Easily Clean Your Concrete Patio With Just One Kitchen Staple

Once the winter snow has melted and spring has officially begun, you may go out to your patio ready to sit outside and relax in the sunshine only to find that your once pristine concrete patio is now covered in grime. Having to clean your patio at least once a year is quite normal, but even so, it can be a pain. Luckily, there's an easy way to lift that grime off the concrete without the need to buy a pressure washer, and all you need is one simple household ingredient — dish soap. In fact, dish soap is the recommended cleaner for most concrete patios because it is a degreaser that is tough enough to remove long-standing grime while being gentle enough not to damage the stone.

However, to get the best results, some preparation needs to be done before you start the cleaning process. First, you should remove all the furniture and any other items (like flowerpots or garden decorations) that are on your patio. Then, if your patio is made of concrete pavers, you should pull any weeds that have popped up between the stones. Finally, you should sweep your patio to remove any remaining leaves, sticks, and other debris. 

Removing patio grime with dish soap

Now that your patio is ready to be cleaned with dish soap, how should you go about doing it? Well, for best results, you should first wet your entire patio down with a hose. This will start loosening and lifting some stains so that your patio is easier to clean with the dishwashing solution. Then, once your patio is wet, go ahead and mix one drop of dish soap per gallon of warm water and stir the mixture until bubbly. You should apply the mixture to your entire patio making sure to focus on the areas that are grimy or stained. Let the soapy water sit on your patio for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing it away with clean water from the hose.

This method should lift most dirt and grime from your patio, but to remove stubborn stains, you may have to add the warm, soapy water mixture again and then scrub the area with a synthetic-bristled brush. It's important not to use a metal wire brush as this can damage the surface of the concrete. If you want to save yourself from some backbreaking scrubbing, you can also opt to use a push broom. Once this is complete, you should let your patio dry completely before moving your furniture back in place. Otherwise, you may create rust stains.

What if dish soap isn't working?

If you have some extra resilient stains on your patio, you may need to turn to another household item that is a little stronger than dish soap — vinegar. Specifically, you should buy white vinegar that is specially made for cleaning. This type of vinegar can be found at most home improvement stores and is stronger than the normal cooking vinegar you'll find at the grocery store. The best thing about this method is that white vinegar is capable of removing stubborn old rust stains along with dirt and grime.

Using vinegar to clean your patio is pretty similar to using dish soap. First, wet the stone and then add the vinegar solution (which should be equal parts vinegar and water). Next, you can scrub the stains or let the vinegar sit on your patio for around 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing the mixture off with clean water. The one important thing to remember when using vinegar is that it is acidic and can damage your concrete if it is allowed to sit on the stone for too long. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly and completely rinse your patio after applying vinegar. 

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