A concrete patio is a lovely way to give your family more outdoor space, but the drawback is that it’s challenging to keep clean. Your patio may look dirty because of dirt, grass clippings, and other debris sticking to it.
The time of year can also have an impact; after a long winter, you can find your patio has a grubby appearance. You can clean your concrete patio or even a concrete driveway and make it look fresh, yet there are things to be cautious of first.
While a pressure washer can keep your patio clean, these can churn up your grass if you are not careful. Besides this, if you use any other cleaning method to get rid of grease stains, you could suffer chemical runoff from your cleaning process.
So, it is good to know which patio cement cleaner to use that won’t harm nearby grass. Luckily, in our guide, we have all you need to make some homemade solutions using common household cleaners to use as your cement patio cleaner. By the end, you’ll know all the possible ways to get rid of rust or oil stains from your patio without harming the grass nearby. (Learn Why Do Weeds Grow So Fast)
How To Clean Tough Stains From Your Concrete Patio?
You can purchase several efficient concrete cleansers, but many contain strong acids and harsh chemicals that harm or kill nearby grass.
Instead, clean the dirt, moss, or mildew from your patio or concrete pathway using the right tools and safe cleansers.
- Sweep the walkway with a stiff-bristled broom to remove any dirt or debris.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of mild dish soap and 3 gallons of warm water in a large plastic bucket.
- Spay your patio with a garden hose.
- Dip your stiff-bristled broom into your bucket
- Scrub the entire surface of your pathway or patio. You may need some elbow grease to remove even tough stains.
- Rinse your pathway using your hose. Ensure you spray the concrete and not the grass.
- Let your patio pathway dry completely before checking you have removed all the stains.
You can also spray the area using a power washer on low, although keep the pressure washer spray away from nearby plants and grass as you could damage them.
Cleaning Concrete Patio Without Killing Grass
What You’ll Need:
- Plastic Bucket
- Stiff Bristled Broom
- Dishwashing Liquid
- Hot Water
- First, rinse off the patio to remove any residual dirt, dust, and other debris.
- Next, wash the concrete with no bleach, soap, or water.
- Add 2 tablespoons of mild dish soap and 3 gallons of warm water in a bucket.
- The best way is to work on a small area at a time, focusing on dirty areas so they aren’t left while cleaning the rest of the space, which should already be clean.
- After applying your DIY concrete patio cleaner, all discolorations should come off quickly and dry with a slight sheen.
- Avoid letting soap dry before rinsing again.
- After the patio has dried, sweep it to remove dirt and dust.
- Boiling water poured over the concrete surface will break down grease but leave behind an oily residue that may kill plants if left too long.
- Pour dish soap and warm water on the dry floor to create suds.
- Use a scrub brush to remove dirt, then rinse.
- Never leave bleach or other strong chemicals on the freshly washed patio, as they can damage the grass and contaminate nearby groundwater.
Use pressure washers sparingly, as they can saturate concrete floors with dirt and harm nearby plants.
If stains remain, use an industrial-grade cleaner on your freshly cleaned patio; don’t cover any plants.
Will white vinegar kill grass?
It is ineffective to spray vinegar on entire lawns to control weeds. It might kill the weeds, but the grass will probably also die. So instead, you can apply direct to weeds using a spray bottle, or you can use it on your dirty patio. While tough on weeds, it is an excellent component of homemade concrete cleaner that won’t kill grass at dilutions. (Learn How To Keep Zucchini Fresh)
Top Eco-Friendly Patio Cleaners
1. Oxy Solve Total Outdoor Pressure Washer Cleaner
Oxy Solve Total Outdoor Pressure Washer Cleaner is a powerful cleaner that combines oxygen with other cleaning agents to remove dirt and grime from your outdoor grill, patio furniture, decking, patios, and more. It can also be used indoors to break down tough stains like grease and oil on kitchen ceramic tiles.
2. 30% Vinegar Pure Natural & Safe Industrial Strength Concentrate
A natural cleaner that is present in most homes is vinegar. Despite being environmentally friendly, it is safe for all surfaces, powerful enough to remove even the toughest stains and odors, and won’t hurt animals or harm plants when diluted. With no additional chemicals, like ammonia, Vinegar Pure Industrial Strength Concentrate is made from pure cane vinegar and distilled water.
3. Safe ‘n Easy Concrete Oil, Grease Cleaner & Stain Remover Spray
Concrete stain, oil, and grease remover can help remove all the oils off your patio or driveway. Because kids are kids, they leave dirty handprints everywhere so that you can use this on walls without worry. This oil stain remover spray removes oil stains without fail or fuss because its eco-friendly formula leaves no residue.
How To Get Rid Of Moss, Mold, and Grease on Concrete Patio
Because concrete is commonly used for driveways, patios, and pathways, most cleaning solutions are geared toward oil spills, although other issues are from moss, mold, and grease.
Here are a few tips to manage the problem:
- Grease, mold, and moss can all be removed using a vinegar solution.
- Use white vinegar cleaning solution diluted in an equal amount of water to get rid of moss and mold.
- Grease responds similarly to the same solution, and ensure you add enough water to saturate the patio to prevent the vinegar from absorbing into your concrete.
- Avoid the grass, use a spray bottle with a smaller spread, start in the center, and work your way outward. A water-resistant sheet can cover your patio’s surroundings.
You can spot-clean the patio by combining equal parts water, liquid detergent, and baking soda. To clean the entire patio, dilute the same solution four times in a bucket. (Learn Can I Apply Insecticide And Fertilizer At The Same Time)
Clean Pathway & Patio Without Harming Surrounding Grass
Before using elbow grease and chemicals, apply by cleaning your surface and using an environmentally friendly method to clean concrete and patio pavers without damaging nearby plants.
- Plan to clean the concrete annually and reapply the sealer every five years.
- Before using a gentle, non-acid cleaning solution to wash your concrete patio and walkways, thoroughly wet the area.
- Sweep leaves to prevent tannin stains and quickly clean up spills, particularly those involving liquids like wine or coffee.
- Because wire bristles will scuff the sealant and concrete surface, use a non-wire, stiff-bristled brush or broom when sweeping away leaves and scrubbing mold.
- You can prevent rust stains by routinely checking wrought-iron patio furniture to ensure the metal is sealed.
Environmentally Friendly Cleaning
- Once a stain occurs, more forceful cleaning methods are required.
- Start out gently using water, degreasing detergent, and a broom with stiff bristles.
- Water the plants and soil nearby, which prevents chemicals from leeching into the soil too much.
- Saturate the concrete with water, then use a detergent and water solution while scrubbing with a broom.
- If you need to up your stain-busting efforts, we advise using a solution of 1/8 cup degreasing dishwashing liquid, 1/2 cup baking soda, and 1 cup hydrogen peroxide in 1 gallon of water.
Although using a pressure washer to clean concrete might seem like a quick solution, these machines use 1,500 to 3,300 pounds per square inch of pressure.
If the nozzle is too close to the concrete, the high-pressure stream will etch the concrete surface, hurting people.
If you pressure wash along the edge, the water’s force will probably rip out soil and grass. The plant may never fully recover from the damage, even though the grass can be replaced. (Learn How Long To Run Soaker Hose For Tomatoes)
Cleaning Concrete Tips and Advice
Acids damage concrete, so after using an acid solution on any concrete, plan on cleaning the pavers with a baking soda cleaning solution.
- When cleaning patio slabs with a vinegar sprayed directly for removing rust stains, it is necessary to soak the stained concrete in white vinegar for roughly 20 minutes before vigorously scrubbing and thoroughly rinsing.
- Muriatic acid will remove deeply embedded stains from cement, but it should be cautiously handled because it is corrosive.
- Using muriatic acid requires personal protective equipment, so wear gloves, goggles, and boots.
- Like bleach, a strong basic solution must clean a concrete patio to kill mold and mildew and remove stains. However, this method also requires personal protective equipment.
- Use a bleach solution of 1 cup to 1 gallon of hot water, but rinse well with lots of water to dilute the bleach before it touches nearby plants.
- Mixing acids and bases release toxic gases.
- Applying an acid product over a base product is not recommended.
- Applying a base product, such as bleach, where an acid product has been used on stubborn stains isn’t recommended.
- Before allowing kids or pets back into the area, thoroughly rinse the application areas and let them dry completely.