Best Ways to Clean a Driveway

Looking to clean those nasty salt and grease stains on your driveway? Check out our guide for tips and trips. 

The most efficient and effective way to clean your driveway is to use a power washer. The more regularly you do a deep clean of your driveway, the easier it will be to clean it thoroughly. You should also be sure to remove any stains from gasoline or marks from severe weather as soon as you spot them, so the stain doesn’t worsen. 

Why should I clean my driveway regularly? 

Your driveway is the entrance to your home. In many ways, your driveway is your home’s first impression, and we all know, we only get one shot at a first impression. 

Puddles, mud, and salt stains on your driveway immediately devalue your home. The longer you leave a damaged driveway, the worse it becomes. A puddle unattended leads to a depression that can turn into cracks and eventually a full-blown pothole.

If you aren’t one to worry about aesthetics then simply consider that your driveway is part of your property and thus, will affect its market value. If you hope to re-sell one day, a decrepit driveway could impact the price you fetch. 

So, let’s explore the best methods to keep that driveway sparkling. 

What cleaning products and equipment do I need? 

So how do you get started? Head on over to the hardware store and pick up the following essentials.

Power washer

Every homeowner should invest in a power washer. They can be used on driveways, patios decks, and even your car. They make deep cleaning a breeze, not to mention they’re extremely satisfying to use as you can see the difference they make immediately. 

Outdoor broom

You should also have an outdoor broom as the first step in cleaning your driveway properly is brushing away the debris. Leaves, sticks, dirt, and so forth should be swept away before applying any water or product for the most effective clean. 

Detergents

Detergents made specifically for driveways are great for removing stains. We recommend mixing these with boiling water to extend their reach as they are usually very strong. Make sure you’re wearing gloves while using these detergents as they can be toxic on the hands. 

Brushes

Scrub brushes will help you get rid of stains such as those from salt or mud. The stiffer the brush, the better. 

Different ways to clean your driveway

Let’s take a look at the different ways to remove all sorts of driveway damage. 

General power wash

As mentioned, the power washer is your best friend when it comes to cleaning your driveway. Why? Because power washers require minimal effort for extremely effective cleaning. 

You don’t need to spend a fortune on your device. The prices range anywhere from $100 to $5000. We recommend asking your local dealer for their expertise on which product to buy. The good news is they are multi-purpose and durable so you can expect your investment to last many years. 

Begin in one corner and work your way across the entire surface for an optimal clean and so you don’t have to go back over already-completed areas. 

Stains from salt, puddles, snow, mud, and leaves

Fill a bucket with hot water and pour in about 2 cups of stain-removing detergent. Pour the solution over each stain and let it sit for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. If you are doing this on a particularly sunny or hot day, you can leave it for less time. 

Next, get scrubbing. Use your stiff-bristled scrub brush to scrub away at the stains until you see them beginning to dissipate. Once you have scrubbed all you can, use your pressure washer to wash away the detergent and the soapy water. 

Getting rid of those nasty grease stains

Grease stains should be attended to as soon as possible so they don’t worsen and even become permanent problems. At first, sighting, place an absorbent onto the stain. This could be anything from hay to sawdust to sand. Let whatever absorbent you choose sit for around 24 hours and then remove it to see how much of the stain is left. 

Use your stain-removing detergent on the remaining mark.

Do I need to get a professional to do the cleaning? 

Professionals usually know what they’re doing, and they have all the right equipment and chemicals on hand. Cleaning your own driveway can be laborious so if you’re not one for strenuous activity or not interested in buying the necessary products, you may wish to hire a professional.

On the other hand, professional driveway cleaners can charge a pretty penny. If you’re a DIY superstar, you may wish to take on the task yourself which is absolutely doable.

When is the best time of year to clean my driveway? 

The best time of year to clean your driveway depends on the climate of your region. For instance, if you live somewhere with cold, ice-filled winters, you may wish to wait for spring or summer to do your deep clean. There’s no sense in cleaning your driveway just for it to turn into a skating rink by the next day. 

However, if you live in a warmer climate, the best rule of thumb is temperate days where the sun is shining. Try to avoid hot summer days as the cleaning chemicals mixed with heat may cause a headache. 

Tips to avoid more work than necessary

As mentioned, regular cleaning is recommended. This is especially prudent when it comes to stains from oil, paint, and gasoline. As soon as they happen, they start becoming more permanent so get that absorbent on them ASAP to avoid unnecessary work and ultimately, a stained driveway. 

Additionally, you should be sweeping or leaf blowing your driveway regularly. A seemingly harmless leaf pile can turn into a depression in your driveway if left unattended. So, sweep away debris every few weeks to maintain a clean and clear entrance to your home.  

Final thoughts

Driveways are often overlooked as part of one’s property. However, a nice, clean driveway is a great way to spruce up your home and keep up your property’s market value.