The best patio cleaners 2021: easily remove algae and dirt

The best patio cleaners for removing algae, mould, dirt and moss from your paving and decking; all with minimal effort and stress-free results

8 best patio cleaners 2021: top buys for a spotless patio
(Image credit: Getty)

The best patio cleaners will make your patio look as good as new, removing algae and stains and revealing the original colour of your slabs - which can sometimes be quite a surprise depending on when it was last cleaned! 

We've all been spending a lot more time in our gardens over the past year, and with the warm weather now on its way again - hurray! - making a few simple updates will ensure your outdoor space is ready to enjoy when the sun hits. 

How engrained the dirt on your patio is - and whether it's in sun or shade - can all affect how much work your patio cleaner will need to do. But fear not, the best patio cleaners are up to the task! 

And the best bit? Many of the best patio cleaners can simply be applied and then left to dissolve the dirt whilst you sit back and relax, so no more scrubbing on your hands and knees! 

Read on to find the best patio cleaners to get your outside space ship-shape for summer - and if you're in need of some inspiration for furnishing your patio once it's in tip-top condition, be sure to check out our guide to 2021's best garden furniture so you can lounge outdoors in style this summer. 

The best patio cleaners for 2021

A white bottle of Ultima-Plus patio cleaner

(Image credit: Ultima-Plus)

1. Ultima-Plus XP Green Mould & Algae Remover 5 litres

Best patio cleaner for large areas: get great coverage from this concentrated formula

Size: 5 litres
Acid free?: Yes
Application: Dilute, spray and leave on
Coverage: Up to 200m2 coverage
Reasons to buy
+Good value+Up to 200m2 coverage+No need to scrub, just spray and walk away
Reasons to avoid
-Requires a garden sprayer for best results-Needs diluting with water before use

If you have a large patio or paved area to clean then this concentrated patio cleaner offers great value for money. It needs diluting with water before use, but that means a 5 litre bottle can cover up to a 200 square metre area. 

There's also no need to scrub with this energy-efficient option as the formula is designed to be sprayed on with a garden sprayer (not included) and then left to do its thing over a few days.

Because you don't wash this patio cleaner off it also helps to prevent the regrowth of moss and algae for up to 6 months, leaving your patio with a protective barrier that resists greening over.

A blue bottle of Jeyes Patio & Decking Power Outdoor CleanerReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Jeyes)

2. Jeyes Patio & Decking Power Outdoor Cleaner 4 litres

Best patio cleaner that also disinfects: a multipurpose formula

Size: 2 litres
Acid free?: No
Application: Dilute, apply, leave to dry and rinse away
Coverage: Up to 180m2
Reasons to buy
+No need to scrub, just spray and walk away+Also disinfects killing 99.9% of germs
Reasons to avoid
-Requires a garden sprayer for best results-Needs diluting with water before use

Want a patio cleaner that can also be used to disinfect? Jeyes outdoor cleaner for patio and decking both removes grime and can be used to hygienically clean, killing 99.9% of germs according to the brand.

Once diluted the spray and leave-on formula works to dissolve mould, mildew, algae and dirt without you having to scrub, although you will need to rinse this formula off after it's had a chance to work for a few hours.

This patio cleaner doesn't claim to remove moss, but when we tested it we found it did a great job of cleaning up grimey patio paving - read our Jeyes Patio & Decking Power Outdoor Cleaner review to see it in action.

A pink bottle of Wet & Forget patio cleaner with a rapid application sprayer

(Image credit: Wet & Forget)

3. Wet and Forget Rapid with Sniper Nozzle

Best ready-to-use patio cleaner: simply attach a hosepipe for quick and easy spraying

Size: 2 litres
Application: Attach hosepipe, spray and leave on
Coverage: Up to 200m2
Reasons to buy
+Ease of use+No need for a separate garden sprayer+Can spray up to 8 metres
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive compared to other options-Requires a hosepipe

As long as you already have a hosepipe, then this ready-to-use patio cleaner couldn't be simpler to apply. Just attach your outdoor hosepipe to the top of the bottle and it will automatically mix the patio cleaner with the water, allowing you to spray up to 200m2 in just 10 minutes by using its fan nozzle.

It can also spray distances up to 8 metres making it easier to reach those hard to get to areas.

The downside is that you will pay a fair bit more for this convenience, with this option coming in as the most expensive on our list. Worth it for the ease of use? Personally, we think so.

A blue bottle of Pro-Kleen ready-to-use patio cleaner

(Image credit: Pro-Kleen)

4. Pro-Kleen Ready to Use Simply Spray & Walk Away 5 litres

Best ready-to-use patio cleaner: no need to dilute

Size : 5 litres
Application: Spray and leave
Coverage : Approx. 50m2
Reasons to buy
+Ready-mixed+Spray and walk away+
Reasons to avoid
-Requires a garden sprayer-Limited coverage

If you don't want the faff of having to dilute your patio cleaner before it can be used, then this option comes ready mixed for hassle-free spraying. 

The spray and leave on formula means there's no need for scrubbing, and you don't need to rinse this option off - simply leave to dry and it will dissolve dirt, mould and algae over a couple of days. 

The downside is that you get a lot less coverage with this pre-diluted 5 litre bottle, which is fine for a small patio area, but if you have a big area to cover then a concentrated mix may work out better value depending on what deals are currently on.

A blue bottle of Patio Magic! patio cleaner with a battery operated sprayer included

(Image credit: Patio Magic!)

5. Patio Magic! Battery Power Sprayer

Best patio cleaner with sprayer included: no need to buy a separate pump

Size : 5 litres
Application: Spray and leave
Coverage : Up to 35 m2
Reasons to buy
+Ready-mixed+Spray and walk away+Includes a convenient battery-operated sprayer
Reasons to avoid
-Limited coverage-Sprayer doesn't give the best performance

There's nothing more annoying than buying a patio cleaner, only to read the instructions and find a garden sprayer is recommended for best results.

This Patio Magic! ready-to-use formula solves that problem by coming with a battery-operated sprayer included with the purchase, plus 4 Duracell AA batteries to get you off to a good start. 

The idea is a good one, and the design requires no pumping, unlike a usual sprayer,  although it does leave something to be desired performance-wise. If you're looking for a one-off patio blitz and don't want to invest (or have to store) a separate sprayer then this makes an easy and convenient option though.

How to clean your patio

Check out our full guide on how to clean a patio on our dedicated page, but for a quick glimpse of  one of the best patio cleaners on our list - the Wet and Forget Rapid with Sniper Nozzle - in action watch Real Home's Laura Crombie blitz her patio with this super easy spray on our YouTube channel:

Patio cleaners and pressure washers: does one need the other?

The truth is that the days when using a patio cleaner needed a pressure washer as standard are over. Most modern patio cleaners can simply be applied and left to do their work, and the next rain will take care of the rest. The only situation where a pressure washer is required is where the patio cleaner is quite strong and you don't like the smell lingering (or the idea of your pets walking over it). Sometimes there's also so much of an algae buildup that you will need two applications of the cleaner to see results. Other than that, an application with a brush or stiff broom is enough for most patios.

Biodegradable vs. eco-friendly patio cleaner: what's the difference?

Patio cleaners are often made from strong stuff, so it's important to know what you're using in your garden. Most patio cleaners sold nowadays are biodegradable: this simply means that you don't need to do anything extra to make them safe once dry. It is important to know that this does not mean they're eco-friendly: most are harmful to aquatic life and shouldn't come into contact with live plants. 

How to prevent algae from growing on your patio

If you feel like you're fighting a losing battle with algae on your patio, you will need to up your cleaning regime. You don't need to use a cleaner every time, though: what you really need is a stiff brush or broom, and to brush away dead leaves very thoroughly. Algae feed on decomposing organic matter, so keep your patio debris free. 

Annie Collyer
Annie Collyer

Annie joined the Real Homes team in 2018 as our Deals Editor. Now, as our UK Shopping Editor, she spends much of her time giving advice on what you need to add to your shopping cart. Whether that be a sofa bed for your spare room, accessories to give your space a new lease of life, shiny new appliances for a kitchen or some smart tech for an easier life. She's also our fitness and beauty guru, with hands-on experience with some of the top hair tools and the best home gym equipment around. Otherwise, you can find her rearranging the furniture in her space-savvy London flat, DIYing accessories to fit with her ever-changing colour scheme, or going on long walks with her pug. Next up on her to-renovate list is her bathroom...