Last updated on June 2nd, 2023
Unlike your lawn, which is always covered with lush green grass, your concrete patio and driveway are more susceptible to weather elements meaning you can easily tell when it’s damaged.
Most compound debris accumulates around the patio and driveway, and even mold will creep in places with little light or increased humidity.
So you might wonder how to clean concrete patio without pressure washer or if it is possible in the first place. Yes, you can clean cement patio without pressure washer, depending on how dirty and stained it is.
While a pressure washer is essential for heavy cleaning, it’s not the only option for keeping your concrete patio clean. A pressure washer is generally an expensive piece of equipment, and not everyone can afford it.
It’s also known to damage certain concrete patios with prolonged use. So today, we will present you with other options for cleaning an outdoor concrete patio: we will show you how to clean a concrete patio without pressure washer. Keep reading to learn more.
Table of Contents
What Is Concrete Patio, And What Are The Different Types?
Before we guide you through the steps on cleaning concrete patio without pressure washer, it would be best to understand concrete patios in general and which ones can be cleaned using methods other than pressure washer.
You can take better care of this essential part of your home if you understand it since concrete is just one of the many materials used to build a patio.
Additional materials include bricks, flagstone, gravel, etc. Of these, concrete is more durable and popular. Concrete typically has a rough surface intended to prevent slips and falls.
While this is an excellent safety consideration, maintenance is tricky, requiring regular and rigorous cleaning. So today, we will help you understand how to clean a concrete patio without a pressure washer, among other maintenance tips.
But first, how many concrete patio types are there?
Poured concrete is known as the most durable type of concrete for patios and driveways. It can be made with thick concrete for stability, but it’s usually smooth and flat on the surface, making it ideal for different outdoor purposes.
The smooth surface allows easy cleaning, and its durable nature will enable it to withstand different weather conditions.
Often confused with natural stone or wood, stamped concrete has beautiful motifs and comes in various colors. It is relatively affordable than poured concrete and is an excellent option for low budget projects. It’s also easier to clean and maintain than other types of concrete.
Concrete pavers are a favorite with many homeowners, thanks to their shape, color, texture, and aesthetic diversity. This patio type works best in sandy soils, although it tends to have wide gaps that may require covering with pea gravel.
Do You Need a Power Washer To Clean Concrete Patio?
Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t necessarily need a pressure washer to clean your concrete patio.
While power washing your patio or driveway is highly efficient, sometimes it’s not possible, and other alternative options work just as great.
Besides, a pressure washer has its demerits and is known to degrade concrete surfaces with time. So prolonged use of a power washer can significantly damage your concrete patio or driveway.
Therefore there are other alternatives or substitutes for pressure washing outdoors if you can’t afford a pressure washer or want to minimize potential damage to your concrete surfaces. All these techniques are included in this guide.
What Are The Downsides Of Pressure Washing Concrete Patio?
If you go through the online reviews on pressure washers, you’ll immediately believe it’s the ultimate household savior. The raving feedback doesn’t usually factor in the downsides of this equipment, and the enlightened consumer will need to do their research before making a purchase.
So yes, most people are not totally sold out and would rather use other means to clean their backyards.
Among the drawbacks is the tool’s nature to emit high-pressure water, which is usually 30-80 times stronger than the average hose.
The high pressure can quickly and significantly cause damage to patio furniture and concrete surfaces.
You’ll need to be experienced to use and manage it; otherwise, it will not be possible to control potential damages from the too-strong pressure of water it releases to clean dirt in seconds.
Fatal accidents can occur if this high-pressure water hits a child or a pet, and you may not contain the situation in time.
Besides, this equipment is costly, and given the risks involved, not many people are willing to invest much money in it.
However, if you fully understand the risks involved and can expertly control them, you can use this cleaning equipment, and it can save you a lot of expenses in the long run.
Can You Clean Concrete Patio Without Pressure Washer?
Pressure washers are useful, no doubt. However, they’re expensive, and not everyone can afford them. In addition, you need some special skills to operate it; otherwise, it can be a safety risk.
So yes, you can clean a concrete patio without a pressure washer. Your outdoors shouldn’t be untidy or disorganized just because you don’t have a pressure washing machine.
There are many alternatives, but before we explain them one by one, here is a list of what you’ll need to clean your concrete patio without pressure washer.
Tools You Need To Clean Concrete Patio Without Pressure Washer
The following is a list of some of the tools and equipment you’ll need to clean your outdoors without a pressure washer:
- Garden hose
- Pump sprayer (at least one gallon).
- Broom for sweeping the debris
- Water for actual washing
- Bleach: Outdoor bleach is recommended for cleaning sidewalks, patios, driveways, and other concrete surfaces
How to Clean a Sidewalk Without a Pressure Washer: Quick Steps
Follow these easy steps and techniques to clean your outdoor concrete surfaces without necessarily using a pressure washer.
Getting Rid Of Accumulated Debris
First things first. Your driveway or patio may have collected a lot of debris, including dried leaves, dead plants, and other dirt. You want to sweep it all first before you get down to the actual cleaning work.
For this, we recommend using a broom or deck brush to make the job easier and avoid having the cleaning solution blocked by debris.
Method 1: Use Bleach Solution
To use bleach to clean your yard, consider the following steps:
- Prepare Bleach Cleaning Solution
If you’re planning on using bleach, you can’t use it in its natural form without first diluting it. Simply mix the bleach with water to create the perfect cleaning solution. Use a ratio of 2:1 water to bleach and transfer it to the pump sprayer.
- Spray Down The Concrete Surface
Having swept the concrete and prepared your cleaning solution, the next step is to saturate the area with the cleaning solution you just prepared using a spray bottle. For best results, saturate the entire surface to eliminate stubborn stains and grime.
Allow it to sit on the ground for at least one hour. However, ensure that pets and kids are kept away from the area you intend to clean. Remember you’re working with bleach, and it’s not safe to have such fragile loved ones close by.
After an hour or so, get the garden hose and spray the targeted surface down. This method allows you to safely and conveniently clean your outdoor spaces without much effort.
Method 2: Use Vinegar Solution
These steps will guide you through the process if you prefer to use a vinegar solution to clean your concrete patio without pressure washer.
Vinegar is an excellent and natural household cleaning agent. As with bleach, you can’t use raw vinegar to clean your driveway or patio.
You’ll need to mix it with other ingredients like water to create an ideal cleaning solution. Making a homemade patio cleaner from vinegar is affordable and eco-friendly.
Mix vinegar with water and apply it on the surfaces you want to clean. Allow to sit for 20 minutes and scrub, then rinse thoroughly by flushing with lots of water.
Method 3: Use Muriatic Acid
- Safety First
Muriatic acid is a solid chemical solution that is suitable for getting rid of stubborn stains to leave a cleaner, brighter concrete. And while Muriatic acid is relatively effective, you want to ensure safety while handling it. So before getting started, wear your protective clothing and gloves. Next, hose up the area to hydrate it.
- Create A Solution
Since this is a powerful chemical, you shouldn’t use it without diluting it. Follow the instructions on the bottle for the perfect mixing ratio. In general, it should be a 50:1 solution of water to muriatic acid, but we recommend a 20:1 ratio for starters.
- Clean and Rinse
After mixing the Muriatic acid to get the ideal cleaning solution, use a pump sprayer to apply it to the concrete. Expect it to brighten up your concrete after a thorough cleaning. Next, allow it to sit for an hour and rinse thoroughly using a garden hose.
Method 4: Use Baking Soda
Using bleach to clean concrete patio without a pressure washer should be the last option on your list, given the toxic nature of this chemical. You can use other eco-friendly options like baking soda.
For this option, create a homemade patio cleaner by combining baking soda with water. If you prefer, add vinegar to make it stronger.
The formula will be strong enough to fight stubborn stains but safe enough to use. Pour it on the surfaces you want to clean and let it rest for some time. Next, scrub gently with a brush and rinse thoroughly.
Method 5: Use Trisodium Phosphate (TSP)
Yet another reliable cleaning formula is a mixture of water and TSP. For this method, sprinkle the solution on the surfaces and scrub off with a brush to eliminate tough stains.
Once done, spray the area with a garden hose to rinse off the residues. TSP is a relatively affordable cleaning agent that you can purchase from your local department store
What Are The Best Ways To Clean Stains Off A Concrete Patio Using Household Cleaners?
Since using bleach, TPS, and other detergents might not be safe for children, pets, and outdoor plants, there are still other safer options for cleaning your patio without pressure washer that will guarantee excellent results. These alternatives include:
Drinking Soda: Drinking soda contains three ingredients that are effective stain removers. These are carbonated water or carbonic acid, a formula containing carbon dioxide, citric and phosphoric acids. These ingredients help dissolve grease and abrasions on concrete surfaces. While you can use just about any soda for this option, Coke is the most recommended solution. To use it, pour the soda on the concrete and leave it to sit for 30-60 minutes, then scrub with a brush until the stain is completely removed.
Laundry Detergent: Laundry detergents work great on oily and greasy surfaces and are also typically safe. However, this option requires a lot of scrubbing to get the best possible results. After applying it to the surface, leave it to absorb and fight the stains for some time, wash vigorously, rinse and sweep the water with a broom.
Depending on which laundry detergent you use, you can follow the instructions on the container, especially on the correct amount to use. You can add some baking soda to the laundry agent for a more powerful combo. An eighth cup of liquid dish detergent is recommended for mixing with baking soda to fight off the grime.
How To Prevent Future Stains On Concrete Patio?
Stains tend to impact the aesthetics of concrete negatively. While stains do not affect the structure of your patio or other outdoor surfaces, they can alter your home’s overall curb appeal.
You want to eliminate any stains, be it oil on the garage floor or wine spills on concrete countertops, ultimately to maintain clean, polished surfaces.
To achieve this, you can use two products to protect your surfaces from retaining permanent stains. These two include penetrating concrete sealer and durable concrete coating.
- Penetrating concrete sealers: These natural finish products contain Fluro polymers that help prevent permanent stains such as oils and greases. You can use them to keep surface spills and materials from seeping into the concrete and instead pooling on the surface to facilitate easy cleaning. Still, these products have limitations, and you’ll need to clean up surface spills faster enough; otherwise, the spills will eventually enter concrete.
- Durable concrete coatings: As the name implies, these coating products are more effective than penetrating concrete sealers and completely lock out spills from entering concrete. Durable concrete coatings are highly resilient and chemical resistant and can lock out just about anything from oil to gasoline and acids. Even better, such spills can stay pooled on the surface for a long time and don’t require urgent cleaning.
FAQs: How To Clean Concrete Patio Without Pressure Washer
What is the best chemical patio cleaner?
Our top picks for the best chemical patio cleaner include:
- Karcher Patio and deck cleaner
- Ultima-Plus XP Green Mold & Algae Remover
- Jeyes Patio & Decking Power Outdoor Cleaner
- Wet & Forget Rapid
- Pro-Kleen Ready to Use Simply Spray & Walk Away
- Patio Magic! Battery Power Sprayer Patio Cleaner
Can I use washing powder to clean my concrete patio?
Yes, powdered laundry detergent is an effective patio concrete cleaner but not entirely. It has its limitations and may not remove stubborn stains altogether, so you can only use it on fresh stains and spills.
How do you remove mold and mildew from concrete patio?
Scrub the area using a mold-eliminating formula such as RMR-86 Instant Mold & Mildew Stain Remover or an effective household bleaching solution mixed with water.
What is the most effective patio cleaner?
There are several reputable brands in the market, among those that we tested and can recommend include Pro-Kleen Ready To Use Simply Spray & Walk Away as the best overall patio cleaner, Wet & Forget Moss Mold Lichen & Algae Remover, which is the best for large cement surfaces and Gardenersdream Kennel Cleaner, the best for cleaning dog urine on patios.
Is borax good for cleaning concrete patios?
If there’s a cleaning agent that can effectively cut through grease and abrasions, it’s borax or sodium borate. As an emulsifier, borax is an excellent solution for cleaning stained cement surfaces.
Can you Clean Concrete Patio With Vinegar Solution?
Yes, especially if mixed with baking soda. These are natural cleaning agents that effectively remove cement patios with stubborn stains. Mix them in equal proportions and scrub before rinsing.
Being an outdoor space, patios can accumulate dirt and become uninviting. Fortunately, you can get it sparkling clean without necessarily power washing it.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a pressure washing machine. Simply try out some of the different cleaning methods outlined in this guide to restore the homely feel of your yard.
While some of these cleaning techniques involve using strong chemicals, be sure to follow the instructions on the product containers to ensure safety.
A clean patio will not only encourage your loved ones to spend more time outdoors, but you can even host outdoor luncheons and small dinner parties, so never allow grime and debris to spoil such precious moments.