The best way to clean patio slabs with just three household items
With spring set to start this month, there will be plenty of Brits looking to do a bit of spring cleaning - but it's not just for your house, but your garden, too.
Patio slabs in particular can face the brunt of winter, getting faded and dirty over the cold months leaving your garden looking dull, even with plenty of flowers blooming.
With the days getting longer and temperatures slowly starting to rise, now is the perfect time to get out into the garden to clean up the moss and mud from your paving slabs.
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There's plenty of household ingredients that will do the trick, and most of the time they can be found in your kitchen.
From white vinegar to baking soda, your pantry and cupboards are packed with plenty of items that will help brighten your patio, and the Daily Express has come up with some top tips on how to use them.
How to clean patio slabs
Patio paving requires regular maintenance if you want it looking its best, but very little of us bother to keep it clean during the winter.
If you're one of those people and are wanting to clean your patio ahead of spring, you might be wondering what's the best thing you can use to clean it.
Routine brushing will keep the surface clear of any loose dirt and garden matter, but more stubborn residue will need a deeper clean to sort it.
Patios can develop moss, algae, lichen, and other fungi when exposed to moisture, but they can be banished in just a few minutes if you know how to use these common household ingredients.
Wash patio slabs with white vinegar
One of the best things for household stains is white vinegar, and the same can be said for how it targets stubborn garden dirt.
This eco-friendly solution is made up of equal parts vinegar and water, which is then left to soak into the patio to correct any discolouration and also remove tough marks.
You should first move all plants and furniture out of the way, then sweep the area to remove any moss.
After that, use a weeding tool to lift weeds from the patio, and then you can begin the cleaning process.
Mix the solution together and place it in a large watering can, which will make it easier to distribute over the paved area.
Once the entire surface is covered, you leave it to soak for 20 minutes.
Even though this doesn't seem like a long time to soak, the acidic solution will work wonders on dirt and deep-rooted grime, and lift it to the surface of the patio.
You should then use a clean heavy-duty garden brush to sweep away the solution and work hard around the cracks and cement which joins the slabs together.
Pouring a little extra vinegar onto any remaining weeds is also good for a natural weed-killer.
After you've finished brushing the area, you then wash the patio down with clean water to lift any remaining residue.
Leave the slabs to completely dry before replacing the furniture and ornaments.
Brightening your patio with baking soda
Baking soda is great for brightening up lighter-toned stained paving slabs and will remove any dullness.
Clear your patio and brush down thoroughly so you are starting with a semi-clean surface, then wet the paving slabs with water before treating them with the mixture.
Pour one cup of baking soda into a plastic bowl and slowly add two cups of distilled white vinegar.
Mix it slowly to create a creamy-yet-spreadable consistency, and use a sponge mop to glaze the patio.
You then leave the mix to sit for half an hour before scrubbing well with a nylon-bristle brush.
Once you've done that, rinse the patio down with a garden hose or using a few buckets of plain water and then leave it to air dry.
Use bleach for heavy-stained slabs
If your patio has heavily-stained paving slabs covered with moss and weeds, then bleach is your best answer.
Use standard bleach, rather than toilet-specific products, as the toilet products are often designed to cling to the surface.
Start clearing as much of the surface moss and weeds as possible before you start treating the slabs with your diluted bleach mixture.
Dilute half a bucket of bleach with equal parts water, applying evenly to your green-tinged patio.
You should leave the solution to work for ten minutes before rinsing thoroughly with clean water, repeating the method for stubborn algae.
Be warned though that you should take care not to splash nearby plants or grass, as it will damage your garden.
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