Clean your patio with a pressure washer

Using a pressure washer to clean your patio and walkways will make them look much better and prevent them from becoming dangerously slippery to walk on.

A pressure washer is much faster, easier and more efficient than using a scrub brush and hose, but only if you know how to do the job properly. You’ll also need to make sure you’re using the right washer – too powerful and you’ll damage the surface, too weak and the dirt won’t budge.

Watch our video below to learn how to approach the job effectively.

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Video: how to clean your terrace with a pressure washer

How to clean your patio with a pressure washer

  1. Make sure your hose is securely attached to the faucet.
  2. Turn on the hose then release the wand trigger until the water flows freely before turning on the power.
  3. Install the appropriate spear – most have a simple bayonet fitting. The pump will not run until you pull the trigger.
  4. Make sure all connectors are tight and there are no leaks.
  5. Work from one edge or corner of the decking, brushing dirt away from you in a sweeping motion.
  6. If necessary, use the highest setting or the rotating wand to move embedded dirt and grime.
  7. Rinse using lower pressure.

Take a look at our picks best pressure washers and expert buying advice the best of which for patios.

How do I clean my terrace without a pressure washer?

You can clean your deck by applying a liquid deck cleaner and scrubbing with a firm broom.

The result may not be as good and it requires a bit more muscle strength, but it costs a lot less than buying a pressure washer.

How can I get rid of weeds in the cracks of my patio?

If you’re happy to use chemicals, there are path weed killers that, in addition to killing existing weeds in the cracks of your patio, will prevent new ones from growing for several months afterwards.

Alternatively, if you prefer to avoid them due to their impact on the environment, you may prefer to remove them by hand. Long-handled wire brushes make the job of weed removal between tight spaces less grueling.

Be sure to keep the mortar between the slabs in good condition and replace any that are removed over time, as this will reduce the space available for weed growth.

Useful features of the pressure washer for cleaning the terrace

Pressure washing a terrace
  • Variable jet nozzle: it will make it much safer to clean different parts of the patio without causing damage.
  • Long pipe: so you don’t have to move it while you clean.
  • Wheels: to make it easier if you need to move it.

Can I use my pressure washer with a water collector?

Some expensive pressure washers can use water from a water butt (or rain tank), but most are only designed to use mains water.

Karcher sells a special vacuum hose with an optional filter for many of its models. Costing around £34, this filter allows the washer to use water from a rain tank.

You will find information on the characteristics of each pressure washer in our pressure washer review.

Using your pressure washer safely

  • Pay attention to the first jet of water that comes out of the pressure washer when you first turn it on. There may be a strong initial spray, so aim the nozzle at the ground first.
  • Never use a rotating (or tornado) nozzle when cleaning block paving or between slabs as it will be too strong and could damage the pointing between them.
  • Do not use heavy spray on areas where the paving is chipped as this may cause more damage.

Is your pressure washer ready for an upgrade? Head straight to our roundup of best pressure washers.

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