With garden weather sneaking up on us, now’s the time to assess your patio. Sadly for patios, they get no break from turbulent and often dismal UK weather – and it can start to show. Naturally, paving stones are magnets to dirt, algae, and all kinds of other unwelcome substances. However, it’s actually pretty easy to get rid of a build-up of grime.
You never truly realise the difference clean paving stones can make to the overall appearance of your garden until you scrub them up – and no, you actually don’t need a pressure washer to do this.
Luckily, very simple products can be used, and you probably already have them at home.
For all of £2, vinegar can trick your friends and neighbours into thinking you’ve had a patio renovation.
If the price sounds too good to be true, the easy method will throw you further.
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All you need is a bucket, some white vinegar, and some water.
Simply Paving advises: “Mix white vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio.
“Dirtier patios with more stubborn stains, however, may need slightly more vinegar in the solution.”
Coat your paving stones in the mixture – you may need a few buckets to do this, and leave it to sit for around 30 minutes to an hour.
After this, grab a brush and some soapy water to clean away the vinegar – you’ll be surprised with the result.
Washing up liquid
If you don’t have any vinegar, or you don’t fancy the smell, washing up liquid will do the trick.
Fill a bucket with warm water and a few squirts of washing up liquid.
Simply Paving advises: “Starting from the corners, splash a little water, grab your brush and scrub diagonally; this will be gentler on the jointing compound and less of it will come out during cleaning.”
Repeat this splashing and scrubbing routine until the whole patio is covered. Once this is complete, wash away the suds and dirty water with a bucket of clean water.
Make sure to check the patio joints afterwards. There’s a chance some of the compounds could have been scrubbed out during the clean – just fill these gaps in again for the ultimate finish.
Another simple product you can pick up from most supermarkets is a large bag of soda crystals, which are said to clean your patio off nicely.
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This should be carried out just before it rains, so make sure to check the weather forecast.
Sprinkle the soda crystals onto the patio, paying special attention to the problem areas, and wait for the rain to turn the substance into a paste.
Let it rest for one to two days, then scrub away the debris with a brush.
If there’s no rain, a watering can or hose will work just as well.
Bleach, the versatile cleaning titan we all love, has capabilities which extend much further than the bathroom and kitchen.
If you don’t think vinegar or washing up liquid are doing the job, bleach is said to be a very effective method to lift green algae – a substance no patio is immune to.
If you’re struggling to remove algae, all you need is some classic household bleach. Ideally not a manufactured product designed to stick to toilets, but a good all-rounder bleach that has the liquidity to spread evenly.
Like the vinegar technique, add an equal amount of bleach to water into a bucket.
Pour it over the patio evenly, keeping away from plants and grass, and leave it to set for a few minutes.
Rinse the patio thoroughly with clean water, and voila, your paving slabs should look algae-free and good as new.