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Can I use a robot vacuum on the patio?

Will a robot vacuum work on my patio?

A robot vacuum is a great time-saving device that allows you to clean the floors of your home without actually doing any work other than emptying the dustbin. It is so helpful that the robot vacuum has transitioned from being a luxury item to being a cleaning staple in households.

Some people enjoy their device so much that they want to use it outside on their patio. However, this is not something the manufacturer recommends.

Why can’t I use my robot vacuum outside?

While there are automated devices specifically designed to work outside, including the weeding robot, robot lawn mower and robot pool cleaner, there are currently no outdoor robot vacuums available on the market. In fact, one of the first warnings found in every robot vacuum owner’s manual is “For indoor use only.”

There are many reasons for only using a robot vacuum indoors. For instance, if you have a brick patio or a deck with gaps between the boards, the vacuum will not navigate either surface effectively. Leaves may clog the unit, twigs will confuse it and any insects or worms it encounters will likely be pulled into the machine, making for a messy and unpleasant cleaning.

The most important reason for not using your robot vacuum outside is that it's not weatherproof. A robot vacuum is expensive enough to be considered an investment, and if it runs over a damp or wet section of your patio or gets caught in the rain or splashed, it may damage the machine. Repairs or replacements will not be covered under warranty in this situation because the damage is due to misuse.

How to clean a patio

Now that we’ve ruled out using a robot vacuum to clean your patio, let’s look at the three types of cleaning a deck may need: sweeping, scrubbing and rinsing.


The most basic way to clean your patio simply involves removing dry debris such as grass clippings, leaves, twigs and dirt. To do this, you will need a heavy-duty outdoor broom or push broom so you can sweep the debris off of your patio. Alternatively, you can use a leaf blower to quickly clear debris from your patio.


When you have ground-in dirt or algae buildup on your patio, you have to put a bit more elbow grease into your cleaning efforts. After you sweep your patio, you can use a bucket and gradually mix two parts of distilled white vinegar to one part baking soda.

This creates a natural cleanser with a creamy consistency. Spread this product across your patio using a sponge mop and let it sit for roughly 30 minutes before using a long-handled scrub brush to scrub the patio thoroughly. Alternatively, you could use a handheld scrub brush as it offers better leverage, but can be hard on your knees. 

After scrubbing, it’s time to rinse. It is vital to remember that vinegar will kill plants. You have to be very careful with the application and rinsing of vinegar so you do not cause any damage to nearby gardens or your lawn. If you prefer, you can purchase a chemical-based patio cleaner instead.


Rinsing can follow and replace scrubbing. For the lightest-duty approach to rinsing, you just need a hose to spray down your patio. If you need heavier-duty cleaning, consider using a pressure washer. Before using a hose or a pressure washer, make sure you have adequate drainage.

What you need to buy to clean your patio

Yocada Heavy-Duty Outdoor Broom

This durable polyethylene terephthalate broom is 54 inches long which helps reduce back strain. The design is effective on outdoor debris so you can better clean your patio.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

PHYEX 18-Inch Push Broom

Specifically designed to clean outdoor surfaces, this well-built push broom is perfect for sweeping or scrubbing your patio. It has a combination of stiff and soft bristles to gather dust and debris.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Yocada Sponge Mop

The Yocada Sponge Mop is a heavy-duty, multipurpose tool designed to hold up during rugged applications. It has a telescoping handle for comfort and an easy-to-operate squeegee for convenience. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Greenworks Cordless Leaf Blower/Vacuum

If you’re looking for a versatile, cordless leaf blower that quickly clears your patio of debris, this model can deliver 340 CFM of air at 185 mph. It also quickly converts to a vacuum for additional cleaning capabilities.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Sun Joe 2030 Max PSI Electric Pressure Washer

This affordable little powerhouse generates up to 2030 PSI and delivers 1.76 GPM of water for more thorough cleaning. It's designed for patios and has an automatic shut-off that helps prolong the pump's life.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot


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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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