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
Although this Ultima-Plus XP Green Mould & Algae Remover is one of the most expensive ones on our list, what it costs in price, it makes up for in concentration, making it worth the outlay. Simply mix this patio cleaner with water and apply it to your patio late afternoon or early evening.
You’ll also need to make sure the weather is forecast to be dry up to eight hours after you apply the solution to your patio, otherwise it’ll wash off before it has the chance to get to work.
This handy 2 litre bottle is great budget buy if you only have a small patio or decking area that needs cleaning, and its 4 in 1 action means it's tough on algae, mould, mildew and dirt.
And you're not just limited to patio and decking, it also works effectively on driveways and tarmac.
Want to see the transformation it achieves? We tested Jeyes patio cleaner on one of our team's outdoor patios to great results!
This Spray & Leave patio cleaner from Jarder is a much cheaper alternative to the Ultima-Plus but according to users, does a great job of clearing patios of unwanted algae. You can apply it neat to badly affected areas and spray on a solution of the cleaner to lesser affected areas. Apply it using a low pressure pump spray or watering can and leave for a couple of days to get to work.
When quality is at the top of your agenda, this popular patio cleaner from Wet & Forget is probably one of the best you can get, and with the recommended dilution it will cover up to 30 metres, so it's great for large spaces.
Backed up by the thousands of five-star reviews left on retailer sites, this very effective patio cleaner is suitable for removing algae and unwanted plant growth from a huge variety of surfaces, including asphalt, astro turf, gutters, fascia and even outdoor furniture.
This patio cleaner shares the exact same formula as Wet & Forget's popular blue bottle above, but comes with an ingenious built-in spray nozzle that attaches to your hosepipe meaning application is super quick and easy.
Designed to spray up to 8 metres or 2 storeys, you will be paying more for the convenience this option offers, but as you can see in our video below, the ease of use - and elimination of faffing! - means it scores highly with us.
Jet washing takes up a lot of time and effort but with Patio Magic! all it takes is a coat of solution and your patio is back to new in a couple of days. As with the other patio cleaners on the list, you can choose to apply this one using a low pressure hose or a watering can. Once the product has dried, it is broken down naturally in the soil so it doesn’t harm the environment – just do not use it near ponds or waterways.
Non-acidic, bleach-free and biodegradable, this Pro-Kleen patio cleaner is just as good as others on the list with regards to performance. It’s slightly less concentrated, which does make it cheaper, and you can also buy it as a ready-to-use spray for convenience. It can prevent the growth of mould and algae for six to nine months, leaving your garden neat and tidy for the entire summer.
Want to make sure that your pets are safe while you're cleaning your patio? Algon Organic Patio Cleaner is pet safe, organic and biodegradable – in fact, it's so safe that you can walk on it straight after application. You will need to be patient with this product, leaving it on for at least a day (most people report the best results when it's left to work for three to four days); you will see white residue forming in place of the algae/dirt on your patio – simply wash off with a brush or pressure washer. Can be used on tarmac, block paving, and real stone.
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.