Combine 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water in a big container. Saturate the concrete and surrounding grass to decrease absorption, then apply the solution and scrub away any stains and dirt. Lastly, rinse with water.
Maintaining a patio can be hard and time-consuming, especially if it’s surrounded by grass. You want your concrete patio clean, but being unsure about what products to use to protect your grass can be annoying.
Unfortunately, almost every cleaning product can kill your grass if used the wrong way. So, you must follow the instructions provided in today’s article about each product to keep your grass safe.
One of the safest cleaning products for concrete patios that won’t destroy your grass is water and soap solution. That being said, let’s jump right in and learn more about different cleaning methods.
How to Clean Concrete Patio Without Killing Grass
The very first step is preparing your concrete for the cleaning process, so let’s learn how to do that before using any cleaning products.
You can prevent different stains from forming by sealing your concrete and keeping it clean at all times.
Therefore, make sure you seal your brand new or freshly cleaned walkways, pavers, or concrete slabs properly.
Also, clean your concrete patio at least once a year and reapply the sealer every 5 years. Furthermore, when cleaning your concrete, start by wetting the entire area, including your grass, before using a cleaning solution.
We also want to point out that regular and proper maintenance will greatly reduce the need to use different cleaning chemicals. So, remove leaves to prevent stains and tackle spills immediately, especially liquids like coffee, wine, etc.
You can sweep away leaves and dirt with a regular broom or non-wire, stiff bristle brush and scrub out mold. Avoid wire bristles as they will damage the sealant and surface of your concrete.
Extra tip: You can easily prevent rust stains by spraying a clear coat of epoxy paint or vinyl spray on the feet of your furniture pieces.
Saturate the Concrete and Grass with Water
If you saturate your concrete and grass with water beforehand, they won’t be able to absorb too much water and cleaning solution during the cleaning process.
Once you’re done saturating the concrete, touch it to determine how wet it is. A wet concrete with no remaining water is saturated.
The reason why saturation is important here is that there’s way less chance of the detergent seeping into the concrete patio.
Saturation also prevents the surrounding grass and plants from absorbing too much of the detergent or any other cleaning solution and possibly dying.
Use Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide
Once stains occur, you might need to use stronger cleaning products.
If you’re not certain they’re necessary for cleaning your concrete, try water and detergent first. Using a broom with stiff bristles, scrub off the stains and dirt.
Finally, rinse with water and see what happens. If the stains persist, try the following approach.
Step 1: Make the Cleaning Solution
Mix 1 gallon of water with 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1/8 cup of dishwashing detergent, and 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide.
Step 2: Clean Your Concrete Patio
Most people opt for a pressure washer for cleaning their concrete patio, but we strongly advise against using this cleaning tool.
Typically most pressure washers use pressures of 1,500-3,300 pounds per square inch. The high-pressure water can cause surface damage and etch the concrete if you keep the nozzle too close to the ground.
Additionally, the strong stream will probably gouge out grass, plants, and soil when you wash along the edge, so avoid pressure washers.
Try Vinegar and Water
You can easily clean concrete with vinegar and water. Since it’s acidic, vinegar can successfully remove different types of stains, including rust stains.
Simply cover your concrete with white vinegar and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. Avoid applying vinegar on your grass as it can kill it, so make sure you rinse it off with plenty of clean water.
How About Muriatic Acid Or Bleach?
Some people suggest using muriatic acid for cleaning stubborn stains.
We suggest avoiding this corrosive acid because it’s very strong and dangerous. Using it is probably going to kill your grass and plants.
If you still opt to use muriatic acid or if you use bleach, wear protective gear such as goggles and gloves.
Important note: Bleach can also kill your grass and plants if used wrongly.
Mix 1 cup of bleach and 1 gallon of hot water. Use the solution to scrub off stains or dirt. Then, rinse with a lot of water to dilute the bleach before it reaches your plants or grass.
WARNING: Mixing different acids and bases produces toxic fumes. So, don’t apply acid cleaners where you previously added base cleaners and vice versa.
Moreover, rinse the surfaces thoroughly and make sure they’re dry before allowing kids and pets to step all over the area.
Apply Any Solution with A Spray Bottle
One of the best ways to apply any type of cleaning product without destroying your plants and grass is using a spray bottle.
That way, you will have more control over the cleaning process. The best part? It’s great for spot cleaning your concrete.
The only downside is that it doesn’t cover large areas, so it can be time-consuming. Therefore, if you have a large patio, we suggest using a bucket and a mop instead of a spray bottle, but only if you can avoid the plants and grass.
Spot Clean Any Visibly Stained Areas
You can use any of the cleaning products mentioned above to spot clean your patio.
Simply pour the product of your choice into a spray area and apply it over areas that seem super dirty.
Let the cleaning solution sit for about 15 minutes. Then, using a stiff-bristled brush, scrub off the stains. Finally, rinse the area using plenty of water.
Finish the Cleaning with Clean Water
Once you’re done cleaning, make sure you rinse the cleaned surfaces with a lot of water.
That way, you will dilute whatever cleaning product you’ve been using so that even if it reaches grass and plants, it won’t kill them.
You can use a low-pressure garden hose or bucket and a mop for the rinsing. In our opinion, a mop is one of the safest ways to clean your concrete without affecting the surrounding grass, plants, and trees.
It’s time-consuming and tiring, but you should sacrifice some of your free time if you love your plants.
Let Your Patio Air-dry
The last step in cleaning your concrete is to let the whole surface air dry. We mention this step because it’s important to guard your washed concrete while it’s damp.
Note that damp concrete is susceptible to dirt, sneaker marks, and other stains due to the grain of the concrete and water’s stickiness.
So, if you leave your children or animals walking over your freshly-washed concrete, they might undo the work you’ve done.
How to Remove Pet Urine from Concrete?
You can remove pet urine from your concrete with dishwashing soap and lukewarm water. If the odor persists, you can apply distilled white vinegar over the stains, then rinse with plenty of water.
How to Remove Leaf Stains from Concrete?
Leaves, tree sap, grass, and other organic materials can be difficult to remove from your concrete.
You should use special cleaners made for the removal of organic matter. The good thing about these cleaners is that they’re effective and concrete-safe, so they won’t alter the concrete color or cause surface damage.
The enzymes in these cleaners only attack and remove organic materials.
Step 1: Remove the Debris
Using a pressure washer or garden hose, remove all debris.
Step 2: Scrub and Rinse
Make sure your concrete is wet before you apply the detergent. Apply it and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Using a scrub brush or stiff broom, scrub vigorously.
Finally, rinse with plenty of water and repeat the cleaning process if necessary.
FAQs on How to Clean Concrete Patio Without Killing Grass
How often do you clean concrete patios?
We suggest cleaning your concrete patio at least once a year in spring as this period is great for clearing the winter debris, but if you spill something over your concrete, you should clean it up immediately to prevent permanent stains.
Does OxiClean clean concrete?
You can use OxiClean to clean your concrete. OxiClean can efficiently remove stains, dirt, oils, and grease from concrete. It’s unlikely to kill your grass, so you can use it without worrying about the surrounding grass.
What do professionals clean concrete with?
Most professionals use alkaline cleaners to clean concrete. They also suggest that cleaners that contain oxalic acid provide the best results.