4 Best ways to clean sandstone paving

Pressure washed cleaning sandstone paving
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Cleaning sandstone paving can be a very difficult task, but it is vital to maintaining the beauty of your home.

The more you clean your sandstone paving, the easier and quicker it will become to do so in the future. Cleaning sandstone is also important for those who have allergies as many people are allergic to mould spores which can grow on these surfaces if they are not cleaned regularly.

This blog post will cover all of the steps that you need to take when cleaning your sandstone paving so that you don’t make any mistakes when doing this time-consuming job!

Want a professional to do it? If you are based in Preston or Lancashire then check out our professional paving service.

The 4 best ways to clean sandstone paving

Paving cleaner – This is the best way to clean sandstone paving, but it can be quite expensive.

Soapy water – Mix together some dish soap and warm water in a bucket or large container then pour this mixture over the paved area. The soap will help to break down any dirt that has collected on your paving and it is also a good idea to scrub with a brush or broom in some areas for better cleaning results.

Bleach (acid free) – Pour bleach all over the sandstone surface, leave for five minutes then rinse off thoroughly before drying off either by using a pressure washer or a hose pipe.

Pressure washer – If you don’t want to scrub the paving, then using a power wash device is your best option for cleaning sandstone paving as it blasts dirt and grubby marks away quickly and easily!

Diagnose the issue

The method required for cleaning Indian sandstone depend on what’s causing the discolouration and the seriousness of the spread, so it makes sense to identify exactly what’s wrong before creating a plan of action. 

If your sandstone looks dirty, it’s probably down to everyday use and its easily rectified.

More serious problems include green blemishes caused by algae or grimy spots that grow over time because they are covered in dirt between slabs from moss growth.

Patches that get larger over time are caused by a colony of fungi, algae, and/or bacteria (which is the most challenging issue to deal with).

Which solution will work best

When thinking about cleaning your sandstone you need to consider how to preserve it. Some chemicals and cleaners will damage the surface, which can lead to permanent staining.

It’s important that you ask your supplier about the best way to clean and protect your paving before starting any work on it. This is because different types of sandstone have varying degrees of porousness and therefore need specific care when being cleaned with chemicals or detergents.

The best way to keep your sandstone pristine is by avoiding harsh chemicals that will cause it to deteriorate.

When you use a cleaner, avoid the chemicals in acidic cleaners and those containing iron which can lead to more heartache due rusting or staining of the stone permanently.

Sandstone paving cleaning methods in detail

Paving cleaners

Paving cleaners are products specifically formulated to remove dirt, grime and other surface stains from sandstone. You can purchase them in diluted form for smaller areas or as concentrated liquids which will need to be applied with a garden sprayer or watering can.

Sandstone is porous so it needs a lot of water and is fairly susceptible to damage from harsher chemicals which will tend to bleach it and lighten the colour.

Properly formulator sandstone cleaners will use natural ingredients and avoid the chemicals in acidic cleaners which can lead to more heartache due rusting or staining of the stone permanently.

Here are some of the best patio cleaners around. Click the images to check the price on Amazon.

Homefront Organic Patio Cleaner

Elixir Gardens Mould/Algae Killer

Cleaner should be applied with a garden sprayer or watering can after pressure washing as required – not forgetting to scrub away any stubborn stains afterwards!

Remember that some paving stones may have been sealed before they were laid down, see what the manufacturer recommends for sealed paving.

Paving cleaners are great for getting rid of lichen, algae and moss which can accumulate and create a messy appearance. These little pests can be very difficult to get rid of but dedicated sandstone cleaners take out a lot of the hard work.

Soapy water mixture

Scrubbing stone paving with a brush by hand

A trusted solution for day to day grime building up on your sandstone paving, is to mix up a soapy water mixture.

This solution will clean dirt and give your sandstone a deep clean with no harmful chemicals!

Just fill the container with hot water until it’s half full then add soap – either Fairy Liquid or dishwashing liquid are great options. The best part about this method is that you probably already have the mixture in your kitchen cupboard!

Put the solution on a scrubbing brush and use it to clean all of the grime off. If there are any stubborn stains you can focus on these areas and even try a wire brush.

Once everything is cleaned, rinse with water and leave to dry.

Cleaning your sandstone paving with soap and water is the most labour intensive method but it is also the cheapest.

Acid free bleach

Bleach is something most of us tend to use around the house for lots of things , but did you know that it is also a great way to keep your sandstone paving looking beautiful?

Bleach can remove algae and other unsightly marks from the surface of the stone, as well as kill any bacteria.

All you need to do is mix up an appropriate strength solution following these steps:

– Firstly make sure the bleach is definitely acid free or it could damage the sandstone

– Pour one part bleach to four parts water into a bucket or pot and mix thoroughly until it’s dissolved.

– Apply this solution with a scrubbing brush, being careful not to get any on your clothes as you don’t want them bleached too!

– Rinse with water, then dry with a cloth.

– Over the next few days make sure to scrub it down again if you notice any algae or marks reappearing – and enjoy your clean sandstone!

Strong Bleach Patio and Brickwork Cleaner

SPEAR & JACKSON Pump Action Pressure Sprayer

If you have limestone paving check with the manufacturer before using bleach. Limestone can be bleached very easily, especially dark limestone.

Pressure washing

A pressure washer scan be a useful tool when it comes to cleaning sandstone paving. The pressure washer is an excellent method of removing dirt, algae and bacteria that may be present on the surface of the stone.

To clean the paving slabs with a pressure washer , prepare the surface by sweeping it clean and removing any dirt and debris. You will need a pressure washer that has an adjustable spray power, with a medium to high-pressure setting for this task.

A pressure washer can be a great addition to your garden tools so if you get one its a good idea to get one which is suitable for cleaning sandstone paving, bins, cars and other things. Here are some great choices:

Kärcher Power Control High Pressure Washer

Ryobi Pressure Washer


– Place the pressure washer on a level ground where you have plenty of room around it

– Adjust the water output so that there is enough power coming out from the hose at its highest strength

– Make sure your safety gear (goggles, gloves) are in place before turning on the machine. Start washing with one side of your paving slab, then move over to another area or turn 90 degrees to do both sides simultaneously until all areas have been covered!

Once you’re done with this procedure rinse the area down to remove any lingering dirt or residue.

Pressure washing can help bringing back their original colour thanks to the natural stone particles in them being revealed once washed away.

How to stop your sandstone getting dirty

Sweeping leaves off paving

Now that we have looked at some methods to clean your sandstone lets take a quick look at how to keep it clean and stop it from getting dirty in the first place.

– Use some form of sealant to keep stains and dirt away. It needs to be reapplied every year or so for best results but this will help your sandstone stay clean all year round without too much effort on your behalf.

– During winter make sure that any leaves and other debris are removed regularly during rainstorms – if not they can build up over time which can lead to algae growth on the surface!

Make an extra point of cleaning out gutters as these collect water at high points where dirt particles settle before being washed down into lower areas like paving slabs.

The main cause of algae and moss on sandstone paving is wetness so anything you can do to reduce this will help to put off the need for repairs or replacements.


Sandstone paving is a beautiful addition to any home, but it can be difficult to clean. If you follow these simple steps when cleaning your sandstone paving, then you will be able to do so much more quickly and easily in the future.

You’ll also save yourself from having annoying mould spores grow on your surfaces if you maintain them regularly by following this guide! Take a look around our website for more great content

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