The best patio cleaners for effortless cleaning 2024

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

Patio cleaner

by Eleanor Weaver |
Updated on

No matter how big your outdoor space is, buying the best patio cleaners will ensure it stays nice and clean. It can feel like a massive chore, especially if your patio has succumbed to dirt, algae, mould, stains and moss, but giving it that little extra care, whether you're using a pressure washer or scrubbing brush, will bring it back to its former glory.

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. 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. So, if you're looking for the best weed killer for block paving and more, read on.

Best patio cleaners at a glance:

Best patio cleaner overall: Jarder Spray and Leave 4 x 5 Litre Concentrate Cleaner – View on Amazon UK
Best heavy-duty patio cleaner: JCB Heavy Duty Patio Cleaner - View on B&Q
Best organic patio cleaner: Algon Organic Path and Patio Cleaner Concentrate - View on Amazon UK

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. 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.

Alternatively, some patio cleaners are detergents that you can use with a sprayer or pressure washer - those with patio cleaner attachments are ideal for targeting patio grime. There are a number of different wire brush tools you can try too to remove weeds and grass from creeping in between the bricks or slabs. Each is designed to give you a beautiful-looking patio; you can find the best of each down below.

Best patio cleaner chemicals

Best patio cleaner overall

Jarder Spray and LeaveAmazon/Jarder

For use on patios, decking, fencing, brick, and more, Jarder Spray and Leave patio cleaner will make all your outdoor areas look brand new, easy breezy. Designed to be diluted, one five-litre bottle of Jarder Spray and Leave makes around 30 Litres of solution capable of covering a 240 square metre area.

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 of mould and algae and is totally safe once dry around children and animals.

Pros

  • Great value pack of four bottles to create 120 litres of solution
  • "Spray and Leave" concept means no need to scrub or pressure wash

Cons

  • It may be too much for small patios

Best heavy-duty patio cleaner

JCB Heavy Duty Patio CleanerThe Range/JCB

Speaking of heavy-duty, this patio cleaner from JCB is a powerful lichen, algae, and mould remover that'll help to revive your patios and paths and give them a fresh new lease of life. You should ideally apply this diluted solution with a sprayer, but this can be used in a watering can.

Ideal for non-sensitive flooring and surfaces such as concrete driveways, pavement slabs, and stone, it'll remove stubborn stains and inhibit regrowth - bonus! Reviewers state that as well as successfully tackling mould, algae, and lichen, this can eliminate moss.

Pros

  • Long-lasting results with regrowth inhibiting abilities
  • Good for eliminating stubborn stains with several applications

Cons

  • Very frothy formula

Best organic patio cleaner

Algon Organic Path and Patio Cleaner ConcentrateAmazon/Algon
Price: £10.70

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. One 2.5-litre bottle of this concentrate will clean approximately 60 square metres when applied with a garden sprayer.

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. Reviewers rate this cleaner as effective with some reporting great results on polytunnels and greenhouses, as well as paths and patios.

Pros

  • Organic and environmentally friendly - can even be used near ponds
  • Easy to use and great results that can last for up to a year

Cons

  • Very vinegary and acidic, so follow the safety instructions

Best patio cleaner for black spots

SmartSeal Patio Clean XtremeAmazon/Smart Seal

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 utilises four powerful active ingredients that effectively stop the growth and spread of lichens, algae, and any other ugly fungal growths.

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. Reviewers confirm this does work on stubborn black lichen spots, with one happy customer describing this product as the Holy Grail of patio cleaning.

Pros

  • Highly effective in helping to remove black spots
  • Powerful formula with four active ingredients to stop growth

Cons

  • Might need some scrubbing in stubborn areas

Best weed killer for block paving

Patio Magic! ConcentrateAmazon/Patio Magic!

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. This is also suitable for indoor use, so could be used to tackle algae build-up on windows.

Pros

  • Bestselling weed-killing solution with over 19,000 Amazon reviews
  • It doesn't contain any bleach or acids and is biodegradable

Cons

  • Not as concentrated as some

Best pet-friendly patio cleaner

Defenders Concentrated Path and Patio CleanerAmazon/Defenders
Price: £7.99

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 concentrated cleaner starts working immediately and promises control of mould and algae within two to four days of treatment.

This budget-friendly cleaner from Defenders 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 if you do live in a household with kids and pets.

Pros

  • Biodegradable with natural ingredients so safe to use around plants
  • Safe to use around pets and children

Cons

  • Not as long-lasting as other products

Best patio and driveway cleaner

Pro-Kleen Patio and Driveway CleanerAmazon/Pro-Kleen

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. Pro-Kleen recommends for best results use the product neat and leave for at least two hours or overnight if possible, so check the forecast before applying.

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.

Pros

  • Good to use on block paving, concrete flags, and more
  • Good value in a large 10-litre bottle

Cons

  • It is a powerful product that requires a vapour face mask and eye protection

Best patio cleaning solution for mould and algae

Wet and Forget Moss Mould Lichen and Algae RemoverAmazon/Wet & Forget
Price: £32.99

This best-selling mould remover from Wet and Forget patio cleaner requires little to no elbow grease in order to rid your patio, driveway, and paths of mould and algae. Reviewers highly rate this solution with a 4.5-star Amazon rating resulting from over 22,000 reviews.

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 - you literally can "wet and forget!" As well as working on all kinds of hard standing, this product gets plaudits for cleaning fences and pergolas.

Pros

  • Excellent mould remover that works on most garden surfaces
  • Just dilute it in water and throw it over the area 

Cons

  • Be careful spraying around plants

Best universal patio cleaner

Karcher Canister Pressure Washer DetergentAmazon/Karcher
Price: $88.79

Designed to be used with your pressure washer, this Karcher 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 brush or sponge. This gets great reviews for use in cleaning cars and windscreens.

Pros

  • Good all-rounder that can be used on patios and cars alike
  • Can be used with a bucket and water or a pressure washer

Cons

  • Need to rinse after application

Best patio cleaner for wooden decking

Roxil 100 Green Mould, Algae and Lichen KillerAmazon/Roxil100

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. This versatile liquid can be applied with a sprayer, or if you're cleaning sheds or fences, a brush or even a roller.

If you're a little nervous about using harsh chemical cleaners on your wooden patio flooring or decking, or garden furniture, this is a great, non-destructive solution that is kind to wood, highly effective, and fast-acting in one to two days.

Pros

  • Ideal for use on wood - decking, sheds, and fences
  • Long-lasting protection for up to a year

Cons

  • Needs jet washing afterwards

Best multipurpose patio cleaner

Jeyes patio cleaner Amazon/Jeyes
Price: £12.97

This capable four-in-one solution from Jeyes is a ready-to-use chemical that can tackle dirt, stains, algae, and limescale on paths, patios, driveways, and decking areas. In fact, this disinfectant is capable of killing 99.9% of germs you'll find in your outdoor environment.

This is a pre-mixed solution and does not need diluting before use. This comes in a four-litre bottle, so should be enough for a once-over on your average-sized patio. This disinfectant can also be used on animal housing, so dog kennels, rabbit hutches, and chicken coops.

Pros

  • Kills 99% of germs for peace-of-mind cleaning
  • Works on multiple surfaces and in different areas of your garden

Cons

  • Need to be cautious using it as it causes skin irritation

Best patio cleaner for green mould

Ultima Plus XP cleaner Ultima Plus XP/Amazon
Price: £16.50

Ultima-Plus XP is a max-strength patio cleaner that will not just get rid of green mould and algae but also forms a protective barrier that stops it from growing back. ULTIMA-PLUS XP claims once that barrier is in place it can keep hard surfaces clean for up to six months.

You can use this on patios, paving, decking, tarmac, stonemasonry, bricks, wood, corrugated asbestos, greenhouse glass, and more. One bottle makes up to 25 litres covering up to 200 square metres. Reviewers share it can take a good few hours to take effect, but offers great results when it does.

Pros

  • Prevents green mould for up to six months
  • One bottle makes 25-litres that can cover 200 square metres

Cons

  • Toxic to aquatic life

How we chose the best patio cleaners

All of these patio cleaner chemicals have been hand-selected by our team of Modern Gardens shopping experts. We carefully considered features, quantity and value in our selection of the best. Our team has spent hours investigating and researching patio cleaner chemicals to make it easier for you to find the very best, and we'd never recommend a product we don't believe in.

Where possible, we also test and share the latest and best products you should know about. And with help from Modern Gardens Magazine, Garden News and Garden Answers, we share expert gardening knowledge to help you get the most from your product.

Different patio cleaners in detail

Patio cleaner solution

Available as a ready-to-go formula or a concentrate that needs diluting, patio cleaner solutions are designed to target algae, mould, moss and more.

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.

Pressure washer

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. Pressure washers are superb for delivering a quick (and satisfying) clean, and you can even find budget pressure washers that are under £100.

Wire brush tool

These tools are designed to remove various types of lichen, fungi, weeds and more from your patio. Designed much like a household vacuum, these electric tools sweep over your patio with a tough wire, steel or nylon brush rolling at high-speed to remove debris and dirt from the surface and crevices without the need for chemicals.

Patio cleaner chemicals buyers guide

Ingredients: If you have a pet, you'll want to be particularly wary of the ingredients in your patio cleaner, so they're non-toxic to your furry friend. Many contain ammonia which is toxic, whilst others contain bleach, which you'll need to keep pets away from until it's completely dry. If you can keep your pet away from the patio whilst you wait for it to dry, those labelled as pet-safe or organic are a good choice. Alternatively, consider a pressure washer or wire brush tool that doesn't require chemicals.

Budget: Fortunately, most patio cleaner solutions are reasonably budget-friendly, but they are single-use and won't work instantly. If you have the budget, investing in a pressure washer or wire brush tool could save you money in the long run. Plus, a pressure washer can be used on all sorts, not just the patio, making it a versatile and eco-friendly option.

Required equipment: Consider what else you'll need to get the job done. Some patio cleaners are super easy to apply - you can simply spray on and leave, whilst others may require you to do some scrubbing or require the aid of a pressure washer. Make sure you've got all the equipment you need to get your patio cleaned efficiently.

Type of dirt: There are three main types of dirt that need ousting; algae, moss, and dirt. For dirt or oil, consider a more powerful patio cleaner solution. Moss can be removed using a moss killer, whilst algae requires an algae remover. Most patio cleaner solutions will identify what they're best for cleaning, but for those more embedded areas of lichen and dirt, you'll likely need to use extra elbow grease.

Quantity: How big is your patio? Most patio cleaner solutions will come with a guide as to how big an area the solution will cover. Make sure you've got enough for the job.

Patio cleaner FAQs

Does biodegradable patio cleaner mean eco-friendly?

While the majority of patio cleaners 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.

How to clean 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 a 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.

Best electric pressure washers to tackle dirt and grime

Best Kärcher pressure washers for a powerful yard clean

Best cordless pressure washer for fast cleaning

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Eleanor Weaver is the Deputy Homes & Garden Product Editor for Modern Gardens, specialising in outdoor furniture, décor, and tools. She's always looking out for inspiration online for stylish and affordable designs, and enjoys spending time in nature.

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