Cleaning cobblestones: the best methods

Cleaning cobblestones: the best methods

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Clean paving stones

How to clean paving stones depends on the type of stone. Because whether concrete or natural stone, whether sealed or not, with each paving stone you proceed differently when cleaning – and often even home remedies are enough to get the stones clean again.

You have to weed the beds, paint the woods – and Cobblestones clean regularly. Because paths, driveways or terraces made of paving stones as everyday objects have to endure a lot and are exposed to the weather. Therefore, not only homemade stains, but also nature with damp weather, leaf litter, green covering or lichen ensure continuous pollution.

How much algae, discoloration or Weeds Spreading on and between paving stones depends on the location and the type of stone: dirt is more noticeable on light and even stone coverings than on dark or structured paving stones. In sunny places, green coverings have no chance, but they appear quite quickly in damp and windless locations. Lichen, i.e. the combination of algae and certain fungi, can cause stubborn deposits at all locations. In contrast to terrace tiles with grout, paving stones always have joints, and very many of them. Substrate collects in it and weeds settle there.

Cleaning paving stones: the most important things in brief How and with what you can clean paving stones depends on the type of stone and the type of pollution. It is easy and convenient with a pressure washer, dirt in joints is best removed with a joint brush. Cleaning agents should always be biodegradable and tested beforehand in an inconspicuous area. Home remedy tip: You can get concrete blocks clean with a mixture of standard soda and hot water.

Remove loose dirt: basic cleaning for paving stones

Paving stones with a porous surface can absorb liquids quickly and cause permanent stains that are difficult to remove later. If you have paved a seat, you should wipe up spilled red wine, fat splashes and other fresh stains as quickly as possible.

Sweep paving stones, patio

© MSG / Martin Staffler
Sweep paving stones, patio

Sweeping is part of the regular care of paving stones, but it is also the first step before using detergents. Because as soon as you handle water on the paving stones, soil, leaves and plant residues become a greasy mass that can easily clog the drain.

Remove loose dirt with a street broom or a classic witch broom, leaves and fallen petals with the same race well-known leaf broom – but with a plastic model that does not cause scratches. Sweepers do a lot of work for you on large paved areas, you do not have to bend over when cleaning and push the mostly battery-operated devices comfortably like one mowing machine.

Clean joints between paving stones

For moss and weeds, use joint brushes such as the Multibrush (Gloria), weed scratcher or Weed burner. Weed killers are prohibited on paving stones and the use is punished with high fines.

Clean joints between paving stones with a joint brush

© MSG / Frank Schuberth
Clean joints between paving stones with a joint brush

Remove deposits, discolouration and stains from paving stones

Sooner or later you will be dealing with green and other coverings on the paving stones. Take one for cleaning high pressure cleaner – it rinses the dirt off with water – or detergent. Wash and wipe away stains with a brush or scrubber. It is quicker and more convenient with the high-pressure cleaner, but it is not suitable for all paving stones.

Clean the paving stones with the high-pressure cleaner

High-pressure cleaners clean paving stones in a way that is gentle on the back and saves water. Some devices also mix biodegradable cleaning agents with the water to remove particularly stubborn dirt and deposits. One disadvantage of high-pressure cleaners is that as soon as the water jet splashes into the joints, it shoots out their contents and spreads them over the entire surface, on the house wall and on the windows. Therefore, guide the water jet away from the house wall and do not set the pressure too high. Because high-pressure cleaners really get the water going and can damage the surfaces, especially of concrete blocks, and thus promote new pollution. Hard natural stones like quartzite, granite or basalt are not at risk. To be on the safe side, ask the stone manufacturer before cleaning whether the covering can be damaged. Special care and sufficient clearance are also required when using the so-called dirt milling machine.

Clean paving stones: before and after

© iStock / kelvinjay
Clean paving stones: before and after

Tip: You can avoid the problem right from the start with a surface attachment for the high-pressure cleaner. The rotating nozzles remove the dirt in a targeted, gentle manner and thanks to the splash guard, the environment remains clean.

Cleaning agents for paving stones made of concrete and natural stone

Wherever water, scrubbing brushes and neutral cleaners have to fit, cleaners are used that are available for almost all types of stone. Depending on the type and manufacturer, these cleaners are applied to the paving stones, distributed with a brush and “massaged in”. After a certain exposure and drying time, they are simply rinsed off or swept away. The prerequisite for use is of course that the paving stones are swept clean. Only use cleaning agents if it is unlikely that it will rain within the exposure time. Cleaning agents should be biodegradable as they are flushed into the garden and sewerage by rainwater. Also ask your local authority whether cleaning agents are permitted at all. In the case of cleaning agents, a distinction should be made between natural stone and concrete and first tested in an inconspicuous area to determine whether they are causing discoloration.

Depending on the ingredient, detergents work differently: detergents with solvents remove, for example, color stains and resin, alkalis, grease and other everyday stains, acidic agents, cement veils or rust stains. Acid and surfactant-containing cleaners are natural stone such as marble, Sandstone or granite unsuitable and still attack their surface. Warm water with neutral soap, special natural stone cleaners or stone oil are better. If you are unsure of what type of paving stone you have, put some citric acid on the stone in an inconspicuous area. The resulting white foam indicates lime and acidic agents are eliminated. Only special cleaners actually help against lichens, because they are completely unimpressed by both high-pressure water jets and green scale removers.

Home remedies: Clean concrete blocks with soda

Soda (sodium carbonate) is a proven home remedy and also suitable for cleaning acid-sensitive paving stones. To do this, pour a good 100 grams of soda in ten liters of boiling or hot water from a large saucepan into a sturdy bucket and spread it over the surface with a broom or a rubber puller. Wear protective glasses as soda splashes irritate the eyes. Let the broth sit for five to six hours and then wash it off with clear water.

Dissolve soda in water

© iStock / belchonock
Dissolve soda in water

How do you clean sealed paving stones?

Paving stones can be impregnated or sealed in a similar way to wood and then clean much easier than untreated stones. They do not become dirty as quickly as a result of the treatment, and contaminants can be wiped away with water and some neutral detergent. Only high-pressure cleaners are then ruled out for cleaning because they can damage the seal.

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