Whether you are cleaning concrete, brick, pavers, or asphalt driveways, the surface is porous and gets dirty easily. Your tires bring grease, oil, dirt, and all kinds of grime (even road kill) home to your driveway, so you want to clean it, but you’re tired of spending your whole Saturday working on your driveway with a hose, right? Well, we get it.
The only answer I can provide is it still depends on the design, the material, and the area on which you will use for your driveway.
The best and quickest way to clean any driveway is with a pressure washer. These cleaning machines will spray a high volume of water at a high pressure (some even at a high temperature) in order to expedite cleaning. For pressure washing driveways, we recommend a washer with pressures of at least 3000 PSI (Pounds per Square Inch). Once you have your pressure washer and a driveway to clean, just follow these easy steps to make your drive look new again:
- Clear the Driveway — Move cars, debris, and toys to make the way clear for the pressure washer.
- Deal with Grease and Oil — Soak up any spots of excess grease or oil with saw dust or cat litter.1
- Use Chemicals — Pre-treat the drive with a pressure washer detergent or degreaser as needed (as the name implies, degreasers will come in handy for any grease or oil not soaked up by the kitty litter). It is a good idea to let the cleaning solutions sit for about 5 or 10 minutes before power washing to ensure maximum performance.
- Pressure Wash — Direct the high-pressure stream over the entire surface of the driveway, removing dirt and grime along the way. When you are done, your driveway will look as good as new.
There are a few choices you have once you begin pressure washing driveways. If you have been researching pressure washers, you have probably come up with a few questions about which nozzles or accessories to use for this application. The most common configuration is to put a 25˚ (green) nozzle in the end of your pressure washer gun. This will remove dirt and sweep as you go. For things like gum and tar, a 15˚ (yellow) nozzle is best. This nozzle can be used like a chisel to scrape things up off of the driveway.2 If you want to speed up the process even further; there are a few pressure washer attachments that can help you:
Cleaning Concrete Driveway
Rotary Turbo Nozzle — A rotary turbo nozzle will focus the water into a very fine stream, but constantly rotate that stream in order to cover a wider area. This is very useful when cleaning concrete, bricks, pavers and even houses. Covering a wider area means that pressure washing driveways will take you fewer passes, and less time.
Water Broom — If you want to cover more area than a rotary nozzle, consider a water broom. This pressure washer attachment will have several nozzles lined up along a bar, to clean a wider area in one pass. Water brooms have castors that keep the nozzles the same height over the surface while pressure washing driveways. This means that you will not get the zebra striping associated with holding the tip at varying heights above your surface.
Surface Cleaner — This is the quickest option for pressure washing driveways. These machines have 2 or 3 nozzles attached to the end of a rotary arm that spins covering areas of 8 inches all the way up to 30 inches. Pressure washer surface cleaners have handles for you to hold on to, allowing you to simply push them over the entire driveway cleaning as you go. Like a water broom, a surface cleaner can eliminate zebra striping by keeping your nozzles at a uniform height during the entire cleaning process.