How to Clean a Concrete Patio

Driveways and patios made of concrete are functional, economical, and long-lasting options. Concrete is no longer just a hard, drab grey surface; because to design improvements like adding color stains, stamping, and sealers, concrete is now more visually appealing than ever before and has even made its way into the interior of homes in the form of flooring and countertops. Concrete patios can retain their stunning appearance for many years with only a little amount of TLC, despite the fact that they are subjected to severe weather and heavy foot traffic.

How Often to Clean Concrete Patios

The majority of patios just require cleaning once every single year. The beginning of spring is an ideal time to clean away the muck and dirt accumulated throughout the winter. On the other hand, if your barbeque grill has left behind food stains or drips of oil, you should consider giving it a thorough cleaning in the fall as well.

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools

Unsealed Concrete Patios

  • Broom or leaf blower
  • Garden hose
  • Sponge mop
  • Nylon-bristled scrub brush

Red Mud & Rust Stains

  • Nylon-bristled scrub brush
  • Garden hose or power washer

Mildew Stains

  • Spray bottle or sponge mop
  • Old towels or plastic sheeting
  • Eye protective gear
  • Nylon-bristled scrub brush
  • Garden hose or power washer

Grease Stains

  • Broom
  • Nylon-bristled scrub brush
  • Garden hose

Materials

Unsealed Concrete Patios

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Baking soda

Red Mud & Rust Stains

  • Oxalic acid or a commercial cleaner containing oxalic acid

Mildew Stains

  • Chlorine bleach
  • Water

Grease Stains

  • Kitty litter or cornstarch
  • Commercial degreaser

Instructions

How to Clean Unsealed Concrete Patios

  1. Clear the Patio

Take everything off the patio, including the grills, furniture, plants, and toys. You can pick up trash and garbage with either a broom or a leaf blower. The next step is to use a garden hose with a spray nozzle to soak the concrete with water.

  1. Mix the Cleaners

Pour 1 cup of baking soda into a plastic bucket or bowl. Slowly pour in two cups of distilled white vinegar. If you mix the ingredients together slowly, the foam will settle. The texture should be like a cream soup, thick enough to stay on top but not too thick to spread. Spread the mixture over the concrete with a sponge mop. Depending on how big your patio is, you might need to double or even triple the ingredients.

  1. Scrub

Let the mixture sit on the concrete for about half an hour. Use a scrub brush with nylon bristles to clean the entire surface. Small pieces of metal can be left behind by metal brushes. Use a scrub brush with a long handle that can be attached to save your back and knees.

  1. Rinse and Dry

Rinse to get rid of the cleaning solution. Make sure to spray clean water on any grass or bushes near the patio that might have gotten vinegar or baking soda on them. Before putting furniture or other things back on the concrete, let it dry completely so they don’t get stained.

How to Remove Red Mud and Rust Stains

Rust stains on furniture legs and grills are very hard to get rid of. In some parts of the country, the soil has so much iron that red mud stains have to be cleaned like rust stains. Before you can get rid of mildew stains, you need to get rid of rust stains. With chlorine bleach, rust stains can be made to stay there for good.

  1. Apply the Cleaner and Scrub
    Sweep the area clean of any dirt or dust. Follow the directions on the bottle, apply the cleaner to the stained area, and scrub with a nylon-bristled brush.
  2. Rinse and Dry
    The cleaner should be washed off with clean water, and the area should be left to dry. If the stain is still there, do it again.

 How to Remove Mildew Stains From Concrete Patios

When it is wet outside, concrete patios will often have heavy mildew stains. To kill the mildew spores and get rid of the black spots, you will need to use chlorine bleach. Spores can’t be killed by bleach with oxygen, but it will get rid of stains.

  1. Clear the Patio and Mix the Cleaner
    After you have taken everything off the patio, mix one part chlorine bleach with two parts water in a plastic bucket or spray bottle. To keep the solution from getting on the grass and bushes, you will need to use old towels or a plastic sheet. The bleach will hurt the plants and might even kill them. Always wear old clothes and safety glasses so you don’t get bleach stains on them.
  1. Apply and Wait
    You can spray the mildew spots with the bleach solution or use the mop to spread it over the spots. Let the cleaner work for five to thirty minutes, depending on how bad the stains are.
  1. Scrub and Rinse
    Scrub the concrete with a brush with nylon bristles, and then rinse it well with the garden hose. A power washer blasts dirt away by shooting a much stronger stream of water at it. This helps get rid of stains that are hard to get out. After the patio is clean, rinse the plants with a hose.

How to Remove Grease Stains

Grease stains should be cleaned up as soon as possible because concrete is porous. When grease sits for a long time, it gets deeper into the surface. Be patient. It may take more than one cleaning to get rid of grease stains.

  1. Apply the Cleaner and Wait
    Spread at least an inch of kitty litter or cornstarch over the grease spot. Let it soak up the grease for up to three days, or 24 hours.
  1. Check, Scrub, and Rinse
    Grab the cat litter and look at the stained spot. If it’s still there, start over at step 1. If the stain is almost gone, spray it with a commercial degreaser and scrub it with a nylon-bristled brush. You can clean it with a garden hose and then let it dry. If necessary, say it again.

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