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Did you get a stain on one of your pavers, and you’re wondering how to get rid of it? Can you use bleach? You came to the right place, for we researched this question and have the answer for you.
Unfortunately, using undiluted bleach on your pavers is a bad idea. Bleach can discolor pavers, especially colored or stained pavers.
Just because you can’t use bleach, it doesn’t mean that you have to live with that ugly oil or rust stain on your pavers. There are effective and paver-friendly ways to clean your pavers. And we have all the details in the sections below.
How to clean pavers the right way?
Pavers are made from resilient materials, but harsh cleaning can take a toll on them.
The best way to keep pavers clean is to install them properly. Proper installation prevents mold, weeds, rot, and insects on your pavers. Having these problems are signs that your pavers were not installed properly.
Here are the steps to clean your pavers without damaging them further.
Clear the area
If you have outdoor furniture, grill, potted plants, etc., transfer them somewhere else for the cleaning. This will give you clear access to all the areas that you need to clean. Additionally, this will allow you to inspect all your pavers for possible damage.
If you have weeds growing between your pavers, it is best to remove them first before cleaning. This will give your patio a good water flow while you clean the pavers.
Use a stiff nylon brush to loosen the weeds, moss, or lichens on the surface of the pavers or between them. Do not use steel or any kind of metal wire brush.
Spray the pavers with water
After clearing your pavers of weeds, moss, and lichen, spray the surface with water through the garden hose. Do not apply too much pressure. It is important to just soak the pavers with water.
What cleaning solution is right for pavers?
A mild, non-acidic cleaning solution is best for cleaning pavers.
There are several cleaning solutions for pavers in the market. However, it is important to make sure that the cleaning solution that you will be using is not acidic.
Can I DIY a paver cleaning solution?
If you prefer to DIY a cleaning solution for your pavers, mix a cup of baking soda and a mild degreasing dish detergent in a large bucket of warm water. Check your detergent and make sure that it is non-acidic.
Mix the solution well and then spread it on the surface of the pavers.
Scrub the pavers gently
Use a push broom or a stiff nylon-bristled brush to gently clean your pavers. Brush gently in a circular motion to loosen dirt without scratching your pavers. Never use a scouring pad to clean your pavers.
The FURemover Broom with a squeegee that is made from natural rubber with a telescopic handle.
Rinsing your pavers
Rinse your pavers with a garden hose with a spray nozzle attachment. Start rinsing from the top of the slope and let the soapy water drain down your pavers. This will wash off the dirt that you loosened with the brush.
Take care not to wash off any of the jointing sand between the pavers. Maintain the water flow on top of the pavers instead of the joints.
What to avoid when cleaning pavers?
Pavers may be tough but that doesn’t mean that they cannot be damaged. Here are some of the things that can damage your pavers during cleaning. Needless to say, these should not be done to prevent permanent damage.
Do not use wire bristles and scrubbing brushes
These kinds of brushes are too rough that they can remove the protective sealing layer on your pavers. Additionally, they can be coarse enough to create deep scratches on your pavers.
Everyone loves using pressure washers to do some quick cleaning. Unfortunately, it is not a good idea to use a pressure washer on pavers.
Pressure washers create powerful water pressures that can slowly erode the small particles that make up your pavers. They can slowly disintegrate your pavers, one particle at a time.
Moreover, pressure washers can remove the protective seal and joint compound on pavers.
Acid-based cleaning products and stain removers can weaken and eventually damage the seal and finish of your concrete pavers.
Does this include vinegar cleaners? Vinegar cleaning solutions are often the go-to solution to most cleaning problems in the house. Unfortunately, vinegar cleaning solutions are too effective that they can weaken the protective seal of your pavers.
Bleach is another go-to solution for getting rid of tough stains. It is an effective solution for household cleaning tasks.
However, bleach can discolor pavers. It can more easily affect colored or stained pavers. The bleach-free Wet & Forget No Scrub Outdoor Cleaner for easy removal of mold, mildew, and algae stains.
How to remove and prevent stains on pavers?
Pavers are best sealed after installation to protect them from stains, discoloration, and grime. Sealing pavers also slows down the wear and tear and keeps your pavers looking fresh longer.
However, despite regular maintenance and the protective seals on your pavers, there will be substances that will make it through and leave a stain. Oil, rust, mildew, tannin [from coffee, wine, some leaves, etc.], and efflorescence can permeate the seal with prolonged contact with your pavers. This is why it is best to wipe off dirt and spills immediately.
How to prevent stains on pavers
When a potentially staining substance is spilled on your pavers, clean the area immediately following the steps that we provided above for cleaning your pavers. The only difference would be that you’re cleaning a smaller area that was affected by the spilled substance.
For outdoor living spaces with pavers, keep your patio swept clean of any organic substances like leaves or branches to prevent tannin stains.
Wrought iron furniture should be sealed properly when used on your patio. Improperly sealed wrought iron furniture can cause rust stains on your pavers. Check the wrought iron furniture periodically for any improperly sealed areas before it starts spreading rust over your pavers.
Should I seal my pavers?
A paver sealer reduces the amount of stain that your paver could get. It also protects your pavers from discoloration and fading.
Ideally, resealing is done every five to six years. However, if you notice early weathering, you can reapply the sealing sooner.
How to apply sealing on pavers?
Prepare the materials that you will need for sealing your pavers. Choose a water-based sealer if you have joint sand installed.
A water-based sealer will harden your jointing sand and can penetrate into your paver better, resulting in a better seal for your pavers. It is best for porous concrete pavers. Water-based sealers should be applied in several layers for best results.
A solvent-based sealer will darken the color of your pavers and provide a glossy layer. However, they do not effectively harden jointing sand. This type of sealer is best for non-porous stone pavers.
Water-based sealers can be sprayed on your pavers, while a solvent-based sealer needs to be brushed or rolled to your pavers.
Clean your pavers thoroughly before applying the sealers. Unclean pavers will get dirt and grime locked into the paver when the sealer is applied.
Follow a specific pattern in applying the sealer. Apply to one area at a time. Start from one end, then move towards the opposite end while applying the sealer. This pattern will help you avoid stepping on the pavers that have wet sealer as you progress.
Keep in mind that it is best to complete the sealing as fast as possible. This is to prevent the area from accumulating dust or debris.
How to remove stains on your pavers?
There will be instances when stain will get through the sealer and into your paver. When this happens, you will need to wash off the stain.
How to get rid of stains on pavers?
Fresh stains on your pavers can be removed by using clean rags or paper towels to absorb most of the spilled substance.
Once you’ve removed as much spilled substance as your paper towels and clean rags can, apply a degreasing dish soap directly on the area. Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
Scrub the area with a nylon-bristled brush. Rinse the area with hot [not boiling] water. Repeat this method as needed.
Common household cleaning materials like bleach and white vinegar are not ideal for cleaning paver stains. There are commercially available products that can help and make it easy to clean your pavers.
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