How to Clean Pavers

Clean paver stones look beautiful. But what’s more, when you clean them regularly, they last longer, and it’ll save you the money you would otherwise spend on restoring or replacing them.

So how do you get them to sparkle?

Don’t worry. It’s not as hard as you may imagine. Read on to learn more about the best way to clean pavers, how to clean pavers without a pressure washer, whether vinegar damages pavers, and how to fill up the spaces in between them.

a patio with beautiful clean pavers

What Is the Best Way to Clean Pavers?

When you clean your pavers regularly, besides looking nice, it makes them safer and more durable.

Here’s a step by step guide on how to best clean your pavers:

  1. Remove any furniture and potted plants, and brush away moss growth. Use a handheld bristle brush on or in between pavers to remove moss, and gently pull out the weeds in between the paver joints. If the growth is too heavy, use an herbicide and give it two weeks before cleaning the pavers.
  2. Hose down the entire surface with water. Wetting the pavers will prevent them from forming a murky film when they soak up soap.
  3. Prepare a mild cleaning solution. Mix a gallon-sized bucket of water with about 15oz dish detergent. Ensure it mixes thoroughly. Now pour onto the paver surface.
  4. Scrub the pavers using a stiff-bristled broom. Loosen any dirt and stains stuck to the pavers. Ensure you scrub in different directions and don’t overdo it, so you don’t wear out a spot. Trust me, I’ve gone all Rambo on scrubbing my patio only to find that I scratched it up. 
  5. Rinse down the area with a hose.

It’s advisable to powerwash your pavers once a year to break up buildup and remove tough stains. You can buy or rent one or try using a high setting on the hose.

Purchase a cleaning fluid, but test it out first on a small portion to ascertain it won’t discolor your paver stones. I know I’ve seen a beautiful patio destroyed by soaps.  

Again, please don’t overdo it. If you need to use a higher setting to hit a particular spot, set the pressure back down on the other areas. Also, avoid hitting the joints directly, so you don’t dislodge the pavers.

How to Clean Pavers without Pressure Washing?

Here are some other methods of cleaning besides power washing:

  • Soap and water: Mix water and some soap and use it to scrub dirty spots gently.
  • Simple Green: This cleaning soap, specially formulated for cleaning patio paver stones, contains no harsh chemicals, so you’re sure it won’t discolor your stones.
  • White vinegar and water: This also helps eliminate stubborn stains. Apply it on your pavers and let it sit for about an hour before washing with soap and water.
  • A broom: Sweeping your pavers at least once a week is a great way to remove dirt from your pavers. And every time you anticipate rain, sweep up your patio because wet leaves can stain your paver stones.

Does Vinegar Damage Pavers?

Vinegar is acidic. It’s even more acidic than acid rain, so yes, it will eventually eat away and damage your paver stones.

As much as you’ll use it in just about every household cleaning endeavor, when it comes to pavers, using vinegar will mean having to replace a number of your paver stones. And FYI, the same applies to salt and boiling water.

If you use vinegar to clean pavers, dilute it with water (as earlier mentioned) and avoid letting it sit for more than an hour. Also, only use white vinegar as brown vinegar will stain your pavers.

What Do You Use to Fill in Between Pavers

After cleaning, especially a pressure wash, the sand between the pavers is low and normally needs filling up.

Once the pavers dry, pour a small mound of polymeric sand and sweep it all over the paved surface using a dry and stiff broom. Continue running on more sand and sweeping until you fill up all the joints.

Next, use a mist setting on your hose and mist the sanded pavers. Misted water activates the sand to harden by allowing it to settle in between the paver joints. 


Now you have a better understanding of how to clean your pavers – the best way to wash them, other cleaning methods besides using a pressure washer, and how to use vinegar. So go ahead and get that sparkle on your pavers.


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