How to clean outdoor porcelain patio tiles

UK Home Improvement

How to Clean Outdoor Porcelain Patio Tiles

Outdoor spaces are an extension of any property, and these days gardens and outdoor areas are more seamlessly blended with interiors like never before.

Patios provide people with a place to relax, socialise with friends and family and dine al fresco with loved ones.

With this in mind, it’s important these areas are kept in the very best condition in order to be fully enjoyed. This is particularly the case when you consider how much rainfall the UK experiences- even in the summer months.

Rain can cause patio paving to become extremely messy, giving it an unpleasant appearance that makes it unsightly and impractical. 

Porcelain is one of the most popular paving options available, and if you’re considering giving yours a clean it’s important to understand how to effectively do so. 

In this blog, we’ll outline exactly how you can clean outdoor porcelain tiles.

What Is Porcelain Paving?

Cleaning porcelain patio tiles is extremely important, but before we discuss the best ways to do so let’s take a look at what they are. 

Porcelain paving is made from highly compressed clay tiles that feature a high-resolution finish which replicates the appearance of natural stone or wood. As well as this, these tiles are fired at incredibly high temperatures that provide them with a durable and robust surface.

This type of paving offers a wide range of benefits to a property, including the following:

  • Durability: Porcelain paving is extremely resilient and can withstand heavy foot traffic, extreme weather conditions and is resistant to common wear and tear.
  • Low maintenance: Porcelain does not require as much maintenance as natural stone, wood and other materials. It is fairly easy to clean, and we’ll go into greater detail about how to do this later.
  • Non-porous: As a non-porous material, porcelain does not absorb water or moisture. This means it won’t see unpleasant mould grow on its surface.  
  • Versatile: Available in a whole host of designs, sizes, shapes and finishes, there are porcelain options for people of all requirements and preferences. 
  • Sustainable: Porcelain is one of the most environmentally friendly paving options on the market. This is because it’s made from natural materials and is 100% recyclable – meaning its impact on the planet is negligible.  

What Do I Need To Clean Outdoor Porcelain Tiles? 

As mentioned in the section above, porcelain paving is extremely low maintenance. Despite this, it’s important that you have the correct equipment to hand in order to properly carry out the work.

This includes:

  • A brush
  • Cleaning solution (specialist porcelain paving detergents are available) 
  • A bucket of water 
  • A soft sponge or mop
  • A jetwash
  • A hose 

It’s important to note that there are a variety of ways you can clean outdoor porcelain tiles, and you may not need everything listed above to conduct the task.  

How To Clean Outdoor Porcelain Patio Tiles 

There are a number of different techniques you can try when it comes to cleaning porcelain patio tiles. 

This includes the following:

Brush away dirt and debris 

Depending on the level of dirt you’re trying to shift, you might be able to clean your tiles just using a good, old-fashioned broom. With your patio acting as a key part of your outdoor space, it’s not uncommon for leaves, debris and other natural elements to appear on your tiles. It’s fairly straightforward to simply sweep this stuff into a neat pile, before removing them either as part of a garden waste bin or simply by moving them to other areas of your garden.

We’d recommend only using a brush when the surface is dry, so as not to move wet dirt across the tiles that could cause more of a mess.  

Use warm soapy water 

If you’re wanting to give your porcelain paving a more invasive clean, a bucket of hot, soapy water will usually do the trick. Make sure the bowl or bucket of water is warm, and add a splash of household detergent. Then, grab a sponge and simply wipe the water over the affected area. Once the mark has been removed, you can leave the water to naturally dry. This is probably the best solution if you’re quickly mopping up a spilt drink, bird or animal droppings or anything that has recently been dropped. 

As a general tip, it’s always best to clean up spillages as soon as they occur to minimise the risk of staining. 

Grab a jetwash

People commonly wonder if it is appropriate to use a jetwash on porcelain paving. The good news is that, yes, jetwashes can always be used on this type of paving. Pressure washing is a tried and tested method of cleaning a surface, so if you own one feel free to get it out to use to clean your paving slabs. 

We recommend using a medium spray, and be sure to move the stream of water evenly over the area you’re cleaning. While you can use a jetwash on paving, it’s rarely needed. We suggest using it once a season, for example before summer gets underway when you’re likely to be using your paving more often. This will get you off to the best start ahead of the warmer months. 

Try porcelain cleaner 

Fortunately, porcelain paving is largely stain resistant. However, there may be times when a certain stubborn stain just will not go away. If you’ve tried all of the above, in these instances, you may need to try something different.

Most DIY shops, hardware stores and gardening centres are likely to stock porcelain cleaner which is designed to tackle these types of situations. However, you should avoid cleaners that include hydrofluoric acid as they can cause irreversible damage to tiles.   

Simply apply the product to the stone, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and your paving should look as good as new in no time. 

Thankfully, porcelain paving is one of the easiest outdoor flooring options to keep clean. And, the paving does not discolour or fade over time either, meaning it also offers fantastic longevity to a property. By following the cleaning steps above, you should be able to enjoy your porcelain paving long into the future.


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