A patio is a popular addition to most homes. It comes with its own set of challenges, one of them being keeping it clean! Fortunately for you, we have compiled a list of tips to help you keep your patio paving slabs clean and its surfaces stain-free.
Outdoor Maintanence and Care:
1. Regularly sweep your patio to remove dirt, dust, and other debris that can accumulate over time. This will help keep your patio looking clean and new.
2. Inspect your patio furniture for any damage or wear and tear, especially to the feet as this can scratch and mark your patio. If any repairs are needed, be sure to take care of them right away to avoid further damage. Also, with painted steel furniture, this will rust over time especially in the joints, so be sure to repaint as necessary to avoid unsightly stains on your patio.
3. In the event that your patio furniture becomes stained, there are a few ways you can remove the stains. For light stains, you can try using washing up liquid and water. For tougher stains, you may need to use a more heavy-duty cleaner such as bleach or vinegar. Be sure to test any cleaners in an inconspicuous area first to make sure they will not damage your furniture.
4. To avoid unsightly mildew or mould growth, be sure to keep your patio furnishings dry by storing them in a covered area when not in use. If possible, also try to keep them out of direct sunlight when not in use as this can contribute to fading or damage over time.
5. Finally, remember to enjoy your patio! It is an extension of your home and should be treated as such. Host gatherings with friends, relax after a long day, or simply enjoy the outdoors in the comfort of your own home.
A Summary of Ways to Keep Your Patio Clean
1. Regularly sweep your patio to remove dirt, debris, and leaves.
2. Inspect your patio for any cracks or damage that could harbour stains, allow weed growth or cause trip hazards.
3. If you have potted plants on your patio, make sure to empty and clean the pots regularly. Keep them raised from the ground if possible with pot stands to avoid water marks.
4. Be mindful of what you track onto your patio – mud, grass, etc. can all leave stains which need cleaning.
5. If you spill something on your patio, act quickly to clean it up before it has a chance to set in.
6. Use a power washer on occasion to remove tough stains or build-up, but be careful of the paving joints as these can be easily damaged by the power of a jet wash.
7. Clean using specialist paving cleaning products such as those shown below. Always test on an inconspicuous area first. Be careful not to use acid based cleaners (including household products such as bleach, lemon juice and vinegar) on stones such as black limestone as this will cause significant bleaching of the stone. Similarly, stone with high iron contact such as some sandstones can exhibit brown rust stains following treatment with bleach or acidic based cleaners.
Strategies to Remove Stains with Household Items
There are a few key strategies you can use to remove stains from your patio with common household items. First, you'll want to identify the type of stain you're dealing with. If it's a greasy or oily stain, you can try using washing up liquid and warm water. Apply the soap directly to the stain and scrub it gently with a brush or cloth. If the stain is particularly stubborn, you can also try using vinegar or baking soda. (Always test on an inconspicuous area first and never use on black limestone).
For tannin stains (like those from coffee or tea or tree sap), mix together equal parts water and bleach and apply it to the affected area. Let it sit for several minutes before scrubbing and rinsing away. If you have a pressure washer, this is also an effective way to remove tannin stains. (Do not use bleach on black limestone. Some sandstone may show rust spots following treatments with bleach as iron in the stone oxidises). A specialist product for organic stains is a paving algae remover cleaner.
Rust stains can be tricky, but there are a few things you can try. First, make a paste out of baking soda and water and apply it to the rust stain. Let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing away with a brush or cloth. If that doesn't work, you can also try using vinegar or lemon juice instead of the baking soda paste. (Do not use on black limestone as it will bleach the stone and some sandstones may show rust marks after treatment). Specialist rust removing products are also an option.
Finally, if you have any tough-to-remove stains that don't seem to respond to any of these treatments, you may need to call in a professional cleaner or speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable sales team on 0800 002 9910.
Sealing your Patio
To ensure ease of maintenance, why not consider sealing your natural stone and concrete paving with one of these specialist products. As impregnator sealers, these penetrate into the stone, filling the tiny capilliaries ane preventing stains from soaking in.
From common dirt and grime to pesky stains, your patio can definitely take a beating. But with these tips, you can keep it looking great all season long. So get out there and enjoy your patio while keeping it in tip-top shape!
Please note, when cleaning your patio, always test on an inconspicuous area first. Some patio cleaning products may bleach stone, especially black limestone and coloured concrete and others such as those containing acid (including vinegar and lemon juice) can cause the natural iron content in natural stone and some concrete to turn a rusty brown colour. We are happy to advise before you make a costly mistake.