Soft washing concrete paths and patios with Benz Tornado Cleanze

April 01, 2021

Benz Tornado Cleanze cleaning concrete patio slabs

We tested some Tornado Cleanze soft washing gel that was nearly two months past it's best-by date. We wanted to find out how long it could be stored for and still produce effective results.

We found that even though it had been stored for several months after opening (which we do not recommend – this was only a test to see how far we could push the product), and even when diluted 50:50, it still worked brilliantly well.

Quick tip: We normally store Tornado Cleanze unopened, in as cool a place as possible (although not freezing), and keep it away from direct sunlight and other sources of heat.

Why does Tornado Cleanze have a longer shelf life than other sodium hypochlorite (SH) products?

Because of the chemical nature of sodium hypochlorite. The lower the available chlorine, the longer will be its shelf life. So because Tornado Cleanze contains only 5% available chlorine, its shelf life is many times that of swimming pool sodium hypochlorite, which is commonly  14-15%. And of course it is much, much safer to use.

Also, the highly specialised surfactant keeps the product stable. It took over a year of trial and error experimentation, numerous trials, and the skilled input from two highly experienced industrial chemists, to find a surfactant that worked effectively to our exacting standards.

The surfactant we eventually found keeps the product stable and, even when diluted, a far thicker gel than any other product we know of.

Quick tip: There are over 2000 different surfactants on the market, most of which react badly with sodium hypochlorite, creating unstable mixtures with a short shelf life and poor performance.

Why is Tornado Cleanze safer when soft washing close to plant life?

The thick gel nature of Tornado Cleanze makes it safer than thinner products to use in close proximity to plant life because, being a gel, it has a very low propensity to splash, run and drip.

The gel reduces the chances of splashing adjacent plants – making it an excellent choice for customers who are fond of their gardens and who may have delicate, expensive plants growing near the work area.

And of course Tornado Cleanze gel is brilliant for use by professional gardeners and cleaning contractors.

Quick tip: The gel keeps the active ingredient in contact with the stained surface, which is where we want it. This increases its effectiveness, rather than having it run off into adjacent lawns and flower beds, as is inevitably the case with thinner products.

Benz Tornado Cleanze cleaning concrete patio slabs


What are the best tools to use when cleaning concrete slabs with Tornado Cleanze?

  • In general a medium-soft bristle broom works more effectively, and more easily, than a stiff bristle broom.
  • On areas where staining is particularly bad, agitating gently and repeatedly during activation often works well.
  • A garden hose or pressure/jet/power washer (set to low pressure, so as not to damage the surface of the concrete) are fine for rinsing.
  • Always wear eye protection and chemical resistant gloves. Cover exposed skin. And immediately wash any skin areas that come into contact with Tornado Cleanze.

How long does it take for Tornado Cleanze to work?

  1. Initial results are often visible in only 5-10 minutes. After 30 minutes the majority of the cleaning will have been accomplished. (on very severe staining allow up to 60 minutes, with frequent agitation)

  2. For our test we allowed Tornado Cleanze to activate for 60 minutes because of the age of the product, the fact that it had been stored in an opened container, and the cool ambient temperature (7 degrees C). But given the excellent results this length of time may have been unnecessary.

Quick tips:

  • We diluted Tornado Cleanze with warm tap water because the additional heat helps sodium hypochlorite work more effectively on a cool day.
  • On very light staining, fresh Tornado Cleanze can be diluted by as much as 1:2.
  • Tornado Cleanze is useful when your customer wants to see rapid results (e.g. when they are selling their property or are preparing for a party).

How long after treating with Tornado Cleanze can concrete paths and patios be post-treated with Bio Cleanze?

It's important to remove as much surfactant as possible from the paths and patio before treating with Bio Cleanze biocide. The surfactant is fully biodegradable but can inhibit the action of the biocide. Sometimes there can be a lot of foaming but this will dissipate through natural rainfall.

Can Tornado Cleanze be used to clean surfaces prior to painting or sealing?

Yes, but given the quantity of surfactant in Tornado Cleanze, we recommend Benz Lightning Cleanze for pre-painting preparation.

Rinsing Lightning Cleanze is quick and easy, and therefore the painted surface will be quickly ready for repainting.

Click here to get more practical soft washing how-to tips

How to find answers to most soft washing questions: Simply enter a relevant "keyword" or short phrase – e.g. keyword for the above link = "how to" – into our in-site Search Engine (magnifying glass icon on the main menu).

You can order Benz Softwash chemicals & equipment online or by phone:

GB (England, Scotland, Wales)

Phone: 0800 70 74 222 


Ireland and other countries

Phone: 00353 214 622 978


Lines open Monday - Friday, 9am – 5pm

Please note: The above numbers are for orders only (click here for tech support)

We hope this information is helpful and sincerely wish you great success in your soft washing business,

Ben, Leo, Fiona, Stevie & Anthony

PS: After completing the first soft wash treatment, put your customer on a "Clean & Maintain" ongoing maintenance programme. Your customers will enjoy a permanently clean property and you will enjoy a steady stream of repeat business.

This is clearly a win-win arrangement for both customer and contractor.


Click here to explore the extensive range of Benz softwash cleaning chemicals & equipment

Benz Softwash Bio Cleanze DDAC biocide & Benz Softwash Lightning Cleanze SH sodium hypochlorite biocide

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