Concrete Patio Cleaning & Maintenance

Learn about options for cleaning your concrete patio and get maintenance tips
Updated May 17, 2021

Distinctive Concrete of New England in Rowley, MA

Cleaning a concrete patio should be done on a regular basis just like any other home maintenance. The frequency will depend on how much exposure the patio gets to foot traffic, water, and any chemicals.

Get help from a contractor offering concrete cleaning near me.


Cleaning your patio without a pressure washer

General patio cleaning does not require special tools or equipment and can be done in just 3 easy steps:

  1. Rinse dirt/debris off the concrete surface with a garden hose.
  2. Apply a small amount of liquid dish soap and scrub with a push broom.
  3. Rinse well with a garden hose until there is no sign of soapsuds.

Tip: If you’re going to be resealing your patio, wait 24 hours after cleaning for it to air dry. If you’re in a hurry, a leaf blower can be used to speed up the drying process.

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Pressure washing your patio

Pressure or power washing is a popular method for outdoor cleaning projects. You can purchase or rent a machine powered by either gas or electricity to clean your patio. Be careful though, if the pressure setting is too high or the range too close, you could actually damage the concrete.

How to clean dog urine from a concrete patio

Dog urine and other organic stains can be tough to remove from concrete. Concrete degreaser, acid or soap will do next to nothing to remove these types of stains, the best cleaner to use is one with bleaching action or ammonia.

How to clean a concrete patio of mold

If your patio is in a wet, shady spot, you may have issues with mold. Not only does mold make your patio look bad, but it also poses health and safety issues. Learn about the best cleaning solutions for a moldy patio: How to Clean Mold Off Concrete.

Removing fertilizer stains from a concrete patio

Fertilizer from your lawn or planters can leave stains on concrete. The ingredients in fertilizer penetrate and react with the cement, causing a permanent color change. Try using a clear white vinegar, diluted 50:50 with water to bring out the stains. Test in a small area first and be aware that the acid may etch or change the profile of the concrete in the areas you clean.


  • Reseal every 2 or 3 years.
    Like waxing a car, resealing your concrete patio makes it as vibrant as the day it was installed. Learn more about sealing concrete patios.
  • Don’t let leaves or other debris linger.
    Remove anything that could cause stains immediately. Concrete is porous and can absorb dirt and debris.
  • Be careful with salt.
    Deicing salts or even rock salt from an ice cream maker can be harmful to the sealer on your patio.
  • Install a shade structure.
    Not only will you be more comfortable outside in the summer, but protection from direct UV rays will extend the life of decorative finishes and sealers.
  • Use saucers underneath potted plants.
    This will prevent water, soil and fertilizer from draining onto your concrete and leaving stains or growing mold.
  • Make sure downspouts don’t drain onto the patio.
    Direct runoff into your landscape where the water can soak into the ground. Or connect your downspouts to a patio drain system. More on Patio Drainage.


Most patio sealers last between 3 and 5 years. You should reseal if:

  • The surface has lost its sheen
  • Water soaks in rather than beading up
  • The finish shows sign of wear

Plain-Language Answers to the Top 10 Sealer Questions

The easiest way to reseal your concrete patio is to use the same product it was sealed with originally. Here are the steps:

  1. Remove any furniture, potted plants or other items
  2. Mask off anything that needs protection
  3. Clean your patio with soap and water
  4. Let the surface dry completely
  5. Lightly reapply the same sealer used initially

Tip: If you’re switching to a different sealer, you’ll need to remove the old one first. Learn more in How to Remove Concrete Sealer.

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