Last Updated on January 10, 2023
A pressure washer can be an excellent investment for anyone who wants to clean a lot of outdoor space quickly and effectively. Pressure washing blasts away dirt and grime to make everything from your garden furniture to your decking look as good as new. However, if you’re new to using a pressure washer, you might be wondering how you can use this device to clean your patio safely.
Fortunately, you won’t have to search far for answers. We’re going to help you keep your paving and patio looking great with water, pressure washers, and just a little work.
Today, we’ll be walking you through the simple steps on how to clean a patio with a pressure washer when you want your patio to look fresh and clean, but you also want to make sure to avoid any damage to cement or paving stones.
Should You Pressure Wash a Patio?
A patio is just one of the many things that you can clean with a pressure washer. However, just like with any powerful tool, it’s important to be cautious with the way you use it. Turning your pressure washer up to its maximum strength could end up causing damage to your paving. The key to getting great results with pressure washers on stone is taking your time.
Follow the step by step guide we have here on how to clean a patio with a pressure washer and remember to check the instructions provided by your pressure washer manufacturer before you begin cleaning. The company that made your washer can often advise on how to get rid of dirt and grime safely.
If your patio area is already damaged, or you’ve got significant issues with shifting concrete and sand, then you might need to consider a softer cleaning strategy. Pressure washing is best done with healthy, whole paving slabs.
What You Need For Patio Cleaning
If you’ve assessed your patio area and you think it can withstand you using a pressure washer, the first step is making sure you have all the right equipment. Aside from your pressure washer, make sure you have access to warm water, any patio cleaner substances you want to use, and a hard-bristled brush for scrubbing.
Depending on the current state of your patio, you might also need to invest in some products for removing weeds and killing moss algae before you start pressure cleaning. While a jet from a pressure washer can help to remove weeds from the area, removing excess debris in advance will make the process a lot easier.
Steps on How to Clean Your Patio With a Pressure Washer
Step 1: Preparing Your Patio
Just like if you were cleaning your garden furniture or driveway, the patio needs to be prepared for a good cleaning experience. Use the instructions provided by your pressure washer manufacturer as a guide. Most of the time, you can find some useful tips in the instructions, including which detergent you might want to use. You could also follow the advice of the pavers who helped to build your patio area if you can reach them.
To prep your patio or driveway, search for and remove any weeds or excess plants that you don’t want to get in the way of the pavement or concrete. If you’re struggling to pull weeds up from the roots, use a weed killer and leave it to settle for a while before you try again.
Remove anything from your patio that might get in the way, including excess brushes, stones, and toys that your children might have left in the garden, as well as all of your garden furniture. Cleaning patios is easier when you don’t have obstacles to work around.
By the time you are done, you should have a completely clutter-free space.
Step 2: Manually Clean the Surface First
To improve your chances of getting rid of stains, the first time you spray your patio with the pressure cleaner, use your own elbow grease first. Look around your patio for any signs of stains, moss, and growths that might be difficult to remove. You can scrub these areas with some basic dish soap and warm water. However, you might want to consider special detergent for tough marks.
Sweep your patio with your hard-bristled brush before you begin to pour any water or detergent into the mix. This will help to get rid of any excess debris that might damage the quality of the clean. Once you’re done scrubbing, pour some of your chosen cleaning solution on the pavement or patio surface. Make sure that you pay special attention to dirty joints, difficult stains, and anything dirt that’s particularly hard to remove.
Remember to choose your detergent carefully. If you have a driveway or patio made mainly out of concrete, avoid anything acidic that could harm the stones. If you know what kind of stone your pavers used when making your paving, you can look up the best cleaning solution for that surface.
Step 3: Tackle the Tough Spots
The chances are that the block of paving or patio that you’re using your washer on right now will have some areas that are cleaner than others. Target the water and detergent mixture at the surface marks, using your hard-bristled brush to work away the dirt. The goal here isn’t to remove all the dirt manually, but to make it easier for you to clean the full block with your power washer.
Brush until it seems like most of the dirt has been dislodged from your patio. Then you can begin to use your power washing equipment.
Use your pressure washer according to the instructions provided with the device. You should always be cautious to pressure wash a small amount of paving or stone before you apply your detergent and water to the whole patio. This will make it easier to see straight away if you’re using the wrong pressure washer to clean the wrong material.
Start with a low level of pressure on your water, carefully directing the jet of water to wherever it needs to be on your paving slabs. You can always use multiple rinse levels before you’re done. Take your time washing away dirt, moss, and left over weeds from the slabs. Don’t try and rush through the process by turning the jet up to the full blast.
As you get more comfortable with using your pressure washing machines, you might be able to switch the pressure up to a higher level. Pay attention to what works best for your patio block and driveway over time.
Once you’re happy you’ve removed all the dirt, and covered the entire patio, getting rid of any excess stains, give the full block a good rinse with plain, clean water before you’re done.
Finishing Your Patio Clean
While you’re rinsing the slabs of concrete in your driveway or patio, pay attention to any area where detergent might not have had the right impact. You might need to scrub these stains again to get the best results. You can find plenty of tips online to help you keep annoying stains at bay around your home. Some people tackle difficult patches without using a pressure washer at all.
Remember to get the joints done. The joints between the paving slabs in your patio need to remain in good condition to avoid future damage. Use the hose lance on your pressure washer to get into these gaps, but be careful not to flood them with water. The lance shouldn’t be turned up to a top pressure spray.
After you’re done cleaning the joints with your hose lance, use sand to fill the gaps between your stone sections. This may help to reduce the growth of unwanted weeds. Sand should settle well into most paving surface blocks, and it’s great for removing weeds.
When you think your patio looks almost as good as new, and you’re happy with your rinse, leave the full block to dry out before you go back with your sweeping brush. When you’re done, Sweep away any dried dust or dirt that you may have missed the first time around.
What Is the Best Patio Cleaner to Use With a Pressure Washer?
The products you use for your paving surface will depend on the kind of paving you have.
Some people prefer to use their pressure washer with just warm water, while others explore different detergent and soap options to remove marks. When you’re cleaning your patio regularly, you’ll get an idea of what works best for you. Don’t jump into a pressure wash using just any soap you have lying around.
If you’re using a pressure washer to clean your patio, you’ll need to do some research on the kind of cleaning substances that will work with your device, and what’s safe for the material you’re cleaning. For instance, pressure washing a patio might be easier with a gentle soap.
Search online and see if the manufacturers responsible for your pressure washers have any advice on the kind of substances you can use for cleaning your patio.
The detergent you use should be applied directly to the paving or patio surface, rather than put inside of the pressure washer machine. This will give the substance time to soak into the paving block, and it means that your power washer won’t suffer from exposure to too many bubbles or chemicals.
Tips for Cleaning Your Patio
Done correctly, pressure washing with water can be an excellent way to clean your patio faster, with minimal effort. The key is knowing how to use pressure washers effectively on everything from paving to stone. Remember that going too hard on paving can easily damage the paving block and cause cracks.
To get the best results, point the jet of water from your pressure washer towards the cracks and crevices of the paving stones to clean them first. Tackle a small patch of pavement at a time, making sure you get rid of all the dirt in one section before you move to the next.
Focus extra power from your washer onto the parts of your paving that have the worst stains. You may be able to find a spray nozzle attachment that comes with your machine that delivers better results.
Clean Your Patio Regularly to Keep It Clean
Remember, although cleaning your patio probably isn’t the most exciting thing you’ve ever done, it’s an important way to protect your home exterior. For any furniture and stone outside of the home, it’s important to regularly sweep away dirt, get rid of weeds, and even use patio stone cleaner if necessary.
You may need to search for a professional cleaner to help you get the job done the first time you move into your home if your patio is one without a lot of prior maintenance. Use this guide to know how to clean a patio with a pressure washer and keep your patio clean for longer.
Though pressure washers can be a lot of help, remember that you don’t always need to use your pressure washer. Scrubbing with water and soap, brushing your pavement, and getting rid of the gaps between each block with sand is good maintenance too.
Rebekah is a writer who loves to explore new products and find hacks that make life easier. She has a knack for all things home improvement, health and fitness. So you’ll often find her on Pinterest or browsing Houzz for ideas.
She’s always looking for the next thing to fix up around the house or what gadget might be just right for her lifestyle. Rebekah enjoys exploring new recipes, taking care of her family, and making sure she stays healthy with regular workouts at the gym.