Patio stones make a wonderful addition to a yard. Used to increase the livability factor of backyard living spaces, patios stones incorporate natural elements which can blend seamlessly with the overall look. Stones generally come in slate, fieldstone and bluestone. Proper cleaning is essential for keeping the stones looking their very best. Sweeping, weeding in between the cracks, power washing and using the right patio stone cleaning products will ensure the longevity of your patio.
Remove everything from the patio. Make sure all potted plants, lawn furniture and grills or off the stones to give you an empty space. Some potted plants will leave circles in the stone, so they will need to be taken off in order to clean underneath.
Sweep patio stones with an outdoor broom. You can find a sturdy outdoor broom at a hardware shop that carries landscaping supplies. Choose a day that isn't windy for sweeping. Bring with you a trash bag for the dirt and the leaves, because leaving them next to the patio will cause the dirt to be tracked in or blown back.
Pull out any weeds or debris in between the stones. Any cracks in the stone give weeds the opportunity to grow. Use a weed killer or pour vinegar on the weeds. In a few hours the acetic acid will burn the weeds. Be sure not to leave their roots behind, because they will just pop up again in a couple of weeks. You may have to spray again to lower the pH of the soil in between the cracks.
Rent a power washer. Power washers can be found at many gardening or hardware stores like Home Depot or Lowe's. Ask an employee about the best power washer to rent for your size of patio.
Tape up any electrical sockets before washing. Remove any fragile items like wind chimes or small pots from the area. Attach the hose to the power washer. Allow the water to run through the power washer.
Turn on the power washer. Spray the stones at a 45-degree angle to ensure that the washer won't kick up surrounding dirt. Wet all of the stones.
Mix the power washer chemicals for cleaning off grime, dirt and algae. Some power washing chemicals come in detergent mix kits. Others are a liquid variety that need to be diluted before use. Products like Liberon Path and Patio Cleaner, Draper 5L Patio Cleaner and Swarfega Patio Cleaner 5L are specially formulated for stone patios.
Add chemicals to the power washer. Use chemicals that are made for the power washer. Be careful not to spray any surrounding vegetation. To produce grime-fight suds, spray the power washer in short blasts.
Rinse the stone patio completely. You do not want the chemicals to dry and harm the stone. Wash off any vegetation or furniture that may have been soaked by the chemicals.
Call around to get quotes for renting a power washer before choosing one place.
Remove any clothing that has got wet from the chemicals. The chemicals can irritate your skin if left on the body.