Real gardens banner

Best patio cleaners 2022: 6 buys to remove algae and dirt

No hose required!

Best patio cleaner: three bottles of solution from Patio Magic!, Wet & Forget and Pro Kleen
(Image credit: Future)

If you are in search of the best patio cleaner to banish mould, remove mildew, dissolve lichen and even deodorise your patio, then we're here to help. 

We've been working to test some of the top-rated patio cleaners on the market so that you can clean your outside space without having to invest in the best pressure washer. You're welcome!

Whether you're dealing with a green patio or it's general dirt that you're trying to extradite, the patio cleaners below are all easy to use and better yet: affordable. We've listed solutions that need diluting, to cover more area for a cheaper price, and also ones that you needn't mix with water and can pour straight on. No hose pipe required, and no scrubbing necessary.

Once you've selected a solution that suits your needs, visit our how to clean a patio guide whilst you wait for your delivery.

The best patio cleaners

5 things to consider when choosing a patio cleaner

1. Safety
If you have kids and or pets, it goes without saying that you will need a non-toxic patio cleaner. Check the product information to see what the guidance is on using the product you've chosen near animal and people. Most are safe for use after several hours, but it can be easier said than done to keep pets away – especially if you have outdoor cats – so do check.

2. Versatility
Some patio cleaners are not just for stone but can be used to clean your garden furniture too, be it wood, plastic or metal. For wood, you will want something that kills algae which is very prone to settling on damp wood. Metals will need to be treated with a non-corrosive liquid.

3. Application
There are lots of ways to clean a patio and the one you choose will depend on how big the space is and how hands on you are prepared to be. Patio cleaners have different levels of involvement. Some are pour over and leave to act – the easiest kind for sure – while others need using with a pressure washer or agitating with a broom for the best results.

4. Size
Consider the size of the solution and compare it with the price to see if you're getting good value. Remember that solutions you need to dilute will be able to cover more space than those you pour on straight. Consider the size of your patio and the price if you'll need to buy more than one bottle.

What is a patio cleaner for?

Patio cleaner adds a little oopmh to your usual patio cleaning routine. While sweeping can remove sand and dirt, a liquid patio cleaner often contains herbicides or fungicides that will clear moss, lichen and algae – AKA: all the stuff that makes your patio turn green.

Patio cleaner can also be used for decking which, like patios, can become a bit of a danger if left slimey in wet weather.

'Not only is a build-up of algae or moss on your decking unsightly, but it can also make it slippery and dangerous.' warns Sophie Herrmann, brand manager, Jeyes Fluid (opens in new tab). 'Debris such as leaves, dirt, pollen and rainy weather can further add to the issue due to the moisture they can hold. Reduce the chances of your deck getting slippery by sweeping the floor regularly. Don’t forget to get into the cracks and crevices!'

Do I need a pressure washer to use a patio cleaner?

Most patio cleaners these days 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 build up 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.

Real Homes review process

3 types of patio cleaners in bottles on Annie's black table

(Image credit: Future)

All of the patio cleaners listed in this guide have been tested by a member of the Real Homes team. We had two team members test these patio cleaners for us, one of whom has pets, the other doesn't. Both applied the solutions as per the bottle instructions and recorded results. Whilst some patio cleaners work instantly, and you can see results once dry, others can take months to work but they provide long-lasting results. 

We've got plenty more information on how we test products at Real Homes, if you're interested.

Annie Collyer
Deputy Ecommerce Editor

Annie is our Deputy Ecommerce Editor at Real Homes, with her particular area of expertise being home fragrance (there isn't a candle out there that she hasn't lit in her home). She's our guru when it comes to what to buy, when — and also where. She has years of experience when it comes to finding deals — Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday or not — and she particularly loves finding a bargain. With some of her favorite homeware pieces coming from Amazon, she's always looking for budget-friendly alternatives and dupes, as well as eco-friendly products to help her on her recent journey to being more sustainable at home. There's nothing she loves more than her Pug, Doug, and a bargain thrift shop find (yes, she once thrifted a brand new Le Creuset pan). Next up on her to-do list at home: DIY crittall-style doors...

With contributions from