It was a serious case of the attack of the green slime on the brick patio; the patient was in critical condition! I skidded across the deck my first thought was “Why am I sliding across the patio and this is war!” And hence the search for a brick patio cleaner and deck cleaner commenced.
I know there are many toxic cleaners I could use, but I wanted a safe non toxic cleaning product for the family, pets and environment. After much research and comparison of customer reviews and DIY experiences, I was convinced that my patio patient could be helped by using Thompsons Oxy Foaming Action cleaner.
Attack Of The Brick Patio Green Moss
Last summer the conditions were ripe for the green moss aka green slime aka green algae to attack the brick patio. We live in the northern United States and spring and summer weather can be iffy.
And iffy it was; we never really had summer weather except for a few spurts of hot and humid conditions. It was spring type weather throughout the summer which boded well for a stealth attack of the green moss on the brick patio.
Additionally the brick patio is shaded most of the day which provides a nice moist climate. Nice for the slime, not so nice for the homeowner. As a novice slime owner I kept hoping it would go away as in go away on its’ own.
Nope! So I made the mistake of not launching a counter attack sooner rather than later and paid the price with extra elbow grease needed to remove the slime with an eco friendly cleaning product. My choice of product was Thompsons Oxy Foaming Action eco friendly cleaning product.
What Are The Ingredients Of Thompsons Oxy Foaming Action And What Does It Mean?
The Thompsons Oxy Foaming Action is comprised of:
- 13% Sodium Carbonate
- 86% Sodium Carbonate Peroxyhydrate
- 1% Sodium Metasilicate Pentahydrate
Sodium Carbonate is also known as washing soda and used as a water softener for laundry and the foaming agent in toothpaste. Also used in ramen noodles for their flavor and texture. Who knew!
Sodium Carbonate Peroxyhydrate is a combination of sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide. Approved in 2002 as an algaecide for lakes and to treat green moss.
Sodium Metasilicate Pentahydrate is a washing agent. In the pentahydrate form, approved for the washing of fruits and vegetables. Frequently as a phosphate free cleaner.
I know those with a DIY instinct are thinking – hey! I can make that myself – I can’t vouche for the chemistry of the above ingredients except to say I can be a DIY’er and with this mixture I will leave the chemistry and mixing to the professionals.
How To Use The Eco Friendly Brick Patio Cleaner
In two words. Elbow grease and a lot of it.
But I knew that due to my research that was the trade off I made for choosing a non toxic cleaning product. That was also because I had let the green slime accumulate and in retrospect I should have launched the counter attack much sooner. Lesson learned the hard elbow grease way.
Though advertised as eco friendly I did use protective gear for the application due to my cautious nature. Long pants, long sleeves, rubber gloves, old shoes, and protective eyewear.
There is the precautionary paragraph regarding skin and eye contact on the container and I took heed as cleaning solution in my eyes was not a desired result of this patio DIY.
The application is the easy part and is similar to washing the clothes old school except you are washing the deck.
- Mix Thompsons with water per the directions.
- Apply in sections.
- Let the mixture soak and ruminate.
- Scrub with a brush. The type of brush is determined by the materials of the deck.
The protection of pets, plants, the garden and of course the deck or patio is the main concerns with any deck cleaning solution. Every deck and patio is created with different materials and not all deck cleaners are appropriate for all decks.
Deck Cleaners VS Brick Patio Cleaners
After successfully cleaning the brick patio the next project was to clean a small wood deck. Isn’t cleaning like opening the Pandora’s box of cleaning projects!
Composite decks, natural wood decks and brick patios require the material dictates the appropriate deck cleaning solution. The eco friendly patio and deck cleaners do have one commonality and that is labor! The trade off between harsh chemicals and environmentally milder cleaners is the increased labor for the eco friendly solution.
The wood deck was the next project and while small I had learned my lessons from the brick patio to not put off cleaning the deck regularly. The search was now on for a wood deck cleaner that would safely clean and not harm the natural wood deck. I found many deck cleaners, but ultimately decided upon the homemade deck cleaner which I could easily mix with the right recipe.
Homemade Deck Cleaner
The steps to actually clean a patio or deck are the same, but wood deck cleaner can also be made at home! After yet more research I decided I would like to make a homemade wood deck cleaner.
The homemade deck cleaner recipe provided by Bob Vila also contains the milder cleaning agent as used above with the brick patio, but adds dish washing liquid to the mix. Find the homemade deck cleaner recipe here.
I always appreciate a recipe for homemade cleaners for the house and bonus that I already had the ingredients to make the homemade deck cleaner.
Compared to the brick patio this was quite an easy project in part because the wood deck is only one year old so I plan to use the homemade deck cleaner regularly to keep up the deck before dirt can take hold. This lesson is now ingrained after tackling the green brick patio and the amount of muscle it took to retrun the patio to an actual brick patio!
Essential Tool To Clean A Deck Or Patio
The deck cleaning tool which is essential! A power nozzle for the hose. I thought the adjustable spray nozzle with multiple settings for the water was adequate and it did a good job with the deck cleaning.
The patio cleaning was made so much easier with the addition of the power nozzle. About halfway through the brick patio project I headed off the the hardware store and the power nozzle was recommended for the stubborn stains or in between the pavers and the seams between the patio and the house. This addition to the deck cleaning toolbox really makes a big difference in time labor and accuracy.
I love this Power Nozzle! This little nozzle helps turn your hose into a mini power washer. Sure, it would be nice to own a power washer for these type of projects, but this little gadget will really increase the power of an ordinary power hose. Perfect for the DIY homeowner at an affordable cost. (The three pack offers a nice savings for multiple hoses or the nozzle wanders away between seasons).
Natural Home DIY