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Concrete patios can be durable, cost-effective, and easy to maintain. However, dirt, debris and food can cause permanent damage. We can help.

Patios can be stained by many things. Outdoor cement flooring can be stained by dirt, grease, and other contaminants from regular foot traffic. Concrete patios can be exposed to extreme weather conditions and heavy use in the warmer months. Your walkway, cement deck, concrete pavers and other patio features can suffer. However, regular cleaning and maintenance can bring back the beauty of your cement patio, and keep it looking great for many years.

This article will show you how to easily clean concrete patios with or without pressure washers.

How to clean a concrete patio

What you’ll need

  • Leaf blower or broom
  • Mop or sponge
  • Tarp
  • Scrub brush
  • Garden hose
  • Spray bottle or bucket
  • Cleaning solution (see below to see the options)
  • Protective gear includes safety goggles and rubber gloves.

Step 1: Get rid of loose dirt and other debris

Take out any patio furniture, grills or planters. Remove any dirt, leaves, and debris. Protect any plants and landscaping nearby with a tarp.

Step 2: Treat Patio Stains

Water stains, mold and mildew can be removed with a pressure washer or garden hose. Mix 3/4 cup bleach with 1 gallon of water to get the job done. Protective gear such as rubber gloves is recommended. Use a brush to scrub the area. Cleanse the area thoroughly with warm water. Before putting any decorative items or furniture back on the patio, ensure that it is completely dry.

Grease and oil stain: To absorb spillages, sprinkle cornstarch, sawdust or baking soda onto the stain. To make a paste, you can mix some baking soda with water. Let it sit for between 30-60 minutes before you scrub it into the stain. Next, wash the solution off and sweep out any powder.

Concrete is porous. The oil stain might have penetrated the concrete surface if it is very old. Follow the manufacturer’s directions to clean old grease stains off concrete patios.

Rust stain removal: Use white vinegar to clean cement patios. Spray the vinegar directly on the stain, and allow it to sit for no more than an hour to penetrate deeply. Use a stiff-bristle toothbrush to scrub the stain. To avoid unsightly scratches, if the concrete is made to look like stone or has a grain, brush in line with the original surface. Rinse the concrete with water and allow it to dry. Repeat the process if the stain does not improve.

Step 3: Clean Patio Floors

Dish soap and water: This is a great degreaser that can be used to clean concrete. Apply a solution of warm water, a few drops of dish soap, and a clean cloth to the surface. After letting it sit, clean the patio with fresh water. You can repeat the process as many times necessary.

Vinegar and baking soda are natural cleaners that can be used to clean cement patios with rust spots or stubborn charcoal. Combine equal parts vinegar with water and scrub the patio. Rinse the mixture off well. Undiluted vinegar can be used if the stain doesn’t disappear. Use vinegar and baking soda in a power washer only. To minimize irritation, protect your eyes, nose, and hands.

Oxygen bleach: Wear rubber gloves. Sprinkle the solution in a cup over the entire patio. Use a soft-bristle or push broom to scrub it. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes and then rinse off with clean water. Do not mix bleach with any other cleaning agent.

Concrete cleaner/degreaser: They are usually made of concentrated alkaline soap to remove oil. They can be very effective on porous concrete but may not work well with old stains.

Pressure washer: Concrete patios can be cleaned with a pressure washer. They are available for rent or purchase. To determine the best pressure setting, you can test it on a small area to get an idea of the results. You can buy a ready-to-use power washer.

Muriatic acid is used to clean driveways and garage floors that have been stained by oil from cars. Muriatic acid is a powerful chemical that can brighten concrete and remove oil, paint, rust, and mineral stains. This acid can cause severe burns to plants and may even kill grass. Protect yourself from dangerous fumes and contact with the acid by wearing protective gear. For best practices, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Patio Stains Can Be Prevented in the First Place

Concrete sealers are the best way to prevent stains from cement patios. You can apply them yourself with a paint sprayer, or roller if you are up to the task. If you don’t feel up to the challenge, hire a professional.

Every year, clean outdoor concrete floors. It is a good time to inspect your deck for any damage and make repairs before you begin the cleaning process.

To ensure that your concrete patio is clean and not stained, you can test the cleaning solution in a small area. Once you have mastered the technique, wear protective gear and take all precautions to clean the patio.