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Best patio cleaners to shift dirt, grime, moss and algae

Get the patio looking pretty with our roundup of the best patio cleaners including tried-and-tested recommendations from Mumsnetters. 

By Carol Linfield | Last updated Sep 17, 2021

Garden patio

Let’s be honest, with a million and one jobs to complete around the house, it’s easy to overlook the upkeep of outdoor spaces but thankfully there are plenty of products that can give patios a thorough clean with minimal effort.

The patio is often a garden focal point with lots of foot traffic so it makes sense that some level of maintenance is required. If mould, algae, moss and weather stains are masking your patio’s sparkle, it’s time to get cracking. 

We’re huge fans of pressure washers for garden glow ups but if you’re looking for something stronger to shift persistent dirt and grime, we’ve collated some top product recommendations straight from the Mumsnet forums. You’ll be proud to swing open the garden gates when done.

Here are the best patio cleaners to buy in 2021.

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1. Best overall patio cleaner: Wet & Forget - Moss Mould Lichen & Algae Remover

Wet and Forget patio cleaner

Price: £35 | Buy now from Amazon

"I've found Wet & Forget sprayed onto patio slabs works better than patio magic and it will also kill moss and weeds" -- Oblio

The clue’s in the name with this product and it’s a firm favourite with Mumsnetters. You simply mix it with water in a garden sprayer, apply it to your patio and watch it get to work. Once you’ve sprayed the slabs in question, you can leave it for a few days while it works its magic. The results will continue to get better and better as it continues to activate over time. There’s no pressure washer, scrubbing or bleach needed. It’s not an instant fix though and you might not see much change after a day or so, but don’t lose heart; the longer you leave it (and with help from a bit of rain), grimy algae and stains will start to disappear. If you’re impatient, this one’s not for you but with claims it's used by the Sydney Opera House, it’s good enough for us. 

Key specs

  • Quantity: Five litres
  • Application: Spray and leave

2. Best budget patio cleaner: Patio Magic! Concentrate: Ideal for Patios, Paths and Driveways

Patio Magic cleaner

Price: £8 | Buy now from Amazon

"Get yourself a bottle of Patio Magic. Add it to a watering can and sprinkle it on the slabs. The stuff is witchcraft. You will literally watch them return to new in a few days (though it does say up to two weeks it's always been pretty quick here). I'd never have believed it had I not seen it" – AlanThePig

"A regular sweep of leaves/debris (particularly in autumn) and a dose of a cleaning product like 'Patio Magic' two or three times a year will keep it in good condition" -- Londongent

Described as “witchcraft” by one Mumsnetter, this is a low-cost option with a focus on prevention rather than cure. It can be used safely on all hard outdoor surfaces and it’s particularly effective on sandstone according to comments on the forums. After a good soaking with a watering can/garden sprayer it will execute its good work over the course of four or five days without any additional scrubbing required. It’s biodegradable too so it’s kinder to the environment than some other options. We love the sound of that!

Key specs

  • Quantity: 2.5 litres
  • Application: Watering can/garden sprayer

3. Best no-scrubbing patio cleaner: Pro-Kleen 260735 Ready to Use Simply Spray & Walk Away

Pro Kleen patio cleaner

Price: £13 | Buy now from Amazon

This is one bottle you need to get your hands on. It’s good to go without having to dilute or mix it so it’s a brilliant faff-free option. It will work on the main culprits (green mould and algae) really well and is a good option for decking, fencing, patios and driveways. It’s also non-acidic and there’s no need to banish the pets and kids once the treated areas are dry. Your patio should be much cleaner after a few days although retreatment may be required on heavily soiled areas. If you’re looking for a hassle- and stress-free patio cleaning option, here it is. 

Key specs

  • Quantity: Five litres
  • Application: Spray and leave

4. Best stubborn stain patio cleaner: Jeyes 4-in-1 Patio and Decking Power, Outdoor Cleaner

Jeyes patio cleaner

Price: £13 | Buy now from Amazon

"Diluted Jeyes Fluid...disinfects and also kills mould, moss and other slimy green stuff" -- mssmith501 

This ultra-concentrated detergent is a reliable all-rounder and can helpfully lend itself to other outdoor areas that need a bit of TLC like drains, greenhouses and even neglected plant pots and the outdoor bins (another dreaded job). You can either use it with a pressure washer or apply it using a garden sprayer. We love all areas to smell good and this works well as a disinfectant too. If moss and mould are your offenders, grab yourself a bottle of this.

Key specs

  • Quantity: Four litres
  • Application: Apply and leave

5. Best patio cleaner for large areas: ULTIMA-PLUS XP MY1356 Patio Cleaner 

Ultima Plus patio cleaner

Price: £17 | Buy now from Amazon

You can wave goodbye to any garden shame with this concentrated patio cleaner and our best pick for any large patio in need of a serious spruce. A 5-litre bottle when diluted will make up 25 litres and clean a range of up to 200 square metres with ease. It’s also biodegradable and happy to get to work on paving, decking, tarmac, bricks and wood. For best results, application via a garden sprayer is recommended. Oh, did we mention that no scrubbing is required, so you can kick back and relax with that new book while it dissolves the dirt for you. We’ll take it!

Key specs

  • Quantity: Five litres
  • Application: Dilute and spray

6. Best pet-friendly patio cleaner: Algon Organic Path and Patio Cleaner Concentrate

Algon patio cleaner

Price: £14 | Buy now from Amazon

"Algon works well. It's basically very strong vinegar. It's not that expensive and even diluted is stronger than vinegar" – SeaRabbit

We totally understand that spraying the patio with strong chemicals can be a little concerning if you have pets, kids and plants. Algon Organic is a brilliant, non-toxic, acetic acid that will cause no harm to whatever it encounters. It’s particularly efficient at blitzing mould and algae but will take a few days to do its job. It’s fair to say that it’s not as good as its counterparts for lifting really heavily-soiled paving, but reviews highlight decent results when it comes to getting green and grey slabs back to their original colouring. The strong vinegar smell can linger for a few days so plan accordingly if you have an outdoor gathering in the diary.

Key specs

  • Quantity: Five litres (2 x 2.5 litres)
  • Application: Leave and walk away

7. Best patio cleaner for black spots: SmartSeal Patio Clean Xtreme

Smart Seal patio cleaner

Price: £37 | Buy now from Amazon

This stuff is costly but it’s brilliant at blasting black spots. These unsightly black marks start small but without treatment can get bigger over time until they silently infect all areas without remorse, a very common problem with natural stone. Just give the patio a good watering then apply this diluted formula and leave for an hour (or more), keeping the paving wet at all times; the opposite of Gremlin care. The washing away part can be done with a garden hose or a pressure washer. For heavily affected areas, a stiff brush and some elbow grease may be required. Sorry!

Key specs

  • Quantity: Five litres
  • Application: Watering can or garden sprayer and leave

8. Best patio cleaner for moss/green mould: Jarder 5 Litre Concentrate Spray & Leave Cleaner

Jarder patio cleaner

Price: £15 | Buy now from Amazon

This Jarder cleaner is a dominant force in the patio cleaning game and offers great value for money and impressive results on eradicating nasty green mould and algae. It will also work hard to provide a protective barrier for up to six months after application and there is enough cleaning solution to cover a sizable 240m² area. It usually takes a few days to work as the solution will remain active after application. Some users report that a second application is required. It’s a steal at under £15 with only two applications needed each year. You’ll feel proud to have the patio back to its former glory after a quick spray. It’s free of bleach and acid too so your little people and pets will be safe and sound with this around!  

Key specs

  • Quantity: Five litres
  • Application: Spray and leave

9. Best patio cleaner for sandstone: Black Spot Lichen Remover, Sandstone Cleaner, Block Cleaner, Patio Cleaner

Black Spot patio cleaner

Price: £30 | Buy now from Amazon

Being an industrial strength cleaner, there are a few safety procedures to follow when using this product and putting on full protective clothing is a must – rubber gloves, goggles, wellies, the lot and it must be kept away from your plants and pond. You’ll also need to spray the area of concern with a pressure washer before use to see the maximum benefits but based on the reviews we found specifically on sandstone and natural stone, the results will make it all worth it. Granted, it’s not an option that will suit everyone and you’ll need to have access to a pressure washer but if you have the patience, the results can be amazing. 

Key specs

  • Quantity: Five litres
  • Application: Mix, spray and leave

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How to buy the best patio cleaner

It’s wise to choose a cleaner designed to work on a specific area of concern. Ask yourself what your main issues are. It might be ingrained dirt that is taking over your outside space, black lichen covering your stone work, slimy algae and mould thriving in damp, shady areas. Often, it’s the patio's position in the sun that determines its staining fate. You also need to ensure that it’s safe to use your chosen cleaner on the surface you want to spruce up. The winter months are when the most damage is done to patios but treating paving every six months or so can keep built-up mildew at bay and provide a protective layer to combat future regrowth. The instructions need to be read, then read again. For a low-maintenance option, consider a spray-and-leave product that doesn’t require any additional scrubbing/sweeping. 

Do you have to use a patio cleaner with a pressure washer?

There are patio cleaning detergents that are designed for use with a pressure washer but many now can be applied by hand. Most can be diluted, mixed and then applied via a watering can or a garden sprayer without the need for any scrubbing at all. If you’re using a pressure washer, the manufacturer often recommends the type of detergent and possibly brand you should use for the best results.

Can you use patio cleaner on decking? 

Some patio cleaners will work on all outside areas from patios to decking to driveways to all outdoor furniture. If a cleaner contains a potentially caustic substance like bleach, it will be a no-go for decking and wooden surfaces as it will discolour and weaken the original surface. Read the instructions carefully to ensure you can use the cleaner on specific surfaces.

What’s the best patio cleaner to buy? 

There are some fantastic patio cleaners out there, all bringing something different to the table but the Wet & Forget - Moss Mould Lichen & Algae Remover is our overall favourite. We love that it continually works hard to rejuvenate tired patio slabs after application to get them back to ship shape condition. It also gets the thumbs up from Mumsnetters, there’s no bleach or nasty chemicals involved and it’s reasonably priced to boot. 

How we chose our recommendations 

 Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which patio cleaners’ parents were recommending and had bought. We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which patio cleaners had been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites, and what customer reviews said about them. Having collated all that information, we then narrowed our list down to the top 10 patio cleaners on the market. 

Why you should trust us?

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.