How to Clean Garden Gravel in the UK: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Clean Garden Gravel in the UK
How to Clean Garden Gravel in the UK

Gravel is a popular choice for garden landscaping in the UK, providing a low-maintenance and attractive option for paths, driveways, and garden beds.

However, over time, gravel can become dirty and discoloured, detracting from its aesthetic appeal. Fortunately, there are several methods you can use to clean garden gravel and restore its appearance.

Method 1: Raking

The simplest method for cleaning garden gravel is to use a garden rake to remove any debris, leaves or twigs that may have accumulated on the surface.

Raking can also help to loosen any dirt or dust that has settled on the gravel, making it easier to remove with a garden hose or pressure washer.

Method 2: Power Washing

For more stubborn dirt and stains, you may need to use a pressure washer to clean your garden gravel.

This method involves using a high-pressure water jet to blast away dirt and debris from the surface of the gravel.

Before using a pressure washer, it’s important to ensure that your gravel is firmly compacted and not likely to be displaced by the force of the water jet. You should also be careful not to direct the jet at any delicate plants or flowers in your garden.

Method 3: Chemical Cleaners

If your garden gravel has stubborn stains or discoloration, you may need to use a chemical cleaner to remove them.

There are a variety of commercial cleaners available for this purpose, but it’s important to choose one that is suitable for use on gravel.

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when using a chemical cleaner and wear protective gloves and eyewear to prevent any potential harm to yourself.

Method 4: Solarisation

Solarisation is a natural method for cleaning garden gravel that involves covering the gravel with black plastic sheeting and leaving it in place for several weeks.

This process uses the sun’s heat to kill off any weeds, moss, or algae that may be growing on the surface of the gravel.

Once the plastic sheeting is removed, the gravel can be raked and washed to remove any remaining debris or discolouration.

Maintenance Tips

To keep your garden gravel looking its best, it’s important to perform regular maintenance to prevent the build-up of debris and dirt.

Here are some tips to help keep your garden gravel clean:

  • Consider using weed control fabric beneath your gravel to prevent weeds from taking root and growing through the surface.
  • Apply a layer of new gravel periodically to replenish the surface and keep it looking fresh.
  • Use a leaf blower: A leaf blower can be an effective tool for removing leaves, debris, and small stones from your garden gravel.

It can also help to remove dirt and dust that has settled on the surface.

  • Install edging: Installing edging around your garden gravel can help to prevent dirt and debris from getting onto the surface.

It can also help to keep the gravel contained in its designated area, preventing it from spreading to other parts of your garden.

  • Clean up spills and stains immediately: If you spill anything on your garden gravel, such as oil or paint, be sure to clean it up immediately.

The longer you leave the stain, the harder it will be to remove.

  • Remove weeds by hand: Although weed control fabric can help to prevent weeds from growing through the surface of your garden gravel, some weeds may still find their way through.

It’s important to remove these by hand as soon as you notice them to prevent them from spreading.

  • Use a mild detergent: If you need to use a cleaner on your garden gravel, choose a mild detergent that won’t damage the surface.

Mix the detergent with water and apply it to the surface of the gravel, scrubbing gently with a brush before rinsing with water.

For a wealth of valuable gardening information and services, be sure to visit Gardner’s Trees Ltd.


Cleaning garden gravel is an essential task for any UK homeowner looking to maintain a tidy and attractive garden.

Whether you choose to use raking, power washing, chemical cleaners or solarisation, there are several effective methods for restoring your garden gravel to its original condition.

By following these simple tips and performing regular maintenance, you can ensure that your garden gravel continues to look great for years to come.

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