Brewery Lane, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear

North East Paving And Gardens is community supported. We may earn a small commission through links on this page - Read More

What is the Best Patio Cleaner Chemical? – 7 Top Solutions

As professional landscapers, we’ve seen our fair share of grubby patios! Have you ever tried scrubbing away at stubborn grime and lichen on a stone surface?

Today, we’re pooling our extensive experience and knowledge to help you discover the best patio cleaner YOU should use in your outdoor space in 2024.

We use patio cleaners every day, and while soap and water might do the trick for some, we’ve found that specialist patio cleaners provide the most impressive results with the least fuss.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

👌 Whether you need a specialist patio cleaner chemical (and the associated costs)

👌 Which patio cleaners will work wonders and which will leave you scrubbing for hours

👌 What’s the best patio cleaner solution for each type of stone surface (they’re not all the same)

👌 Where to buy online and which shops sell the best product for cleaning patio slabs

Like everything else, there are significant differences in effectiveness, quality, and price. If you’re serious about maintaining a new patio or restoring an old tired surface,

In this guide, we will be reviewing the following patio cleaning fluid:

You’ll notice that we’ve lined up different products for different patio cleaning needs. That’s because some patio stones need specialist care – and sometimes, you need a bit of extra support in getting up green mould and algae, for example.

How We Tested

Over the years, as a paving cleaning company, we’ve cleaned, maintained, and sealed every kind of stone patio you can imagine. We’ve tested all the main brands and learned which products deliver and which fall short.

We swear by Stonecare4U’s Patio Perfect as the best all-around cleaner for your patio surface. It’s acid-free, safe for concrete and natural stone, and excellent at extracting deeper grime and lichen. Compared to most other cleaners, it offers terrific value for money.

How To Choose The Best Patio Cleaner?

Ultimately, a great patio cleaner should cover your outdoor space with as little hassle as possible. You want a hard-working solution that’s not going to break the bank. At the same time, you’re not going to want three or four different products for a single outdoor surface! Here are a few further points to consider.

Strength

The stronger, the cleaner, the harder it will work for you. However, with added strength often comes harmful chemicals which could potentially damage outdoor surfaces, and you’ll need to be careful around aquatic life, kids, pets and your lawn.

Highly concentrated cleaners such as Patio Magic are great all-rounder options. However, you’ll need to look for specialist cleaners if you have an expensive or sensitive stone.

Pet Friendly

Pet-friendly patio cleaner doesn’t have to be weak or even chemical-free. These are cleaners that you can safely spray down and leave without risking your cats or dogs getting hurt. The friendliest options are chemical-free, but those might not give you the toughest cleaning.

Some solutions boast a pet-friendly biodegradable formula and you may simply need to wash your pets’ paws if they walk across it. As always, read the bottle before you set Fido loose.

Coverage

An excellent value patio cleaner should give you around 25 square metres of coverage per five litres of product, though this may vary. Obviously, the more coverage you get for your money, the better value it is

It’s here where it is worth looking at the patio cleaner reviews from other buyers to see what you can expect from outdoor cleaner coverage. In our professional experience, all of the above picks give you a lot of patio cleaner for the price.

Suitability of Surface

Not all patio cleaner is suitable for all stones. For highly porous stones such as Indian Sandstone, you’re going to need a cleaner specially designed for the type. The cheaper the product, generally, the more likely it is to damage your polished or natural stone.

We highly recommend you look for products such as Stonecare4U’s specialist patio cleaners if this is the case. It’s tempting to go cheap, but only do so if your stone surfaces are likewise!

Biodegradable Vs Eco-Friendly

There’s a fine line between biodegradable and eco-friendly patio cleaners. Biodegradable simply means that bacteria and microorganisms can break down a product, whereas eco-friendly cleaners won’t actively harm the environment.

What you may find in the case of patio cleaners, therefore, is that eco-friendly options are less reliable at getting rid of tougher lichen and algae but are safer for your pets and wider garden.

The Top Products For Cleaning Patio Slabs

Not only that, but some patio cleaner is better suited to pressure washing, some are biodegradable, and some are easier to use than others. So, we’ve lined up a cross-section of the best cleaners we know will make a difference to your patio surfaces. Some use a garden sprayer, some you can just apply patio cleaner and leave.

Keep reading for the full breakdown – and say goodbye to dirty patios for good.

#1 Patio Cleaner for Stone – Stonecare4u – Patio Perfect

Stonecare4U’s Patio Perfect cleaner is an acid-free formula for outdoor hard surfaces, great for getting up nasty bits of algae and moss without damaging the look of your stone. In a five-litre bottle, you’ll get 25 square metres of coverage (on a 1:1 plain water ratio).

For Stone
Stonecare4u - Patio Perfect - Non-Acid Patio Cleaner - Removes, Dirt, Grime and Algae Without Damaging Natural Stone, FLAGSTONES or Concrete Paving - Simply Apply, Leave and Wash Away (5 Litre)

Use this with a garden sprayer, a thin layer of Patio Perfect only takes a couple of hours to take effect. Then, all you need do is rinse it all off and marvel at your shiny new path.

As it’s alkaline, it’s not abrasive enough to damage natural stone, but at the same time, it’ll still take care of tough moss and will even help with the dreaded black spotting left behind by lichen.


#2 Best Patio Moss Cleaner – Spear & Jackson Mould, Algae and Moss Remover

Spear & Jackson’s Mould, Algae and Moss Remover does what it says on the bottle – it’s considered by some as the best patio cleaning solution designed to eliminate nuisance growths. A cheap five-litre bottle will give you up to 250 square metres of product if you need it.

Best For Patio Moss
Spear & Jackson

Spray and Leaves super-concentrated solution is easy to apply on dry problem areas, with paving stones starting to look great again in just a couple of days.

It’s also great at preventing most of the natural nasties such as moss from coming back time and again. You’ll also be able to use this on wood decking, uPVC and even your fence.


#3 Top Spray On Patio Cleaner – Pro-Kleen Simply Spray and Walk Away

Pro-Kleen’s Simply Spray and Walk Away solution is just as easy to use as the name makes out – It’s the best stone patio cleaner you’ll get in a spray.

Top Spray
Pro-Kleen Simply Spray and Walk Away

It’s completely non-toxic and is also biodegradable, making it safe for the nearby plants you want to keep, as well as any pets running around. You’ll get up to 120 square metres of coverage in a five-litre bottle at a fantastic price.

This organic patio cleaner formula is ideal for cleaning dirt and debris patio slabs, and you won’t need to rinse it off. It’ll start bringing the colour out in most stones in a few days.


#4 Strong & Cost Effective – Patio Magic! Concentrate

Patio Magic Concentrate is extremely tough stuff and comes recommended by many as an excellent all-round cleaner. It’s great for indoor and outdoor surfaces, and it’ll start working after a handful of days with a separate garden sprayer.

Cost Effective
Patio Magic! 16491 Concentrate

It’s a biodegradable and anti-bacterial cleaning fluid, which means it’s also a good choice as a pre-paint fungicidal wash.

Once you apply Patio Magic, it’ll keep working for you over weeks to pass – however; you should start noticing excellent results in green mould removal in a couple of days.

It’ll show mould and moss no mercy, either. Read our full review here.


#5 Organic Plant Based Cleaner – C&G Patio & Decking Cleaner

The C&G Patio & Decking Cleaner is one of the best natural stone cleaner choices and offers you double the support. It’s completely safe to use around kids and pets, with a natural formula free from bleach and chemicals. Dilute 1:6 with water, shake, and apply.

Organic Plant Based
C & G Home and Garden

It’s one of the kindest choices of detergent for plants and wildlife on the market, but when you apply it directly to moss, mould and algae, it’s fast acting.

Wash down after use, and it’ll even protect your decking and patio against light algae growth. This afforable eco-friendly patio cleaner is gaining in popularity every year.


#6 Best with Natural Stone Slabs – SmartSeal Patio Clean Xtreme

SmartSeal Patio Clean Xtreme is designed with natural stone in mind, gentle yet powerful, and produced to professional standards. It costs a little more than an average outdoor cleaner but ultimately works harder to deep clean into extremely porous stones and hard surfaces.

Natural Stone Slabs
SmartSeal Patio Clean Xtreme

This patio cleaner is great at getting rid of lichen, green mould and algae – and for five litres of product, you can expect around 40 square metres of cleaning coverage.

For surface grime, too, the solution burns through the worst spots, ready for you to rinse clear after a couple of hours.


#7 Heavy Duty Patio Cleaning Solution – JCB – Heavy Duty Patio Cleaner

JCB’s Heavy Duty Patio Cleaner is a patio cleaner solution designed with a powerful formula for pressure washers, available in 2.5 and five-litre bottles. Ideal for lifting nasty stains on most stones, block paving slabs and tarmac, you’ll get 25 square metres per five-litre bottle, diluting 1:4 with clean water.

Heavy Duty
JCB Garden

This patio cleaner solution is a fantastic support to the average get wash, bringing out the colour and even helping to get rid of lichen.

After using heavy duty cleaners such as this, all you need do after the spray’s been left to work is grab a garden hose pipe to rinse. As a heavy-duty mould remover, it saves you from having to scrub down deep.


Types Of Patio Cleaning Solutions

1) Chemical Cleaners

Patio chemical cleaners are generally the toughest of the tough and are what professional paving cleaners opt for when getting rid of a build up of moss and algae. This is because specifically designed chemical cleaners will eat through all kinds of dirt and growths.

The best patio cleaner on the market tends to be the most expensive and potentially the most harmful; however, they’re a great tradeoff if you are careful and follow the solution bottle instructions of the path and patio cleaner. Using the correct chemical to clean a patio on garden paths, block paving, driveways etc., will breed quicker results, often long-term.

Of course, different products serve different purposes, some could be a specific driveway cleaner for example, so always compare the market when searching for the best patio cleaner.

2) Natural Cleaners

a man using a scrubbing brush to clean a patio 

Natural or eco-friendly patio cleaners with biodegradable selective surfactants are preferred by people who want to keep their pets and gardens as safe as possible – but who still want to get rid of nasty surface dirt and keep their garden and artificial grass looking great whilst removing algae. 

You can’t always have it both ways, but as you can see from our list, some natural solutions and environmentally friendly choices breed fantastic results in just a few hours. These solutions are generally made from plant-based compounds and avoid acid and bleach.

3) Sprays

Beyond using a pressure washer or a garden sprayer, some patio cleaners arrive in their own spray gun bottles. These occupy the mid-range as far as pricing is concerned and offer a ‘simple spray and walk away’ solution option with minimal effort. Simply spray tends to be pretty popular with people who don’t have the time or ability to apply much elbow grease. You often don’t need more than one bottle, but if the build-up of moss and algae or black spot is substantial, then you may need a couple of solution bottles before you can walk away and leave it.

4) Watering Can

Most patio cleaners you can buy for watering can spraying tend to fall towards the cheaper end of the market. That doesn’t always mean you get terrible results, but you may find that a professional chemical and garden sprayer gives you better coverage than a watering can – and longer-lasting results – for your money.

5) Homemade

Of course, the absolute cheapest way and to clean a patio is to make your own with enough solution and its not even a massive chore. You’ll find all kinds of simple good value home make solution to try online to remove oil and remove algae and dirt, such as those made from soapy water to baking soda or vinegar – which tend to do well at cleaning most things.

Diluted bleach which you mix, too, tends to be a popular choice for many people with heavy staining and the whole process doesn’t take too long; this short video shows how to clean outdoor surfaces with bleach.

Where To Buy Good Patio Cleaners (UK Stockists)

  1. Homebase: Homebase offers a variety of patio cleaners, including those specifically designed for moss removal and algae killer. Their range includes products from top brands like Ronseal and Jeyes and their Homebase brand. They also offer eco-friendly options.
  2. B&Q: B&Q stocks a wide range of patio cleaners for specific materials like stone and wood. They offer products from well-known brands like Ronseal, Cuprinol, and V33. B&Q also provides patio cleaners that are safe around pets and plants.
  3. Screwfix: Screwfix offers a selection of patio cleaners from trusted brands like No Nonsense and Swarfega. Their selection includes products suitable for various surfaces, including driveways, patios, and wooden decking. You can also use a pressure washer with some of there other products. 
  4. Toolstation: Toolstation provides a range of patio cleaners, including algae moss killer and green algae remover. They offer products from top brands like Zep Commercial and Barrettine. Their range also includes biodegradable patio cleaner and non-acidic cleaners.
  5. Wickes: Wickes offers a variety of patio cleaners, including those specifically designed for removing dirt, algae, and moss. They stock products from brands like Sika and Swarfega and their own Wickes brand. They also offer patio cleaners suitable for use for a pressure wash.
  6. Amazon: Amazon offers a vast variety of patio cleaners from various brands. Their options include products for specific tasks like green algae on a small area, weed problem and moss killer removal and general-purpose patio cleaners. They also offer eco-friendly options and cleaners suitable for use with pressure washers. For better results it may be worth investing a little more and getting the best patio cleaner currently available. 

How To Use Paving Slab Cleaners

Are you ready to transform your small patio from drab to fab? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Cleaning your patio might seem daunting, but it can be super easy with the right tools and a little know-how.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process step by step, from reading the instructions on your patio cleaner to applying it correctly and safely. So, roll up your sleeves, put on your gardening gloves, and start your journey to a sparkling-clean patio!

Step 1: Read the Instructions

Just like you wouldn’t dive into a complex recipe without first reading it through, you shouldn’t start using your patio cleaner solution without understanding its instructions. All patio cleaner solutions are unique, with there own set of guidelines.

These instructions will tell you how much product to use, how long to leave it on, and what precautions to take. So, before you even uncap the bottle, take a moment to read the label thoroughly. It’s your roadmap to a thriving clean, ensuring you get the most out of your product while staying safe.

Step 2: Prepare Your Patio

Now that you know your cleaner’s instructions, it’s time to prepare your patio or driveways. Start by removing any patio furniture, plants, or other items that could hinder your cleaning. This step is about creating a blank canvas for you to work on.

It’s like tidying up your kitchen before cooking a big meal. You need space to work; removing obstacles now will save you time and hassle later. Plus, it will ensure you get an even clean across your entire patio. Then clean your patio clear of any debris so that you have plenty of space to work with. 

Step 3: Apply the Cleaner

With your patio prepared and garden furniture removed, it’s time to simply apply the cleaner usually through a spray. Most should be applied to a completely dry patio, so if it’s been raining or you have had any wet weather, you might need to wait for a dry day. The winter months are usually a bad time to do it. Using a sprayer or a scrubbing brush to apply patio cleaner is a good start, distribute the patio cleaner evenly across the surface of your patio area and into the smaller spaces. 

Think of it as painting a picture – you want to cover every inch of your canvas. Be generous, but avoid pooling or overly wet surfaces. The goal is to give your patio a thorough, even coating of cleaner.

Step 4: Let it Sit

Once the patio cleaner is applied, it’s time to wait. Depending on the product and for the full effects, we recommend waiting a few hours for the majority of patio cleaners, but it could be minutes for those with little patience to just a few days or sometimes even one week. This is when the cleaner works great, breaking down dirt, grime, and tough stains.

It’s like baking a cake – you wouldn’t take it out of the oven before it’s ready, right? So, be patient and let the patio cleaner do its job. Use this time to relax or plan to improve your patio once it’s sparkling clean!

Step 5: Rinse Off the Cleaner

a man rinsing a patio clean 

After the recommended time has passed, it’s time to rinse off the cleaner from the outside space and restore it to its former glory. You can use a garden hose or a pressure washer for this. Remember, you’re not trying to blast the patio into oblivion, so use a gentle setting on the hose. It’s like rinsing your hair after shampooing – you want to eliminate the product, not your hair!

Step 6: Safety Precautions

Finally, let’s talk about safety. Always wear protective clothing when using patio cleaners to avoid contact with it. This includes gloves, goggles, and long-sleeved shirts. Also, keep pets and children, as well as live plants, away from the treated area while you’re working. And when you’re done, store your path and patio cleaner solutions safely out of reach. Safety first, always!

And there you have it! A detailed, step-by-step guide to using patio cleaners. You’re ready to tackle your patio cleaning project like a pro. Get the best patio cleaner and start cleaning!

FAQ’s

Welcome to our FAQ section, where we’ve compiled answers to your most pressing questions about the best patio cleaner. As seasoned professionals in the landscaping industry, we understand the challenges and queries you might have when it comes to maintaining a pristine patio and finding the right patio cleaner.

We aim to provide clear, concise responses to common questions, drawing on our extensive experience and knowledge. We’ve got you covered whether you’re curious about product specifics, application techniques, or where to purchase. So, delve in and find the best answers to make your patio top-notch again.

Do I Need a Pressure Washer To Clean Paving

You don’t necessarily need a pressure washer to clean your paving, driveway and outdoor areas, but it’s recommended you look for a professional cleaning solution every once in a while.

A jet wash on too high a pressure setting could cause problems for cheaper stones, protective coating and the sand in your joints. If you want to see the one you should use, then this page talks about the best patio cleaning machine to buy.

Will I See Instant Results from Cleaning Paving?

Yes! Depending on the state of your concrete paving, you’ll likely see great results pretty quickly after a good clean.

If we’re talking about deeper stains and stacks of algae moss and lichen, then you might need to give your patio cleaner the benefit of the doubt for a few hours or use a higher concentrated patio cleaner  – it may be days, with some of the more intensive chemicals.

Will The Weeds, Algae and Mould Come Back?

Yes, weeds, algae and mould will always come back. While the best patio cleaners in our list may claim they offer top prevention, you’re still going to need to maintain and care for your patio and driveway regularly to keep the patio gleaming.

You may even need to consider sealing your outdoor surfaces for added protection, too – if you haven’t done so already. The best algae remover, used regularly, can help stave off the nasty stuff.

How Often Should You Clean Patio Paving Slabs?

That all depends on the type of stone you’re scrubbing and the methods you use to keep your patio clean. Some natural stones, such as Indian sandstone, requires scrubbing and can withstand regular washing without losing colour or sheen. However, other large patio surface choices, such as cheap concrete, will likely start flaking off if you are scrubbing and washing them constantly and paving slab cracks will start to appear. 

Check the bottle of your chosen patio cleaner, and if in doubt, ask your paver or installer when you first lay your patio. Some review there patio every year and opt to clean it in the summer.

Will patio cleaners remove black spots?

Not all patio cleaners serve as a mould lichen algae remover, meaning it may be worth looking for a top black spot remover if this is a major problem. Again, it’s worth checking the bottle, you may have to opt for one of the best patio cleaners if it’s a difficult stain or black spot and your struggling to get the surface clean. 

How do you get rid of haze on pavers?

It depends on how bad the hazing is – it may be as simple as a regular scrubbing with a stiff brush to get the patio clean. However, the worst efflorescence is going to need specialist treatment and maybe even professional care.

Will muriatic acid damage pavers?

Yes, if you don’t dilute the patio cleaner properly. Too much acid in patio detergents in any shape or form will start to erode all your outdoor areas as you clean your patio and driveway. Therefore, always dilute with hot water to the recommended ratio before applying to the large area.

Last Word & Top Pick

As you can see, you’ll need more than a stiff broom and an outdoor hosepipe to get the best out of your patios. Different options are suitable for different jobs and outdoor space depending on your wide area – some require a pump sprayer, some double as garden furniture cleaner – and other products that remove moss and not much else. That’s why we’ve set up a guide to the best patio cleaners for different purposes.

Take a look at all of the best patio cleaners we recommend above to keep your patio spick and span and free from mildew, clear the outdoor furniture and even your kids – it’s time to get that patio looking its best. Trust us; you need a top-notch cleaner for the best results.