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How to Clean Pavers

Two Parts:Cleaning The PaversSealing The Pavers

Paving stones, also called pavers, add a decorative element to any setting. Whether your pavers are used as a walkway through your garden, a patio, or driveway, your pavers are bound to lose their luster over time. Luckily, you can restore your pavers with a mild cleaning solution, stiff bristled broom, replacement sand, and sealant.

Part 1
Cleaning The Pavers

  1. 1
    Remove furniture and plants. Depending on where your pavers are located, remove any potted plants or furniture that can get in the way of cleaning.[1] You want a clear surface free of obstacles while cleaning.
    • At this point, cover any surrounding landscaping with tarp that may be damaged by water or chemicals in the cleaning products. Be sure to also cover metal objects.
  2. 2
    Clear moss and weed growth. Use a stiff bristled handheld brush or brush broom to agitate and brush away any moss growth on or in between pavers.[2] Gently pull weeds out in between paver joints. When all of the organic growth has been loosened, brush the debris off of your paved surface.
    • If you remove a lot of underlying sand by pulling weeds (or haven’t re-sanding your paving in a few years), you will have to re-sand your pavers once you are finished cleaning.[3]
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    Saturate the paver surface. Before you start cleaning the paver surface with soap or any other type of cleanser, hose down the entire area with water. You don’t need to power wash the area at this point; the pavers merely need to be wet so they don’t soak up the cleanser and form a murky film.[4]
  4. 4
    Prepare your cleaning solution. There are a few different cleaners you can use to clean your pavers. The safest cleanser is a mixture of warm water and a mild household cleaner, like dish detergent.[5] Fill up a gallon sized bucket with water and add about 16oz of dish detergent. Mix the soap into the water thoroughly. Once your cleaning solution is ready, gently pour some onto your paver surface, working in small areas at a time.[6]
    • There are also specific cleaning solutions depending on your type of paving material (concrete, clay, travertine, etc.). These specific cleansers can be found at home improvement stores. Consider asking an employee for advice on what cleanser to use on your pavers.
    • Whichever cleanser you decide on, be sure to follow the manufacturing directions that come with the cleanser.[7] Be cautious of cleansers that are highly acidic; they can damage your pavers and prove to be harmful to children, pets, and vegetation around your pavers.[8]
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    Brush the pavers with a stiff brush. Use a stiff bristled broom to scrub the cleaning solution into the paver surface.[9] The harsh scrubbing from the broom bristles will loosen engrained dirt and stains.
    • Depending on your cleaning solution, you may need to leave the cleaning solution on the paver surface for some amount of time. This sitting time will help the cleanser penetrate through tough dirt build up.
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    Rinse down the area. Once you are finished scrubbing and cleaning your paver surface, gently rinse off the cleaning solution with clean water and into a nearby drain.[10] You can use a regular garden hose to rinse off the cleanser or use a power washer to blast off harsh stains.
    • However, power washers can sometimes cause more harm than good (by excavating sand in between paver joints), so be careful if you decide to use a power washer.[11]
  7. 7
    Re-sand your pavers. Once the pavers are completely cleaned, the joint spaces in between the pavers need to be refilled with sand. Open up your sand bag and pour about 1/3 of the sand onto a small area of the paved surface. Sweep the sand all over on the paved surface with a dry, stiff bristled broom.[12]
    • You may need to add more sand to the in order to fill in between all the joints.
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    Mist the sanded pavers. Once all the sand is spread out into the paver joints, use a mist setting on your hose to mist water over the pavers.[13] The misted water will allow the sand to settle in between the paver joints. Try not to saturate the pavers and wash away the newly laid sand.

Part 2
Sealing The Pavers

  1. 1
    Consult a specialist. Visit your local home improvement store to consult a specialist about what type of sealer you should use on your paved surface based on your paver material and your desired look.[14] Sealer will protect your pavers and simplify upkeep.
    • Besides getting the advice of a specialist, always follow the directions on the sealer project you plan to use. Wear safety gloves to project yourself from harsh chemicals in the sealant.[15]
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    Apply the first coat of sealer. Pour your paver sealer into a paint roller tin, and use a long roller brush to apply the sealer onto your paver surface.[16] Be sure to start in an area where you can move around and not trap yourself into a corner.[17]
    • Just as before when cleaning the pavers: be sure that you work in such a way that you can step off the pavers. You don’t want to seal yourself into a corner.
    • The sealant instructions should indicate the drying time for the first coat of sealant, before the second coat can be applied.
  3. 3
    Apply the second coat of sealer. When the first coat of sealant is completely dry, add another coat of sealer. When the pavers start darkening in color, that will indicate that the pavers are properly absorbing the sealant.[18]
    • Try not to let the sealer puddle in any areas. If you see this happening, simply continue to spread out the sealer with your roller brush.
  4. 4
    Allow the sealer to dry. Allow the sealant to dry completely for at least 24 hours before allowing traffic onto the surface.[19] If you want to check on the drying progress, you can use your fingers to gently touch the paved surface.
  5. 5
    Move back furniture. When the paver sealant is completely dry (after at least a full 24 hours), move back any furniture or potted plants.[20] You can also remove any tarp covering surrounding plants or metal surfaces.


  • Solving the problem of stained pavers may be as easy as simply flipping the paver so the reverse side is visible.
  • Sprinkle an absorbent such as kitty litter or sawdust on oil stains. Wait a day, then hose off the absorbent.
  • If only a few paving stones are badly stained, it may be easier to replace them.


  • Use cleansers with care if you have flowers, grass, or shrubbery growing around your pavers. Read the label to determine whether the product is safe to use in a garden environment.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Pressure washer (optional)
  • Stiff bristled broom
  • Cleaning detergent
  • Gallon sized bucket
  • Paint roller
  • Paint roller tin
  • Sealant of choice
  • Joint filler sand
  • Stiff scrub brush

Article Info

Categories: Home Improvements and Repairs | Landscaping and Outdoor Building