Cleaning Guides

Cleaning Paving Slabs – 4 Easy Methods

A paved patio is an excellent addition to any garden and a perfect place to rest and relax in the warmer months with a sweet, refreshing drink in hand. However, a patio that’s never been cleaned can spoil the look of your green space and make your R&R far less pleasant. So, if you haven’t cleaned your paving slabs in ages, maybe it’s time.

But do you know how to clean paving slabs? Do you need a pressure washer? What if you don’t have one? Worry not! The experts at Fantastic Services have all the answers and are ready to share them with you!

Table of Contents:

So, if you:

  • Haven’t cleaned your patio slabs in a while
  • Are looking for a way to clean your paving slabs without a jet washer;
  • Want to know exactly what you will need,

Then keep reading, because this article is for you!

How to clean paving slabs

There are several ways to clean your patio, be it with or without a jet washer. In this post, we will go over exactly how to clean patio slabs, how to prepare and what tools and materials you need for each method.

Before you start

Before you get down to business, you’ll need to prepare and clear the paved area. So, here is how to do just that!

  • Move all furniture and plants away from the patio.
    Anything that can get in the way of a proper cleaning will need to be cleared away. Make sure your plants are a safe distance away from the area, especially if you opt for the bleach method.
  • Sweep the area.
    Grab your trusty broom and sweep away any dust, leaves, twigs, etc. The patio should be completely free of debris to ensure the best results.
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How to clean patio slabs without a pressure washer

If you don’t have a jet washer and don’t want to rent one, don’t worry! You can still make your patio sparkling clean! So, without further ado, here are three simple ways to clean paving slabs without a pressure washer.

Cleaning paving slabs with soapy water

Soapy water and some elbow grease can often be enough to make your patio shine again. This method is suitable for light cleaning and general maintenance. Just make sure to check the soap’s ingredients before you start cleaning. Try not to use acidic soap on concrete and avoid products containing limestone altogether.

So slip on your gloves, grab your tools and let’s get to it!

What you need: bucket, large hard-bristled brush, protective gloves, warm water, liquid or powdered soap

  1. Prepare your cleaning mixture.

    Mix the soap and warm water in a bucket until it foams up.

  2. Test the solution.

    Before you start cleaning, test the mixture on a small spot to make sure it won’t damage the material.

  3. Pour the mixture on the affected areas.

    To make cleaning more manageable, you can separate the space into smaller sections. Pour some of the soapy water onto the dirty spots.

  4. Start brushing.

    Use a long-handled brush to make it easier for yourself. Keep brushing until all the dirt is dislodged and removed from your paving slabs.

  5. Rinse.

    Once you’re done, rinse the area with clean water to remove all the soap. A garden hose can come handy for this task.

And you’re done! If this method isn’t effective enough to deal with the heavy soiling on your patio, you can try a stronger solution.

How to clean patio slabs with bleach

If you decide to use bleach, you should take extra care, as the chemical can be dangerous. However, with the proper precautions taken, you can make your patio shine and get rid of weeds, too!

When using bleach, make sure no surrounding plants come in contact with the chemical, as any plant life will die otherwise. Don’t forget to wear protective clothing and check whether you can use bleach on the type of stone you have. Sodium hypochlorite is only suitable for natural paving slabs, as it will fade artificial stone over time.

What you need: protective gloves, large hard-bristled brush, warm water, bleach, watering can

  1. Prepare your cleaning mixture.
    Mix one part bleach with five parts water in a suitable watering can.
  2. Pour the mixture on the slabs.
    Spread the mixture evenly and carefully over the patio.
  3. Brush the slabs.
    Start brushing the paving stones. You’ll notice a white foam forming while scrubbing.
  4. Let it sit.
    Let the bleach mixture sit and work its magic for 15 minutes.
  5. Rinse.
    Rinse the solution off with clean water.

If you don’t want to use harsh chemicals to clean the patio slabs, you can move on to the next method.

Cleaning patio slabs with vinegar

Ah yes, white vinegar! The ultimate multifunctional cleaning ingredient. You can use it to clean pretty much anything around your home, and yes, that includes your paving slabs! It’s a great natural alternative to harsh chemicals. So, grab your supplies and let’s get to it!

What you need: bucket, protective gloves, large hard-bristled brush, warm water, white vinegar

  1. Prepare the cleaning solution.
    Make a mixture of 1:1 warm water and white vinegar.
  2. Pour onto the slabs.
    Pour the solution evenly onto the affected areas.
  3. Let it sit.
    Let the mixture sit and work for 20 minutes.
  4. Start brushing.
    Scrub the dirty spots clean with your hard-bristled brush.
  5. Rinse.
    Rinse the vinegar mixture off with clean water.

Now enjoy the great results and your spotless patio!

How to clean garden slabs with a pressure washer

If you own jet washing equipment, you’re in luck! You can clean your paving slabs with almost no effort at all! So, take out the machine and let’s begin!

What you need: Pressure washer, suitable detergent, water supply

  1. Connect the pressure washer.
    Connect the machine to the mains water supply, as it needs a constant flow of water to function.
  2. Fill with detergent.
    If you decide to use it, fill the container with it, following the instructions.
  3. Spray the patio with detergent.
    Spray the cleaner onto the affected areas and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Switch the water pressure to medium.
    Turn the nozzle to the medium pressure setting.
  5. Power wash the slabs.
    Spray the patio slabs with the jet washer, using the wide fan setting and spraying at a 45-degree angle. Go left to right and back to front, evenly covering all the stones.
  6. Disconnect the pressure washer.
    Pull the trigger until the machine is empty of water. This will help avoid damage to the internal components. Put away the device once it’s empty.
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Need help with cleaning your paving slabs?

Are you too busy to clean your patio slabs? Do you want the excellent results of a pressure washer, but don’t want to buy or rent one? Then, why not turn to the professionals? Fantastic Services offers an expert pressure washing service for your paving, decking and any areas that might need it! The specialists we work with will carefully and expertly power wash your patio and return its former glory!

Booking is easy! Just use our online booking form and choose a date and time that suits your needs!

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  • You can still clean your patio slabs well even without a pressure washer.
  • Soapy water is suitable for light cleaning and maintenance.
  • If you decide to use bleach, be careful not to get it onto the surrounding plants.
  • You can use vinegar as a good natural alternative to chemicals.
  • A jet washer is great for heavy-duty cleaning.


Did you find this article helpful? Is your patio now sparkling clean? Let us know in the comments below!

Image source: shutterstock / teekaygee

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