Removal of Moss with Oil Soap

With more than 14,000 species of moss (Bryophyta) residing in moist, shady conditions, moss eventually may appear on your property. Moss is a group of small plants called bryophytes. Growing in a dense mat, moss has a root system that is only a threadlike stalk, making moss' removal somewhat simple. By using a simple household cleaner, such as oil soap, to remove the dirt, sand or debris buildup in a moss-affected area, you can dissuade moss from returning.

Moss is opportunistic and grows where no competing plants live.

Step 1

Remove as much of the moss as possible from the affected area. Use a stiff broom or long-handled brush to scrape the moss off the surface. Use a pressure washer on a surface such as a driveway, brick walkway and lawn furniture cushions, where the pressure washer's water stream will not cause damage.

Step 2

Pick up scraped-off moss while wearing gloves, and place that moss in a bucket or wheelbarrow. The removed moss can be transplanted to a more desirable area or put in the trash.

Step 3

Mix oil soap in a bucket with hot water by following the oil soap manufacturer's label directions, or use 1/4 cup of oil soap with every 1 gallon of hot water.

Step 4

Apply the oil soap and hot water mixture to the area from which you removed moss. Scrub the surface with a scrub brush or rag, removing the remainder of the moss along with debris that accumulated beneath it.

Step 5

Rinse the area with clean water, and allow it to dry thoroughly. Scrub the dry surface with a second application of the oil soap and hot water mixture if moss or debris remains on it.


  • Herbicidal products formulated for moss may be harmful to other organisms in your area. Use such products with caution.
  • Do not mix moss with collected yard waste because the moss' spores can spread.
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