How to Clean a Flagstone or Bluestone Patio

Cleaning and maintaining a flagstone or bluestone patio is well worth the time and effort that you invest in the project. Flagstone and bluestone create a beautiful patio and are usually, as with most natural stone flags, quite a large investment in your home or commercial landscape. Cleaning and maintenance procedures will provide you with a beautiful, protected and lasting stone patio surface that can be used and enjoyed for many years to come. When properly maintained, a flagstone or bluestone patio will add beauty and function to your outdoor living space.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Adjustable spray nozzle
  • Bleach
  • Bucket
  • Stiff-bristled brush
  • Measuring device
  • Pressure washer
  • Multi-purpose tank sprayer
  • Broom, dust mop, shop vacuum with floor attachment or a leaf blower

Instructions

    • 1

      Clean your patio using either a shop vacuum with a floor attachment, a broom, a dust mop or a leaf blower to remove all loose debris.

    • 2

      Rinse the stone patio off using a garden hose fitted with an adjustable spray nozzle once you have removed all loose debris. It is important to make sure to wet the entire surface with water.

    • 3

      Pre-treat stains with a bleach solution. Mix one part chlorine bleach to 10 parts of water. Pour enough solution on the stain to cover completely. Scrub the area gently with a stiff-bristled brush until the stain is removed.

      Stubborn stains may require an acid cleaning. Acid can be very damaging to the surrounding landscape and very harmful to humans and other living creatures. Acid cleaning should always be done only by a professional.

    • 4

      Fill tank sprayer with a bleach solution made of one part bleach to each two to three parts of water. Spray the patio with this solution and let it soak for five minutes. Using a pressure washer, thoroughly wash the entire patio.

    • 5

      Allow the stone patio to dry completely. Reseal the patio with a flagstone or bluestone sealant according to manufacturers instructions, if desired.

Tips & Warnings

  • When having a natural stone patio installed, you should consider having it sealed. A sealed finish is much easier to maintain and is more durable. The finish will provide some protection from the elements, staining and wear and tear. Reseal your patio once a year. There are some products that claim to provide five years of protection in between applications.
  • Prevention of wear and tear and staining will lesson the need for harder and more time consuming cleaning regimens. Placing non-slip mats and outdoor rugs in stain-prone and high-traffic areas will add one more layer of protection. Prevent rust stains by not placing metal furnishings on the patio.
  • For lasting beauty of your stone patio, remove loose debris daily to weekly and clean stains promptly. Also, spray the surface with a garden hose with an attached nozzle once a month. Pretreat with bleach solution and wash with a power washer once per season or as needed.
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