Cleaning a stepping stone path involves not only keeping the area free of accumulating debris, but it means keeping the stones clean as well. A garden stepping stone path makes a wonderful addition to a yard landscape, but with use comes wear and tear and, even more frequently, the buildup of dirt and grime. Depending on the material of the stepping stones, there will be different ways to clean them. What works for cement might not work for stained glass stepping stones.
If your stepping stones are made of concrete or cement, probably your best bet is to use a power washer. Because the cement is not very delicate, a high powered stream of water will work wonders on the stones. In order not to disturb the dirt, gravel or plant life that may surround the stones, it is probably best to remove them a few at a time and wash them on a sidewalk or patio. Of course, if they are secured, this is not an option. When using a pressure washer, slowly work your way across the surface, taking extra time where the dirt is particularly hardened.
Brick is a bit more fragile than cement, but not much. A pressure washer can also be used to clean brick stones, but for mild dirt and grime, you might wash them by hand. First, take a brush with stiff bristles and remove all topical dirt. Set your hose nozzle to ‘jet’ and give them a rinse. Then, mix up a batch of 2 cups vinegar, 1 cup dishwashing soap and 1 gallon of water and with a softer brush, scrub each brick. Follow this up with another rinse. You can also use a mixture of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water poured over the bricks and left to sit. Test out the bleach on the brick before you commit to the whole job to make sure it doesn’t discolor too much.
For stained glass stepping stones, cleaning will require a more delicate approach. A pressure washer is too much force and bleach is not a good idea, for it could lead to discoloration. Probably the best method is to use either an old toothbrush or Q-tips. A very soft brush would work as well. Lemon juice is an effective cleansing agent. Mix some lemon juice with warm water in a spray bottle, and you have a great cleaner. With stained glass, you will need to be a little gentler, so don’t scrub too hard. A toothbrush will get into the grout just enough to pull out any accumulated dirt.
Cleaning stepping stones is something you will have to do probably once per year. Dirt and grime simply build up, especially if the stones meander through a garden. The method for cleaning will depend upon the stone’s material. Preventative cleaning is always a good idea. Every so often sweep, lightly scrub or hose off your stones. Doing this will prevent dirt from building up in such heavy quantities and make deep cleanings easier.