How to Clean a Driveway
How to Clean a Driveway
You may not pay any attention to how your driveway looks daily, but a well-maintained driveway provides a great first impression of your home. Despite its tough exterior, unsealed concrete is porous and easily absorbs liquids, which can lead to tough stains. The texture of the surface also provides plenty of crevices for dirt, moss, and other materials to accumulate.
Oil spills, ground-in leaves and dirt and everyday wear-and-tear make checking this home improvement task off your list seem overwhelming at first.
To clean a spotted and soiled concrete driveway, you'll need something that will also sink in and lift offending spots. Covering the stains with cat litter, sawdust, baking soda, and other absorbent materials can take care of fresh surface spills, but do very little to absorb what sinks below the surface.
Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is widely used to clean oil off driveways. It is strongly alkaline, so it will not harm your concrete, but it could cause skin irritation and even burns. TSP is also very bad for the environment. If it ends up in lakes and streams, the phosphates trigger an overgrowth of algae that results in a depletion of oxygen levels in the water, which can endanger fish and other aquatic life.
To maintain the lighter color of a concrete driveway, many homeowners turn to cleaning with bleach, but you should not power wash with bleach because it can damage your pressure washer.
Simple Green Oxy Solve Concrete and Driveway Cleaner can be used with a power washer or for manual cleaning of concrete surfaces including driveways, sidewalks, patios, and walkways. It improves the look of oil stains and removes grease, grime, and other discolorations while still being non-corrosive and non-degrading. Its biodegradable formula is safe for lawns and pressure washing equipment alike.
Simple Green Oxy Solve is an EPA Safer Choice Direct Release product, meaning its ingredients are specifically identified by the U.S. EPA Safer Choice Program to have ultra-low aquatic toxicity values, and are safer for contact with aquatic life or other sensitive environments. Therefore, it is a safer outdoor cleaner than most.
Regular cleaning of at least once a year can help maintain your home's curb appeal.
Directions for Cleaning a Concrete Driveway:
Before cleaning, hose down your driveway and allow it to dry. Also wet all nearby plants, shrubs, and grass with water. If your concrete is stamped or colored and you're going to be using a pressure washer, test for surface compatibility in an inconspicuous area with and without the cleaner.
Pressure Washer Application
- Prep your pressure washer. Pour full-strength Simple Green Oxy Solve Concrete and Driveway Cleaner into your pressure washer detergent tank, or drop your siphon tube into the bottle of Simple Green Oxy Solve.
- Apply Simple Green. Use the low-pressure spray nozzle to apply the solution to the driveway, and let it sit for 5-7 minutes. Do not allow the solution to dry before rinsing – work in sections if necessary to achieve this.
- Rinse the driveway. Remove the siphon tube from the container, and rinse at a high-pressure setting.
- Rinse surrounding landscaping. When cleaning is done, use a garden hose to rinse plants, shrubs and grass and water-in any foam or puddles of cleaner and water.
- Prep your Simple Green solution. Mix 2 cups of Simple Green Oxy Solve Concrete and Driveway Cleaner with 1 gallon of water in a separate container.
- Scrub. Scrub the area in sections using a soft bristle brush or deck brush. Don't use a metal brush, as it could shed tiny fibers that could eventually leave rust spots.
- Soak. Let the Simple Green Oxy Solve solution sit on the surface for 5-7 minutes. Do not allow the solution to dry before rinsing or it will be harder to remove.
- Rinse. Rinse with a garden hose, at the highest possible pressure.
- Repeat. Move to a new section and repeat.