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How to clean patio tiles: Flagstone, cement, porcelain and more

Cleaning your outdoor tile patio might not sound like the most fun way to spend an afternoon, but it really only takes a few simple steps – and it’s a chore you can reap the benefits of all summer long.

The best way to clean your patio will vary depending on whether it’s made from concrete, natural stone or flagstone, or the increasingly trendy porcelain patio tiles.

Here, we explain how to clean your patio tiles and talk you through each step of tackling algae and grime on everything from concrete paths to outdoor stone. If your patio is in need of a bit more attention, get in touch with our team to book an outdoor tile and grout cleaning service.

Read on for expert tips and advice, so you can get to work and then kick back and relax in your sparkling clean retreat.

How to clean outdoor tiles and grout 

outdoor patio cleaning marin countyYou can clean outdoor tiles using simple materials from the hardware store or put your high-tech equipment to use.

The most important thing is to identify what kind of tile your outdoor patio is made of and adjust your process accordingly, to protect the quality and construction of the material.

Concrete is highly durable, while natural stone or flagstone needs a little more care and consideration. Learn more about types of tiles and cleaning products from our neighbours at Italics and read on for our expert advice on DIY outdoor tile cleaning.

1. Clear the area

Remove all furniture, barbeques, toys, and whatever else makes your patio feel like home. If you haven’t done it this season, this is a great time to get your outdoor cushions cleaned.

2. Sweep it

Use a big broom to clear the area of any debris, such as dried leaves, twigs, or stones.

3. Rinse it down

Use the garden hose to dampen and rinse the patio, or fill a bucket of water and carefully spread it evenly across the entire area.

4. Apply cleaner

Before applying any cleaner, make sure it’s safe – not only for your patio, but for the environment. Harsh chemicals can damage your outdoor tile and poison the plants, animals, and bugs in your yard. Check out the products we use to learn more about how to choose natural patio cleaners. Follow the manufacturer instructions and do a spot test to ensure there are no negative effects before you throw yourself into cleaning.

5. Scrub stains

Use natural or synthetic brush to scrub the area. Avoid metal, as it can scratch natural stone and leave behind particles that turn to rust. Learn about the difference between dirt and damage, so you know what to expect and how to tackle your outdoor area.

6. Clean the grout

While you’re here working hard on your tiles, it’s a great opportunity to give your grout some attention as well. Follow the same process with a specialized grout-cleaning product.

7. Rinse away the dirty water

When you’ve finished scrubbing, blast away the residue with clean water. Use a hose (or power-washer, if you have one). You can also fill up a bucket with clean water and use a clean broom to brush it over the surface.

8. Let it dry

Allow the area to dry fully before replacing your furniture, flower pots, and other outdoor accessories.

9. Seal the area

If your tiles and grout are due for sealant, now’s a great time to apply it and protect them for future use.

Why choose professional outdoor patio cleaning?

outdoor patio cleaning marin county While regular cleaning will keep your outdoor patio looking fresh, pro cleaners have specialized equipment and methods that will remove residue from deep in the tile, which improves the appearance and protects them from wear during the long term.

We clean concrete, porcelain, flagstone, and natural stone tiles and will adapt our methods and equipment to suit the materials and condition of your outdoor patio. Generally speaking, our professional outdoor patio service involves:

  • Tile cleaning: We’ll use a rotary scrub, hot water, and natural cleansers to comprehensively clean and rinse the tile.
  • Grout cleaning: We’ll scrub and brighten up the grout lines.
  • Sealer: If you want to finish the job with a professional sealer service, we’ll return once the tile has dried and apply sealer to the tiles and grout.

Outdoor patio cleaning: Frequently asked questions

outdoor patio cleaning marin countyHow often should I clean my outdoor tiles?

You should give your patio a thorough cleaning at least once every season – so four times a year, at a minimum. However, you should also sweep and rinse it regularly to prevent buildup of dirt and mildew – aim to give it a once-over every couple of weeks. 

Can I clean my tiles without a power-washer?

You don’t need a power-washer to clean your outdoor patio tiles. While a pressure washer will give you quick and great results, not everyone has access to one (or the budget to rent one). But don’t let that be an excuse to skip your regular patio cleaning!

Use whatever materials you have available – a garden hose on a high-power setting will give you an effective clean. If that’s not available, tackle the area using clean water, a brush or broom, and your own muscle power!

Can I use bleach to clean my outdoor tiles? 

While many cleaning sites and sources recommend bleach as a tool for outdoor patio cleaning, we choose to steer clear of it. Harsh chemicals can not only damage your tiles (especially if they’re made from natural stone), but bleach can leak into your yard and have negative effects for the plants and animals in your area.

There are plenty of effective planet-friendly cleaning products that will create great results while being gentle on the earth.

With a little effort, you can make sure your outdoor patio is a space that looks and feels fresh – ready for entertaining, family fun, or lazy afternoons. If you space is in need of a professional touch, reach out to our team for an outdoor patio cleaning quote.

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