Despite living in the unpredictable UK climate, we still spend a lot of time in the garden – even when the weather isn’t great!
Of course, one thing that can put us off fully enjoying our outdoor space is an ugly layer of green mould across the patio. Mould, grime, algae can all cause problems; they can be quite slippery and dangerous too!
Luckily, sprucing up dirty patios can be done quickly and easily with specially-designed patio cleaning solutions.
There are a lot of products on the market, which can make it tricky to find the best patio cleaner. Some are more suited to cleaning certain types of mould, and some require different application methods.
The following advice will help you make an informed choice and choose the best patio cleaner for your outdoor space:
Patio Cleaner vs Pressure Washer
Although a pressure washer can be a good option for cleaning the patio, they are far more expensive than patio cleaners and certainly require you to put more work in. Plus, a pressure washer can cause damage to the patio if used too often. Portable pressure washers generally have less power than mains powered models, so this could also be a decent alternative.
However grout in paving slab cracks can become dislodged by using a pressure washer. Therefore, it’s best to keep pressure washer use to a minimum if possible.
Patio cleaners don’t require fierce scrubbing or excessive elbow grease. In fact, they often require next to no work from you at all. The best patio cleaner will simply require that you mix the solution and spread/spray it over the patio. Some cleaners will need to be applied with a brush, and in some cases you will have to rinse the area with the garden hose.
Whilst a pressure washer can be great for doing an annual deep clean, a patio cleaner is really all that’s needed for a quick spruce up which will really have lasting results without causing damage to the stones.
Look for a Safe Patio Cleaner
Patio cleaners contain a range of chemicals, some of which are more damaging than others.
In particular, it’s not unusual for patio cleaner to contain chlorine bleach. Naturally, this is very effective for cleaning the patio, but it needs to be used very carefully. Product run off from such harsh chemical cleaners can have serious effects on aquatic life and wildlife. Plus, contact with the cleaner could have serious health implications.
When choosing the best patio cleaner, it’s advisable to look for an option that isn’t unnecessarily abrasive. There are plenty of eco friendly/organic options out there which don’t contain bleach. Also, look for a pet friendly patio cleaner if you have either pets or children around the house. Overall, there’s no need to use chemicals that are harsher than necessary to get the job done!
Whichever cleaner you choose, you should still wear protective clothing, avoid getting it on your skin, and allow the patio to dry before allowing your kids or pets back outside.
Ease of Use and Versatility
Patio cleaning solution is generally very easy to use. Different brands require different levels of dilution, but it’s not difficult to measure out the formula into a separate container.
Patio cleaners can also be very versatile, with some solutions not only able to clean patios but other hard surfaces which also green mould and algae, such as caravans and window frames. The Pro-Kleen Patio Cleaner, for example, can be used to clean roofs, fending, uPVC windows and motor homes! Having a versatile product can make it even better value for money, as well as make your life easier by not requiring you to buy separate cleaning products.
Lastly, there are products which don’t need rinsing. These can really save time and are so simple to use. After applying the solution, you simply wait for it to dry, and that’s it! No need to return to wash it off. This can be a great help if you’ve got other jobs to get on with.
Cleaners with Long-Lasting Results
Patio cleaners can vary in terms of how long they keep delivering results for.
Most products are long lasting, with some able to keep green mould and algae at bay for up to 12 months after the initial application.
As seen in the product reviews on this page, some patio cleaners ‘reactivate’ when it rains. These tend to be the products with the longest-lasting effects because there’s no need to re-apply manually, they’ll just get back to work when there’s precipitation.
You’ll also find that there are some cleaners which are better suited to giving longer-lasting results when treating different types of mould. If you’re having a particular problem with black spot mould, for example, the Smartseal Patio Clean Xtreme states it can be used neat to specifically target this type of issue, keeping it effectively at bay.
Size of the Bottle and Dilution
As mentioned, patio cleaners generally require dilution. It’s good practise to check the dilution of the patio cleaner you’re looking at – some smaller bottles may be better value for money than larger bottles if they are more concentrated.
If you have a very large patio, look for a patio cleaner that covers a wider area. Most bottles of patio cleaner will list the coverage area in square metres, so you can check how suitable the product is for the size of your outdoor space.
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