How to Clean a Sidewalk
While cleaning the sidewalk isn't often near the top of your list of home cleaning priorities, cleaning your sidewalk can be an important part of your home's general maintenance. To maintain overall beauty and curb appeal, sidewalk cleaning should be done about twice a year. With proper equipment and technique, you'll be able to safely remove dirt and stains as well as discoloration from weathering, mildew stains, and deeply-embedded dirt buildup, protecting your sidewalk from damage.
Concrete is relatively low-maintenance when it comes to outdoor surfaces. But despite its tough exterior, concrete is porous and easily absorbs soils and liquids, which can lead to tough stains. The texture of the surface provides plenty of pores for dirt, moss, and other materials to accumulate.
To remove stains and get your sidewalk clean, you'll need something that will also sink in and lift the offending soil. Cat litter, sawdust, and other absorbent materials may remove fresh spills, but do very little to absorb what sinks into the surface. Muriatic acid is sometimes used to clean concrete and masonry. But the binder in concrete, Portland cement, dissolves when it comes into contact with an acid. Plus, acid-based cleaners pull calcium hydroxide out of the hardened concrete, which then quickly forms a thick, white, dusty material called efflorescence.
The best choice is a non-corrosive and non-degrading cleaning formula like Simple Green Oxy Solve Concrete and Driveway Cleaner, which uses the natural power of peroxide to provide high-performance cleaning and stain removal, without toxic or abrasive chemicals.
Directions for Cleaning a Sidewalk:
Before cleaning, sweep and then hose down your sidewalk. Also, wet all nearby plants, shrubs, and grass with water.
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 sidewalk, 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 sidewalk. 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 sidewalk 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 of the sidewalk and repeat.
- Rinse surrounding landscaping. As with pressure washing, 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.