Brick pavers are commonly found in driveways, home fronts, backyards and patios. They are a beautiful way to pave a way in an outdoor space, or simply designate a rather walkable area in the middle of a lawn.
Brick pavers can be placed in your patio by a professional firm, but if you fancy some DIY project, this might be something that you want to consider as they are quite easy to install.
But are they as easy to take care of? And how to clean patio brick pavers? That’s what we are going to unveil specifically in this article.
But first and foremost, what are brick pavers? “Pavers” are thin, flat stones made out of clay, then heat cured until shaped, traditionally, in a rectangular shape. Be aware that the terminology might be misleading, brick pavers are not the same as “simple” bricks that will be used for chimneys or to build a wall, and there are also concrete bricks that are not bricks at all to start with. In this instance, the word “brick” was more referring to the shape of the stone. So make sure you look for brick pavers.
How do you care for brick pavers? Realistically, brick pavers are really low maintenance. Like many outdoors materials, they are meant to be long-lasting, weather resistant and require little attention. Ideally, you would brush them and remove debris quite regularly and maybe power wash them once or twice a year.
Regular maintenance prevents you from needing to do some heavy, deep cleaning, however, sometimes there’s just no way around it. It has to be done. That’s where you start to check your options: a professional cleaning or cleaning them yourself?. This question will be answered by analysing three factors: time, effort and money. And where a pro can save you some time and effort, it will come at a cost. If you have no time to attend this business, a pro is the way to go, but cleaning your patio brick pavers is really not that complicated and you could easily do it yourself.
Let’s talk about what are the best ways to clean your brick pavers.There are few steps that are required no matter which cleaning solutions you choose to use. The steps listed here above are quite straightforward, but first and foremost, you need to attend to your own equipment and security: make sure you have heavy-duty gloves, solid rubber outdoors boots for gardening chores, some clothes that you are not afraid to stain, and ideally, some protective glasses, particularly if you are rinsing off solutions with diluted chemicals.
Clear the area
Before starting off the cleaning part, make sure that you remove all your backyard furniture and plants from the targeted area. You want to avoid potentially breaking or damaging any flower pot, chair or table that you have on your brick pavers. Also, make sure that your pets or children won’t be outside at that moment. You don’t want to risk your children or your pets to walk on the cleaning solution. If you have any grass or landscaping area around the brick pavers make sure to protect it from the chemicals
Prepare the area
Sweep away any dirt or loose debris from the brick pavers. You can also use a leaf blower to do so. If there are moss or weeds in between your pavers also remove them. Gently tear them away making sure not to displace your pavers. Doing this operation gently will prevent you from removing too much sand from in between your pavers. To work around this area, using a weed chopper would normally be great; but in this instance, a more manual work is needed.
Saturate the area
Before starting to use any product or solution, hose down the area. No need for a pressure washer, just a simple hose will do. The bricks merely need to be wet.
Prepare your washing solution
Cleaning pavers with water and soap
Very simple and probably one of the most used mixes. Nothing is really harmful here as most likely you’ll be using some dishwashing soap like Dawn. If you regularly maintain your outdoor patio area and your brick pavers, water and liquid dishwashing detergent should really be enough. Just add some soap to a bucket of water, make it soapy and just sprinkle it on your pavers. Let it for about 20 min and start to brush the stains away.
Brick and patio cleaner
There are several good brands of outdoors cleaners for different purposes. You can simply check out some of the best selling solutions to guide you into a safe choice, like Wet and Forget. They are quite simple to use, with clear instructions and because they are meant for the wide public, they are usually beginner friendly.
Cleaning pavers with baking soda
Baking soda is really cheap and easy to find, which makes it a perfect component for a cleaning solution. What makes it so good though, are its deodorizing and mildly abrasive properties. It will help dissolve dirt. To use baking soda to clean your brick pavers, ideally, you would add a cup of soda into a bucket, add warm water and then spray (or gently splash it) on to the pavers. Let it rest about 30 mins before washing it off.
How to clean pavers with vinegar
Another household miracle. Easily found in most households, it has some stunning cleaning capabilities. Use only white vinegar for this purpose. Do not put vinegar directly onto the pavers. Mix the vinegar with warm water in a bucket and then spray it or sprinkle it on the targeted area. Let it rest about 1h before starting to clean it off.
How to clean pavers with bleach
If the two first options were rather natural and eco-friendly, bleach will fall into the more chemical side. Because it’s such a strong chemical, it is indeed very effective, but because it’s so powerful, it should be handled and used carefully. You would rather underdose than overdose when preparing your solution in this instance. Also, with bleach, you definitely want to make sure you’ll protect the surrounding lawn, greeneries and plants. If your bricks are artificially coloured, bleach might also discolour them.
When preparing the solution, a one bleach portion to 5/7 portions water ratio should be good enough; but this can be lowered if your pavers are not very dirty. Once you have the mix, apply it evenly to your pavers and let it rest about 15-20 mins before starting to brush and scrub away the dirt.
Cleaning pavers with pool chlorine
Chlorine or Chlorine bleach is a very strong chemical. Unless you’re experienced and can be very careful; or if your pavers are really in a bad shape, it would be the last resort we’d recommend. Indeed, make sure to wear gloves, protect yourself, keep pets/children out and protect the border grass. The portions here would be 1 part pool chlorine to 9 parts water. Mix the solution and spray it over the pavers. Start to scrub clean after about 5-10mins.
Brush away the dirt
As you could see, different solutions and mixes require different setting times. Once the time of your preferred solution is up, you can grasp your broom or brush to start cleaning the first off. You should use a stiff bristled broom that is solid enough to help scrub the stains away but never use metal brushes; they might damage your brick pavers.
You’re about to be done. Congratulations. The area has been prepared, the solution has been prepared and applied, resting time respected and dirt brushed away. Now it’s just time to rinse all of this off with clear water. It might be good to add a little bit of pressure here but nothing extreme (again, not to damage the pavers). When you’ll start to rinse off the dirty water from above your pavers, you’ll be rewarded with a very beautiful sight: your squeaky-clean brick pavers. Like new.
Let it dry
Now, to let all this settle down, it’s better to leave the pavers to dry out for a about a day (or until dry) before placing back all of your furniture and start using the area again.
The extra mile
Once all of the above have been done, check out the sand in between your pavers. If some has gone because of the cleaning, you can add some again to make it look as if your patio had just been laid out.
Taking care of your outdoors should not be a chore, especially brick pavers. They are beautiful, timeless, chic and easy to maintain. By cleaning them once or twice a year, you’re doing yourself a big favour as moss and dirt will not have had enough time to build up dramatically. Then, it’s simply the matter of some water, soap and a couple of hours.
How to clean patio brick pavers? A piece of cake that you won’t dread anymore.