How To Clean A Patio With A Pressure Washer

Most of us like our homes to look inviting, clean and tidy, and if you’re like me, your home includes the outside spaces as well as indoors. Over time, dirt and grime can build up on your patio, and it takes hard work, on your knees with a scrubbing brush to clean it. Using a pressure washer can make this task much easier, and if you’re considering buying a pressure washer check out our best pressure washers guide.

Guide To Cleaning A Patio With Your Pressure Washer

It sounds like a no-brainer, turn on the pressure washer and go for it right? Wrong, to clean a patio properly and safely you should always follow these step by step guidelines.

Safety First

To ensure absolute safety when cleaning a patio with a pressure washer always,

  • Wear safety goggles
  • Keep any extension cable to no longer than 30 ft(10metres) and ensure a constant rating of 13 Amps
  • Use a residual current device (RCD) this device protects against electric shock by switching off electricity automatically if there’s a fault.

Step 1 Remove Any Obstructions

Remove any plants or furniture from the patio area.

Step 2 Remove Any Debris

Using a stiff brush, sweep any loose dirt or debris from the patio.

Step 3 Clear Any Air From The Pressure Washer

Connect the pressure washer to the hosepipe and turn on the tap. Pull the trigger and let the water run freely for about 20-30 seconds. This will clear any air from the pressure washer. Then connect to the mains supply and turn on the pressure washer.

Step 4 Adding Detergent

If you’re going to use a detergent, select the light setting on your washer and make sure the patio is wet. Then add detergent to the pressure washer, and spray onto the patio using the low pressure setting or mix depending on make and model. Leave to soak in for 10-15 minutes.

Step 5 Select Correct Pressure Setting

If using the lance, set to a medium pressure and start washing the detergent off the patio. It’s best to start from one side or corner and systematically work across the patio using a sweeping technique with the lance.

Step 6 Use Correct Technique

Maintain a 45 degree angle whilst spraying and use a wide fan. Never follow the joints with the pressurised water jet as this could force the paving slabs apart.

Step 7 Correct Storage Process

When finished, turn off the pressure washer and disconnect the water supply. Then turn the pressure washer back on and pull the trigger to remove any water left inside. Once all the water is removed, turn off the pressure washer, disconnect the power supply and pack the pressure washer away.

It’s important to ensure all of the water is removed before storing the pressure washer away, to eliminate the risk of frost damage to the pump. As water freezes it expands and can cause irreparable damage to the pressure washers internal components.

Extra Tips On Cleaning Your Patio With A Pressure Washer

Cleaning Your Patio With A Pressure Washer

That’s the basics covered, here now, are a few extras to make cleaning your patio an even simpler task. Extra attachments available for pressure washers.

Patio Attachment

This comprises a rotating brush and jets covered by a circular top, these make the job less messy and easier.

Vario Lance Attachment

These let you adjust the pressure easily to clean different surfaces and furniture without causing any damage.

Foam Nozzle

The nozzle is attached to the end of the hose providing a powerful foaming action when using detergents. The beauty of these is, as they attach to the end of the hose there’s no extra cleaning of the machine after use to ensure all detergent is removed.


There are different detergents designed for different tasks, and are great for removing oil and grease etc. The patio detergent also helps to protect the patio from algae growth and damage caused by weather.

Extension Hose

The extension hose allows you to clean a larger area without the need to lug the pressure washer around with you. Giving you a greater range of movement and much more flexibility.

A Word Of Caution

Pressure washers are very powerful, and if not used correctly can cause damage to your patio. There have been many horror stories over the years of people not using pressure washers properly and causing many hundreds of pounds of damage. Used correctly however and pressure washers make light work of a messy, time consuming task.

Points To Remember

  1. Safety first (goggles, RCD, clean surface before pressure washing)
  2. Never use a setting more powerful than is absolutely necessary
  3. Never concentrate the jet at one point for too long
  4. Always use the appropriate attachments for the job in hand
  5. Always check surfaces before use, making sure there’s no surface damage, that will be made worse by pressurised water jet.
  6. If your patio is block paved, remember that a pressure washer will remove the sand from the joints. This will need replacing before using the patio again, for reasons of safety.

If you follow this advice not only will you have a clean, welcoming patio, but you will remain safe whilst you work too.

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