Keeping your concrete driveway clean can really add to the curb appeal of your home. It also adds to its value, but cleaning your driveway and keeping it free of stains can be an arduous task. Do you need harsh chemicals and special equipment, such as a pressure washer, to do a good job cleaning a concrete drive?
You may be surprised to learn that there are many effective ways to clean a concrete driveway without a pressure washer. Read on to learn more.
What You'll Learn Today
- Clean A Driveway Without A Pressure Washer
- How Can You Get Sap Off Your Concrete Driveway?
- How Do You Know Which Methods And Products To Use?
Clean A Driveway Without A Pressure Washer
Use A Broom And A Scrub Brush
It’s a good idea to keep your driveway swept free of debris in any event, but it is especially important to sweep it clean before you scrub it.
Use a regular broom or a push broom (or a leaf blower if you have one) to get your driveway debris free before rinsing it with the garden hose and then giving it a good scrub with a foot-wide pole brush with stiff nylon bristles.
Follow these steps:
- Fill a bucket or trough with very hot water laced with laundry or dish detergent. Using your pole brush like a mop, dip it into the hot, soapy water and begin scrubbing your freshly swept driveway in one corner. Work your way across, one side to the other and back again. Work backward, just as you would when mopping a floor so that you are not walking on your recent mopping.
- Keep a container of degreaser, heavy duty commercial cleaner or full strength powdered or liquid laundry detergent close at hand to sprinkle or pour on stains as you work. Scrub the stains with your brush head, apply your stain treatment of choice, scrub it in and move on.
- Once you’re done scrubbing, allow the detergent solution and any stain treatment to sit on the concrete for 15 minutes to half an hour and then rinse it off with your garden hose.
TIP: If you have a small driveway, you may be able to do the whole thing at one go. If you have a very large driveway, work in five-foot-sections so that the start of your work won’t dry out completely before you get to the end of the job.
What Are Some Household Products That Can Be Used To Clean Oil Stains On Concrete?
Anecdotal evidence from various people in various circumstances with differing degrees of oil stain challenges indicates that any of these common household substances may help to get rid of oil stains on concrete:
- Automotive brake cleaner
- Grease-fighting dish soap
- Heavy-duty degreaser
- Oven cleaner spray
- Baking soda
- A can of cola
After you’ve swept and scrubbed your driveway, if you still have troublesome oil stains, try applying any one of these solutions and allowing it to soak in for about five minutes.
Scrub the area and brush or wipe away the product you have applied. Rinse with boiling hot water (taking great care not to burn yourself in the process).
What If Oil Stains Are Really Stubborn?
If you aren’t able to get old oil stains off your concrete using a degreaser or a detergent, you may wish to try a commercial oil stain remover. The best product for your situation is likely to be one that is recommended to you by a concrete contractor.
Otherwise, visit your local hardware store or home improvement center and choose from the products they have to offer. Read labels carefully to be sure of choosing the product that best suits your needs and circumstances. Follow all instructions closely.
How Can You Get Sap Off Your Concrete Driveway?
Sap will not respond to the treatments listed above. Instead, soak a cloth or paper towels in rubbing alcohol. Set the soaked cloth or toweling over the sap stain and lay a plastic bag over it (weighted down as needed to avoid having it blow away).
Allow the rubbing alcohol to soak into the sap stain for about 15 minutes.
Remove the plastic and the soaked cloth or toweling. Scrub the sap stain with a stiff bristled brush, warm water and a commercial hand cleaning product containing acetone and/or pumice.
Once the sap has been removed, wipe up the cleaning products and sap with paper towels and rinse the area with the garden hose.
How To Clean A Driveway & Sidewalk Without A Pressure Washer
How Do You Know Which Methods And Products To Use?
Always keep your safety in mind when choosing methods and products for cleaning your concrete driveway. Wear protective gear as needed to avoid damage to your eyes, respiratory system and skin.
Take care not to use products that may damage vegetation around the drive, or take steps to protect the vegetation. Don’t allow harsh chemicals to run down the gutters and into the storm drains.
When you are choosing methods and products to deal with stubborn old stains, take the condition of the concrete into account. If it is older and porous, stay away from very harsh chemicals that may damage it. If it is sealed, double-check to be sure that any chemical you use will not compromise the seal.
Remember that your goal is to clean your driveway, not abrade it. To this end, use the mildest products and gentlest techniques that will get the job done.
In most cases, if you keep your driveway swept and clean it fairly regularly, you can do a good job just using hot water and dish detergent. This will help prevent stain buildup.