• Your Number 1 Groundworks Contractor in Cambridge
  • Talk To Expert: 01223 665 555

How to Clean Paving Slabs: A Simple Guide

Cleaning paving slabs can seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach, it can be quite straightforward. Whether your paving slabs are made of concrete, stone, or another material, keeping them clean not only enhances their appearance but also extends their lifespan. This guide will take you through the step-by-step process of how to clean paving slabs effectively. Follow these steps, and your paving slabs will look as good as new in no time.

1. Gather Your Cleaning Materials

Before you start, make sure you have all the necessary materials. Here’s a list of items you will need:

  • Stiff broom or brush
  • Garden hose or pressure washer
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Mild detergent or specialized paving cleaner
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Protective gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Patio cleaner (optional)
  • Sand (for re-sanding joints, if applicable)

Having these materials on hand will make the cleaning process smoother and more efficient.

2. Clear the Area

Remove any furniture, pots, or other objects from the area you plan to clean. This will give you full access to the paving slabs and prevent any damage to your belongings. Additionally, sweep the surface with a stiff broom to remove loose debris, such as leaves, dirt, and twigs. This initial step will make the cleaning process more effective.

3. Pre-Treat Stains

If you notice any stubborn stains, such as oil or grease, it’s a good idea to pre-treat them before washing the entire area. Apply a small amount of mild detergent or specialized paving cleaner directly to the stained areas. Let it sit for a few minutes to break down the stain. Use a scrubbing brush to work the cleaner into the stain, then rinse thoroughly with water.

4. Choose Your Cleaning Method

There are two main methods for cleaning paving slabs: using a garden hose or a pressure washer. Both methods are effective, but the choice depends on the condition of your paving slabs and the type of dirt you need to remove.

Using a Garden Hose

  1. Mix the Cleaning Solution: Fill a bucket with warm water and add a mild detergent or specialized paving cleaner according to the instructions on the label.
  2. Apply the Solution: Pour the cleaning solution over the paving slabs, making sure to cover all areas.
  3. Scrub the Surface: Use a stiff broom or brush to scrub the paving slabs thoroughly. Focus on any particularly dirty or stained areas.
  4. Rinse with Water: Use a garden hose to rinse off the cleaning solution. Make sure to remove all soap residue to avoid slipping hazards.

Using a Pressure Washer

  1. Safety First: Wear protective gloves and safety goggles to protect yourself from high-pressure water.
  2. Prepare the Pressure Washer: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to set up your pressure washer. Use a medium-pressure setting to avoid damaging the paving slabs.
  3. Start Cleaning: Hold the pressure washer nozzle at a slight angle and start cleaning from one end of the paving slabs to the other. Keep the nozzle moving to prevent concentrated water pressure from damaging the surface.
  4. Rinse Thoroughly: Once you’ve cleaned the entire area, rinse it with clean water to remove any remaining dirt or cleaning solution.

5. Remove Weeds and Moss

Weeds and moss can grow in the joints between paving slabs, detracting from their appearance and causing structural issues over time. Here’s how to deal with them:

  1. Manual Removal: Use a weeding tool or a small knife to remove weeds and moss from the joints. Be careful not to damage the slabs.
  2. Chemical Treatment: Apply a weed killer or moss remover to prevent regrowth. Follow the instructions on the product label for safe and effective use.

6. Re-Sand the Joints (if applicable)

If your paving slabs are set in sand, you may need to re-sand the joints after cleaning. This helps to stabilize the slabs and prevent weed growth. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Dry the Area: Ensure the paving slabs are completely dry before re-sanding.
  2. Apply Sand: Pour kiln-dried sand over the paving slabs and use a broom to sweep it into the joints.
  3. Compact the Sand: Use a vibrating plate compactor or a hand tamper to compact the sand into the joints, ensuring they are fully filled.

7. Apply a Sealant (optional)

Sealing your paving slabs can provide additional protection against stains, weathering, and weed growth. If you choose to apply a sealant, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a Sealant: Select a sealant that is suitable for the type of paving slabs you have. Read the product instructions carefully.
  2. Apply the Sealant: Use a paint roller or sprayer to apply the sealant evenly over the surface. Make sure to cover all areas, including the joints.
  3. Allow to Dry: Let the sealant dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions before using the area.

8. Regular Maintenance

Keeping your paving slabs clean is easier with regular maintenance. Here are some tips to keep them looking their best:

  • Sweep Regularly: Use a broom to sweep away dirt, leaves, and debris regularly.
  • Treat Stains Promptly: Clean up spills and stains as soon as they occur to prevent them from setting.
  • Reapply Sealant: If you’ve applied a sealant, reapply it as recommended by the manufacturer to maintain its protective properties.


Cleaning paving slabs doesn’t have to be a difficult task. By following these simple steps, you can keep your outdoor spaces looking clean and well-maintained. Whether you use a garden hose or a pressure washer, regular cleaning and maintenance will ensure your paving slabs remain in great condition for years to come. For a professional touch or a quote on cleaning services, contact VIV Construct Group. They have the expertise and equipment to handle any paving slab cleaning job, big or small.