You may have viewed those commercials for the miracle patio cleaner that promises to get your concrete or stone patio looking new again in just minutes. But what if you have plants or flowers around your patio? Will patio cleaner kill those plants? Now, let’s look into patio cleaners’ use, varieties, safety, and do-it-yourself alternatives.
Will a Patio Cleaner Kill Plants?
As a result of the biocidal chemicals, they contain, patio cleansers could be fatal to plants. Any plant fibers that come into touch with the solution may be harmed or killed by the chemicals. Potassium permanganate, QUATS, EDTA, and sodium hypochlorite are just a few plant-harming compounds in many patio cleaners.
Even if these poisons don’t instantly kill every plant, they may inflict much damage over time. To reduce plant damage, you may clean your patio using organic approaches and taking precautions while using.
Varieties of Patio Cleaners
There are two prime types of patio cleaners:
Acidic cleaners- These are made to clean smooth concrete, stone, and masonry surfaces. They work by dissolving the stains and dirt on these surfaces. However, they may also damage or kill plants.
Essential cleaners- Basic cleaners are designed for rougher surfaces like brick patios. They work by lifting the dirt and stains from these surfaces. However, they may also damage or kill plants.
Other solutions that may clean a patio are:
Oxygenated cleaners- These are not only for patios, decks & balconies. They may also be used for housework.
Oxygenated cleaners can effectively remove green mold and mildew from furniture and patios and eliminate maggots from a patio. Oxygenated cleansers break down organic materials by releasing oxygen atoms. It’s vital to use oxygenated cleansers carefully, as they may kill plants. Keep oxygenated patio cleaner away from plants and grass. Oxygenated cleaners keep your house clean and fresh.
Enzymatic cleaners use enzymes to break down dirt and stains on surfaces. However, they may still damage or kill plants.
You may clean your patio using a variety of do-it-yourself methods that are gentler for your plants and grass. Still, the secret is in the application and diluting the solution you use to avoid it coming into touch with the plants.
Vinegar- You can mix vinegar with water to create a cleaning solution. Vinegar is acidic, so it may still damage or kill plants.
Baking soda- Mix baking soda with water to create a cleaning solution. Baking soda is a primary cleaner that may still damage or kill plants.
Lemon juice- You can mix lemon juice with water to create a cleaning solution. Lemon juice is acidic, so it may still damage or kill plants.
Dish soap- Mix dish soap with water to create a cleaning solution; use an eco-friendly lemon brand and be aware it may still damage or kill plants.
How to Use Patio Cleaners Safely
If you must use a patio cleaner or the DIY Alternatives, there are some things you can do to minimize plant damage:
Vinegar or baking soda. A Great option for cleaning your patio without harming your plants. Apply a baking soda solution using a sponge or spray bottle, then scrub. You can also use vinegar, but be aware that it may damage some plants.
A Pressure washer. Pressure washing your patio is an effective way to remove dirt and grime. However, be careful not to aim the pressure washer directly at your plants as this could damage them.
Commercial organic patio cleaner. Many organic commercial cleaners on the market are safe for plants. Look for cleaners specifically designed to be safe for plants and follow the directions on the label.
Clean by hand. Perhaps the simplest way to clean your patio without damaging your plants is to do it by hand. This will require some elbow grease, but it’s the safest option for cleaning around sensitive plants.
Safeguarding Your Plants
If you’re worried about harming your plants, there are some things you can do to safeguard them:
Cover your plants. A simple and efficient approach to shield plants and their roots from damage while cleaning is to cover them with a tarp or canvas cover. Carefully remove the cover after you’re done to avoid leaving any residue on the soil. A quick mist of water applied to the plant after usage can help it recover from any possible harm.
Wash your plants after cleaning. If you must use a patio cleaner, rinse your plants with clean water as soon as you’re done. This should help to remove any residual cleaner that could harm your plants.
Move your plants. If possible, move your plants out of the way before cleaning. This will protect them from any cleaner that may splash or spray during the cleaning process.
Patio cleaning procedures to safeguard your plants.:
- Choose a milder acidic cleaner- If you must use an acidic cleaner, choose one with a lower pH. A pH of 2 is considered safe for plants.
- Dilute the patio cleaner- Follow the directions on the label, but dilute the patio cleaner even further. This will help reduce plant damage.
- Apply the patio cleaner only to the patio- Be careful not to get any patio cleaners on plants or flowers.
- Rinse the patio thoroughly- Rinse the patio thoroughly with water after cleaning to remove any residual cleaner. This will help reduce plant damage.
- Be cautious with chemicals- If you use chemicals to clean your patio, always exercise caution. Wear gloves and wash any areas of exposed skin immediately with soap and water if they come into contact with the cleaning solution.
- Test in a small area first- Before using any type of cleaner on your entire patio, test it in a small area first to ensure it won’t damage your patio or plants.
- Keep an eye on the wind- When pressure washing or using any type of sprayer, keep an eye on the wind direction so that you don’t accidentally spray chemicals onto nearby plants.,
So, will patio cleaner kill plants? The answer is maybe, and whether or not grass and plants survive close contact with a patio cleaner hinges on the kind of cleaner you use, how carefully you apply it, and whether or not you take precautions like above, covering and relocating plants or using a weaker or diluted version.
It’s understandable to be wary about using a standard patio cleaner around your plants, but rest assured, there are many alternatives.
Many safe and effective organic cleaners are available, or you can try one of the suggested DIY methods.
When cleaning with chemicals, follow all warning labels and recommendations on the package.