5 tips for cleaning patios and outdoor entertaining areas
21st December 2017
There’s no way around it.
Your patio is sitting outside all day, every day - just waiting to endure the wind, rain, dust, hail and debris of the worst the weather has to offer.
There’s no use trying to stop the dirt.
It’d be impossible for it to stay squeaky clean forever.
Your parents always had you believe cleaning a patio is a tough, terrible job, so most of us either hire someone to come in and pressure clean the floor, or we drag out the heavy-duty chemicals to spend a day or two scrubbing away at the dirt and grime.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
There are a few simple things you can do to make this job so much easier.
We want to make cleaning your patio a simple, frustration-free exercise to complete once a month without complaints.
We’ve come up with five expert tips to help you clean your patio and keep your outdoor entertaining area fresh while staying (relatively) sane in the process.
#1 Clean your patio floor on a dry day
No matter what material your patio is made out of, you need some regular maintenance to keep your flooring in optimum shape all year round.
Chemicals like bleach or detergents like Ajax dishwashing liquid are commonly used to clean cement or stone flooring and they tend to remove most spots, marks and stains.
You can also purchase specific cement/stone washing mixes from a hardware store like Bunnings. This ChemTech Concrete & Driveway Cleaner is heavy duty but nontoxic and biodegradable - a cost-effective and family-friendly option.
However, you need to make sure you clean the patio floor on a dry day to get maximum performance out of these chemicals and soaps. The chemicals need time to settle - often several hours - so it’s vital to avoid rainy days, allowing you to let the cleaning agents do their stuff without interruption.
Is your patio flooring made of wood?
Check out our article on how to clean decking on a verandah for more helpful info explaining the best ways to treat and clean wooden floors outdoors.
#2 Declutter the patio floor and brush away dry leaves, dirt and weeds
Image source: Pixabay
There’s no point lathering soaps or chemicals onto the pavement if there are leaves, dust and dirt all over the place.
Before cleaning the patio floor, be sure to do these three things:
Pull any weeds from the patio floor (some concrete or stone flooring can be prone to weeds poking through the cracks)
Grab a broom and brush all the leaves, dirt and spare weeds out of the patio
Use a blower to ensure there’s nothing left to mix with chemicals
Leaving this loose debris on the patio floor can cause an inconsistent, patchy look to linger after your chemical clean.
Take this simple precaution and prep your patio floor before starting the cleaning job.
#3 Scrub your patio floor with a stiff brush after using chemicals or soap
After removing leaves, dirt and weeds from the patio and applying a generous amount of chemicals/soap (how much depends on how dirty the floor is) - it’s time to scrub down the patio with a stiff brush.
Just make sure you use a natural-bristle or plastic brush to scrub cement and stone flooring.
The queen of clean - home and garden guru, Martha Stewart - explains metal bristle brushes can cause scratching and staining.
Scrub the whole patio floor down with your natural or plastic bristle brush and then rinse away the dirt and chemicals with a hose.
Your patio floor will be gleaming in no time flat.
#4 Alternatively, use a pressure cleaner to remove dirt, grime and mould
Ah, the lazy man’s method of cleaning the patio.
Or maybe the smart man’s method (especially when the mercury ticks over 30 in the blazing hot sunshine).
Scrubbing the floors with a stiff, natural brush is a thorough way to clean your outdoor area. You’re sure to get the best results this way, but for some, the idea of spending a few hours of your weekend cleaning can seem like a lengthy and exhausting chore.
Most homeowners prefer to use a pressure cleaner to streamline the process and save their energy (we all know how tiring scrubbing can be).
If you don’t have the luxury of a budget to buy one of these timesavers, you need to find yourself a neighbour who’ll give you a lend in return for a couple of free drinks.
Pressure cleaners blast the floor’s surface with water and aggravate the dirt which lies on the paving, allowing you to blast through tricky spots with speed and precision.
This is a fast and super effective method of cleaning your patio floors.
If you can afford it, you can save yourself some time and sweat.
Bunnings sells electric pressure cleaners like the Homelite 1400W 1450psi Pressure Washer for as little as $69, however, these heavy duty washers can cost up to $1,119 depending on your needs.
#5 Clean your aluminium opening roof with soap and water
Cleaning your aluminium opening roof should be as simple as running a hose over your louvres.
Our Eclipse linear opening roof systems are made from high-quality aluminium.
The system is carefully designed to make cleaning as easy as possible. A quick rinse makes the Eclipse patio roof super low maintenance, requiring occasional cleaning or scrubbing only.
Rain can help keep the louvres clean but if you live in a dry area, you’ll need to load a sprayer with diluted soapy water and give the roof a once-over. The pressure will help dislodge any dirt, dust or mould.
If your louvres are looking a little worse for wear, let the soapy solution sink in for about ten minutes and then scrub down with a soft brush before rinsing with a hose.
Aluminium roofing rarely needs cleaning, but if you’d like to keep your louvres looking fresh and new - make sure you give them a quick clean every few months.
Keep your outdoor area looking fresh and clean with these simple steps
Cleaning your patio floor and opening roof system doesn’t have to be such hard yakka.
Regular cleaning and maintenance will help you avoid that exhausting, thankless and seemingly never-ending job.
Remember, there are five simple things to remember when cleaning your patio and freshening up your outdoor entertainment oasis:
Clean the patio on a dry day - you want the chemicals to work without being washed away in a storm
Sweep away any leaves, dirt, dust and weeds before laying down any chemicals - otherwise, you’ll be left with a patchy job
Scrub the cement or stone flooring with natural bristle or plastic brushes only - metal bristles can cause scratching and stains
Use a pressure cleaner to streamline the process - or borrow one from a friendly neighbour
Hose down your aluminium opening roof with soapy water and rinse with a regular garden hose - and consider upgrading to an Eclipse patio roof to make life so much easier
Repeat these steps a couple of times throughout the year, and cleaning the patio becomes a simple, quick and stress-free job.
If you’re in Newcastle, Central Coast or the Hunter Valley, upgrade to an Eclipse opening patio roof to say goodbye to that regular cleaning regime for good!