Things You'll Need
Hose or pressure washer
Liquid dish soap
(Optional) Bleach or vinegar, baking soda, bucket, bristle brush and spray bottle
If you don't like the smell of bleach or cannot work with it, try a safe, nontoxic concrete cleaner. Most home improvement stores offer a selection.
Cover plants with a tarp to protect them if you're using bleach or a more toxic cleaner.
You may not think of it as a no-maintenance wonder, but your concrete patio probably comes close. Easier to clean and maintain than a deck, a concrete patio looks smart and defines an outdoor area with distinction. But like anything else, a concrete patio gets dirty, especially after stormy weather or a long winter. Fortunately, it cleans up well, making it a low-maintenance wonder.
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Remove furniture and all other objects from the patio, especially planters. Dirt often wedges underneath planters.
Sweep the patio thoroughly, working side to side and then going over the area again in the perpendicular direction. Work in small sections and apply a vigorous hand to remove as much dirt as you can.
Rinse the patio with a hose or a pressure washer. While the patio is still wet, squirt some liquid dish soap directly onto the surface.
Scrub the patio with the broom, working the suds into the concrete. Rinse the patio again with the hose -- and use strong water pressure -- or a pressure washer.
Remove stubborn stains from the patio by pouring a small amount of bleach onto the concrete. For better control over how much comes out of the bottle, pour some bleach into a plastic spray bottle and spray the concrete instead. Alternatively, mix 2 cups of vinegar and 1/2 cup of baking soda in a bucket of warm water and apply this solution to the concrete.
Scrub the solution into the concrete with a bristle brush. Let the solution sit for about 15 minutes. Rinse it away with a hose or pressure washer.
With education, health care and small business marketing as her core interests, M.T. Wroblewski has penned pieces for Woman's Day, Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal and many newspapers and magazines. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University.