While scrubbing is one of the best ways to clean a driveway, it’s not the only option. So if you are worried that scrubbing will damage the driveway or you don’t have a good brush or broom to scrub it with, here are five ways to clean your driveway without scrubbing.
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1. Clean Leaves and Debris With a Broom or Sweeper
Your driveway doesn’t need a deep clean everyday. On most days, a quick sweep with a broom is enough to keep it looking neat and clean.
Use a soft bristled push broom to get leaves, dirt, dust and other debris off the driveway. You can use it on any type of driveway including a gravel one. Just be careful not to sweep away the gravel.
If you have a long driveway that would be tedious to sweep with a regular broom, get a hand push sweeper like this twin one or a power sweeper. Note, however, that these may not work very well on a gravel driveway unless you use gravel pavers or binder.
Hand push and power sweepers are also great for outdoor surfaces like the patio, walk paths and pool deck.
2. Use a Leaf Blower or Vacuum to Get Rid of Leaves
If your driveway gets lots of leaves, it’s easier to blow or vacuum them off the driveway. You can use a leaf blower or a leaf vacuum.
You can use some leaf blowers and vacuums on a gravel driveway, being careful to keep it a safe distance from the gravel. But if the blower or vac is too powerful, it can suck up or blow away the gravel.
A safer way to get leaves and debris off a gravel driveway is using a soft bristled broom or a rake. Alternatively, install gravel pavers or apply gravel binder so you don’t have to worry about loose gravel. You can then use a leaf blower or vacuum without damaging the driveway.
3. Spray With a Garden Hose
A pressure washer is one of the best ways to clean a driveway without scrubbing. We’ll talk about it shortly. But if you don’t have a pressure washer, a garden hose can do a pretty good job keeping the driveway clean.
Use a garden hose to rinse away mud, dirt and debris. Be sure to spray the water towards the downslope of the driveway so that the water flows away carrying the dirt.
After the first rinse, apply or sprinkle detergent on the driveway and let it sit for a few minutes. Then rinse away a second time. This will clean off any stubborn dirt and get rid of most stains without even having to scrub them.
Tip: Apply the detergent on a small section at a time to keep it from sitting too long and drying out on the driveway.
To get better results from a garden hose, get a high pressure hose attachment. You will be able to spray away dirt and debris more easily.
4. Use a Pressure Washer
A pressure washer is the best alternative to cleaning the driveway without scrubbing. It can handle everything from dirt to stubborn stains.
When using a pressure washer to clean the driveway, it’s important to select the right nozzle to get the best results and avoid damaging the driveway. A 40-degree nozzle is the best choice for general cleaning. It produces a fairly wide but powerful spray that loosens stuck dirt.
For tough dirt, mud and stains, you can try a narrower nozzle but be careful to hold the nozzle a safe distance away from the driveway surface.
Another important tip is to start at the highest point of the driveway so that dirt can flow away from sections that you’ve already cleaned.
You can clean a driveway with a pressure washer using just water. For a deeper clean, apply detergent on the driveway before rinsing it away with the pressure washer.
We also highly recommend getting a surface cleaner attachment. Get one of those with wheels like this 14” one.
It makes pressure washing a driveway so much easier and faster, and the results are better compared to using the wand that comes with the pressure cleaner.
Here’s a great video on how to use a pressure washer to clean a driveway.
5. Deep Clean With a Power Washer
A power washer is a pressure washer’s more powerful and capable cousin. It uses more pressure and hot water to deep clean surfaces. It’s perfect if your driveway is really dirty or you need to remove stubborn stains like oil and tire marks.
If, like most homeowners, you don’t have a power washer you can rent one for a day or have someone come and power wash your driveway.
How to Remove Stains on Driveway Without Scrubbing
A stiff bristled brush is great for removing stubborn stains on the driveway. But if you don’t want to do any scrubbing, here are some other options for dealing with stains.
- For fresh oil stains, apply sawdust or kitty litter on the stain and leave it for a few hours. Once the litter or sawdust has absorbed the oil, sweep it away.
- For deeper oil stains that have penetrated the driveway, you’ll need a degreaser. Apply the degreaser on the stain and let it sit for the recommended time. Then rinse it away with a pressure washer or garden hose.
- Lots of home products like baking soda, dish soap, and stains also work great for removing stains, mould, mildew, rust, scale, tire marks and other kinds of stuff on the driveway.
Is It Okay to Scrub a Driveway?
If the reason you don’t want to scrub the driveway is because you are concerned it could damage it, there’s no need to worry.
As long as you use the right kind of brush, you will not damage the driveway. A stiff bristled nylon brush (avoid using a wire brush) is effective at removing stains, tough dirt, mould and most other gunk on the driveway.
Using a garden hose and a good scrubbing brush, you can get the same deep clean as using a pressure washer, though it takes more effort.