Remove everyday dirt with simple methods – we will show you how to effectively clean outdoor domestic spaces.
Pressure washers are an effective way to remove dirt and weeds from your walkways. The high water pressure dissolves even the most stubborn dirt and cleans quickly and thoroughly, stone by stone. A pressure washer is particularly effective on large areas: the work gets done quickly and effortlessly.
A few general tips to consider when working with a pressure washer:
Remove moss and weeds from the joints, as the roots will permanently damage the paving stones. Many people don’t know that using pesticides on paving stones is prohibited by law, because environmentally harmful chemicals can get into the soil and groundwater from there and pollute them.
For joints filled with grit or sand, it is best to work with a joint scraper or wire brush. A high-pressure cleaner can also be used on open joints. Simply refill the material that has been flushed out after cleaning. Closed joints can be cleaned easily with a high-pressure cleaner.
Removing moss and weeds from joints can be tedious and time-consuming. Using a high-pressure cleaner makes it easier: organic matter can be cleaned with water pressure alone to save water and without the addition of cleaning agents. This means you can do yourself and the environment a favour.
Using a high-pressure cleaner for weed control delivers long-lasting results. The water jet penetrates between the individual stones and washes away not only the plants, but also their seeds, slowing down the growth of weeds.
Now that you have removed the coarse dirt and weeds, it’s time to clean the paving stones.
For particularly heavy soiling, apply the cleaning agent directly with the high-pressure cleaner and leave it to take effect. The STIHL CS 100 stone and facade cleaner reliably removes stubborn green deposits, dirt from emissions, soot and dust. The solution is biodegradable and compatible with any STIHL high-pressure cleaner.
If too much material has been flushed out of the crevices during cleaning, you should refill them. This is important so that the paving stones do not subsequently move and form cavities.
Water used to clean paving stones may be contaminated with chemicals, acids and other pollutants. These must not be discharged into the sewer system or groundwater. Regulations may vary from place to place, and in the event of a violation, fines may be imposed. Before cleaning your paving stones, you should check the applicable regulations with your local authority.
If you don’t have any stone cleaner at hand, you can use simple household remedies instead. Hot water, a soft brush and neutral soap are all you need to clean small areas. Soda crystals are also a proven dirt-busting agent. You should never add homemade household detergents to your high-pressure cleaner. The high-pressure unit should only be filled with a suitable cleaning agent.
A mixture of soda crystals and water is an effective but strongly alkaline cleaning agent. It can be used for particularly dirty concrete blocks. Always wear safety goggles when working with this mixture, as soda crystals can irritate the eyes. You should also be sure to wear work gloves.
The amount of mixture you need depends on the surface to be cleaned. In general, you should use 10 g of soda crystals per 1 L of water. Spread the mixture over the paving stones with a broom and leave it to work for around 5 to 6 hours. Rinse the solution with clear water from the high-pressure cleaner or garden hose, being sure to comply with local waste water regulations.
Not recommended: cleaning patio slabs with vinegar.
When cleaning paving stones with home remedies, vinegar is often a popular household cleaning agent for a variety of surfaces. However, it is not suitable for cleaning stones for the following reasons:
To make sure that you can enjoy your high-pressure cleaner for a long time to come, the machine should only be filled with specially developed cleaning agents. STIHL offers a complete range of cleaning agents for high-pressure cleaners that are specially tailored to STIHL power tools. We recommend our STIHL CS 100 Stone & Facade cleaner for cleaning concrete and natural stone paving stones.
Yes. STIHL cleaners can be used with or without a high-pressure power tool. The cleaning agents can easily be distributed manually using a sprayer. The ergonomic SG 11 Plus hand-held sprayer is ideal for this.
How you clean your paving stones depends on their condition. Before cleaning, you should check which materials are used in your garden.
A distinction is generally made between concrete and natural stone.
Concrete blocks are the most commonly used paving stones and come in a variety of shapes. Compound stones can be cleaned with a surface cleaner. To check the compatibility of the stone surface, start with low water pressure and increase as needed.
Concrete stones can handle neutral and alkaline cleaning agents. However, they are made of acid-sensitive limestone and could be damaged if cleaned with acidic agents.
White spots on concrete pavements are perfectly natural, but some people find them irritating. They are typical in newly-laid stones and are nothing but excess limescale, which is released from the concrete after it is exposed to rain and moisture. These stains can be removed very easily and in an environmentally friendly way – with a broom, water and if necessary, a neutral cleaning agent.
Natural stone paving made of granite, marble, sandstone or basalt looks elegant and particularly high-quality. To maintain the beautiful appearance of the natural stone, you should only use pH-neutral cleaning agents. Acid and some detergents can damage the natural material.
Hard stone paving, such as granite, basalt and quartzite, is best cleaned with a high-pressure cleaner. These materials are robust and can withstand the high water pressure. Paths made of clinker bricks can also be cleaned with a high-pressure cleaner.
For softer materials, you should proceed carefully: you are on the safe side if you use lukewarm water, a soft brush and a neutral cleaner.