A well-kempt patio is a great way to create an inviting atmosphere for you and your guests. Patios can be furnished with a wide array of items, such as outdoor furniture, heaters, and grills.
Ultimately, the patio can be used to extend your living space for maximum enjoyment of the outdoors. However, most people probably agree that a dirty patio can detract from its ambience –dust will cause a dullness on surfaces and could trigger allergies.
Similar to inside your house or a screened porch, dust and debris can accumulate on outdoor objects such as the patio and its furniture. But, keeping the patio clean can be more challenging since there’s less control over the outdoor environment than indoors –fortunately, it’s not an impossible challenge!
In this post we’ll look at how to keep the patio dust free. We’ll also look at a homemade dust repellent that may be useful in your conquest in keeping the patio clean.
Let’s hop in!
What Types of Patios are Easiest to Keep Clean?
Not all patios are created equal when it comes to keeping them clean. For instance, a rough cobblestone patio has nooks and crannies that tend to collect dirt and mildew –whereas porcelain pavers or tiles provide a smooth cleanable surface.
Here are some patio materials that are generally considered easier to keep clean:
Concrete patios are known for their durability and low maintenance. There are limitless designs from a traditional brushed finish to a colored stamping.
A smooth finish of the concrete can make it easier to keep clean. A stamped pattern that has ridges and valleys may tend to harbor dust and debris.
Regardless of the design, sealing the concrete can keep it more resistant to staining and easier to clean.
Paver patios can be a versatile and aesthetically pleasing option. Pavers are offered in numerous colors, shapes, and textures to accommodate nearly any vision.
Some paver materials, such as porcelain, are easy to clean due to their smooth finish. Other paver material, such as brick, may have a rougher texture that is more challenging to clean.
Regardless what type of paver you choose, ensuring they are kept flat with minimal lippage to each other can also help prevent dust and debris from collecting. Filling joints filled with polymeric sand can help keep them easier to maintain and clean.
If a paver becomes damaged over the course of time, it can be easily replaced with a new one.
While tiles are often used indoors, they are becoming increasingly popular for outdoor use, including patios. Tiles can help dress up an old concrete patio and come in limitless designs and colors, allowing you to create the perfect pattern.
Porcelain is one of the most durable materials when it comes to tiles. It is dense and strong which allows it to hold up to many of the outdoor elements without much concern of staining or damage.
Since tiles often have a smooth finish, it allows them to be easily cleaned from any dirt and debris. However, it’s important to choose a tile that has a proper slip-resistance rating to avoid accidental falls during wet conditions.
Natural wood decking comes in a variety of materials ranging from softwoods to hardwoods. While most decking may be smooth in its early life, exposure to elements can cause the surface to become riddled with small cracks and rot that could accumulate dust.
High density hardwood, such as Ipe, not only provides an exotic look to the patio, but also withstands weathering and can provide a smooth finish for years to come.
Alternatively, man-made decking such as composite should also be considered for its durability and resistance to cracking.
Non-porous natural stone such as granite or slate is easy to keep clean. These materials are great at resisting scratches, allowing the surface to maintain a smooth finish.
Natural stone may come naturally shaped, or could be pre-shaped similar to pavers. There are also some prefabricated systems that utilize natural stone allowing for easier installation versus trying to patternize various stones.
How to Keep Patio Dust Free
While designing the patio with smooth, cleanable material can help to keep your patio dust free, there are other actions you can take to further improve it.
It’s important to note that there’s no single solution that will completely eliminate dust in an outdoor environment. However, using a combination of these methods will improve the results.
Having a normal cleaning routine is a key step in keeping your patio free of dirt, dust and pollen. The frequency in which you clean may need to be adjusted depending on the weather, as wind, pollen activity, and other events could dirty the patio quicker.
Cleaning process should include not just the patio itself, but also the accessories. This includes furniture, tables, grills, and rugs.
Here’s are some easy ways to keep your patio clean:
1 – Sweep: Use a broom with stiff bristles to remove loose dirt, leaves, and debris from the patio surface.
2 – Leaf Blower: A leaf blower can be a handy tool to quickly remove dust and debris from your patio. Use it on a low setting to avoid blowing dust into the air.
3 – Pressure Wash: Stubborn dirt and grime can be removed from a patio using a pressure washer. It’s important to use an appropriate pressure setting for the type of material in order to avoid damaging the surface.
4 – Scrubbing: If you’re unable to use a pressure washer, it may be time for some good ole’ fashioned elbow grease. Use a stiff brush with a mild detergent solution to scrub the patio with a focus on any stains.
Trim trees, shrubs, and plants near your patio regularly. This will help prevent leaves, flowers, and pollen from accumulating on the surface.
Run the Sprinkler
Dry weather can cause increase the amount of dust and dirt that will be kicked into the air. This means that people or pets running in the lawn near the patio could cause debris to go airborne, potentially landing on the patio.
Running the sprinkler regularly can help keep the lawn moist and may reduce the amount of dust that floats around near the patio.
If you have flower beds surrounding your patio, consider adding a covering –such as gravel or mulch borders– on top of the soil. These materials can help minimize the transfer of dust and dirt onto the patio surface.
Inspect your patio for cracks or gaps that may allow debris to accumulate. Seal them using appropriate sealants or fillers to provide a cleanable surface.
If you have pavers, inspect the joints to ensure they are adequately filled with gravel or polymeric sand. Add more sand as necessary, as this will help provide stability and can help prevent other debris from piling into the crevices.
Outdoor furniture and decor can also contribute to the dust accumulation on your patio. Here are some simple tips.
1 – Regular Cleaning: Using a damp cloth, routinely wipe down outdoor furniture, including cushions. This will help remove dust and prevent it from being transferred onto the patio.
2 – Furniture Covers: Using furniture covers when the patio is not in use will help protect the furniture from dust, pollen, and other debris. The covers can simply be removed prior to using the furniture.
3 – Choose Sleek Materials: Opt for furniture and decor items made from materials that are less prone to collecting dust, such as metal, teak, or synthetic wicker. Many fabrics actually produce dust as they shed their fibers.
If your patio is exposed to strong winds, it could be susceptible to having dust and debris blow onto it. Consider placing a windbreaker, such as trellises or a fence, to help reduce unwanted debris from blowing onto the patio.
While a dust repellent spray can be effective for indoor surfaces, its effectiveness for an outdoor patio may vary. Outdoor patios are exposed to various environmental factors like wind, rain, and natural debris, which can make it challenging to completely repel dust.
However, using a dust repellent spray on your outdoor patio can still provide some benefits, such as reducing the amount of dust that settles on surfaces and making it easier to clean.
When using a dust repellent spray for your outdoor patio, consider the following tips:
- Choose the right ingredients: Opt for ingredients that have dust-repellent properties and are suitable for outdoor use. Essential oils like eucalyptus, lemongrass, or citronella can be effective.
- Test on a small area: Before applying the spray to your entire patio, test it on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn’t cause any discoloration or damage.
- Apply regularly: Reapply the spray regularly, especially after rain or strong winds, to maintain maximum effect.
- Continue regular cleaning practices: A routine cleaning program like sweeping, washing, or using a leaf blower should still be applied.
How to Make Homemade Dust Control Spray
In tackling dust on the patio, you may want to consider using a homemade dust control spray. While dust repellents won’t last as long outdoors, they can still be effective especially if applied consistently.
The frequency in which they should be used will vary based on environmental factors, such as precipitation, wind and pollen activity. You should avoid using this spray on surfaces that are sensitive to water or oil, such as unsealed wood or natural stone.
Homemade dust control spray can be made with the following ingredients:
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fabric softener
- 10-15 drops of an essential oil (based on your desired fragrance)
The fabric softener can help provide anti-static properties to help repel dust that may try to sneak onto the patio. Alternatively, you can substitute it for olive oil which will provide some polishing effects.
You can scale-up the recipe based on the size of the patio. It may take some experimenting to figure out just how much is needed to clean your space.
Combine the ingredients into a spray bottle or a pump sprayer, and shake well.
Test the mixture in an inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn’t cause any discoloration of the patio, furniture or accessories. If using it on the patio floor, you may want to ensure it dries adequately without leaving slick spots.
Once you’ve tested the dust spray and are satisfied with the results, you can move forward with lightly spraying it across the surfaces. Use a microfiber cloth or roller to spread the solution across surfaces.
Re-application will likely be needed after the patio is exposed to heavy rain or winds.
Dust and dirt on the patio can dull the surface and could detract from the aesthetics of your backyard oasis. While there’s no single solution that will magically keep the patio clean, there are some simple measures that can help keep it looking like new.
Routine cleaning is a great way to keep dust from building up, and could include sweeping or power washing. Preventative measures such as installing windbreakers, controlling vegetation and installing coverings to adjacent garden beds are also worthy options.
Lastly, if you find that the dust tends to accumulate quickly, you may consider a dust repellent. A homemade dust control spray can also be mixed up quickly with household ingredients. The frequency of use will just depend on the outdoor elements.
At the end of the day, you can then kick back and lounge on your clean patio!
Husband and father of three (actually, four if you include the pool). I’m an avid DIY-er and weekend warrior that enjoys taking up new projects around the house to help us maximize leisure right at home. I enjoy researching and sharing various tips, tricks and knowledge to help others make their home an oasis.