Gardening tips: How to remove moss on drives and patios
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Moss, algae, lichen and other fungi will often develop when a patio is exposed to moisture, staining and masking the colour of the paving. Likewise, in the laying process, cement mortar can often spill and dry on the paving surface. The good news, however, is that such dirt can be successfully removed from most pavers via a natural cleaning product most will have stored in their kitchen cupboards.
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White vinegar is hailed for its multi-purpose cleaning uses around the home, and it turns out it can work wonders in the garden too.
Patio experts at Marshalls said: “Non-toxic and environmentally friendly, white vinegar offers one of the best ways to clean your patio and is perfect for those wondering how to clean a patio without chemicals.
“If an eco-friendly patio cleaning solution is your number one priority, look for white vinegar that is made from grain, as this means it’s not distilled from petroleum.”
What’s more white vinegar will only set you back 29p in supermarkets such as Asda and Tesco.
For this cleaning method you’ll need a garden broom, a bucket, a watering can, white vinegar and water.
Before applying this solution, make sure the area has been cleared and swept.
Due to the acidic nature of white vinegar, it’s important to remove plant pots, furniture or ornaments so that they aren’t affected by the vinegar water.
If there are any items that cannot be removed, cover them with a sheet.
Before the the cleaning process begins, the experts suggest using a weeding tool to uproot any weeds among the jointing.
To create the solution, the paving experts advised: “Your water/vinegar mix should be in equal parts or, if your paving is particularly dirty, mixed with more vinegar than water.
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“When you have your mix, pour it into a watering can.
“Use the watering can to generously and evenly distribute the mixture across the paved area, making sure the entire surface is covered.”
Once you’re happy with the coverage, it is suggested to leave the liquid to soak in for 20 minutes.
The experts continued: “In that time, the solution should have lifted the dirt and grime, meaning a brush should be enough to clean effectively.”
Make sure to get in among the cracks in the cement point between slabs, as the vinegar will also attack any remaining weeds.
Marshalls’ pros added: “Once you’ve finished, mop the area clean with cold water.
“Your vinegar mix should have succeeded in both removing any stains and killing off any remaining weeds.
“Finally, don’t worry about the smell. Once you’ve mopped up and the water/vinegar mix has died, any odour will disappear.
“Remember only to replace your furniture and ornaments once the surface is completely dry.”
The humble brush and soapy water can also go a long way when it comes to cleaning paving slabs.
The experts said: “Particularly if you’re dealing with light stains on a surface you want to take extra care with, the traditional soap and water approach is highly effective.”
To carry out this method, simply fill a bucket with warm water and mix in one cup of washing up liquid, soap or soda crystals.
Pour the soapy water across the affected area – don’t be afraid to be generous – and begin scrubbing.
The patio experts explained: “You can use a broom or a brush with stiff bristles to scrub the area clean – a brush will allow you to focus on more stubborn areas.
“Once you feel you’ve done a satisfactory job, rinse away the dirty water and soapy residue with either a pressure washer on a low power setting or a hose.
“Leave the patio overnight and reassess the area the following day – this will help you spot any areas you might have missed.”
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