How to Clean a Brick Patio

What You'll Need
Bristle broom
Garden hose
Brick cleaner
Liquid detergent
Powdered pumice
Clean cloths
Table salt
Naphtha soap
Safety Goggles

Cleaning a brick patio may be more difficult and time consuming than cleaning a concrete patio. For one reason, brick is more porous and has a tendency to absorb liquids that are likely to create stains on brick, whereas on concrete you might be able to simple flush them off the surface. Cleaning brick surfaces may require special cleaners and special treatments, including those that are more environmentally safe. To clean your brick patio, just follow the tips below.

Step 1 – Remove Weeds

Weeds are likely to grow between your bricks, particularly if mortar is not used to bind the bricks together. To remove these weeds, pull them up by the roots, or spray them with a weed killer. Check with weed killer instructions to be sure the weed killer won't stain or damage brick. When finished pulling the weeds, sweep, or flush off, the chemical, weed debris, or soil left on the bricks. Be careful not to flush weed killer onto plants or grass that may be damaged by this chemical.

Step 2 – Soil and Dirt

Dirt that is tracked onto a brick surface may be easier than other types of stains to remove, because it is not as likely to penetrate brick surfaces. But you will find dirt and soil on patio bricks more often than other stains, particularly if you have children or dogs that use your patio.You can encourage children to avoid tracking mud and dirt onto the patio by asking them to clean off any dirt they bring to the patio. Dirt can usually be cleaned off easily by scrubbing it with a stiff bristle push broom and flushing with a garden hose.

Step 3 – Grease and Oil Stains

Cleaning grease and oil from brick can be made easier by using a cleaner made from naphtha soap, hot water, powdered pumice, and ammonia. Mix this cleaner in a bucket. Dissolve 4 ounces of soap in 1 quart of hot water, When cool, mix in the pumice and ammonia. Apply this cleaner with a brush and allow it to sit for 1 hour. Then scrub with a bristle brush, and flush off with a garden hose. For lighter oil stains, mix an ounce of liquid detergent with a gallon of warm water, apply this to the stain, scrub with a stiff brush, then rise with clean water. A third grease cleaner you can make at home is one made of dishwasher detergent (2 tbsp), 1/2 tsp of table salt, and 1/2 cup of water. Use this mixture to scrub the stain, then flush with water.

Step 4 – Bird Droppings

Use a trowel, putty knife, or metal scraper to remove loose droppings, then flush off with a hose. Mix a small amount of liquid detergent into a bucket of very hot water. Into this solution, soak a rag, lay the rag on the droppings, and allow it to sit for 1 hour. Then, use a bristle brush to remove the droppings. Finally, flush the surface with a garden hose.