Best patio cleaner: 5 top buys to clear moss, algae and dirt

Find the best patio cleaner to easily rid your paving of grime and algae, setting you up for stress-free relaxation this summer

Included in this guide:

Best patio cleaner showing Bradstone Smooth Natural Sandstone Paving in Dune
(Image credit: Bradstone)

Finding the best patio cleaner will transform your outdoor space, refreshing tired paving and eliminating moss, algae, and grime from your courtyard, driveway and garden paths. 

The best options on the market can even make a somewhat tedious outdoor job as easy as spraying and walking away, so you'll be kicking back and getting on with enjoying your outside space in no time at all.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with letting nature do its thing, and creating a safe haven for wildlife is a hugely important and rewarding part of having a garden. But if heavily used areas - especially shady or damp surfaces - become slippy with algae or moss, you may want to get stuck in and start cleaning.

We've rounded up the patio cleaners that will have your patio looking like new in no time, although if you prefer to avoid using harsh chemicals in the garden then make sure to check out our choices for the best pressure washer as a chemical-free alternative.

The best patio cleaner of 2021

A white bottle of Ultima-Plus patio cleaner

(Image credit: Ultima-Plus)

1. ULTIMA-PLUS XP Patio Cleaner 5 litres

Best patio cleaner: a great value concentrated patio cleaner

Specifications
Size : 5 litres
Bleach: No
Acid: No
Application: Dilute, spray and walk away
Coverage: Covers up to 200m2 depending on porosity of surface
Reasons to buy
+Good value +5L of concentrate creates 25L of cleaning product +Can cover a large area up to 200m2+Spray and walk away
Reasons to avoid
-Requires diluting with water-Requires a garden sprayer

If you don't mind diluting your patio cleaner rather than it being ready to use straight from the bottle, then a concentrate usually offers the best value for money. 

5L of Ultima-Plus XP green mould and algae remover creates 25L of cleaning product, giving you good coverage at an affordable price point. 

This patio cleaner also focuses on longer-term prevention of moss build-up, coating your paving in a protective residue that forms a barrier to prevent algae from growing back or up to six months. 

A blue bottle of Pro-Kleen ready-to-use patio cleaner

(Image credit: Pro-Kleen)

2. Pro-Kleen Ready to Use Simply Spray & Walk Away 5 litres

Best ready-to-use patio cleaner: no need to dilute

Specifications
Size : 5 litres
Bleach: No
Acid: No
Application: Spray and walk away
Coverage : Approx. 50m2 depending on porosity of surface
Reasons to buy
+Spray and walk away+Ready mixed
Reasons to avoid
-Requires a garden sprayer-Limited coverage

Clean your patio while you do something less boring instead. This product does what it says on the pack; it's ready to use and you simply spray it on with a garden sprayer and walk away while it gets to work removing the green mould and algae. 

No need to dilute or mix, it's ready to go straight from the bottle for hassle-free cleaning. This does make it a little more expensive per volume than a concentrated alternative, but we think for the time and hassle you save it's well worth it.

A blue bottle of Wet & Forget concentrated patio cleaner

(Image credit: Wet & Forget)

3. Wet & Forget Moss Mould Lichen & Algae Remover 5 litres

Best patio cleaner for large areas: can cover up to 300m2

Specifications
Size : 5 litres
Bleach: No
Acid: No
Application: Dilute, spray and walk away
Coverage: Covers 100 - 300m2 depending on porosity of surface
Reasons to buy
+5L of concentrate creates 30L of cleaning product +Can cover a large area up to 300m2+Spray and walk away
Reasons to avoid
-Requires diluting with water-Requires a garden sprayer

If you have a large patio area or driveway to clean then this concentrated patio cleaner offers some of the best coverage once diluted, with one 5 litre bottle covering up to 300m2 depending on the porosity of the surface.

Just mix one part Wet & Forget with five parts water, spray it on with a pump-action garden sprayer and then walk away and get on with other things while it works; no scrubbing or blasting with water required. 

Long-lasting and bleach-free, this patio cleaner has a long list of surfaces it's suitable for use on and is biodegradable with a PH of 8 (water is PH7). 

A pink bottle of Wet & Forget patio cleaner with a rapid application sprayer

(Image credit: Wet & Forget)

4. Wet and Forget Rapid with Sniper Nozzle 2 Litre

Best patio cleaner with built-in spray nozzle: just attach to your garden hose and you're ready to spray

Specifications
Size: 2 litres
Bleach: No
Acid: No
Application: Attach bottle to hosepipe and spray, then walk away
Coverage: Up to 200m2 depending on porosity of surface
Reasons to buy
+Ease of use+No need for a separate garden sprayer+Can spray up to 8 metres
Reasons to avoid
-Only 2 litres-Expensive compared to other options

For the ultimate in hassle-free patio cleaning this ingenious Wet & Forget option has a built-in spray nozzle so you don't need a separate garden sprayer. 

Just attach your outdoor hosepipe to the top of the bottle and it will automatically mix the patio cleaner with the water, allowing you to spray up to 200m2 in just 10 minutes by using its fan nozzle.

It can spray up to 8 metres making it easier to reach those hard to get to areas, but you will pay more for the convenience, with this option coming in as the most expensive on our list. Worth it to cut down on time and elbow grease? For the time-poor amongst us, we think so.

A blue bottle of Jeyes Fluid Outdoor Cleaner

(Image credit: Jeyes Fluid)

5. Jeyes Fluid Outdoor Cleaner 5 Litres Concentrated

Best outdoor cleaner for multipurpose use: an oldie but a goodie

Specifications
Size: 5 litres
Bleach: Yes
Application: Dilute, apply, leave, scrub and rinse
Reasons to buy
+Multipurpose outdoor cleaner+Kills 99.9 percent of germs+Removes limescale and rust build-up
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn't remove moss and algae unless you scrub-Requires diluting with water

An oldie but a goodie, Jeyes has been around for over 140 years, not only cleaning but disinfecting – something that’s become increasingly important to us after the last year. Jeyes was actually used to fight the great flu pandemic of 1918. 

As well as killing 99.9 percent of germs, once diluted this concentrated product can be used to clean patios, paths and driveways, as well as for deodorising and cleaning drains, hygienically cleaning pet housing and outdoor tools, and in its newest incarnation it now removes limescale and rust build-up too.

However, this cleaner doesn't promise to remove moss and algae, so if you have tough patio to grime to shift rather than a quick clean-up to do, this might be a more labour intensive option.

How to choose the best patio cleaner

Some patio cleaners require more effort than others and need to be scrubbed into the patio and then rinsed off. Others are spray and walk away. These can be applied and left to work on grime, mould and algae as it dries, leaving a protective coating that continues to keep the surface of your patio clean for months.

Check the ingredients 

Some patio cleaners are not suitable for use on materials like marble, or if they come into contact with some metals. Dilute as directed. 

If the cleaner contains acid, it may not be possible to purchase it if you are under 18. Dilute as instructed. Test on a small area of your paving if you are unsure how it will affect the patio material. 

Safety issues

Always follow the manufacturer guidelines for use and wear protective clothing and goggles when using patio cleaners as they contain harsh chemicals and acids. Take care in case of splashes and dispose of waste thoroughly after use to avoid harm to humans or the environment. 

Check the manufacturer's instructions carefully to find out whether your patio cleaner is safe for children and animals to play and walk on after use. Most patio cleaners are toxic to aquatic life; look for the warning on the back and avoid using near ponds.

Choose the best weather for cleaning 

If it looks like rain soon after you've finished, it may wash away your cleaner before it has dried. If the weather is scorching, it could evaporate too quickly.

Don't forget, there's tons more tips on how to clean a patio in our expert guide.