Everyone loves a beautiful lawn, so having filthy paving slabs can be a big problem. Not all people think this is a problem because plants are supposed to be the main star in gardens, right? But a patio can make or break a garden because this is where most people spend their time.
So, if it’s essential to clean your patio, do you need to use harsh chemicals? No. You can use products that are readily available at home, non-toxic, and biodegradable. Aside from that, they won’t pose a threat to your plants or pets, so it’s a must-have if you want to have clean paving slabs.
Here are some of the things that you need to know before cleaning your pavers:
Can You Clean Pavers Without Chemicals?
If you prefer to use eco-friendly products, vinegar, and baking soda are viable alternatives. When they are mixed with water, they can be a powerful cleaning agent. Also, they’re both safe for your pets and plants!
They are also good for the environment because unlike some of the cleaning agents that can be bought on the market, they are biodegradable. So, you won’t contribute to water and soil pollution.
Is It as Effective?
Since vinegar is non-toxic and biodegradable, it is one of the best ways to clean your paving slabs if you don’t want to harm your garden plants, your pets, or the soil. But not all kinds of vinegar are made the same. If you’re going to double down on using only eco-friendly products from this point forward, you should look for vinegar that is not distilled from petroleum.
Also, the acidity of the vinegar-water solution will lift the dirt and grime, which means that you’ll only need a brush in cleaning. So, you don’t need to use other equipment which may be complicated to use or expensive.
But since it is acidic, you should try to move plant pots or other furniture away from the area that needs cleaning. There will also be a foul smell after you finish cleaning, but it will be gone in a few hours.
On the other hand, baking soda is useful because it is slightly abrasive, which is excellent for the rough surfaces of paving slabs. When it is mixed with water, it can dissolve dirt and grease, and like vinegar, you’ll only need a brush or broom when cleaning.
Also, it is safer than other cleaning agents because it only produces CO2 and water. Its effectiveness can also be improved when it is mixed with soap and tap water. Since baking soda has alkaline properties, it neutralizes the minerals in the water, so it magnifies the soap’s cleaning properties.
What Equipment Should I Use?
The tools that you need to use are quite simple and are readily available in almost all homes. But it depends on the current state of your paving slabs which changes the steps that you need to take to clean them.
So, for the most basic cleaning you’ll need:
- A stiff-bristled brush (preferably a big one) or a garden broom
- A bucket or watering can
- Warm water
You can use a pressure washer to do the job, and it can be very useful in cleaning paving slabs. But it’s not recommended if you don’t have enough experience in using it because you can be exposed to a significant risk. Pressure washers can cause serious physical injuries or damage to your paving slabs or home.
What Type of Techniques Works Best?
There’s only one way to effectively clean your paving slabs if you want to do it yourself – manual labour. So, here’s how you should do it:
- Declutter the patio and sweep it
- Fill a bucket with warm water with the natural product of your choice.
- Pour the mixture generously on the stained areas
- Start scrubbing by using a broom or brush. If you’re trying to focus on the affected areas, a brush will be more effective.
- After you see that the dirt has been removed, rinse by using a garden hose or a bucket of water
- Let the paving slabs dry and place the plant boxes or furniture back to their places
Should I Get My Pavers Cleaned by A Professional?
Hiring people to clean your paving slabs is a good option. But as with all things, it does have its pros and cons:
- They can clean your paving slabs faster because they use pressure washers
- You can be assured that your paving slabs will be cleaned thoroughly (and you can ask for a refund if you’re not satisfied)
- The risk of damage to your paving slabs is considerably lower
- Can be expensive
- Booking an appointment is sometimes stressful
- Your plants and pets can be harmed because they usually use strong chemicals
If you can set aside enough time to clean your paving slabs yourself, a DIY is never a bad idea. You can also save a lot of money and be assured that the results will be up to your standards.
But sometimes you’ll need help, especially if the stains are tough to remove. So, you’ll need to use a pressure washer which can be handled better by the professionals.
Can I Mix My Natural Cleaning Products to Clean Pavers?
Yes. First, you need to fill a bucket with water and mix it with a cup of baking soda. If you want to have a more effective cleaning solution, add a little biodegradable detergent. Second, mix it well and spray or pour it to your pavers. Third, leave it for around 30 minutes. Lastly, brush it then rinse it off.
Will Natural Products Remove Algae?
Natural products are useful, but they often require more scrubbing than chemical products. A solution of diluted bleach with one-part bleach to nine parts water can help kill and prevent algae. But if you want to have an eco-friendlier alternative, you can use a mixture of white vinegar and water.
Sam Christie is the owner and operator of Christies landscapes, founded in 2013 Sam and his team of landscapers and designers have many years experience in the landscape construction industry. Over the years they have developed and refined a broad range of skills, qualifications and techniques to deliver outstanding projects throughout the Canberra region.