All patios need regular maintenance to keep them looking their best. You can remove most patio stains with hot soapy water and a stiff brush. Occasionally you may get more stubborn stains from organic material or chemicals which need some extra attention. If this happens to you, don’t worry; there is usually a product that will work, even if it takes a bit of time.
In this blog, our resident cleaning and sealing expert, Antony Vincent shares some of the trickier patio problems he’s encountered and which products work best to fix them.
How to remove rust stains from natural sandstone
One of our customers had a problem with darker brown patches on her Silver Grey or ‘Kandla’ Sandstone. These can appear because of higher levels of iron in the natural stone. It’s a less common problem in higher quality sandstone like our Silver Grey Natural Stone Trade Packs. But it is a natural feature of the stone so can’t always be avoided. The good news is, browner areas will lighten over time and if you don’t want to wait, you can lighten them yourself.
We’ve found the most effective treatment is Hanafinn Eff-Erayza. This is a safer acidic cleaner for removing mineral residues including efflorescence, rust marks and limescale*. You’ll see the difference before and after we treated the stone.
How to remove grout stains
Pearl White Sandstone is hard and durable. As with any light-coloured porous stone however, it will show up stains. This patio had both ingrained dirt and white deposits. We helped by shifting the grime with Stone and Masonry Cleaner which is especially designed to remove embedded dirt and restore porous natural stones.
White deposits can often be from efflorescence, where soluble salts rise through the stone to the surface. But in this case the residue was caused by grout staining. Eff-Erayza is great at working on both of these problems, though it tends to take several applications for grout to eventually break down*. For this reason, we always recommend you clean thoroughly twice after grouting to make sure you have removed all residue.
How to remove berry stains from porcelain paving
Porcelain paving is a really popular option because it is not very porous so doesn’t stain easily. However, occasionally we find that certain stains don’t budge with the usual soapy water and stiff brush. This customer’s light-coloured porcelain paving was showing distinctive orange marks which looked life leaf stains. However, with no overhanging trees, they’re actually likely to be berry stains from birds. The customer had tried removing them with various cleaners but with no luck. With any organic stains, a good treatment to try is Patio Black Spot Remover. It works quickly to break down black spot and other organic residue. In this case it shifted the berry stains straight away.
Our top tips on paving aftercare
- Know how to look after your paving: For more details on how to shift and prevent stains on different types of paving, see our paving aftercare guide.
- Pre-seal natural stone: Sealing can be a good way of giving added protection to prevent staining in natural stone and we highly recommended it for certain more porous stones. Find out more about our pre-sealing service.
- If you’re not sure ask for help: Always read the label of any product you’re using. Mistakes with chemicals and paving can be very costly. Talk to the landscaper who installed your patio, and if your paving is from Kebur, do call us if you need to. Aftercare is a really important part of our service to you and we’ll be delighted to help.
*Because it’s acidic , Eff-Erayza is not suitable for certain types of stone like marble and limestone. Always read the label carefully and ask for advice from a professional landscaper if you’re not sure.