How to Guide

How to Clean a Patio and Paving

January 3rd 2024

Regular rainfall can leave your patios covered in a build-up of algae and mould; as well as looking unsightly this can cause a slip hazard so now is the time to tackle it. Get ready to unpack the pressure washer, or grab a bucket and brush, and follow these simple clean up solutions to get your patio slabs looking refreshed.

How to clean a patio without a pressure washer:

If you do not own a jet washer you can still get your paving clean using just a few items that you probably already have at home, along with a bit of elbow grease once you get stuck in. There are a couple of homemade formulas you can make; each requires the same method once the mix is made.

Vinegar mix:

This eco-friendly mix is a great formula if you are concerned with how to clean a patio without chemicals. It uses a ratio of 1:1 white vinegar with water mixed in a bucket. Note - this mix should not be used on limestone paving as it can cause irreparable damage to the stone. If you are unsure what type of stone you have you should test a small, inconspicuous area first.

Washing liquid mix:

Add a generous squirt of washing up liquid (even better if you have an eco version) into a bucket of warm water and agitate until you get a bubbly solution.


  1. Clear away any plant pots or furniture from the area and give it a good sweep to remove loose stones/ debris.
  2. If using the vinegar mix ideally it should be poured on and left for at least half an hour before moving to the next step, and use a watering can for a steady, even application. With the washing-up liquid mix you can pour it on and move on to step 3 straight away. 
  3. Using a stiff-bristled brush scrub away at the slabs in a diagonal motion to help lift the dirt away. Try to scrub more gently where the paving slabs meet to avoid unnecessary damage to the jointing compound. You are likely to need a few refill trips if you have a large patio or paved area to ensure you are using a clean mix.
  4. Once you have finished scrubbing you will need to use fresh, clean water to clear the dirty water away. Aim for the water to flow to a drainage point if you have one. You can use a hose to speed up the process, or re-use your bucket filled with clean water.

How to clean a patio with a pressure washer:

Using a pressure washer is a quick and easy way to clean your patio slabs. You should be able to just use the high-powered blasts of water to remove dirt, however if it has been a long time since the last clean you may need to consider a preliminary vinegar or washing liquid solution first. You can also purchase specialist cleaning solutions that can tackle mould or algae.,


  1. Ensure you clear away any furniture, storage, or plant pots from the area you are cleaning.
  2. Attach your pressure washer to your garden hose, then plug it in.
  3. If using a detergent mix, add it to the appropriate chamber diluted according to the pack instructions.
  4. Start with a low pressure initially, building up if you have concrete paving slabs. If you have natural stone paving, stick with a lower pressure to ensure no damage is made.
  5. Use a sweeping motion to clear away the dirt ensuring you overlap each sweep for a consistent finish.

Regular cleaning will help to prolong the life of your paving and keep it looking unblemished, as well as keeping it safe to walk on. Aim to clean your patios and pathways at least twice a year, after the summer BBQ spills and the winter rainfall, to keep your paving slabs looking like new.

Person using pressure washer to clean green algae from patio slabs

How can HSS Help?

We offer a range of pressure washers and accessories to buy, or you can hire a pressure washer, our ranges include products from big name brands like Karcher and Nilfisk Alto.

For any questions regarding jet washers, get in touch with one of our live chat experts who are happy to help, or contact your local HSS branch.

Image of blog author Cat Burke

About the Author

Cat Burke

Cat is a member of the E-commerce team and is passionate about all things product, from power tools and TVs to cushions and curtains. She enjoys tackling basic DIY tasks at home and has taken on jobs such as stripping wallpaper, painting rooms, and upcycling furniture.

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