Skip to main content

How To Clean a Bluestone Patio

By February 14, 2024Home Maintenance
How to clean a bluestone patio

A Bluestone patio, with its rich colors and durable composition, is a focal point of outdoor aesthetics but can accumulate dirt and stains that diminish its charm. If you’re wondering how to clean your Bluestone patio, you’re in the right place—the process is straightforward and can yield stunning results with the right approach.

In this article, we’ll explore the essentials of effective Bluestone patio maintenance, the optimal weather for the project, and step-by-step instructions to ensure your patio remains a testament to your home’s beauty. Whether you’re a seasoned homeowner or new to home maintenance, there’s something to learn about your patio.

What Is Bluestone?

Bluestone is a unique type of sandstone found in the northeastern United States, primarily in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. Its signature blue-gray hue comes from traces of minerals in the stone. Bluestone can also exhibit an array of other captivating colors like emerald, purple, rusty-red, and more. This diversity of shades is part of what makes Bluestone so prized.

In addition to its visual appeal, Bluestone is revered for its durability. As a dense, non-porous natural stone, it stands up well to heavy foot traffic and the elements. The compressed layers that form Bluestone also make it resistant to cracks and fractures. These qualities explain its popularity as a building material and for hardscaping projects like patios.

Maintaining the original vibrancy and integrity of a Bluestone patio requires periodic deep cleaning. Efforts should focus on removing dirt, stains, mold, mildew, and other accumulated grime. With proper care, a Bluestone patio can stay looking freshly installed for decades.

Examples of the various colors of natural bluestone that can be used for patios

When Is The Best Time To Clean?

Timing is an important factor when doing a deep clean on your Bluestone patio. The ideal time is when temperatures are cool to moderate, not exceeding 80°F. Avoid cleaning in direct sunlight or on hot days.

Heat causes cleaning solutions to evaporate rapidly before they have time to penetrate and lift stains on stone surfaces. It can also lead to deposits and streaking as the liquids dry too quickly.

Overcast days or mornings and evenings are perfect for patio cleaning. The lower light intensity helps to keep the stone damp longer for best results. Cooler fall temperatures are ideal, but spring can also work well before the summer heat arrives.

Work in small sections starting in an inconspicuous area when testing any new cleaning mixture. Let it sit for the recommended time before rinsing to prevent overly fast drying. Take advantage of cooler weather to get your Bluestone patio restored to its original glory.

Steps to Follow for a Refreshed Bluestone Patio

Cleaning your Bluestone patio and restoring its original beauty involves just a few easy steps. With the right supplies and techniques, you can remove embedded dirt, eliminate stains, and have it look fresh again.

Start by making a cleaning solution of 1-4 ounces of a gentle, pH-balanced stone cleaner like white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide per gallon of water. Mop this over a small section of the patio. Let it soak for 2-3 minutes to penetrate the grime.

Use a plastic-bristle scrub brush to gently agitate the surface and loosen staining. Apply light pressure and scrub in circles. This lifts dirt from the stone pores without the risk of scratching.

Rinse the cleaning solution thoroughly using a garden hose on a low-pressure setting or a pressure washer at a maximum of 1200 psi while keeping the nozzle at least a foot away. Work in sections and avoid letting the stone dry completely before rinsing.

For a final polish, go over the stone with a wet/dry vac to extract any remaining moisture. Check for shiny areas that may still need extra scrubbing. Repeat these steps as needed until your Bluestone patio is revived and ready to enjoy again!

Scrubbing and rinsing tools will be necessary to clean a bluestone patio

Other Recommended Maintenance

Revitalizing your Bluestone patio is a perfect opportunity to also clean up other areas of your outdoor space. For example, assess the condition of any stucco or other masonry areas while you have cleaning solutions mixed. Stucco accumulates dirt and mildew over time just like natural stone. Tackling a thorough stucco cleaning while you have patio supplies ready makes efficient use of your time.

It’s also wise to inspect and clean your garage floor epoxy covering when cleaning your patio. Oil drips, tire marks, and chemical spills can stain and degrade an epoxy floor coating. Using the right cleaners to remove debris and rejuvenate the shine will help it last. Be sure to follow manufacturer guidelines for epoxy floor care.

Inspecting and clearing out any debris accumulated in rain gutters is another project easily paired with patio cleaning. Clogged gutters are magnets for leaves, sticks, and other materials that impede proper drainage. Use the opportunity of being outdoors with the necessary equipment to clear gutters and downspouts and prevent problems.

When to Call a Professional

Surface stains that fail to respond to typical household cleaners often need commercial-grade solutions and techniques. Damaged or deteriorated stone presents another situation where hiring an expert is wise.

Specifically, signs it’s best to have a professional service tackle your Bluestone patio include etched acidic stains that penetrate deep into the stone, regardless of your cleaning attempts. Professionals have access to more powerful acidic cleaners and stain removers formulated for natural stone. They can also assess whether stains may require sanding or resurfacing to remove.

Excessive erosion or damage from improper pressure washing is another case for the experts. The trained eye of a professional can determine necessary repairs and implement them properly. For thick layers of dirt or grime that resist initial efforts, a company with commercial-grade equipment can provide the deep cleaning power needed through the use of truck-mounted power washers and heavy-duty cleaners.

Additionally, professionals know how to safely and effectively address complex issues like efflorescence, the white powdery mineral deposits indicating excess moisture in stone. This may demand sealing, application of specialized acidic cleaners, or mortar repair that is best left to those with expertise. The same goes for stubborn mold or mildew stains that penetrate and discolor the stone – companies have methods beyond typical options to kill and remove persistent growth.


Don’t stress over a drab, stained Bluestone patio – with some elbow grease and the right materials, you can clean it in an afternoon. Cooler temperatures provide the ideal cleaning conditions for your DIY patio revival. For best results, use gentle, specially formulated natural stone cleaners.

With proper care, your Bluestone patio can look freshly installed for years. However, if you encounter damage during your maintenance or need to schedule a comprehensive home inspection, reach out to the experts at Atkinson Inspection Services in Clermont, FL, and surrounding areas today.