Last updated on September 6th, 2021
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Choosing the Best Patio Cleaner and Top 7 Models to Consider
Are you too embarrassed to entertain family and friends on your patio because it looks grungy? Is dirt or mould embedded in the patio floor? Have you tried using a pressure washer but even that didn’t bring back the as-new look? What you need is a patio cleaner, perhaps along with a pressure washer. No matter how bad your patio looks, using one of the patio cleaners in this review will help to restore it towards its former glory. And you can start having outdoor barbeques and parties again.
Our Top 7 Best Patio Cleaners review explains what to look for in a patio cleaner and evaluates the best cleaners on the market. We look at the pros and cons of each cleaner we review and discuss what situations they’re best for. Our Buyer’s Guide looks at the few essential issues that you need to consider when making your decision.
The best patio cleaner will help you easily remove the dirt, moss and mould that’s growing in places on your patio you’d rather it didn’t.
Our Best Pick of patio cleaners is the Smartseal 5L Patio Clean Xtreme. It not only gets rid of mould and moss, but it cleans the stones and bricks as well. This is a strong cleaner that needs extra care when being used.
Our Runner-up is the Karcher T 7 Plus Patio Cleaner. This isn’t a detergent but a patio cleaning attachment for Karcher pressure washers. The rotating spray jets get into the far reaches of your patio and takes off the dirt and grunge before washing the particles away.
Our Runner-up of the detergent patio cleaners is our selection for Best Biodegradable cleaner. The Ultima-Plus XP Moss, Mould & Algae Killer isn’t caustic or acidic and won’t harm any of the other plants in your garden while it efficiently removes algae and moss from your patio.
This is not an environmentally friendly cleaner as it contains chlorine. You just have to be safety aware and keep your clothes, kids, pets and plants out of the way when it’s wet.
Got a tarmac drive that has seen better days? Check out this guide on the best tarmac restorers to bring it back to life
BEST PICK – BIODEGRADABLE
The Ultima-Plus XP removes algae, moss and mould. At the recommended concentration of 9 parts water to 1 part cleaner (9:1 dilution), you can make over 50 litres of solution from one 5-litre container. This amount covers 400m2 of patio floor.
The Ultima-Plus XP Moss, Mould & Algae Killer is our Runner-up Pick and we recommend it if you want to kill off moss, mould and algae from your patio without harming the environment or worrying about your kids getting any on themselves although you should still wait until it's dry before children or pets should enter the treated area.
Top 7 Patio Cleaner Reviews
1. Smartseal 5L Patio Clean Xtreme
The Smartseal 5L Patio Clean Xtreme is a professional-grade cleaning product that makes your patio look less grimy and tired. This patio cleaner is a highly concentrated cleaner that works on natural stone, paving slab, crazy paving and paving block floors. It quickly removes dirt, algae, lichen and moss, along with black and white moulds. You don’t even need to use a pressure washer along with this cleaner.
The first step in using the Smartseal cleaner is to decide how you need to dilute it. Five litres of the concentrated solution treats approximately 40m2 of the patio when diluted. Create a solution of 1 part water and 1 part concentrate (1:1 solution) for most cleaning jobs. If you’re trying to get rid of black spot, then use the solution at full strength.
Applying the Smartseal solution is straightforward. Sweep away the loose debris and hose down the surface to make it wet. Smartseal works only in damp or wet conditions. Apply the cleaner using a watering can or sprayer and work it into the patio with a broom.
Leave it on for up to one hour and then rinse off the patio. If it’s a hot day, make sure to keep the patio damp while the cleaner is on it. If not everything (dirt, moss, algae, mould) is removed, reapply the cleaner and leave it on for a longer period. Alternatively, apply the cleaner undiluted to the remaining stubborn stains and leave as before.
Be aware that the Smartseal cleaner isn’t friendly to vegetation, and you need to be careful too. As this cleaner contains chlorine, it smells rather strongly of bleach and will take out the colour of any clothing it splashes on. If some of the cleaner gets on your plants, rinse them down quickly and thoroughly. As always, wear gloves and avoid contact with skin.
- Professional grade cleaning product for a deep clean.
- Cleans sandstone and brick surfaces so all your patio surfaces will look better.
- Spray on, wait, rinse off process is quick and easy.
- No pressure washing needed, saving time and effort.
- 5-litre jug covers 40m2 at 1:1 dilution.
- Cleans most of what gets on your patio – black spot, algae, lichens, moss and dirt.
- Harmful to vegetation and takes the colour out of clothing.
- Contains chlorine; smells strongly.
- Reviewers say that it’s best to leave the cleaner on for a few hours.
- Expensive compared to some other patio cleaners.
The Smartseal 5-L Patio Clean Xtreme is a strong patio cleaner that removes grime, moss, lichen and mould from brick and stone patios. At the recommended 1:1 dilution, this cleaner covers 40m2 of patio floor. The application process is easy (spray on, wait, rinse off) though reviewers have stated that the cleaner didn’t do its work in the recommended time and that they had to leave it on for longer.
The strength of this cleaner and its effectiveness in removing tough stuff from the patio as well as cleaning the stones make the Smartseal 5-L Patio Clean Xtreme the Best Pick in our Best Patio Cleaners review.
2. Karcher T 7 Plus Patio Cleaner
To state the obvious from the photo, The Karcher T 7 Plus Patio Cleaner is not a concentrated detergent for your patio. The T 7 Plus is a hovercraft-like surface cleaner with a power nozzle that lets you clean your patio quickly and efficiently, even into the tightest corners, and definitely splash-free. It’s great if you have a large patio and little time.
The first thing you need to know is that this product does not come with the pressure washer you need to use it. It’s compatible with Karcher K4 to K7 pressure washers. If you have one of these, or intend to buy one, then continue on with this T 7 Plus review. If not, please skip to the next individual review.
The regular nozzle on the T 7 is actually a twin-jet rotating flat nozzle that lets you clean large areas fast. The hovercraft effect lets you hover over the floor without scratching or dinging delicate surfaces (maybe you have hand-painted tiles in your patio) and without churning up surfaces such as gravel. The hovering is height adjustable so you can clean from different heights above the surface.
What’s really handy is that the continual stream of water not only loosens the grime and algae, but it washes it away as well. Removing the telescopic handle leaves you with the base unit and another handle which you can grab to use the unit to clean vertical surfaces such as walls.
- Surface cleaner attachment for a pressure washer covers a large area quickly.
- Hovers over the surface so won’t damage the patio or other hard surfaces.
- Clean horizontal or vertical surfaces so your home’s entire outside can sparkle.
- Removes unwanted growths on your patio, paths and other hardscape surfaces.
- Power nozzle gives splash-free cleaning, even into the tightest corners.
- Controls are on the base unit and you simply operate them with your foot.
- Needs a Karcher pressure washer (K 4 through K 7) to operate.
The Karcher T 7 Plus Patio Cleaner is an attachment for the popular Karcher pressure washer. The two rotary spray jets in the standard nozzle let you clean your patio in short. Don’t be hesitant about using the power spray nozzle without suiting up in waterproof clothing as it generates splash-free cleaning and gets into even the smallest corners of the largest patio.
We like that the Karcher T 7 Plus Patio Cleaner is an alternative to using patio cleaning detergents, although it can be used in conjunction with them for stubborn stains and mosses. If you already have a Karcher power washer, this is a great addition to your Karcher toolbox. It’s our Runner-up pick in this review.
3. ULTIMA-PLUS XP Patio Cleaner
Best Biodegradable Patio Cleaner
The Ultima-Plus XP Moss, Mould & Algae Killer is a highly concentrated cleaner that gets rid of all the unwanted algae, moss, mould and even kill moss.
A 5-litre container covers an area of 400m2 of patio surface. You get a minimum of 50 litres at the recommended dilution of 9:1 and a maximum of 90 litres when mixed at the weakest recommended ratio. Depending on the size and condition of the area to be cleaned, dilute according to directions. The higher the concentration, the more effective the solution is at cleaning.
The ULTIMA-PLUS XP solution contains no acids or bleach but still remains effective in exterminating extra growth. It is biodegradable and once it has dried, you can let your family and pets play out on the patio. It is recommended that you use gloves if you have very sensitive skin but we would strongly advise that you wear gloves anyway.
- Simply apply and walk away and see results in 3 days.
- Can be used on all hard surfaces outside your home,
- Various dilution ratios for different levels of griminess.
- Biodegradable, thus environmentally safe.
- Includes no bleach or caustic substances that can affect surfaces.
- Safe for pets and children once dried.
- May take 2 or 3 applications for the most stubborn stains.
Thoughts and recommendations
The Ultima-Plus XP Moss, Mould & Algae Killer is cheaper than most products featured in this review yet it certainly one of the best patio cleaners we have seen. It is biodegradable, non-caustic and therefore safe to use all around. Pets and children can be let loose onto treated areas once the floor is dry, which on a summers day would be within an hour.
The Ultima-Plus XP Moss, Mould & Algae Killer is a safer choice than some other patio cleaners if you have pets and young children who won’t stay out of the garden for long when you’re trying to make your patio look more respectable.
4. Wet & Forget – Moss Mould Lichen & Algae Remover
The Wet & Forget Moss Mould Lichen & Algae Remover is an alternative to our Best Pick as it needs no hard work and takes care of moss along with the usual mould and algae. All you have to do is dilute 1 part concentrate with 5 parts water, spray it and forget about it. On days that you are away from the property, this is especially useful. Why? This is because the detergent embeds itself in the patio and is reactivated whenever it rains.
This slow method of killing off mould and algae is simple and attainable. This patio cleaner is not acidic or caustic. With no traces of bleach, you don’t have to breathe in toxic fumes or worry about the environment and wildlife. This cleaner biodegradable and has a PH of 7 which is stable enough not to harm your skin or patio surface.
The 5-litre container treats around 100-300m2 of patio surface, depending on the amount and age of the stains you have. The detergent is not only for patios; use it also on paths, patios, wooden decking, garden furniture, planters and caravans.
- Easy to use: mix, apply and leave.
- Biodegradable without caustic elements so your family, pets and patio are safe.
- Needs little or no maintenance after the first application.
- Saves energy as manual scrubbing is not needed.
- Not fast-acting.
Thoughts and recommendations
The Wet & Forget Moss Mould Lichen & Algae Remover is a great alternative to our ‘Best Pick’. It’s easy to use as this is another ‘mix, apply and walk away’ cleaner which requires no scrubbing. We like that it continues working for up to 12 months to keep moss and algae away. Though you may need to apply it a second time on really badly stained surfaces.
The Wet & Forget Mould Lichen & Algae Remover is a great choice if cleaning the stains and mould of the patio is not your favourite garden task. It’s a little more expensive (at time of writing) than our Best Pick.
5. Jarder Concentrate Spray & Leave Cleaner
The 5 Litre Concentrate Jarder Spray & Leave Cleaner is another spray & walk away patio cleaner. Expect to see results in only 2-3 days depending on the level of growth of moss, mould, algae and lichen you have. Thise concentrated patio cleaner needs no scrubbing or invasive abrasive tools to pry the growth out of the patio.
It is also friendly to the environment due to its biodegradable characteristics. Too many chemicals can unbalance the soil and retard further growth in future if you get them onto your prized plants. Just because it is biodegradable does not mean that it is not effective.
With the right dilution ratio of water and cleaner concentrate, you can cover up to 240m2 of ground. Remember that you have to let the areas dry before letting pets or children play around on the patio. It is an important safety precaution.
- Minimum of 30 litres of patio cleaner from 5 litres of concentrate which is enough to treat a huge 240m2.
- Suitable for UPVC windows, sheds, fences, patios, paths and more.
- Has no bleach so appropriate for all surfaces.
- Needs little attention since you spray it and leave it.
- Needs no manual scrubbing.
- Not always effective on stubborn stains.
Thoughts and recommendations
The Jarder Spray & Leave Cleaner is environmentally friendly and yields fast results. The patio cleaner is not very strong in that it will be able to remove the stains right away but changes occur in a few days. You may need to apply it a couple of times before you see good results.
This is another ‘mix, apply and walk away’ biodegradable patio cleaner for those environmentally conscious people with other things to do than scrub the patio. However, it’s best on lightly stained patios and other hard surfaces.
6. Pro-Kleen Mould, Algae & Moss Remover
The PROKLEEN Mould Algae & Moss Killer is another patio cleaner that you can depend on. Employing the spray and leave it method, it needs little maintenance to get rid of your algae and moss and prevent their regrowth.
Diluted in the recommended ratio 1:4, the patio cleaner covers a wide area with the 25 litres of solution. If you have a small patio, this patio cleaner will last a long while which gives you value for money.
This product contains no bleach and therefore it is friendly to your skin. It is also not acidic so that any protective polish on your surface holds up. Once it applied cleaner dries, the biodegradable material is safe to be around pets and humans. You can use this clreaner on other hard surfaces, even your roof can benefit from a cleaning.
- Cleans other hard surfaces including fences, drives, patios, walls, furniture, and caravans.
- Biodegradable so environmentally friendly.
- Contains no bleach or high acidic levels that can damage surfaces.
- Minimal manual labour as you just spray it and let it dry.
- Doesn’t have a shelf life so you can store and use it for longer.
- Need to scrub areas with tough stains.
Thoughts and recommendations
The PROKLEEN Mould Algae & Moss Killer is affordable and biodegradable. It has problems with accumulated years of algae and mould but handles thin layers of growth well. It works great on green algae but struggles with black algae and you need some manual scrubbing to remove that.
If your main patio problem is a shallow growth of green algae, this is the cleaner that provides the environmentally friendly solution for you.
7. Patio Magic! Green Mould and Algae Killer Liquid Concentrate Patio Cleaner
The Patio Magic! Green Mould and Algae Killer Liquid Concentrate works like most of the products in this category. The only difference is how much patio cleaner you can get from one bottle. In areas where there is prevalent growth, the diluting ratio of this cleaner is 1 part concentrate to 4 parts water which is fairly strong. In cases of light growth, you can dilute the concentrate up to 9 times. This is a lifesaver when you have a large patio with light algae growth to treat.
This 5-litre patio cleaner is eco-friendly and can be absorbed into the soil without any harm. When diluted, one bottle covers covers an area of 170m2. All you need to do is spray the solution and leave it to dry. Once it has dried your patio will be available to your whole family again. You can apply a few coatings if you see any regrowth on your patio.
As with many other patio cleaners, this Patio Magic! one can be used on other outdoor hard surfaces. Make sure that you follow the instructions so that the patio cleanerworks effectively.
- Spray area and walk away – couldn’t be easier to use.
- Range of dilution ratios for your particular patio problem.
- Contains no bleach or acids that can damage surfaces.
- Biodegradable which reduces soil and water pollution.
- Antibacterial characteristics raising the quality of your environment.
- Control of lichens can take from 2 weeks to 6 months
Thoughts and recommendations
The Patio Magic! Green Mould and Algae Killer Liquid Concentrate is affordable and does the job well. This patio cleaner works faster than the Wet & Forget – Moss Mould Lichen & Algae Remover giving you results in a few days.
The Patio Magic! Green Mould and Algae Killer Liquid Concentrate is for you if your need your patio cleaned us quickly, as it works faster than most other patio cleaners. Well, except for on lichens.
Our Buyers Guide
Buying the right patio detergent requires some consideration as you are buying chemicals that affect your garden as well as possibly your family and pets. Some chemicals may be appropriate for one kind of surface but completely damaging to another surface. In the marketplace, you will find varied brands with varying concentrations that you can use. This Buyer’s Guide highlights the factors to consider.
Surface you’re cleaning
What kind of surface does your patio have? Is it limestone, concrete, block paving, Indian stone or wood decking? Different surfaces react to different chemicals in various ways. Patio cleaners that are heavy in bleach might damage surfaces like wood and strip off the protective coating.
Patio detergents with sodium hydroxide are usually too strong for most uncoated surfaces. Look at your surface and select a patio cleaner with a suitable pH value. Some chemicals may be harmful to your skin too especially if it is sensitive. The good news is that we did find patio cleaners that were suitable for all surfaces which makes it much easier to choose just the right patio cleaner.
How intense is the dirt or greenery that you want to be rid off? Some patio cleaners can produce immediate results while others take a bit longer. We review several ‘mix, spray and walk away’ brands that are the easiest to use and require the least effort. These ones don’t need scrubbing, you let the chemicals work unless you have very stubborn stains or a lot of moss or lichen. Depending on how fast you want to get your surfaces clean and back into use, select a patio cleaner that can produce results in the time that you need.
Area of coverage
The area you want to clean, the length of time since you last cleaned it and the amount of dirt matter. Some patio cleaners are slightly denser than others. The higher the concentration, the smaller the area of coverage. When you dilute the concentrated cleaner, it goes further but it’s not as strong. We found most 5-litre cleaning concentrates could clean around 400 square meters.
Some patio cleaners are acidic or feature caustic substances, such as our Best Pick. These are intended for deep cleaning and may harm the smooth textures of some materials. Some even bleach the area making it look different to the surrounding patio space. If you have sensitive woods or other surface materials, make sure you buy a patio cleaner that does not feature these elements. we suggest only using a deep patio cleaner when you really have to.
One of our patio cleaners isn’t a concentrate detergent at all. It’s a hovercraft-type brush that hooks up to a pressure washer. The force of the jet spray loosens dirt and unwanted plants from the patio surface and washes them away. This is a great alternative if you don;t want to use any chemicals on your patio surface.
We need to take care of our environment so that our environment takes care of us. By using biodegradable patio cleaners, you effectively clean your patio without too much harm to your garden and your loved ones. Since these cleaners are not acidic you will find them more merciful for some soil types.
Look at the information provided by the manufacturer to confirm if the product is environmentally friendly. But bear in mind that stubborn stains or lichen may need more than one application of these cleaners to remove them and prevent them.
Our Final Conclusion
There’s a patio cleaner in our review for you, no matter how bad your patio now looks. You may want to just get rid of the unsightly green and black stuff growing all over it, or perhaps you want to clean the bricks or paving stones as well. And you don’t have to use chemical cleaners for this, even if they’re biodegradable and don’t harm the environment or your surrounding garden. We review an attachment for a pressure washer that’s especially deigned to clean a patio.
The Best Pick in our Best Patio Cleaner review is the Smartseal 5L Patio Clean Xtreme. This is a patio cleaner that cleans deep and stubborn stains and all kinds of unwanted plants. However, it does obtain bleach and can harm your skin and discolour your clothes.
Our Runner-up is the non-detergent patio cleaner is the Karcher T 7 Plus Patio Cleaner. This is a hovercraft-like attachment for a Karcher pressure washer that is designed to efficiently clean patios. It has a rotating power spray jet that is much faster than a lance-type pressure washer attachment.
Our Best Pick of biodegradable patio cleaners is the Ultima-Plus XP Moss, Mould & Algae Killer. This is a non-caustic cleaner that works on most hard surfaces outside your home, as well as the patio.
Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API