If you're not using one of these concrete cleaners to transform your patio, then you're doing it the hard way

Banish that green stuff from your patio for good

Best concrete cleaner: Wet & Forget, Simple Green & 30 Seconds
(Image credit: Future)

I love concrete cleaners because they mean you don't need to invest in a pressure washer — or worry about where you're going to (try and) store it. There are some seamless solutions that work with a pressure washer, but many can do the job without. You won't even need a hose. Yep, I took one for the team as some of these cleaners have been tried and tested by me ~you're welcome~. For anyone who has been putting off this job, you'll be pleasantly surprised to see just easy it is to perk up your patio with these concrete cleaners and how dramatic the results can be.

I have a patio at my apartment where my cute pug spends his days sniffing around. (and peeing on walls). During summer, it's where I spend my weekends, whether flipping burgers on my portable grill with good friends (and even better wine) or catching some vitamin D while working outside. So a concrete cleaner is necessary for keeping this outdoor space fresh. Some cost as little as $20 — which isn't too bad since they'll rejuvenate your space in minutes.

Once you've settled on a solution that suits your needs, prep yourself with tips and tricks on how else you can clean your patio and make it ready for the warmer months.

The 4 best concrete cleaners to buy this year

Why you can trust Real Homes Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Note: Some of these concrete cleaners work instantly, and you'll see results once dry. However others take a few weeks — or sometimes even a month — to do their magic, so it's worth buying now in preparation for warmer weather.

5 things to consider when choosing a concrete cleaner

1. Think about safety — and when you're going to apply it
If you have kids or pets, it goes without saying that you will need a non-toxic concrete cleaner. Check the product information to see what the guidance is on using the product you've chosen near animals and people. Most are safe for use after several hours, but it can be easier said than done to keep pets away. Also, check and see how long it takes to dry.

2. How versatile is the solution?
Some concrete cleaners are not just for stone but can also be used to clean your patio furniture and other materials. For wood, you will want something that kills algae, which is prone to showing up on damp wood. Metal will need to be treated with a non-corrosive liquid. It's handy to buy an all-in-one solution if you have multiple surfaces to clean.

3. How does it need to be applied?
There are lots of ways to clean a patio and the one you choose will depend on how big your outdoor space is — and how hands-on you are prepared to be. Concrete cleaners have different levels of involvement, some you can pour over and leave to act (these are the easiest kind for sure). Others need a pressure washer or sometimes a scrub with a broom for the best results.

4. How much comes in a bottle?
You'll want to work out the amount of solution that comes in the bottle and compare it with the price to see if you're getting good value. In some cases, where dilution isn't needed, you might need to buy more than one bottle. Solutions you need to dilute will obviously be able to cover more space than those you pour straight onto your patio.

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

The majority of concrete cleaners can simply be applied and left to do their work (and any forecasted rain can rinse it off). The only situation where you might need a pressure washer is if the solution is strong and you don't like the smell lingering (or the idea of your pets walking over it). Otherwise, if there's a lot of algae build-up, it might be quicker to initially remove this with a pressure washer before using a solution. You can always do two applications of the cleaner for better results. Other than that, an application with a brush or stiff broom is enough for most situations.

Real Homes review process — how we test concrete cleaners

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

3 types of concrete cleaners (sold in the UK) in review

(Image credit: Future)

It's on our to-do list to test all of the concrete cleaners featured in this guide, but our team of writers and editors only have so many patios and balconies between us. While testing these solutions, we like to use them on an entire patio, which means that this testing process is slower than most. This means that currently, we've had hands-on experience with only one of these solutions, however, in our UK guide we've tested everything we recommend.

As we've mentioned, while some concrete cleaners work instantly, others can take months to work but they provide long-lasting results. As always, we update our buying guides with new products as soon as they've been reviewed — and once we've managed to come to a verdict.

Annie Collyer
Head Ecommerce Editor

Hi! I'm Annie, and I'm the Head Ecommerce Editor at Real Homes. I've been part of the Real Homes team since 2018, when I joined as Deals Editor. Along with covering major sales events — from Black Friday to Amazon Prime Day — I review home must-haves so that you can buy with peace of mind. Mostly focusing on home fragrance and sleep, as well as a few vacuum cleaners, I've tested pretty much every item you can think of that you need in your home. I live on the outskirts of the city in a two-bed apartment with my husband and my pug, Doug. So I am always searching for compact alternatives and ways to save floor space. What about when I am not typing away? Well, you'll find me enjoying an iced coffee (no matter the season) and trying out the latest brunch spots the city has to offer, or booking my next holiday. Where else can you find my words? Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, Ideal Home, Gardeningetc, and Woman & Home.