Pavers for interior and external flooring in architectural grade are extremely durable and strong, suitable for almost every sort of inside and outside flooring — from kitchens to bathrooms to courtyard patios to garden hardscaping to pool decks.
Concrete, on the other hand, is a porous material that still requires sealing and maintenance to keep it looking and functioning well for decades. In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about sealing and cleaning architectural-grade concrete pavers.
How to Clean Concrete Pavers
Maintenance of concrete paver pathways is straightforward once they are sealed. Interior pavers that have been grouted and sealed only require to be swept, mopped, and spot-cleaned as necessary with a gentle, non-acidic multipurpose cleaning solution such as Enviro Klean All Surface Cleaner or Light Duty Concrete Cleaner.
Exterior paver patio hardscaping is also low-maintenance. All that is necessary is for the leaves or debris to be swept away with a push broom on occasion.
The great thing about concrete pavers is that they take on a beautiful patina, whether they’re sealed or not. The drawbacks of concrete patio pavers are that they require more maintenance than natural stone or composite decking, and they can be easily damaged by animals.
However, if you want to keep your concrete patio pavers looking brand new for years, you’ll need to clean them more frequently. Of course, because outdoor paving is subject to greater weathering.
Here’s our suggested cleaning routine for outdoor concrete pavers, in case you want to go a little deeper:
1. Clear the space.
Remove any furniture, potted plants, or other objects placed on top of the pavers.
2. Tidy any vegetation.
Any weeds that have grown between the paver joints should be removed. Loosen any moss or lichen that has formed on the paver surface or between the joints using a non-wire stiff-bristle brush.
3. Get the pavers wet.
Grab a garden hose or a large pail of water and soak the pavers with it before applying any cleaning solution.
4. Prepare a mild, non-acidic cleaning solution.
We recommend Prosoco’s EAP products for ideal results when cleaning your concrete pavers, but if you’re in a bind, you may also DIY your own non-acidic, low-alkaline concrete cleaning solution using a couple simple household ingredients.
If you’re going the DIY route, all you need to do is get a big bucket and fill it halfway with warm water combined with a mild degreasing dish detergent. Stir the solution thoroughly before distributing it evenly over the pavers. Acid-based cleaners should not be used since this might harm the seal.
5. Gently scrub the pavers.
For a more intensive cleaning, use a stiff-bristled scrub brush or push broom to gently clean the pavers. Wire bristle brushes and scouring pads should not be used; they may scratch the pavers, causing any sealants to fail.
6. Rinse the pavers.
Spray down the space with a garden hose with a nozzle attachment to get rid of any grime lifted by your scrub brush. When rinsing with the hose nozzle, take care not to dig up joint sand. avoid using a pressure washer since it can harm the paver’s seal.
How to Clean Pavers without Pressure Washing?
Here are some more cleaning alternatives, in addition to power washing:
- Water and soap: Gently clean foreign objects with a solution of water and some soap.
- Simple Green: This is a simple green cleaning soap that’s free of strong chemicals and won’t harm your stones.
- White vinegar and water: It also aids in the removal of persistent stains. After an hour, wash your pavers with soap and water to remove it.
- A broom: Sweeping your pavers at least once a week is an excellent approach to clean off dirt. Sweep up your patio on rainy days since wet leaves may stain your paver stones.
Preventing and Removing Tough Stains on Concrete Pavers
There may be times when a little extra effort is required to bring life back into your paver patio with simple paver maintenance, but it’s not difficult. Although the sealant serves as the concrete pavers’ first line of defense against spills and weathering, staining is still possible.
Water stains, rust stains, mildew stains, tannin stains (wet leaves, wine, coffee, etc), and efflorescence can all seep into the seal of your pavers with enough time spent in contact.
That’s why it’s critical to clean up any spills as soon as possible. Keep your patio paver surface clear of leaves and other organic waste for outdoor living areas to prevent tannin stains. Rust stains may appear on paver patios if wrought iron furniture is not properly sealed. If you have this sort of outdoor furniture, check it once in a while to ensure that it is properly protected.
When stains do sink in and set into a sealed paver, we recommend spot cleaning using the same techniques as previously mentioned. If the dish detergent method doesn’t seem to be working, you may need to purchase a specific, non-acidic concrete cleaning solution.
We recommend using Enhance Architectural Products’ line of specifically formulated concrete cleaners to safely remove efflorescence, stains from oil and grease, and stains from organic debris like leaves, algae, mold, and mildew for Peacock Pavers. Enhance Architectural Products’ concrete cleaners and stain removers are biodegradable, non-toxic, bleach-free, low-odor, and free of VOCs.
Rust Stain Remover is effective on both natural and manufactured stone surfaces, including pavers, brick, natural stone masonry, limestone, and most other similar stones. Simply brush or spray the rust-infested surface, allow to sit for 5-15 minutes, agitate gently with a rag or non-wire scrub brush, and then rinse thoroughly.
This solution is not acidic, and it does not include bleach, abrasives, caustics, muriatic acid or petroleum distillates, making it safe for use on Peacock Pavers (and kind to the environment).
Safe ‘n Easy® Efflorescence Remover breaks down even the most stubborn efflorescence deposits, such as salt, calcium, and magnesium, from your concrete pavers without using mineral or organic acids in conventional efflorescence removers. Simply soak patio bricks in it for 15-20 minutes before rinsing.
Oil and grease stains on your concrete pavers may be difficult to remove. Ideal for a wide range of surfaces, including garage floors, driveways, outdoor kitchens, paver walkways, lawn and playground equipment. Best of all, there is no need to scrub — simply leave it to sit and wash away after 15 minutes.
You won’t be able to see the difference between algae, mold, and mildew stains after using CarPro’s 30 Seconds® Outdoor Cleaner®. This all-purpose outdoor cleaner can also be used on bricks, stucco, asphalt, canvas awnings, wood decks, metal, painted surfaces, fiberglass, cloth, fences.
How NOT to Clean Concrete Pavers
While it may be tempting to use more powerful cleaning methods on Peacock Pavers, you should generally avoid using the following chemicals to clean them:
Scrubbing brushes with abrasive wire bristles: The abrasive wire bristles may easily scratch the paver’s surface, jeopardizing the protective seal.
Pressure washers: Pressure washing can quickly remove stains from your concrete pavers, but if you don’t pay attention, it may also damage the seal and finish.
Acidic cleaners: Cleaning chemicals that are harsh or acidic might harm the seal and finish of your concrete pavers.
Bleach: Although this alkaline solution may be useful for a variety of other purposes, it can cause damage to concrete pavers that have been colored or treated.
Should I Seal Concrete Pavers?
Before we get into best practices for cleaning concrete pavers, let’s discuss one of the most crucial preventative maintenance techniques—sealing.
The greatest way to preserve your pavers from stains, discoloration, and dirt caused by weather, spills, and general use is to use a high-quality concrete paver sealer. Concrete pavers should be resealed right after installation, and you should expect to have them resealed every five years or so — especially if they get a lot of foot traffic or are exposed to weather.
Does Vinegar Damage Outdoor Pavers?
Vinegar is a little acidic. It’s even more acidic than acid rain, so yes, it will eventually eat away and destroy your paver stones.
Although you’ll use it for just about every cleaning task in your home, when it comes to pavers, using vinegar will result in the need to replace a lot of your paver stones. And FYI, salt and boiling water are also acidic.
If you clean pavers with vinegar, dilute it with water (as previously stated) and don’t allow it to sit for more than an hour. Brown vinegar should also be avoided since it will damage your pavers.