sometimes all you need are a little soap and water and maybe some bleach to get the job done.

Concrete Patio

Even if your patio needs a more thorough cleaning it is absolutely possible to restore it to looking good as new with some cleaners from the hardware store and a good scrubbing brush.

Look around your house to see what you have available before you go out and buy new cleaning items. You would be surprised how many household items can help clean a concrete patio. Using these tips and a little elbow grease, your patio can look brand new.

First Things First

Regardless of the cleaning materials or technique you use to clean the concrete, you still need to get rid of all of the debris first. Leaves and dirt and extra natural debris collect over time and tend to congregate in cracks and crevices.

The easiest and most efficient way to get rid of the debris is to use a leaf blower to start. Then for the stubborn pieces that won’t move with the blower, use a broom. If you have weeds growing through the cracks, now is the time to get rid of them before you start scrubbing with cleaner.

Also before you add cleaners to the patio, use the hose to get rid of the top loose layer of dirt so that you aren’t mixing the dirt and cleaner together when you start to scrub.

From here on out, sweep your patio regularly to ensure that new dirt won’t build up over time. This will make it easier to clean the concrete the next time around. Before you start spraying cleaner it is helpful to completely clear the patio of all plants and furniture as even some of the natural cleaners can damage items depending on their material and plants.

Use Common Household Items

If you have been a homeowner for some time, you know the value of common household items such as vinegar, baking soda, and bleach. These items are wonderful for cleaning for so many reasons, including their price and the fact that they can be used both inside the house and outside as well.

baking soda

There are a lot of natural cleaning recipes out there, so it partly depends on how large your patio is or how large the stains are on the patio. If your patio has been cleaned somewhat recently or only has light stains, you can simply use a mixture of vinegar and water and scrub it with a brush.

You can also mix baking soda, dish soap, and water for some of the harder stains. Let this mixture sit for about twenty minutes and then scrub with a brush and spray with a hose.

There are also some helpful cleaners out there such as Oxiclean that can be used for basic concrete patio cleaning if you don’t want to make a mixture or want something that is prepackaged. If you aren’t looking to spend a lot of money or want to use what you have around the house, starting with vinegar or baking soda is the way to go.

Determine the Right Cleaner Based on the Stains

Depending on where your patio is located, you may have different types of stains due to landscape or materials from your house. Determining the right cleaner to use for certain stains is half the battle simply because chemistry works to your advantage and can break down any rust or grease stains.

If it is a patio that is simply used for enjoying the outdoors and doesn’t have a grill, there are step by step instructions for how to clean a basic concrete patio. All you really need is something as simple as OxiClean or vinegar and baking soda, a hose, and a push broom.

If the stains are deeper, bleach can be used as well just be careful how much you use and how long you let it sit on the concrete. A good rule of thumb is to not let any bleach mixture sit for more than 10 minutes.

It is worth it to scrub extra long and hard when using bleach as you don’t want any leftover bleach staining the patio or harming the landscape. Make sure you give the patio a thorough wash with a hose after using a bleach mixture.

Protect It For the Future

Concrete Patio

Once your patio is sparkling, let it dry before moving any furniture back in place. Mold loves to grow on wet surfaces and the last thing you want is for mold to take over when you just worked so hard to get the concrete clean.

Once it is dry, use a concrete sealer to protect it for future cleanings and from the wear and tear of the elements. You will also want to spray down any nearby shrubs or plants with water to make sure there is no residual cleaner leftover that can cause damage to the plants.

Now that you learned the basics of concrete patio cleaning you will remember that this task needs to be done at least once a year. Hopefully next year the task will be even easier because not only do you know the routine now, but you will be motivated to keep it clean throughout the year also so there will be less scrubbing to do during the yearly deep cleaning.