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Cleaning cobbles

Anyone has any bright ideas on cleaning a very large area of cobble stones that were laid over a 100 years ago, the gaps between the cobbles are full of compacted soil and hardcore. No weeds or moss.

Pressure washing due to location impractical, the client appreciates that some cobbles may become loose and that's not our problem, our remit is purely to remove the soil in the gaps.

Thought about a walk behind power brush but don't think it will penetrate deep enough into the gaps along with it pushing the dislodged material in front of it and leaving the material albeit loosened but still in the gaps.

Any ideas?

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  • I'd go for a long handled patio weeding knife then clean it out with a blower or a hover.



  • or a long handled weed brush 

  • PRO

    I saw a post on Instagram only this week at an older property and I'm sure the head gardener was literally down on hands and knees with kneeler and the Niwaki Hori Hori on quite a large area. I can't see the post at the moment

    • PRO

      Why can't people design tools with proper length handles?? Her posture using it is horrific!

      • I think that probably comes down to making the product small enough to fit inside a particular size of box, when the shaft is separated into 2 parts

  • Thanks for replies, so far, the Gloria weed brush would have to be battery version as no mains available and judging from the reviews think we would need several batteries and wheels as the material is rock hard, and it's a huge area 

    Think it's going to have to be hand scraped, which we were trying to avoid due to cost and time, only put the post on here in case we were missing an easy solution !!!!

    • yes hard to know if the Gloria's would be up to the job, probably more for domestic crack cleaning really. I actually bought 6 of them when they were on a mega clearance deal, but apart from a brief test not used one in anger yet. They take the Bosch Power4All range 18 Volt batteries which are widely available


    Hi Peter, commercially we hire in a Kersten wheeled rotary weed brush ( Honda powered ) from a local hire centre.

    Can have wire or hard nylon brushes. Brushes act from above so quite good over uneven surfaces.

    Worth seeing if you've someone local that stocks ?

    Otherwise we use a Stiga horizontal powered sweeper for smoother surfaces - this may work depending if there's sufficient downward pressure to dislodge detritus...

    Have you looked and discounted the Stihl Kombi Sweeper attachment?

  • I did a job similar many years ago when I work on an estate. We had to remove turf from in-between the cobbles, it was very labour intensive. Scraping sweeping blowing shoveling. I think the area was approximately 1000 square metres. It took about 20hrs.

    I have a crazy idea, could you temporarily fence in some chickens? 

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