How to clean patio slabs: Remove black spots in 15 minutes without vinegar and baking soda


fall victim to many stains like oil spills, moss and regular dirt – but they are relatively easy to remove.

When it comes to black spots on patios, this is where it can get a little tricky. Removing black marks from your patio can be quite difficult and time-consuming if you don’t reach for the right black spot remover. 

Black spot is lichen which thrives on stone surfaces in the damp and shady conditions that are so common in the UK. 

The characteristics of the lichen are that as it matures, it gets into the pores of the stone seeking nutrients from the minerals in the stone and gradually spreads through the surface of the patio.

With that in mind, Tom Allen, owner of TGA Concrete Pumping, has explained how to remove black spots from your patio with , “a fairly common household item that is cheap to buy”.

He said: “Black spots, typically caused by algae, moss, or mould, can make patios appear dirty and neglected, and while solutions like baking soda and vinegar are often recommended for cleaning, citric acid is another household item readily available in supermarkets that can effectively tackle these stubborn stains.”

Before cleaning the patio, start by gathering the supplies. You will need citric acid powder, a large bucket, warm water, a scrubbing brush or broom with stiff bristles, and a watering can or spray bottle.

Next up, it’s time to prepare the patio cleaning solution. In the large bucket, mix approximately one cup of citric acid powder with one gallon of warm water. 

Stir the mixture until the citric acid has completely dissolved and adjust the quantities as needed depending on the size of the affected area.

Using a watering can or spray bottle, evenly apply the citric acid solution to the areas of your patio affected by black spots. Be generous with the solution, ensuring that it thoroughly saturates the surface.

Allow the citric acid solution to sit on the affected areas for about 15 to 20 minutes. This time gives the citric acid a chance to “break down and loosen the black spots”, making them easier to remove.

After, use a scrub brush or broom with stiff bristles to scrub the patio surface vigorously. Focus on the areas where the black spots are most concentrated, applying extra pressure as needed to lift stubborn stains.

Once you’ve scrubbed the entire patio surface, thoroughly rinse away the citric acid solution using a garden hose. Ensure that all traces of the solution are completely removed.



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