What Do I Use to Clean & Pressure Wash My Patio?

Updated November 21, 2016

The inexperienced homeowner may find outdoor patio cleaning and pressure washing a daunting task. Renting and practicing with a pressure washing machine helps homeowners remove patio dirt and grime without hiring a professional clean time.


The proper way to clean an outdoor patio varies somewhat based on the patio's material. Common outdoor patio materials include brick, stone and concrete.

Pressure Washing

Pressure washing involves using a spray of water and cleaning solution from a high-pressure machine to clean away tough dirt and grime. Pressure washing is especially effective at removing moss growth, a common problem for many patios. Pressure washers can be rented at home-improvement stores. Using a pressure washer may require some practice.

Cleaning Brick

This Old House recommends pressure washing to properly clean a brick patio. Mix together 1 part chlorine bleach to 10 parts of water. This bleach solution should effectively clean off moss and mould, as well as other stubborn stains.

Cleaning Stone

Natural stone patios respond better to daily maintenance rather than infrequent power washing. In fact, for many stone surfaces, excessive water may discolour the surface of the patio. Sweep frequently and clean with a natural stone cleaner. Place mats over high-traffic areas and under metal furniture.

Cleaning Concrete

Concrete patios often come clean with pressure washing. If tough stains remain following pressure washing, mix together a solution of warm water and liquid dish detergent. Use a push broom to scrub the solution over any remaining stains.

Tips and Warnings

Homeowners should keep in mind to always wear protective eyewear when pressure washing, as the cleaning solutions may splash into the eyes. When cleaning natural stone, avoid using lemon- or vinegar-based cleaning products because their acidity may etch the surface. Concrete and brick patios respond well to sealing, which make the surfaces easier to clean.

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