Washing Your Patio

Get tips for maintaining your patio and learn how to thoroughly clean your outdoor living space.


Photo courtesy of Joanne Kostecky

Photo courtesy of Joanne Kostecky

By: Peter Walsh

Just as you would regularly vacuum the floor and dust your furniture inside your house, you should keep your patio clean so it's ready at a moments notice to entertain. Start in early spring with a complete cleaning.

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Back Patio With Easy Indoor Access

The back patio of HGTV Dream Home 2015 is just off the kitchen, making it easy to prepare meals indoors and transfer everything to the table outside.

Cool Covered Patio

This covered patio is a chill place to relax and enjoy a few drinks with family and friends.

Photo By: Jack London Photography

Comfy Covered Patio

No matter the weather, this covered patio is a great spot for lounging. A ceiling fan allows the homeowners and their guests to cool down during the hotter months. There's even a nearby pool for enjoying a swim.

Photo By: Jack London Photography

Lanai Patio With Cushioned Furniture & Stunning View of Bird Key

With a view like this, you'll never want to leave. Equipped with two ceiling fans, traditional cushioned furniture and a grill, this lanai patio is the ultimate place to entertain friends and family.

Stone Patio With Round Fire Pit And Striped Outdoor Chairs

This expansive, uncovered stone patio with dining and sitting areas encourages outdoor living. Teak outdoor chairs with striped cushions offer stylish, comfortable seating around the circular, stone fire pit.

Chiminea in an Outdoor Kitchen

A pizza oven and chiminea bring on the heat in this corner outdoor kitchen on a patio.

Photo By: Southview Design

Balinese Garden with Floating Patio

Granite bridges provide the perfect path to explore the garden. A floating patio island showcases the round bed and tranquil views of the pond. The inspiration for this entry garden came from the owner, who wanted an “Eastern” garden that would work vicariously during their 11 month stay in Minnesota. Water was to be a major part of the design, as well.

Photo By: Steve Silverman Imaging

Handy Bar Cart

A bar cart holds a variety of entertaining essentials. When needed, the bar cart can be easily moved and used as an extension of the sideboard.

Patio Made Over for Fall

Just in time for the brisk sweater weather of fall, this pergola-covered back deck was outfitted for autumn with comfy cushions and throws, evergreen and earth-tone touches and a clever DIY lighting project.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Patio With Life-Size Chessboard

Shades of Green designed a life-size chessboard right into the surface of this multi-purpose space. To install a game board on your patio floor, switch up materials — in this case, marble squares surrounded by concrete pavers — or checker the surface with paint.

Photo By: Troon Pacific Inc.

Remove all the furniture, the grill, container plants and accessories. Give the patio a good sweeping and washing. Wash cushions and furniture frames with mild soap and clean water. Let cushions dry completely before replacing them on the furniture to prevent mildew from growing.

  • Use auto polish on metal frames to make them shine.
  • Use a glass cleaner on glass tabletops and don’t forget to clean the glass on the windows of your outdoor lanterns so the light shines through.
  • Use a degreaser on grill grates and the outside of stainless steel grills.
  • Open your umbrella and wash the fabric with mild soap and water and use a household oil on any moving parts to keep them working well.

Remove and discard any old potting soil from planters and clean the insides of pots with a bleach and water solution to kill any insects or bacteria that may have over wintered in the pots. Fill with fresh potting soil and put in new plants.

Spring is the perfect time to get moving on your patio maintenance and enlisted help to do it may end up being festive. "When the weather starts to warm, it's a good idea to make a list of all things you need to do get your patio ready," says Claudia. "Make it fun and get your children, spouse, friends and family involved, and reward them with a nice kick-off party or barbecue to celebrate all their hard work."

Cleaning Your Patio

Concrete Patios

Simply sweep off the patio and hose it down with a garden hose equipped with a nozzle that provides a strong stream of water. Use a natural or synthetic bristle scrub brush to tackle tough stains and a degreaser to remove oily spots near the grill. Never use a wire brush as it can leave rust stains and scratch the concrete surface.

If you neglected cleaning your concrete patio for some time, use a detergent such as Dawn or Ajax dishwashing liquid mixed with water to help brighten the surface. If your patio is heavily discolored, you should call in a professional. They will apply a solution of muriatic acid on the patio to bring it back to life. If you choose to do the work yourself, you can purchase the product at a home supply store but be sure to wear long pants, closed shoes, gloves and goggles and follow the directions on the container to the letter.

Natural Stone or Flagstone Patio

Hose off the patio and scrub stains using a detergent such as Dawn or Ajax dishwashing liquid. To remove dark brown or black spots on patios in shady or damp areas, scrub them with a solution of bleach and water. This method will also help remove moss, mold and mildew.

Flush the surface with plain water and repeat if necessary. Use the treatment on patios that show signs of moss, mold or mildew. "For a stone terrace or paver terrace, power wash with a solution of 10 percent bleach in water to help break up moss or bacteria and keep it clean," says Robert Welsch, landscape designer, Westover Landscape Design

Manufactured Paving Stones

Simply use a garden hose with an attached nozzle and blast off surface debris. Low maintenance is one of the best reasons to install a patio made of manufactured paving stones. "We do not seal anything with pavers," says Joanne Kostecky, president of Garden Design Inc. "The only product that you really need to seal to keep it looking decent is patterned concrete and that is one of the reasons we try to steer people away from it."

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