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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.