How To Clean Patio Slabs

If you want to keep your patio looking at its best, regular cleaning is highly recommended. Within this article, we walk you through the steps required to clean patio slabs with or without a pressure washer along with before and after results.

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How To Clean Patio Slabs
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After a wet and windy winter, your patio can begin to look weathered and require a good clean to revive its original finish. Luckily, cleaning your patio slabs is very straightforward and provides an instant difference once you’ve finished.

Unlike cleaning block paving, patio slabs are easier to clean because you don’t have to worry about sand escaping and any movement of the slabs. Below we walk you through how to clean your patio with or without pressure washing.

How To Clean Patio Slabs

One of the most effective ways to clean patio slabs is pressure washing it. For this particular example, we used the Karcher K4, which is one of the best pressure washers on the market. In order to improve the effectiveness, we strongly recommend purchasing a patio cleaning detergent too. Karcher offer plugin detergents but if you are using another machine, there are many formulas that you can pour/spray onto the patio beforehand.

In order to clean your patio with a pressure washer, follow the below steps:

  1. Remove any garden furniture and sweep the area of any loose debris.
  2. Setup your pressure washer and ensure it reaches all round your patio.
  3. Spray the detergent upon the patio slabs and leave it for 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Rinse the detergent clear using a low power setting.
  5. Switch to a medium power setting and use a sweeping motion to wash the patio slabs.
  6. Allow to dry before moving your garden furniture back into place.

If you want to speed up the cleaning of patio slabs, you could connect a patio cleaner attachment to your pressure washer. The Karcher T350 attachment is what we used with our machine, which not only improves the speed of cleaning but also helps to reduce dirty water spraying over the surrounding surfaces.

Before & After Results

The before and after photos below show the result of pressure washing the patio slabs. As you can see, it has made a huge difference and it only took approximately 30 minutes to do whilst using the patio attachment with the machine. After it had dried, we also sprayed a weed killer into all of the joints to prevent the weeds growing back.

how to clean patio
how to clean a patio

Cleaning Patio Slabs Without A Pressure Washer

If you don’t own a pressure washer, you can clean patio slabs using alternative methods. Whether you clean your patio with bleach, soapy water or even vinegar, it’s great for light cleaning without a pressure washer.

Regardless to the product that you use, you will also need a bucket, warm water, hard bristled brush and a garden hose pipe to rinse clear the patio. Once setup, mix the warm water with bleach or soapy water and then splash it over the patio. Using the brush, scrub the patio and you should begin to see the dirt lift from the slabs.

Once you have thoroughly scrubbed the slabs, rinse the dirty water clear with the hose. Depending upon how dirty the slabs are you may wish to repeat the process for a cleaner finish to the patio.

If you wish to use vinegar to clean your patio, you will need to mix the vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio in a bucket. You also need to pour it onto the patio and leave it for up to a hour before scrubbing and rinsing it clear with water.

How To Remove Black Spots From Patio

Patio slabs that have developed black spots upon the surface can be difficult to remove even with pressure washing. The black spots that form on the slabs are black lichen and they feed off the minerals in the stone. As you can see from a photo taken from one of my patio slabs, they are fairly noticeable.

In terms of removing the black spots from your patio slabs, a dedicated patio cleaner is needed. Not only will they remove the black spots but they also help prevent the growth of new lichen.

How To Remove Black Spots From Patio


Cleaning your patio slabs can make a huge difference to your outdoor space and it’s very satisfying too. Check out our Instagram video below where we were giving another patio a quick clean with a pressure washer.

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Whether you clean the patio with or without pressure washing, it’s a worthwhile task that keeps it looking at its best. It’s also worth pointing out that the more you clean it, the easier it will be too.

The Author Who Worked On This Article

author dan darimo

Dan Morgan

As a keen DIY’er, gardener and somebody that loves the latest tech, Dan is someone that brings years of experience in multiple trades. Since buying his first house, he has been obsessed with renovating properties and filling it with the latest products. This has led him down the road of testing hundreds of products and creating in-depth “how-to” and informative guides that offer his first-hand experience. Other interests include working on cars, keeping fit through sports or his home gym, caravanning and drinking great coffee.

If you would like to read more about Darimo and the authors, you can visit our about page. This goes into great detail regarding how we test products, create our guides and everything else.

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