How to clean a patio naturally — even if it's really grubby

Young girl entering through the door of the house and making a mess on the floor with her grandmother watching her.

How to clean a patio naturally – even if it's really grubby 


If outdoor get-togethers with loved ones are on the agenda, the patio is where the party happens. And when you’ve got your nearest and dearest coming round it’s probably time to pay it a little attention. After all, everyone’s outdoor space gets grubby – splatters from the sky, leftover gunk from a previous BBQ, or the inevitable grime from muddy boots. Yep! It’s time to clean. Ready to scrub off all that muck? Here’s how to clean a patio naturally. 


How to clean a patio without chemicals – you know it makes sense 


While it’s going to take a little elbow grease to get rid of the gunk on your patio, chemical cleaning isn’t the way to go. Whether you’ve just moved in and want a cosy space for your first get together, or you’re cleaning patio slabs that have been peppered by a pooing pigeon over the last few years, getting a clean patio naturally is easily doable. 


There are a number of benefits to cleaning patio slabs with natural ingredients vs chemical solutions. Here are some of the biggest: 


  • Chemical solutions often leave a strong odour. It’s much harder to rinse away the stink of harsh cleaners compared to natural ones. 
  • Natural ingredients are usually better for the environment. ‘Nuff said. 
  • It’s safer for your furry friends. Cleaning patio slabs with vinegar, for example, is a lot safer than chucking down a load of a bleach-based solution. 
  • And safer for your skin. Wearing gloves is the number one rule however you learn how to clean patio slabs, but a little vinegar splash on your arm is probably not going to cause anywhere near the level of irritation a chemical cleaner could. 


Cleaning patio slabs with vinegar – the materials 


Whether it’s the remains of a burnt sausage, grime leftover from whatever the little darlings have managed to tread across the patio, or a poopy present that’s come from up above, cleaning a patio with vinegar solution is a great way to bring it back to scratch. It’s easy to make, and it’ll make you really happy when you see the results. 


You might have just moved into your first property with a patio or been thinking about giving yours a good clean for years; either way, this vinegar cleaner will get the job done. 


Here’s what you need: 


  • White vinegar  
  • Bucket 
  • Rubber gloves 
  • Bicarbonate of soda 
  • Brush 
  • Hose 
  • Kitchen towel 


Ingredients gathered. Now it’s time to attack the grubbiness. Deep breath – you’ve got this! 


How to clean patio slabs with vinegar – the method 


Ready to go? From mixing up the solution to the final rinse, this step-by-step guide shows you how to clean a patio without chemicals: 


  1. Sweep away as much dry dirt and debris as you can.  
  2. Gloves on! 
  3. Pour equal parts of vinegar and water into your bucket. It’s best to go halfway to start with. 
  4. The fun part. Sprinkle in a few spoons of a bicarb and watch the bubbles. Don’t worry, this is meant to happen. Science in progress. Once the bubbles have settled you can add a little more of everything to fill the bucket… depending on just how grimy the patio is. 
  5. The patch test. Before you dive in cleaning the patio with vinegar, a little test is in order. Head for a corner, or an area that’s going to be covered by a pot. Basically, anywhere that’s inconspicuous. Test your cleaner to see how it reacts with your patio. 


Tip: One sheet of Plenty kitchen towel is all you need for the patch test. Its superior strength and absorbency is perfect for the job. Wet it. Wring it. Wipe it. Dry it. And see what’s left behind. There won’t be any moisture, that’s for sure.    

  1. Once you’re happy that the cleaner hasn’t caused any negative reaction, you can crack on. Pour your cleaner over the patio. Don’t be shy either.  
  2. Take your brush and get scrubbing. You might have to spend a little longer on stubborn areas. For really stubborn stains, make a small solution of vinegar and bicarb. Mix to make a paste and then scrub it in. 
  3. Finally, turn on the hose and rinse away. If you haven’t got round to buying a new hose to go with your new house, or your old one’s spraying out the sides as well as the front, you can splash a few buckets of clean water over the patio to finish the job. 
  4. Get your hairdryer out and carefully dry each patio slab, one by one. Only joking! You can let the patio dry naturally. 
  5. Repeat the process if need be. Fingers crossed you won’t have to, but it’s not the end of the world if you do when the process is that easy.  


And that’s that – how to get a clean patio, naturally. Now you’re ready to enjoy your get- together… and clean up the inevitable gunk afterwards too! 

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