April 11


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How to Clean a Patio with a Pressure Washer [Complete Guide]

cleaning guide, Patios

Not only does a dirty patio look bad, but it can also pose a safety risk by making the surface slippery when it would not be if it were cleaned properly and regularly.

In this article we will explain how to clean a patio with a pressure washer including how to blast away:

  • Algae
  • Lichen
  • Moss
  • Slime
  • Vegetation
  • And lots of other dirt and grime

Using a pressure washer to clean a patio doesn't need to be bad for the environment. Chemicals for cleaning your patio are available in Eco-Friendly formulas to prevent any unnecessary damage being done when you pressure wash your patio.

Tips for Cleaning a Patio with a Pressure Washer

When it comes to using a pressure washer, you can usually always use some tricks to make things easier.

  • Always Have a Plan When You Embark Upon Any Project!
  • Don’t Rinse Immediately After Applying the Soap, Let It Cut Through the Dirt & Grime
  • Power Is Everything: How Much of a Punch Does Your Pressure Washer Have?
  • Avoid Streaks So You Can Say Hello To a Beautiful Patio
  • Use the Right, Eco-friendly Soap That’s Suitable for Your Pressure Washer

Always Have a Plan When You Embark Upon Any Project!

Flying by the seat of your pants doesn’t necessarily allow for the best outcome, so plan out your project first and know what you will be power washing. Know each step you have to take ahead of time, that way when it’s time to get to work, there’s no hesitation.

Don’t Rinse Immediately After Applying the Soap, Let It Cut Through the Dirt & Grime

After you apply the soap to the patio, it is time to take a brief break. 10 minutes is enough time for the soap to do what it must do, basically cut through the dirt and grime while soaking the patio surface at the same time. This makes it a whole lot easier to pressure wash your patio and saves you time in the long run as well.

Power Is Everything: How Much of a Punch Does Your Pressure Washer Have?

Starting on a lower PSI at about about 4 feet from the patio surface, use your pressure washer wand to do a test spray so that you can see what the outcome is going to be like. Did it clean up without issues or is it still a little bit dirty? If it’s still a bit dirty, increase the power but be careful on more delicate surface materials.

If you hit the max power for your machine and still aren't getting the results you need gradually move the tip about 1 to 2 feet closer to the surface. Just be careful not to get too close where it could damage your patio. 

How to Avoid Streaks So You Can Say Hello To a Beautiful Patio

Starting from the top of your patio and working your way to the bottom, make sure that you go left to right on the surface and that the fan is about 3 to 4 feet wide so that coverage is adequate. Also, working your way down to the bottom is the best way to prevent streaking when pressure washing your patio.

Use the Right, Eco-friendly Soap That’s Suitable for Your Pressure Washer

There are many different kinds of soap on the market, but what you need is something that clearly states it is for patios and can be used in pressure washers. Otherwise, you could do some damage to it in the long run. Not to mention, doing this will also help ensure the choice you make will not harm the environment.

What you need to clean up a dirty patio with a pressure washer

Below is a list of what you will need to grab for your patio pressure washing project.

  • 3,000 PSI Gas Pressure Washer (Can Substitute w/ Electric If Needed)
  • Bottle of Degreaser (Preferably in a spray bottle to make things easier.)
  • Broom
  • Extension Cord (If using an electric-powered pressure washer.)
  • Gas (If using a gas-powered pressure washer.)
  • Pressure Washer Soap / Detergent (Can substitute with Simple Green or white vinegar if needed.)
  • Stiff Brush
  • Plenty of Hose (Enough to Reach Your Pressure Washer Wherever It Goes)
  • Waterproof Shoes or Boots

What Pressure Washer Nozzle Should You Use to Clean a Patio?

If you pressure wash the wrong way, you could cause irreversible damage to the surface. And not using the right tip on your wand could also lead to less than desirable results. A 25-degree tip on your wand usually works great for bricks and concrete. If not, you can always go with the 40-degree tip instead.

How to Pressure Wash a Patio The Right Way

Once you have the tip attached, it is time to get down to business. The first thing you will want to do is pre-rinse your patio with water. This loosens up dirt, helps move loose debris away from it, and it makes it easier to clean the surface when you do apply soap. Once this is done, you can go to the next step.

What you will want to do is use the angle to your advantage and start on one side of the hardscape moving slowly to the other one (going fast could leave behind debris and dirt), moving across the surface that you are cleaning with your pressure washer. Just make sure it is a sweeping motion and try to keep it as even as possible.

If your patio surface has stains (such as oil or something else spilled on it), you will want to use the soap tip so that you apply both soap and water at the same time. This gets rid of most stains and does not require tons of extra work just for it to be successful during the project.

What PSI Is Best When Cleaning a Patio with a Pressure Washer?

A good rule of thumb is to get a pressure washer that has a 3,000 PSI capacity. Start with a low setting and work your way up to a PSI that does the job well without damaging your patio.

Recommended Pressure Washer Attachments for Cleaning Patios

Attachments tend to make things go by a lot quicker and much more smoothly than if you were just to go with the pressure washer and overlook attachments. Here are some of the best pressure washer attachments for patios that you can get your hands on today.

Broom Attachments for Pressure Washers

Hook up the hose, and 3 streams have you covered with the water we need. Not to mention, it makes a wider path each time it reaches the end of its loop. And it makes it easier to blast clean a wider area with each path that you decide to make. 

Surface Cleaner for Pressure Washers

One of the most popular attachments for cleaning patios, because the round enclosure prevents overspray and minimizes flying debris when you're cleaning your patio. You'll clean the surface a lot quicker with this attachment, too!

Rotating Power Washer Brush

The Rotating Power Washer Brush is like a surface cleaner, but with the added power of water pressure. The rotating brush automatically gets rid of dirt and debris without much effort (it does do all that work for you). And it's great for small jobs!

Water Filters

You will install this between the water source and the feed line so that it filters the water as it’s being delivered. This will  ensure the cleanest patio possible and also prolong the life of your machine.

How Often Should you Pressure Wash your Patio?

This depends on a lot of things, including whether a mess was made on the patio that needs to be pressure washed or if there is a lot of dirt accumulated on it. It is far from uncommon for one to this every few months, but regardless, you give it wash at least once every year.

Frequently Asked Questions About Using a Pressure Washer to Clean A Patio

Are electric pressure washers any good for cleaning patios?

Yes. They can get the job done, but they are not nearly as durable or powerful as gas-powered pressure washers. Since that happens to be the case, it is highly recommended to use a gas-powered pressure washing machine for all your exterior jobs such as cleaning patios and washing your house.

Can I use Simple Green in a pressure washer?

Absolutely, they even have a cleaning solution specifically for use in power washers. If you don’t want a cleaner designed for pressure washing, consider the original Simple Green as it is safe for use in pressure washers, according to the Simple Green company. You don’t have to worry about doing any damage if you choose to go with either of these options, which should take a lot of the burden off.

Can I use vinegar in my pressure washer?

Yes, the only thing that you will want to make sure you do is to use white vinegar since it’s the better option of them all, however you can use any vinegar you like.

Q: How many PSI do I need to clean a patio?

1,500 PSI is often enough to wash a patio. However, if you have a brick or concrete patio, consider going up to 3,000 PSI (just make sure it is adjustable). This will give you the assurance you need to take on even the dirtiest patios on the block without sacrificing results.

Q: What is the best pressure washer to clean a concrete patio?

3,000 PSI will do the trick when it comes to cleaning both brick and concrete patios. You will want to choose the tip with the widest angle to ensure that the job gets done right the first time. 

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