Patio season is in full swing. Now is the time to enjoy your backyard with friends and family. But do you cringe every time you notice how dirty the concrete floor of your patio is? Not to worry – with a little elbow grease you can get that patio floor party-ready. Here’s what you need to do.
For a quick clean
If your patio is looking a tad dingy you can give it a quick clean with dishwashing detergent. Just mix up a little soap with water, work up some lather, and use a broom or mop to spread it. Once you’ve finished, rinse with clear water and let it air dry.
For a stain
Does your patio floor have a couple of mysterious stains or a patch of mold? You can conquer those, too, with some household bleach. First, spray your concrete floor with water. Next, use a solution of half a cup of bleach to one gallon of water and spray it on the concrete. Let the solution stand for a few minutes to penetrate. After that, use a brush or push broom to scrub the stain. Rinse the concrete with clear water and let it air dry. If you’re worried that the bleach will leave its own stain, do a test spot first in an inconspicuous area.
For an organic clean
If you don’t like the idea of using bleach, there are some organic alternatives you can try. Many people swear by the cleaning power of vinegar. Mix vinegar with equal parts water and spray onto the concrete surface. For stains, try using undiluted vinegar, or add salt to the vinegar to use as an abrasive for scrubbing. If you don’t like the smell that vinegar leaves behind, try adding a few drops of essential oil. You can also make a paste with baking soda and water and use that mixture to scrub out tough stains. Hydrogen peroxide is another great choice if you want to avoid chemicals. Just spray undiluted hydrogen peroxide on the concrete and scrub with a brush. As with the other methods, rinse with clear water and let air dry.
For a deep clean
Even though the methods above work well for most patios, you may be confronted with a stain that just won’t budge. For those tough areas, it’s time to pull out the big guns. Use a pressure washer if your patio has been neglected and needs a deep cleaning. If you don’t own a pressure washer, you can often rent them by the hour from a local home improvement store. Make sure to follow all manufacturers’ directions for using the pressure washer, including wearing protective gear. Use a steady back-and-forth motion to clean the concrete until it sparkles.
When it’s time for you to get that concrete patio ready for a party, we recommend starting with the least toxic cleaner and working up from there. Once you’re done, it’s time to bust out the barbecue, invite some friends and family over and celebrate!