Does your driveway look old, worn, and dirty? Maybe you have oil marks, rust, or other stains and you want to get that driveway looking new again. Either way it’s a task at hand that doesn’t seem to have a short-cut.
A lot of the time I see people use cat litter or dry absorbents to try and pull oil and other fluids out of their driveway. Usually this will take care of the surface grease and mess but rarely will you be able to reach deep into the pores of the concrete and fully eliminate the dirt that sticks and stains.
Today I’m going to go over the best Driveway Cleaning practices, procedures, and suggestions to get you shining bright! I’ll even share with you a few things that are completely FREE and may help you with the small stuff all on your own.
3 Steps To A Clean Driveway
#1 – Get rid of the loose stuff & Inspect
The biggest mistake people will make is going right at their driveway cleaning full steam ahead without first looking around closely at their driveway and gently washing off the bigger buildups like mud or caked on dirt, gravel, sand, and more. You should always look for loose surfaces or chips that could potentially be knocked loose. If you are not planning on repairing your driveway cracks or chips then you should try to leave as much as you can intact to prevent further breakdown and you will want to be more gentle around these areas and use lower pressure.
Next, using either a broom or lower pressure water clean off the surface and remove the heavy stuff BUT be sure not to soak the surface too much just yet. Wait 15-20 minutes for your Driveway to dry and then move on to the treatment!
#2 – Treat The Surface
If you plan on treating oil stains, rust, or other buildup that is not going to easily spray away then this is the time to do it.
There are a number of “home remedies” and ways to attempt to clean your driveway and remove the driveway oil stains but keep in mind that a lot of times, after you buy all of the ingredients and needed supplies you might be spending just as much or more than what you could get a professional cleaner for. Just because I am also a cheap skate, I will still list these solutions for you to thumb through and who knows maybe you have what you need laying around and you can save a little money with some elbow grease, scrubbing, and a water hose.
If you are using store bought solutions be sure to follow the instructions! Nicer and more effective cleaners are usually going to utilize an enzyme (living bacteria) to break down the oil, rust, or other gunk leaving those nasty marks. This can take time so my recommendation is to always read the labels closely and be sure to ask if you are unsure. Almost all product manufacturers have a customer service line for these types of questions. If the packaging has a specific time to follow then be sure to stick to it. Some stains may take more than one application to fully take effect.
I’ve never seen a pressure washer that didn’t come with a set of tips or an adjustable nozzle for the spray gun. Be sure to start out with the widest pressure available. Too much pressure will damage the surface. After you have tested the nozzle and are familiar with the pressure you may want to put in the 20 or 25 Degree tip. I find that I do most of my work at 25 degrees.
Starting at the highest elevated point you can see, begin pressure washing with the tip of your nozzle at a distance of 12″- 14″ from the surface. This will allow you to test the amount of pressure being used and adjust your distance to find the best amount of pressure without going too narrow. With most pressure washers when cleaning your driveway, you will only be able to get so deep with your sprayer. This point is usually before you are only a few inches from the surface so keep in mind that the trick is to find the sweet spot where you are doing a good job but keeping your stream wide enough that you aren’t moving in only inch rows as you go.
Continue down hill working over each section thoroughly. Here in the Arizona heat when cleaning your Driveway you’ll find that it dries fairly quickly so I personally feel it is best to work in patches rather than consistently back and forth over the entire driveway you are cleaning. I have also found that in some cases a second wash with the pressure washer does a great job of adding a night bright finish.
Commercial Pressure Washer
Hot Water Temps Up to 200 Degress
3500 – 5000 psi
Removes heavy stains, oil, chewing gum, and much more
Residential Pressure Washer
Cold Water Output
1500 – 3300 psi
Washes away most dirt build up, spots, some oils, and spills.