Cleaning your patio with a pressure washer
By Victoria Pearson
Tips for using a pressure washer to make your patio look as good as new.
Using a pressure washer to clean your patio and paths will make them look much better and stop them becoming dangerously slippery to walk on.
A pressure washer is far quicker, easier and more effective than using a scrubbing brush and hose. Our video guide will show you how to tackle the job effectively.
Why not find out which jet washers we recommend in our pressure washer reviews.
Tips for using a pressure washer
- Make sure your hose is firmly attached to the tap. Turn the hose on then release the lance trigger until water runs freely before you switch on the power.
- Fit the appropriate lance – most have a simple bayonet fitting. The pump will not operate until you squeeze the trigger. Make sure all connectors are tight and there are no leaks.
- Work from one edge or corner of the patio, blasting the dirt away from you in a sweeping motion.
- If necessary, use the most powerful setting or the rotary lance to shift ground-in dirt and grime.
- Rinse off using a lower pressure.
Other methods to consider
If you don’t have a pressure washer you could apply a patio cleaning liquid instead and scrub with a firm broom.
Weeds can also be a problem. If you’re happy to use chemicals, there are path weedkillers available that, as well as killing the existing weeds, prevent others from coming up for several months afterwards.
Alternatively, you may prefer to remove them by hand. Long-handled wire brushes make the job of removing weeds from between the narrow gaps less backbreaking.
Useful pressure washer features for patio cleaning
- Choose a pressure washer with variable jet nozzle settings as this will make it much safer to clean different parts of the patio without causing any damage.
- Find a pressure washer with a long hose so you don't have to move it around as you clean, or buy a model with wheels to make it easier if you do need to move it.
You'll find information about the features each pressure washer has in our pressure washer reviews.
Using water from a water butt
Some expensive pressure washers can use water from a water butt, but most are only designed to use mains water.
Karcher sells a special suction hose with a filter as an optional extra for many of its models. Costing about £34, this filter enables the washer to use water from a butt.
Using your pressure washer safely
- Watch out for the initial burst of water that comes out of the pressure washer when you first turn it on. There can be a strong initial spray, so point the nozzle at the ground first.
- Don't ever use a rotary (or tornado) nozzle attachment when cleaning block paving or between slabs as it will be too strong and could damage the pointing between them.
- Don't use a strong spray on areas where paving is chipped as it could cause more damage.