Garden Advice

How to Clean Garden Slabs Like a Pro

If you’re planning to have a garden party and you need to get your patio clean, or you simply want to have clean garden slabs, then this post is for you. We’ll explore the three different ways of how to clean garden slabs.As with any cleaning project, you need to be prepared for it beforehand, with the right tools and materials. And after that, you can enjoy the lovely results that your work yields. So, let’s get right into it. 

Table of Contents:

The tools you will need for this project 

As a starting point, you need to prepare the tools and resources you’ll need for your garden slab cleaning project. Depending on the method you choose, the materials will vary. Having this in mind, here are the materials you’ll need to clean your garden slabs using the three methods we have described below: 

  • A hard-bristled brush, preferably with large, thick bristles;
  • A bucket for filling up with soap and water;
  • A watering can;
  • Rubber gloves;
  • Warm water;
  • Liquid or powdered soap;
  • Bleach;
  • A pressure washer.

Cleaning patio slabs – the natural way

Bleach can emit harmful fumes or damage the skin if it comes into contact with it and with that said, not everyone has access to a pressure washer. That’s why we recommend to anyone who decides not to opt for these cleaning methods, that they go for the original method with soap and water. Here’s how to do this:

Step 1: Weed removal

Weeds can be unsightly, but not only that, they can also cause damage to your paving or garden slabs. That’s why it’s a good idea to remove them as soon as you see them sprouting between your slabs. Or at least, take care of them as soon as possible. This will stop them from taking root in your patio, and causing further damage. 

There are several ways to remove weeds. The first way is the traditional one where you pull them out, going as close to the root as possible, by hand.

The second method involves weed killer. But here, you may want to be careful, as this can contain poisonous elements that you’ll want to keep children away from. Always make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions before proceeding with using weed killer. 

Step 2: Make your own patio cleaner

Now that the weeds are out of the way, you’ve laid the foundation for the garden slab cleaning task at hand. Here, you will want to mix your soap with the warm water in a bucket. Mix until some foam starts forming at the top. Your soap can be liquid or powdered, but just remember that soaps, which contain acid, should be avoided as they can damage your concrete paving. Moreover, soaps that contain limestone or marble should also be avoided to prevent damage on your garden slabs. 

Step 3: Pour the mixture on your garden slabs

When you’re ready with your mixture, pour a small amount of it onto a small portion of the garden slab. This will help you test the strength of the mixture and will enable you to see whether you’ll have the same results regarding the entire area you’ll be cleaning. It’s always a good idea to wear protective gloves when working with any form of detergents, so keep this in mind before you start brushing.  

Step 4: Begin the brushing process

You’re now ready to start brushing your garden slabs with the solution. Whether it’s a long-handled brush or a brush that you hold in your hands, remember to use one with hard bristles, as these will help dislodge the grime from the surface better. When you start brushing the surface with the mixture of soapy water, you will notice that the bristles cut through all the scum and dislodge it. It may require some serious physical effort on your part, so be prepared for this. Continue brushing until the dirt has been dislodged from the selected area on your patio. Brushing regularly is also an excellent way of preventing weeds from growing between the joints of your slabs. 

Step 5: Rinse using clean water

Here, you can either use a hosepipe to rinse off the dirt with clean water, or a watering can, although with the latter, the process will be a bit slower. Once you’ve rinsed your garden slabs, you’ll be able to see the results of your work. If you still see some dirty spots on your slabs, consider repeating the process until all the dirt has been dislodged.

Step 6: Don’t forget the joints

The joints in your paving or garden slabs should be kept clean, clear and in a good condition. They ultimately help keep the paving stable and strong. By keeping them clean and free of weeds through regular brushing or cleaning, you’ll ensure a healthy-looking patio where you’ll enjoy more of your time. These were the steps on how to clean a patio without a pressure washer. Now let’s move on to how to clean it with a stronger material, namely, bleach. 

Cleaning your patio with bleach

There are many benefits to cleaning your garden slabs with bleach. It is not only a stronger substance than soapy water, thereby yielding better results, it’s also quite easy to work with. But there are several precautions you need to take, first. For example, avoid bleach run-off into neighbouring plant life, as plants and grass that come into contact with the bleach will dry off, whither and die. In addition, bleach is not suitable for man-made concrete, but rather for natural paving stones. If you don’t want your garden slabs to fade over time and they’re made of artificial materials, then bleach is an unsuitable option here. Finally, keep in mind that you should use rubber gloves to prevent the bleach from getting on your skin, causing harm and irritation. 

Step 1: Mix bleach and water

The first step is to prepare your solution. You need to mix the bleach and the water together in a ratio of five parts water to one part bleach. Instead of using a bucket for this task, use a watering can instead, as it offers more control over where the bleach solution is poured. 

Step 2: Pour the mixture on your garden slabs

Start by pouring the bleach mixture onto your paving slabs. Choose a small area first to test out the effectiveness of this solution. Once you’re satisfied with the results, you can continue to use the solution on a wider part of your patio. Just be sure to avoid getting any bleach on any surrounding plant life, as this could make them wither away and die, as mentioned above. 

Step 3: Brushing and leave for 15 minutes

You’re now ready to begin brushing the slabs with your bleach solution. Scrub until you see some foam form on the slabs. Then, leave the solution for 15 minutes. This will help the bleach work its magic and dislodge any hard grime and dirt from your slabs. 

Step 4: Rinse with water

After waiting for 15 minutes, you’re ready to rinse off your slabs with clean water. Again though, make sure that the water run-off doesn’t go into your garden, affecting your plant life. 

You now know how to clean patio slabs with bleach!

Cleaning patio slabs with a pressure washer

The third way of cleaning your patio slabs effectively is by using a pressure washer. This is one of the most effective and environmentally friendly ways of getting sparkling results. Let’s take a look at how to clean your patio with a pressure washer:

Step 1: Remove any debris

Large debris like leaves and twigs should be removed from your patio first, to create the right space for using the pressure washer. Remember that the pressure washer is capable of removing even the most stubborn dirt, through a highly-pressurised water stream and that any surface debris should be removed to assist in the process. 

Step 2: Connect your pressure washer

As pressure washers need a constant supply of water to ensure the job gets done effectively, you need to connect it to your main water supply, first.

Step 3: Add detergent

Depending on your pressure washer type, you might be able to fill it with detergent, which you can spray onto your patio, first. Leave this detergent on the patio slabs for between 5 and 10 minutes, so that it gets into all of the cracks and crevices.

Step 4: Use medium pressure on your variance lance 

You’re now ready to turn on the water and spray! When doing so, twist the nozzle on the pressure washer’s variance lance to reach a medium pressure level. Once adjusted, you can begin spraying the water across your garden slabs. Use a left-to-right and back-to-front movement pattern, in order to get consistent coverage. In addition, don’t forget to use a wide fan and spray at a 45 degree angle. This will provide the most powerful cleaning action for your patio slabs. 

Step 5: Disconnect your pressure washer

At this point, your patio should look clean and almost new! You can now disconnect the pressure washer and pull the trigger until all of the water has been emptied out. By draining your pressure washer, you’ll prevent it from getting damaged in the future. For example, water inside it might get frozen, which could lead to a contraction of your internal mechanisms, thereby getting the piece of equipment damaged. Once you’ve done this, you’re ready to enjoy the fruits of your labour as you now know how to clean a patio with a pressure washer. 

Do you need professional help to clean your garden slabs?

Not everyone’s got the time or physical ability to clean well their patio or paving, especially if they don’t have a pressure washer at hand. So, if this is the case with you, why not take advantage of our convenient and effective jet washing service, done by experienced technicians with the right high-end equipment? Fantastic Services specialise in outdoor cleaning maintenance and gardening services, so your garden slabs can become sparkling clean in no time. 

Looking for a someone to clean your paving professionally ?

Why not try out our expert pressure washing service

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Your patio is an important part of your home, and just like the inside, you’ll want to keep your outside looking just as good and clean.

  • Prevent weeds from growing between the patio slabs and sweep regularly to get debris, such as leaves and twigs, off. 
  • Consider using soap and water for a more environmentally friendly option.
  • For dirt, that’s deeply embedded in your slabs, using a bleach and water solution will be your best bet. 
  • Ultimately, a pressure washer will guarantee that all the dirt and grime are removed effectively, leaving your patio sparkling clean. 


Did you find our post helpful? Do you have any tips of your own on how to best clean patio slabs? Then, do share them in the comments below!

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