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Truly Effective Methods of Cleaning Patio and Driveway Pavers

Methods of Cleaning Patio and Driveway Pavers
Lately, do you feel they that your patio and driveway pavers don't look all that great? Do they seem a little too dirty for your liking? If this is the case, don't fret. We have some effective methods for cleaning patio and driveway pavers for you.
Vrinda Varnekar
Last Updated: Jul 28, 2017
Before You Begin!
Do NOT try to use any of these methods on a large area before you're completely sure that it's going to work. We recommend trying out your preferred method on a small portion of a paver to check that it won't do any harm.
We get it, you're very proud of your patio and/or driveway. And why shouldn't you be proud? You've lovingly selected each and every aspect of them, be it the furniture, the garden ornaments that embellish them, or the pavers, those tough and attractive blocks, that give them the ideal look that you've always wanted.

In a perfect world, your patio and your driveway would always look smooth, shiny, and attractive. Basically, they would remain a visual treat. However, since this is not a perfect world, you're more often forced to concede the fact that moss, lichen, or stains are going to get there faster before you blink. (Okay, not that quick, but quick enough.) And there go your gorgeous pavers - they now look a sorry state.

While the fact remains that regular cleaning will always ensure that your patio or driveway stays perfect, it so happens that many of us don't have as much free time to do this as we might hope (work/children/studies/anything else - so much to do, so little time!), and it doesn't quite seem okay to hire professionals to do the cleaning for us. So, all ye Do-It-Yourself fans, these methods just might be what you've been looking for. The next sections of this article will throw some light on how to get rid of that blasted mess that's been ruining your pavers! Read on.
Cleaning Methods
Knowing bleach and how tough it is, it can be used to remove stains from practically anything. Since pavers are mostly made of concrete, bleach can be a good way to remove stains from them, if used correctly.
  • Diluting the bleach is extremely important if you want to protect the color of your patio or driveway. Mix half a cup of bleach with around 5 cups of water, and add a spoonful of liquid dish soap to it.
  • Spray this solution using a spray bottle on the pavers, and let them soak in the liquid for 15-20 minutes depending upon how dirty the pavers are. For really dirty pavers, you may need to let them soak for a little more time.
  • Scrub the pavers with a brush that has nylon bristles. (Absolutely no metal bristles, they'll ruin the pavers!)
  • Rinse off the solution with water, and you can use a garden hose for this purpose. Let your pavers air dry, and applaud yourself for a job well done!
Note: Do NOT forget to wear gloves throughout.
Though it does omit a rather strong smell, vinegar is one of the best choices you could make to clean your pavers. Since it is non-toxic, you can absolutely use it in an environment that has pets and kids running around, and it is pretty easy to use too.
  • Spray vinegar using a spray bottle on the affected parts of the patio/driveway in a uniform manner. Let the vinegar soak in completely. Leave the area for 60 minutes, and avoid anyone from accidentally walking on it.
  • After your hour is complete, spray the affected pavers with a mixture of soap and water and scrub them with a brush to remove any dirt that may have been overlooked by the vinegar.
  • If you feel you'd like your pavers to look cleaner even after doing it once, don't hesitate to do it again.
Note: Please check the type of vinegar that you use. Normally, people prefer white vinegar as it does not stain.
Soap and Water
Yes, that's right. The humble combination of soap and water can help you clean your pavers too.
  • Before anything, pull out the moss and weeds that may have picked your pavers as their abode. Don't leave any, pull out all you can and throw them away. Follow that with sweeping the pavers with a broom so as to clear it of any residue.
  • Use a pressure washer for this job. Once it's connected with your garden hose, spray your pavers with water evenly and thoroughly, and make sure it reaches and cleans every nook and cranny.
  • Once you're done with the spraying, apply your trusted household detergent to the dirty parts of the pavers. If you feel the need, you may choose to scrub. However, spraying them with water through your garden hose (no high pressure this time) will clear the residue, and you'll find that your pavers look much better than they did before.
Pool Chlorine
Who knew the stuff which gives your pool water that bright blue color can also clean pavers? If you have easy access to this, you can use pool chlorine to clean your patio or driveway, especially if it is affected by moss or algae. However, you need to be careful and precise.
  • Mix chlorine and water (10% chlorine, 90% water) in a spray bottle that you can use in the garden.
  • Spray the mixture on your pavers thoroughly and evenly, and let it soak in for 10 minutes. Follow up with scrubbing the pavers to remove any excess dirt that has loosened up after soaking.
  • Rinse off the liquid with water through a garden hose on low or normal pressure.
Note: USE GLOVES! Chlorine is toxic and harmful not only to you, but also to your plants. Take care to not let it splash on any plants in your garden.
Muriatic Acid
The right kind of acid as a way to clean your patio and driveway pavers can go a long way. However, it is essential to know exactly what to do, how to do, and what precautions to take. If you're comfortable with muriatic acid, here's what you can do.
  • Mix the right quantity of muriatic acid with water for the solution that you'll require to clean the pavers in a large bucket. Normally, people prefer mixing the two in a 1:5 ratio (one portion of acid, five portions of water), depending upon how much area is affected.
  • Clear your pavers of any loose dirt or weeds that can be removed with your hands or with a broom. Use the garden hose to wet the desired areas before you begin using your acid solution.
  • Scrub your pavers with a brush, after having dipped it into the muriatic acid-water mixture. If you feel your mixture is slightly yellow, add more water to it to avoid acid stains on your pavers.
  • Set the acid on the entire affected areas and allow it to stay for about 10 minutes before scrubbing it to get rid of stubborn dirt and residue that may have settled in between the pavers. Wash off the acid mixture, and then spray the area with your garden hose again to get rid of any acidic remains.
Note: Gloves, protective clothing, and the right shoes are extremely essential when using this method. Use protective-eye wear, too.
Additional Tips
In case of fresh oil or grease stains, use baking soda or cornstarch and apply the same on the stains. Allow the soda or starch to absorb the oil for about 60 minutes. After 30 minutes, sweep up the stain once, and repeat after the hour is over.

While many people believe polymeric sand is a good choice, it has been known to completely change the color of your pavers. So, adopting this method would be at your own risk.
Nothing replaces regular cleaning. Even if you just regularly sweep the pavers, or spray them with water, it will help to a great extent.
Now you know quite a number of methods that can help you clean your pavers. So, the next time, don't worry about looking at your patio or driveway with disdain. Get your protective wear on, the materials ready, and enjoy your beautiful pavers!