How to Clean Concrete Steps


One of the most common materials for outdoor steps, aside from wood, is concrete. Concrete is extremely durable and capable of withstanding years of regular use, but it does have its downfalls. Due to the porous nature of the material, it is susceptible to stains and fungus growth. It can even be difficult to remove something as simple as dirt on the surface. A routine deep cleaning will keep your concrete steps looking like new.

Things You'll Need

  • Tarp
  • Broom
  • Power washer
  • Concrete cleaning detergent
  • Floor brush with nylon bristles
  • 40 degree spray nozzle
  • Move decorations, flowers or any small items away from the concrete steps. Any small plants nearby should be covered with a tarp for protection from the cleaning process.

  • Sweep away loose dirt and debris with a broom. This can simply be brushed off into your yard or thrown away in a trash bin.

  • Plug in a power washer and set it to 2000 psi. All power washers are slightly different, so read the instruction manual if you are unsure how to adjust the psi.

  • Turn the nozzle counter-clockwise so it is set to low pressure.

  • Add a concrete cleaning detergent to the power washer's detergent compartment. Depending on the detergent, you may need to dilute it with water, so read the instructions on your product carefully.

  • Spray the steps with the power washer with swift back-and-forth motions. Do this until the steps are covered with small suds from the detergent.

  • Let the detergent sit for 10 minutes, but do not let it dry. If necessary, apply more water after five minutes.

  • Scrub the steps with a floor brush to remove stains and debris. Use a brush with nylon bristles as they are effective at cleaning, but will not damage the concrete. Do not use a wire brush.

  • Attach a 40 degree spray nozzle to the hose. The steps for removing and installing nozzles may differ depending on the power washer, so check the instruction manual if you are unsure how to do it.

  • Point the power washer away from the steps and pull the trigger until the detergent no longer comes out.

  • Hold the nozzle about 1 foot away from the steps. Starting with the top step, spray the steps in a back-and-forth motion until all of the detergent is rinsed away.

Tips & Warnings

  • Power washers can be rented from most hardware stores.

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  • Photo Credit abstract steps image by Adrian Hillman from
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