Cost of living: How to clean a patio while saving money on a pressure washer - expert tips
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As the clocks go back and we nosedive into the frosty winter months, the thought of cleaning your patio is likely buried in the back of your head - somewhere alongside mowing the lawn. However, while temperatures have certainly dipped across the UK, failure to prep your patio slabs ahead of hibernation season could leave you with a mountain of work to do come Spring.
In fact, those who aren’t able to invest in a costly pressure washer are likely to neglect the chore no matter what the thermostat reads. With the help of expert advice, the somewhat laborious task can be transformed into a rewarding effort.
Steven Bell, a seasoned expert at Paving Shopper, spoke to Lancashire Evening Post about the most effective methods for patio cleaning using natural ingredients. By following these simple hacks, it’s possible to remove the build-up of dirt, grime, and moss and leave your patio neat and tidy.
Here’s five expert tips to clean your patio ahead of sunnier weather, whilst saving money on a pressure washer.
How to clean a patio without a pressure washer
1. Baking Soda
According to Bell, mixing Baking soda and water can create a ‘formidable’ and ‘abrasive’ paste, great for tackling tougher stains. “Baking soda helps break down stubborn dirt and grime without damaging the surface,” he says. Onece applied to the surface, scrub with a stiff brush, but make sure not to scrub too hard. Then rinse thoroughly with water and allow it to dry fully. Baking soda can be purchased from most supermarkets for less than £1.
2. Steam Clean
While prices vary, steam cleaners can often be purchased for less than a pressure washer and are an effective way to remove dirt and grime without investing in hasher chemicals. Ensure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and allow the surface to fully dry afterward.
3. White Vinegar
A mixture of white vinegar and water can be particularly effective when it comes to cleaning your patio without a pressure washer. Vinegar’s natural cleaning properties are known for breaking down tough stains and may work just as well on the patio. To create the cleaning solution, mix equal parts of water and vinegar, apply it to the surface, and scrub with a stiff brush. Once rinsed with water, let it dry. Avoid using vinegar-based products on materials such as natural stone or unsealed concrete and perform a patch test on the patio before generously applying, Bell suggests.
4. Patio Cleaner
A specialised patio cleaning solution is recommended against stains that won’t budge. Bell adds: “These cleaners are formulated with specific ingredients designed to target and break down particular types of stains, proving highly effective against even the most stubborn marks.”
Ensure to read the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent surface damage and always wear protective gloves and eyewear to safeguard against skin irritation or eye contact with the solution.
5. Washing-up Liquid
Perhaps the cheapest and most accessible option, washing-up liquid can prove an effective solution to the grime build-up on outside surfaces. Bell said: “Dishwashing liquid and warm water can also be a potent combination. Combine a few drops with warm water, scrub the surface with a stiff brush, rinse, and let it dry.”