‘Easiest’ and ‘most effective’ method to clean stained patios

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Sam Williams, a DIY expert at SGS Engineering, has shared the “easiest” and most “effective” ways to clean paving slabs using just “household essentials”.

The expert said: “You don’t need any fancy products to clean a patio and one of the most effective cleaning hacks is just using washing up liquid and warm water.

“All you have to do is drop a tablespoon of washing up liquid in a bucket of warm water to make a good soapy solution, pour it over the patio and then scrub away with a hard brush.”

Sam recommended scrubbing diagonally as this is less likely to cause any damage to the stone.

If you do happen to have any stubborn stains, white vinegar is great because of its acidic content, although avoid this on limestone paving slabs.

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The DIY pro said: “Combine the water and white vinegar in a bucket in a 1:1 ratio and pour the solution over your patio and leave it to work for 30 minutes to an hour.

“Rinse away with your hosepipe. Alternatively, baking soda is another great option if you don’t have any vinegar to hand.

“This technique works particularly well on patios with BBQ fat stains. However, it will only have limited effectiveness against algae and mould stains.”

A pressure washer can be used when cleaning patios, especially if you want the job done quickly.

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However, the powerful streams of water can cause damage if not done carefully, so Sam recommended other methods before using a pressure washer.

If you do still want to use a pressure washer, the expert advised moving furniture out of the way first before starting in the top corner of the patio.

Hold the device at a 30-degree angle and spray diagonally across the patio, holding it quite far back to avoid damage to the slabs.

Sam continued: “One benefit of choosing a patio over decking is that you should only need to clean it once a year. However, with a little upkeep, you can maintain a consistently clean appearance all year long.

“One good piece of advice is to remember to regularly brush your patio, especially during the autumn months. 

“This should prevent crushed leaves from building up and causing those stubborn discolouration stains come spring.

“You also might want to consider patio sealant. This helps to prevent weathering and is also effective at preserving the colour of patio slabs.

“A good option if you have recently laid dark patio slabs or given them a really thorough clean and want to keep them looking good as new.”

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