Tips for Cleaning Driveways

Driveways, in addition to providing homeowners with off-street parking options, are almost always an excellent way to boost both the appearance and value of their property. The aesthetic value of a driveway is something that should never be underestimated, regardless of whether it is made of asphalt, brick, or concrete. But oil from cars, weeds, trash, paint spills, and other kinds of dirt can make this benefit go away and make the driveway look old and ugly. If you want to avoid this, you should clean your driveway thoroughly.

Why is it Important for You to Keep Your Driveway Clean?

For most of us, cleaning the driveway has never been a top concern. Why do you have to clean the driveway to begin with?

  • Make the driveway last longer – When dirt collects in the spaces between the blocks or cracks in the pavement, weeds may develop and cause damage to the driveways by generating or enlarging the cracks. Cleaning the driveway can get rid of dirt and unwanted plants, which can save you money on repairs or replacements in the future. Furthermore, chemicals in oil spills and other spills might react with the surface, causing damage to your exterior space.
  • To improve the appearance of your home – Cleaning and maintaining the driveway on a regular basis is one of the most efficient but underappreciated method to increase the charm of our homes. Cleaning will remove dirt, trash, stains, grime, and mildew, bringing back the property’s original beauty.
  • Improve the safety of the property’s residents – Algae and mold that grow on your driveway, as well as any spills, can make it slippery and dangerous for you and your family.

Tips for Cleaning Driveways

Here are some methods for cleaning your driveway:

Choose The Most Basic Option: Soap and Water

The cleaning of a concrete driveway does not need to be complicated. The solution of soap and water is the simplest. Add dish soap to a big bucket filled with water. Then, get a stiff scrub brush that is not comprised of metal. Then, begin circular scrubbing movements.

You may like to start at the rear of the driveway and go towards the street. This is the simplest solution since it prevents you from having to go back and physically clear the water from your driveway. Don’t forget to rinse the surface with a garden hose equipped with a spray nozzle to eliminate any lingering dirt and stains.

Eliminating Rust Stains

Any metal item left out overnight will rust and leave marks on the driveway. The most efficient method for removing rust from a driveway is to scrape the rusty patches with muriatic acid. Carefully combine half a cup of acid with four cups of cold water. Utilize the cleaning solution and a hard brush to eliminate the spots. Follow the product’s safety precautions and use protective clothing to prevent acid from coming into contact with your skin.

Use Common Home Products

Gasoline and oil may be removed from a driveway with the use of basic home goods as well as cleansers. You may use corn starch, cat litter, corn meal, or baking soda to cover the stain. You may let it sit for a minimum of one hour. If the stain was moist when the absorbent was placed, it will absorb any remaining gasoline or oil on the driveway. However, if the stain was already wet when the absorbent was applied, it is advisable to moisten the stain with water and scrub it with a stiff brush and paste. Then, clean and dry the affected area. This procedure may need to be repeated many times.

Your Driveway Should Be Power Washed

Using a power washer to clear certain stains and most debris is one of the quickest and most efficient ways to clean a driveway. You may attach the spray wand to the washer with a pressure hose, and then attach the washer to the garden hose. The setup differs based on the kind of pressure washer being used. A power washer can quickly get rid of oil stains and other marks on a driveway. You can do it yourself if you have a power washer, but if you rent one, make sure you know how to use it and take the right safety measures.

Set the pressure washer to a low level, no more than 2,500 psi, if you’re planning to do it yourself. You may begin at the rear of the driveway while keeping the wand at least 12 inches from the surface. Then, clean the driveway by moving the wand from side to side.

Pressure washers are effective cleaners. You shouldn’t use one unless you know how to use it right. It is also suggested that you wash one spot for 10 seconds and then move on to the next. If you spray for too long in one spot, it could cause damage.

Cleaning Up Organic Litter and Dry Leaves

The pile of grass from the yard and falling leaves may make the driveway seem unpleasant. Moreover, when left for an extended period, they breakdown and leave a temporary discoloration on the surface.  To clear up the mess of falling leaves, you must rake and sweep the whole driveway. If you see a brown stain, mix some dish soap with a pail of hot water and scrub the area with a hard brush to remove the stain. Use the hose to give the driveway a quick rinse to remove dirt.

Use Trisodium Phosphate to Clean Up Oil Spills

How can oil be removed from a concrete driveway? The remedy is to use a cleanser with a degreasing action, such as trisodium phosphate (TSP). Make every effort to prevent the cleaner from coming into touch with your skin. When using TSP, it is vital to use rubber gloves and protective glasses. 

To remove oil from a concrete driveway using trisodium phosphate, combine one cup of the solution with three and a half liters of hot water (equivalent to one gallon). To evenly distribute the mixture on the concrete, grab your garden sprayer. Wait at least 15 minutes before rinsing. You may then scrape it with a tough brush. Use your garden hose to clean the concrete.

Make A Thick Paste to Remove Tough Stains

TSP is a powerful cleaner, but there are certain stains that just won’t go away, no matter how long you scrub. Here is a mixture that can remove stubborn stains. 

To begin, combine cornstarch and TSP. Diatomaceous earth powder is an alternative to cornstarch. The objective here is to develop a thick paste. Oils are absorbed with the aid of diatomaceous earth and cornstarch, which are then broken down by TSP.

Use An Enzymatic Cleaner for Pet Stains and Odors

The finest cleaners to use for eliminating pet urine stains as well as other stains that leave your driveway smelling bad are enzymatic cleaners, commonly referred to as oxidation cleaners. Simply put them directly on the stain and watch them go to work. When you use an enzymatic cleaner, the enzymes in the cleaner will break down the stain on their own, so you won’t have to scrape or rinse the area. If you’re attempting to remove stains, it can take days or even weeks and you might need to reapply.

Getting Rid of Paint Spills

Paint spills on the driveway may produce unsightly stains that are difficult to remove. Depending on the kind of paint, the following methods may be used to remove the spots:

If the paint is oil-based, you’ll need to use a paint-stripping solution and a hard brush to remove it. Sit it out for a while, then rinse it with fresh water. This is only recommended for driveways made of concrete, since the stripping products could damage the asphalt. In this case, you can cover the damaged area with a sealant.

Water and regular scouring powder should be used to clean up a spill of latex paint, and a stiff brush should be used to remove the stain. Remove the stain by rinsing with clean water.

 Hire A Professional

Cleaning the driveway may be a difficult task. If you are unclear of how to clean your driveway or if you need assistance, you might also decide to hire a professional to assist you. The price of having your driveway cleaned will change based on the specific tasks that you want completed by the cleaner. Hiring a professional is your best choice since they are skilled and will provide you with the greatest possible results.

Maintenance Of a Clean Driveway 

Depending on their location and use, driveways are exposed to a great deal of dirt, but with the proper cleaning procedures, you can always guarantee that the area stays clean and appealing. Here are some tips for keeping your driveway always clean:

  • Make it a practice to sweep the driveway as needed, or at least twice a month. This removes any loose debris, such as tiny stones, dirt, grass, and tree leaves, and inhibits the growth of algae and mildew.
  • Cracks retain dirt in place, allowing weeds to grow in the pavement. Sealing tiny cracks as soon as they emerge helps minimize debris accumulation and save you money on future repairs.
  • Clean up an oily or greasy spill while it’s still fresh. Removing new spills is not as difficult as removing old ones. Also, this will stop the oil or grease spill from spreading, which will keep the stain from getting worse.

Conclusion

Simple things like keeping your driveway clean can do a lot to make your home look nicer and make it stand out from the rest. If you’re not sure where to begin, keep the following tips in mind to efficiently deep clean your driveway.

You may also read our Guide to Making Natural Home Cleaning Products for more ideas and recommendations.