The best patio cleaners for effortless cleaning

Make your patio look good as new with these easy-to-use cleaning solutions.

Patio cleaner

by Eleanor Weaver |

The patio is our go-to space to catch up with friends, play with the kids, relax, and even work during the warmer months. And for that reason, we want to keep it looking its best.

But, no matter how big your outdoor space is, keeping your patio nice and clean can feel like a massive chore especially if it's succumbed to dirt, algae, mould, stains, and moss. Giving it that clean always ends up shuffling down the to-do list, leaving your patio looking worse for wear when you just want it back to its former glory.

The good news is that you can tackle the grime with easy-to-apply patio cleaners — most of which you just spray on and leave, simple as that! It takes minimal effort, a big yes in our books, and your patio will be looking good as new in no time.

We've found the best patio cleaning solutions for all your needs including heavy-duty cleaners to oust the stubborn dirt, organic solutions, and pet-friendly cleaners too. We've even thrown in a patio cleaner pressure washer if you're looking for a quick, and very satisfying, deep clean.

What can I use to clean my outdoor patio?

There are a number of different options, depending on the tools you have to hand. First you'll want to clear away any leaves or debris with a leaf blower or vacuum.

Many patio cleaner solutions are concentrated and you'll need to dilute them with water before being applied by hand from a bucket or watering can.

However, it's worth keeping in mind that the results won't be instant, so don't be too surprised if at first, it looks the same! Typically, you'll have to wait for a few hours before you can notice any difference. We would recommend waiting a couple of days to truly see the full effects of your patio cleaner.

Alternatively, some patio cleaners are detergents that you can use with a pressure washer. You just need to follow the instructions and it's worth checking if the manufacturer recommends a specific type or brand of detergent. With a pressure washer, you'll get more immediate results, as the water pressure will blast the dirt to oblivion, but if you don't already own a pressure washer it makes for a more expensive upfront cost.

You can also clean your patio using soap or vinegar mix solution, though this will require much more effort to scrub the areas clean, and bleach - not an eco-friendly option.

The best patio cleaner solutions to buy

The best patio cleaner concentrates

This biodegradable, non-acidic cleaner is child, pet, and wildlife-friendly when dry and will remove a wide variety of stains, moulds, and algae from paths, patios, driveways, and walls. This cleaner might not last as long as some of the other, more heavy-duty cleaners on our list, but it's worth it for the peace of mind.

Size: 2 litres

Review: "My path has never been cleaner. Doesn't stay clean too long with awful British weather, but after using this stuff I found out my paving stones were a different colour."

Speaking of heavy-duty, this patio cleaner from JCB is a powerful lichen, algae, and mould remover that'll help to revive your patio and path and give them a fresh new lease of life. Ideal for non-sensitive flooring and surfaces such as concrete driveways, pavement slabs, and stone, it'll remove stubborn stains and inhibit regrowth - bonus!

Size: 5 litres

Review: "Within a couple of days my mossy patio was totally clean. The heavy moss between the paving stones has died too and can be swept away. Didn't need to brush after applying, just sprayed with high-pressure spray and left."

Another great option if you're looking for a cleaner that's extra safe for children, pets, and wildlife, this organic patio cleaner from Algon is environmentally friendly and super easy to use. Simply apply and walk away with no need to rinse off later, with expected algae and mould hampering effects lasting for up to a year.

Size: 2.5 litres

Review: "I used two of these to clean my 45'x16' polytunnel. I sprayed it all over using a pump garden spray - it was much easier than I thought it would given the polytunnel size and height. At first, I thought it wasn't working but within 4 days the algae was gone, there was just a white residue in its place. This washed off easily with some washing up liquid and a hose brush attachment and now the tunnel looks great.

"Very pleased with this product - I bought 4 more which saved money. I have also cleaned the greenhouse with it and again it came up great and I have 3 over for next year. I highly recommend this product."

For use on patios, decking, fencing, brick, and more, the Jarder patio cleaner will make all your outdoor areas look brand new, easy breezy. There's no need to scrub or pressure wash, simply mix, spray on and leave for results that'll show in a matter of days and last for up to six months. It'll also prevent regrowth and is totally safe once dry around children and animals.

Size: 4 x 5 litres

Review: "This product is incredible value for money. I have been using it for a few years and saved a lot of back-breaking work over that time. It also has a pleasant soapy consistency rather than a harsh chemical and the service is excellent. I highly recommend this."

Got a weed problem? We know that weeds growing through the cracks of your patio slabs in one of the most infuriating sights ever. Time to call on Patio Magic. This bestselling weed-killing detergent quickly removes weeds, mould, lichens, algae, and moss from patios, driveways, masonry, and more. It's biodegradable, long-lasting, antibacterial, and doesn't contain any bleach or acids. It'll get to work in a few days and last a few months.

Size: 2.5 litres

Review: "I used this to clean green algae from the extensive teak decking of my sailing yacht. It is absolutely amazing stuff when used under the right conditions."

SmartSeal Patio Clean Xtreme is highly effective in helping to remove and kill black spot lichens which grow in damp conditions across the UK. This solution gets right in those paving slab cracks and can restore patios and pathways to their former glory, shifting those stubborn marks and algae.

Size: 5 litres

Review: "Tried this to tackle stubborn lichen black spots on ageing paving slabs, after all other remedies have failed to dislodge them. Left it for a couple of (damp and murky) hours and then had a peep - astonishing results! Spots are pretty much all gone, patio gleaming (if patios can gleam) and best it's looked in living memory. The Holy Grail of patio cleaning - I've found it!"

If you're looking to hit two birds with one stone, the extremely powerful formula in Pro-Kleen will provide you with enough solution to have both the front and back of your house looking spick and span. For use on block paving, concrete flags, steps, paths, and more, you can oust the stubborn dirt, grime, and black stains from your patio and driveway in one fell swoop. You can apply this cleaner from either a watering can or a pump sprayer.

Size: 10 litres

Review: "I used this yesterday to clean my block paved drive, which is on the large side, so I wanted a product that would do the job without a lot of effort. I am really impressed with the results; the drive looks like new."

This best-selling mould remover from Wet & Forget patio cleaner requires little to no elbow grease in order to rid your patio, driveway, and paths of mould and algae. All you need to do is dilute it in water and throw it over the area you want to de-moss and leave it be. They say it how it is - wet and forget!

Size: 5 litres

Review: "Works a treat. Patio and driveway have come up really nice again this summer. Have used this product a number of times and it is much easier, more effective, kinder to driveway... Neighbours blast theirs with high pressure and tonnes of work whilst I just wet and forget, their drives have sand and colour removed whilst mine looks great and retains colour."

The best patio cleaner detergents and ready-to-use cleaners

Designed to be used with your pressure washer, this universal cleaner is tough on dirt and removes oil, grease, and mineral soiling. For use all around the house and garden, it'll be gentle on the materials including your patio and the patio furniture.

Don't have a pressure washer but think it could be what you're looking for? It can be alternatively mixed in a bucket with water and applied using a sponge.

Size: 5 litres

Review: "I have purchased this as a follow on to using the foam product and it did provide a great finish. Not too thick but I suppose if most of the muck is removed by the foam it doesn't need to be, still a great product."

Restore the appearance of your patio, decking, fencing, and paving with the Roxil 100 that'll kill and disperse mould, algae, lichens, and other biological growth. If you're a little nervous about using harsh chemical cleaners on your wooden patio flooring or decking, this is a great solution that is kind to wood, highly effective, and fast-acting in one to two days.

Size: 5 litres

Review: "Really excellent for cleaning decking before re-oiling. I also used it on a wooden bench and it came up very nice. I needed far less than I thought I would, spraying it on with a spray bottle."

If you're looking for truly effortless cleaning performance, it would be worth investing in a pressure washer for some serious power and satisfaction. The Bosch EasyAquatak is lightweight enough to carry all-around your outdoor space while cleaning, easy to use, and surprisingly powerful for such a small machine. It has variable power and rotary nozzles for deeper cleaning, delivering a top pressure of 110 bar, making light work of your outdoor cleaning tasks.

Size: 40 x 20 x 37.5cm

Weight: 3.8kg

Review: "I used this to clean two very dirty patios with years of caked-on grime. It did an absolutely superb job."

Does biodegradable patio cleaner mean eco-friendly?

While the majority of patio cleans are biodegradable, this doesn't necessarily mean they are eco-friendly, so you should avoid contact with live plants during the cleaning process.

Biodegradable just means that you don't need to apply anything extra to make the solution safe once dry.

Cleaning your patio through the seasons

If you're looking to keep your patio spick and span, but aren't sure how to keep it looking its best during the passing seasons, here's a short guide to staying on top of any mould or dirt throughout the year:

Winter: During the cold and slippery months it is common to use salt to de-ice the patio, however, de-icing salt can cause discolouration on your patio. Look for brands that are non-staining and less corrosive than standard brown rock salt or grit.

Spring: After the wear and tear over the winter months you should give your patio a thorough clean from all the dirt and grime. A literal spring clean! This is the prime time to check the joints between the slabs as they might need repointing.

Summer: This is most likely the time you will be on the patio, so make sure to clean up any spillages or mess as they happen to minimise any long-term staining.

Autumn: Crunchy autumn leaves can stain your patio if left over the months, so it is good to keep up regular maintenance and sweep your patio frequently.

Sweeping patio
©Getty Images

Alternative patio cleaning methods

Pressure washing and using a patio cleaner are the easiest ways to clean your patio, but if you'd prefer to use what you already have in the cupboards, and don't mind getting on your hands and knees and putting in that extra effort, you can try using the soap, vinegar, or bleach method.

The soap method

Step 1: Get a bucket with hot water and mix in some soap or washing up liquid

Step 2: Pour the soapy water over the area you want to clean

Step 3: Use a hard-bristled brush to scrub the area

Step 4: Rinse off the area with new clean water

Step 5: Leave it for 24 hours and repeat the process if necessary.

The vinegar method

Step 1: Clear the area from furniture, sweep the area, and remove any weeds

Step 2: Get a bucket and add a solution of half water and half vinegar

Step 3: Pour the bucket of solution over the patio and wait 20 minutes

Step 4: Use a hard-bristled brush to scrub the area

Step 5: Mop up the area with clean water.

The bleach method

Step 1: In either a bucket or watering can, (a watering-can works best as it gives you more control) mix the water with bleach. The best ratio is five parts water to one part bleach

Step 2: Pour the solution over the area you want to clean and try to avoid pouring it over any plants and flowers

Step 3: Use a hard-bristled brush to scrub the area, white foam should start to build up

Step 4: Leave it for 15 minutes

Step 5: Rinse off the area with new clean water.

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