It slowly creeps up on you and then hits you as soon as the sun comes out. It shines a light on just how green and dirty your patio is. However, simply spraying chemicals on your patio might not be the best solution.

There are a number of patio cleaners available in home improvement stores, supermarkets, and online.

They all promise to make your patio look brand new again and some will. However, oftentimes it is to the detriment of your plants.

In this article, we’ll discuss what type of patio cleaners will kill your plants and possible alternative solutions.

Check out this article if you want to prevent flooding on your patio.

Will Commercial Patio Cleaners Kill My Plants?

Yes, most patio cleaners will kill your plants. Some patio cleaners contain powerful chemicals that are extremely harmful to vegetation. If the patio cleaner has any of these chemicals then it’s time for you to put some thought into another solution.

If you’re interested in this, you might also be interested in How To Get Rid Of Weeds Between Your Block Paving.

What Chemicals Are in a Patio Cleaner?

Some patio cleaners contain chemicals such as potassium permanganate, Quaternary ammonium compounds (QUATS), Tetrasodium Ethylene Diamine Tetraacetate (EDTA), and sodium hypochlorite that can be harmful to plants.

If you spray these chemicals on nearby plants they could die. Instead, there are several organic patio cleaning techniques that won’t have the same effects and won’t kill your plants.

How to Find Out if Your Patio Cleaner Will Kill Your Plants?

The best way to find out whether or not your patio cleaner will kill your plants is to look at the label. If it has any of the chemicals listed I previously mentioned then you need to look for another option that won’t destroy the state of your vegetation.

Here Are 5 Ways To Clean Your Patio Without Killing Plants & Flowers

Use a Pressure Washer [plant safe patio cleaner]

Without a shadow of a doubt, this is the most environmentally friendly method for cleaning your patio.

This is because you don’t use any harsh chemicals at all. However, it is also the most expensive option.

Using a pressure washer will blast through all of the dirt and grime that has built up over time on your patio and reveal the beautiful tiles underneath. It could take up to 4 hours depending on how dirty it is.

There are several pressure washers on the market, so do some research to find the right one.

If you don’t have the time, then simply hire a cleaning company to clean your patio. The difference is, they use powerful petrol-powered pressure washers that blast away dirt and grime in minutes.

If you didn’t want to use a pressure washer on your patio, then you should find this article interesting. Also, knowing the best time of year to pressure wash may also be helpful?

Also, ensure you don’t scratch your patio as this will lead to long-term damage.

Related: How To Clean Patio Slabs (Without A Pressure Washer)

Use Vinegar

Even though vinegar is considered to be a mild acid, it is one of the most organic patio cleaners available and is extremely effective against algae, mildew, or mold.

Here’s how to use it:

Fill a large spray bottle with vinegar and spray it all over your patio (it should be one cup of preferably white vinegar to every gallon of water). Then, let the sun’s natural light shine down on it for about an hour to kill any remaining germs.

Use baking soda

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is used a lot around the house and we don’t mean for cooking. It is actually a fantastic cleaning agent when used properly.

To clean your patio with baking soda, sprinkle the powder on the surface and then scrub it down with a brush. The benefit of using baking soda is that it will kill anything that may be living in the dirt/grime by neutralizing the pH levels.

Here’s how to use it:

For a baking soda bath, combine 1/2 cup of soda with one gallon of warm water. Add 1/8 cup non-toxic dishwashing soap if the region is greasy or oily. Test a tiny, hidden area before using the baking soda solution for the first time. After an hour, scrub the stained areas with a sponge or dishrag and rinse it clean with a hose.

Use vinegar and baking soda mixture

Vinegar is great for killing germs, but baking soda can get rid of dirt. When you put them together, they make an incredible patio cleaning formula that will get rid of any stains on your tiles.

Do this:

Mix equal parts water and vinegar with a tablespoon of baking soda. Dip a sponge into the solution and then scrub over your patio tiles. Let it sit for about an hour before rinsing it off with water.

Use dish soap, salt, and boiling water

Sounds too simple, right? However, it is one of the most effective solutions.

Here’s how to do it:

Pour 1/2 cup of salt into a bucket containing two cups of boiling water. Combine them well before pouring 3 tablespoons of dish soap into the mixture.

The hot water will dissolve any dirt or grime on your patio tiles while salt scrubs away the grime and removes any stains.

Use this mixture to clean your tiles and then rinse it off with water after letting it sit for an hour.

Which is The Best Patio Cleaner Chemical?

Patio Magic

Patio Magic is the most popular chemical on the market. It is an acid that dissolves dirt and grime allowing it to be washed away easier.   

It is also safe for most vegetation, animals, and the environment. However, you should always check for any allergies or sensitivities before using this chemical on your patio tiles.

Is Patio Magic any good?

Yes. it’s zero-bleach and non-acidic. The fact that it is the most popular chemical on the market with good reviews says it all really. It can be used on patios, driveways, decking, conservatory roofs, and gutters.

How long does it take for Patio Magic to work?

It takes between 2 to 4 days for it to work. The time will vary depending on weather conditions, the number of chemicals used, and how dirty the tiles are.

Can you use too much Patio Magic?

Yes, you can. Although this is very rare, if you do use too much then your patio would become slippery for a few days until it drys up or washes away with rain. Never walk on wet patio magic as it would be incredibly dangerous.   

Do you have to wash off Patio Magic?

No, there is no need for rubbing, scrubbing, or pressure washing it. It is a good idea to wait for at least 4 days before pressure washing as it can be quite hazardous if you wash your patio after only 2 days.

Does Patio Magic kill plants?

Yes, all chemicals will kill any vegetation or plant life as they are designed to remove dirt and grime from surfaces such as patios, tiles, windows, and floors. However, the acid in Patio Magic does not cause permanent damage to your lawn or foliage so long as rain washes it away completely three hours after spraying it onto the tile surface.

There are several other products on the market, but Patio Magic is the most popular one.


Is a kärcher patio cleaner safe for plants?

Yes, kärcher patio cleaners are safe for plants. However, you should avoid using them on very delicate plants as the high pressure of the water can damage them. You should also take care not to get any chemicals from the cleaner on your plants, as this could harm them.

Will degreaser kill plants?

Detergent and bleach in dish soaps are harmful to plants and are intended to erode fatty acids and organic matter that may be found in meals.
As always, read the instructions to ensure it is safe for your surface and vegetation.
If you come in contact with the cleaning solution, it is best to wash it immediately with water.
If the solution comes into contact with a plant, rinse the plant several times. To be on the safe side, remove any foliage that may have been sprayed by the cleaning solution until a few hours after washing away all of the product.

Will oxygen bleach kill plants?

No, oxygen bleach is the best bleach to use on your house’s exterior and interior since it is non-toxic to you, your pets, or your plants.
When water is added to the powder, you’re only left with additional water, cleaning ions produced by them, and some safe organic soda ash.

Will carpet cleaning solution kill my outdoor plant?

a person cleaning a carpet with solution

Since carpet cleaning companies use quite a mild detergent to clean carpets, they won’t kill most outdoor plants and vegetation. However, if you have very delicate plants or flowers, it’s best to get them to test the carpet cleaning solution on a small area before using it.


So there you have it. Most chemical patio cleaners will harm your plants or flowers, however, with the alternatives we mentioned such as oxygen bleach, you will be able to clean your patio without killing any plants nearby.

Other alternatives such as steam cleaners and vinegar can also save you from using harsh chemicals that could damage the exterior of your home.

Do you have any other recommendations?

Let us know in the comments!

picture of a patio with some garden shrubs and plants.
Will My Patio Cleaner Kill Plants
About the Author

Passionate about helping households transition to sustainable energy with helpful information and resources.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}