How to Clean Brick Patio

Winters passed with little thought to the patio, its red bricks gradually darkening and stained. Grime buildup impossible to ignore, encrusted remnants of past cookouts and gatherings turned solid. Stains and weathering couldn't be scrubbed away with a simple hose or pressure washer; busy seasons didn't lend themselves to restorative deep cleans.

The patio once a refuge faded into a dull, damaged eyesore – until now. It's time to revive a space starved of care and bring back the vibrant sanctuary it's meant to be. Stay tuned till the end to learn how to clean brick patio.

How to Clean Brick Patio?

Power wash the patio

Use a power washer set to 2000-3000 PSI to loosen years of built-up grime, dirt, grease and debris from brick surfaces and grout lines. A wider spray tip will cover more area with each pass. Pay attention to corners and edges where gunk collects. Power washing is essential for removing loosened residue before applying stain removers, brighteners or sealers.

Power wash the patio

Scrub stains with baking soda

Make a paste from baking soda and water and scrub tough stains on bricks with the paste using a scrub brush. Let the paste sit on stains for several hours or overnight before scrubbing and rinsing clean. The baking soda acts as a gentle abrasive to lift stains from the porous brick surface without damaging it.

Use an oxalic acid solution

For rust stains, create an oxalic acid solution with oxalic acid powder, water and hydrogen peroxide. The acid in oxalic acid helps dissolve rust stains on contact. Scrub the solution onto rust stains with an old toothbrush and rinse well with water. May need to repeat for stubborn rust stains. Wear gloves when handling oxalic acid.

Apply a whitening poultice

For yellowed or dull brick surfaces, apply a poultice containing hydrated lime and hydrogen peroxide. The lime helps brighten brick while the peroxide lifts away dullness and grime. Spread poultice on bricks with a trowel and cover with plastic. Let sit as directed before scrubbing and rinsing clean. Repeat for severely weathered brick.

Re-grout or repoint gaps 

Use a grout saw or Dremel tool to cut out damaged or crumbling grout lines and gaps between bricks. Loose or missing grout allows water and debris to penetrate the patio. Clean out all debris from gaps before filling with a pre-colored grout sealant or concrete caulk. Smooth caulk into gaps with a grout float and seal caulk once cured to prevent future leakage into the brick.

How do I Prevent Future Stains and Buildup on a Brick Patio?

How do I Prevent Future Stains and Buildup on a Brick Patio?

  • Apply a sealant to the brick patio, such as acrylic or wax. Sealers protect porous brick from water penetration and make it more stain resistant. Reapply sealant every 6-18 months to maintain protection.
  • Scrub up spills immediately to prevent stain set-in. Rinse brick surfaces after cooking or serving meals on the patio.

  • Remove pet hair from bricks regularly using a brush or lint roller. Pet hair helps grease and grime stick to brick surfaces.

  • Sweep or pressure wash debris from the patio regularly. Loose dirt and grime serve as a base layer for other stains to stick to.

  • Touch up any damaged or weathered sealant spots. Cracked or peeled sealant allows for easier water, stain and dirt penetration into bricks. Apply new sealant to damaged areas.

  • For tougher stains or weathering, re-clean and re-seal the patio surface. Re-cleaning removes buildup and re-sealing protects the brick surface. This helps maintain easy-to-clean brick surfaces.

How do I Whiten and Brighten Yellowed or Dull Brick Patios?

How do I Whiten and Brighten Yellowed or Dull Brick Patios?

  • Use a whitening poultice. Apply hydrated lime or cream of tartar poultice to yellowed brick and then scrub off. These provide gentle abrasion to lift dullness and brighten without damaging the brick. You may need to repeat for severe weathering.

  • Power wash and then apply oxalic acid. Pressure wash at high pressure to remove loose dirt before applying oxalic acid solution to brighten yellowed brick surfaces. Scrub oxalic acid on stains and rinse well. May fade brick slightly, test in an inconspicuous area first.

  • Use muriatic acid or commercial brick brightener. Dilute muriatic acid or a quality brick brightener product according to directions before scrubbing on yellowed brick surfaces. Wear proper protective gear when using these chemical products.

  • Re-seal whitened or brightened brick patios. An acrylic or wax brick sealer helps protect the porous brick surface from future yellowing or fading caused by sun and environmental exposure. Reapply sealer every 6 months.

  • Touch up whitening as needed. Over time or with weather exposure, brightness may fade on some areas of the patio. Re-apply whitening solutions to spots continuing to appear dull or yellowed. Consistent maintenance provides the longevity of a bright, brilliant patio.


Brick patios shine again with regular deep cleans and protective sealing. So, we do hope that you can find a helpful way to clean your brick patio in our blog.

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