How to Clean Concrete Patio Without a Pressure Washer

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Say you’re moving into a new place, or you’ve been neglecting your outdoor concrete patio/driveway for a little too long. Everyone with concrete on their property has probably been there at one time or another. That being said, getting it nice and clean shouldn’t mean having to add a new tool to your expenses, or your space. There’s no need to run out and grab a pressure washer just to get that concrete looking the way you want it to. Here, I’ll break down how to clean a concrete patio without a pressure washer. Besides, who wants to entertain guests on a musky, discolored and messy outdoor concrete patio space? 

Tips on How to Clean a Concrete Patio Without a Pressure Washer 

We’ve got all the information you need to keep your concrete patio looking fresh and inviting in the summer months! A lot of things can conspire to turn your patio into a dingy looking mess, in fact it really doesn’t take that much. Depending on where you live, moss and buildup from lawn trimmings can really leave a noticeable mess. 

Since concrete is somewhat absorbent and not entirely solid, it can take on water and subsequently invite discoloration along with it. We’ll give you some tips, and info about cleaning outdoor concrete, as well as discuss how to clean concrete patios without a pressure washer! 

Is it ok to use a Pressure Washer on Concrete?

Sort of. Concrete is permeable to water, and a strong jet of water can easily cause damage and chipping, not to mention lowering the overall lifespan of your concrete patio or driveway. Concrete doesn’t take water and moisture well overall, but by avoiding the use of a pressure washer on your concrete surfaces, you can make sure they don’t take any unnecessary weathering. 

Alternative Methods for Cleaning a Concrete Patio 

We’ll cover a simple and easy to follow cleaning method for your concrete patio that doesn’t include a pressure washer. As a matter of fact, you’ll probably be able to use some things you’ve already got laying around. Let’s get into it! 

Step 1, Clear all Debris From the Concrete Patio

The first step you’re going to want to take is to thoroughly clear the concrete of any debris that is resting on the surface of the space. To do this, use a broom or brush and generously sweep it to clear any and all debris and dirt. This includes lawn trimmings, leaves and excess dirt. You may also find yourself removing a lot of loose pieces of concrete, which is completely normal. 

Step 2, Select a Cleaner to Use on the Concrete

There’s a ton of natural and chemical options out there, so we’ll cover them all here briefly for you to choose from. It’s all going to depend on how much of a mess, or build-up you’re looking at. We’ll start with the least intensive, to the most extreme options. That being said, there’s one incredibly important point of safety to take note of. *Never mix cleaning chemicals, only use one of these options to clean your concrete patio with. Do not use them in succession, and avoid them coming into contact. 

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, check out some of these cleaning solutions for your concrete patio. 

Baking Soda 

A simple baking soda solution could be all it takes to bring your concrete patio and backyard area back to its former glory! This is an all-natural cleaner that can go a long way towards freshening things up, whether it be inside or outside. 

This is a great choice for people who want to stay away from chemicals when treating their concrete surfaces. 

Mix roughly a gallon of hot water with anywhere between a half a cup, to a cup of baking soda. If desired, you can safely combine dish detergent to add to the cleaning power of this solution. Splash it generously onto the concrete, spreading it with a push broom or brush. Let sit for 15 minutes, and then scrub thoroughly. 

White Vinegar  

For a lot of people out there, this universal cleaning miracle is part cooking ingredient, part ultimate dirt, stain and grime buster. 

Vinegar is a safe cleaner you can use inside and outside of your home without much concern. We recommend filling a clean spray bottle with vinegar for this method. 

Afterwards, use a stiff bristle brush to thoroughly scrub the entire concrete patio. If you haven’t quite achieved the results you were hoping for, reapply the vinegar and let it sit for a longer period of time before scrubbing and rinsing.  


This cleaner is most commonly used for cleaning up calcium and lime deposits on surfaces. That being said, it’s also incredibly useful for dealing with set-in mildew on surfaces like concrete. This is a safer chemical than most, but you should still exercise basic caution when using it. 

The first thing you’re going to want to do is test a small area on the patio. As per CLR’s website, apply some to a small spot and rinse with cold water after 2 minutes. Let sit overnight. If there isn’t any more discoloration, you should be able to use it safely! 

Apply the entire concrete patio with the CLR by dampening a cloth, or mop and soaking the entire surface area of the patio. At this point, you can scrub the patio thoroughly. After a couple of minutes, rinse thoroughly with cold water either from a bucket, but preferably from your hose. 

Step 3, Rinse Your Patio Thoroughly With Cold Water 

Simply put, give your patio a really thorough rinse. This is important because you want to make sure that none of these cleaners are left over once you’re done scrubbing. Also, you’ll be able to tell whether or not your patio is completely clean! 

Thanks for checking out these suggestions for how to clean concrete patios without a pressure washer! If there’s anything you think we could add to our tips, please feel free to drop a comment down below and give us your thoughts. Remember to practice basic safety precautions when using these cleaners! Stop by for more deck, patio and pool reviews, cleaning tips and advice! 

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