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How to Clean a Patio with a Pressure Washer [5 Tips]

If you’re new to patio pressure washing, this guide is for you.

Using a pressure washer to clean your patio slabs might seem like a doddle – and it is – but there’s a knack for removing weeds, dirt and grime properly. Here’s our complete guide on how to clean a patio with a pressure washer. What to do to get it right and the pitfalls to avoid.

Everyone loves a clean garden, and your patio is the centrepiece.

Keep reading to learn how to get the right results.

Our Top 5 Jet Washing Patio Tips

Sweep First

Always make a point of sweeping your patio paving stones – not everyone does this. Still, if you start blasting a pressure washer at a dirty patio, you’re going to risk debris and stone fragments flying everywhere. That’ll damage your washer, your windows, and more.

What’s more, without a clean sweep, you’re at risk of blasting the same loose debris and dirt over your paving slabs again.

Safety Equipment

Always wear safety goggles or glasses when using a power washer on paving slabs – no ifs or buts. Flying stone fragments risk hurting your eyes or even potentially blinding you at worst.

Do also wear safety gloves – again, flying debris can cut (and seriously) hurt you.

Waterproofs

Never underestimate the power of the spray-back you’ll receive when patio cleaning with a pressure washer! You’re set to get absolutely soaked, no matter how careful you are – so protect your clothes with waterproofs wherever possible.

Remove Everything or Clean Twice

Spray-back can travel for metres at a time. That means your patio furniture, garden decking, windows; you name it – are all going to get wet and muddy if you don’t prepare yourself.

The same, of course, goes for gazebos and awnings.

Move or cover what you can out of the way before patio cleaning with a pressure washer. You’ll still need to clean the whole area when finished, it’s unavoidable, but by moving things there will be less to clean.

Test Area To Test Power / Bar

Always test your pressure washer out on a flag or stone that’s out of the way. If you have a large patio the corners are a great place for this. Try and use a generic setting; between 1,200 and 2,300 PSI tends to give you enough power without much effort.

If your pressure’s too high, your water jet is going to do severe damage to your flags – blasting off more than just moss and surface grime.

How To Power Wash a Patio

Step 1 – Preparing To Clean

Clear your patio completely. That means getting your surfaces clear of dirt, debris and loose leaves with a brush. Move any garden furniture out of the way before you start pressure cleaning patio flags, too. Pull plant pots and ornaments to one side, too.

Step 2 – Setting Up the Pressure Washer

Connect up your hose and pressure washer to an available tap, turn on, pull the trigger and make sure the water flows through for around 20 to 30 seconds. You’ll likely get all the fittings you need to fix up your garden hose and outside tap with a new pressure washer. Unkink and unwind the hose if the water’s slow. Plug into the mains and switch on.

Step 3 – Start Patio Washing

If you’re going to use a pressure washer detergent, now’s the time to wet your patio and apply. This isn’t always essential but can help lift stubborn dirt and stains and protect from weather damage. Otherwise, fix your pressure to at least 1,200 and less than 2,300 PSI. Get your washer at a 45-degree angle, start a corner and sweep the spray across.

Step 4 – Using The Lance

Go easy on joints and lines while you sweep. If you use too high a pressure or the wrong technique, you could risk blasting sand out, causing stability issues later. Be sure to switch to intense lancing modes to attack tougher moss, algae and lichen. If you’re not sure about this part, look for a specialist patio cleaner product instead.

Step 5 – Finish Up

Once you’ve finished cleaning with pressure washer tools, always switch off and disconnect your machine from the water mains. Then, turn it back on and pump the trigger to eliminate any warm water left in the machine. Leave your patio to dry – job done!

This short video by Homebase shows all the steps

What’s the Top Patio Pressure Washing Machine?

Pressure washer brands trusted by gardeners and professionals include the likes of Karcher, Spear & Jackson, Bosch and MacAllister. However, as there are so many to pick from, we’ve got a complete list of the quality pressure washers for patio cleaning here.

You’ll be able to find pressure washers at most DIY stores, with Homebase, B&Q and Screwfix all offering great options. Argos and Amazon are worth looking into, as well.

Do I Need Pressure Washer Detergent

You don’t have to use a detergent when power washing patio slabs, but you may find it breeds cleaner results when cleaning your decking or patio. Some manufacturers recommend specialist soap or detergent and the machines are fitted with a designated detergent chamber. However, providing you are careful with your cleaning power, warm water is always likely to deliver outstanding results.

Do I Need an Attachment or Rotating Brush

There’s a good range of pressure washer tools and patio cleaner attachment kits, but they tend to be fairly optional. They’ll make light work of more extensive patios year-round, but these kits tend to appeal to professional cleaners and pavers.

FAQ’s

Is pressure cleaning bad for patios?

No – you just need to learn how to power wash patio stones gently and carefully. High pressure washers can damage simple flags and natural stones alike and force sand out of joints. Stick with the default nozzle and keep the pressure low. Pressure washers are a great method of preventing moss and algae on your patio stones.

How much does it cost to pressure wash a patio professionally?

Checkatrade advises that you can expect to pay anywhere between £175 and £350 for patio and driveway cleaning – with professional jet wash tools.

How many PSI do I need to pressure wash a patio?

Pressure washers shouldn’t need more than 2,300 PSI when cleaning the patio with pressure washer tools – any more could damage the surface of your stone.

Conclusion

Using a pressure washer to clean your patio, your driveway, or to wash decking is next level compared to cleaning slabs with household products like washing powder. It’s fast, fierce, and saves a lot of bending up and down. However, you need to learn how to jet wash a patio properly if you stand a chance of getting GREAT results.

Before you start cleaning patio stones or driveways, please familiarise yourself with your new kit and the different parts it arrives with. Make sure your patio is clean and swept, and always follow our advice on pressure – you won’t need too much to make a big difference.

Whether you’re cleaning wood decking, stone or otherwise, a pressure washer is an excellent choice for speedy, effective cleaning. Now you know how to clean patio slabs with a pressure washer without causing undue harm or damage, it’s time to get out there and deliver some sparkling results.