Pressure washing concrete on a driveway will remove accumulated dirt, grime and stains. This will turn any drab looking concrete drive into a virtually new looking surface. Virtually anyone with some do it yourself experience will be able to accomplish this task, and this technique will clear away virtually all of the accumulated dirt and stains off of the surface. This is the best way to clean concrete driveways before you seal it for protection from further damage or stains.
Things You'll Need
- Pressure washer
- Soapy dish water solution
- Pump sprayer
Locate a hot-water pressure washer. These work the best for cleaning concrete. Get one with a pressure rating of 3,000 psi. Most local hardware stores have rentals, but if yours doesn't, check your yellow pages for tool rentals. Try to get a hot water unit. Hot water will clean 100X better than cold water
Prep the driveway by removing as much of the dirt or debris as you can by sweeping the surface dirt off the driveway.
Fill a pump sprayer up with a soapy dish water solution. If possible, use a biodegradable type. Fill a pump sprayer and spray it liberally to saturate the stain.
Plug in the pressure washer and fill the tank with water, if applicable. Some can just be hooked up to your garden hose nozzle. Turn on the heater if applicable, or feed a hot water line into the pressure washer.
Place the yellow tip into the wand. If you are using a hot water unit make sure there is no hose touching the grass around your driveway because it will leave a brown mark if left in one spot to long. Turn on your pressure washer. Determine the best distance from the tip of the wand to the concrete driveway that produces the best cleaning strength. Take nice even passes in front of you in sections about a ft to each side of you all the way to the end of your drive way or do it one pad at a time. Then return to the start and make your next path overlap where you just cleaned by a half ft.
Make a few passes over any oil stain that has been previously sprayed with a dish washing soap solution. It may look darker than the surrounding concrete once washed, but will dry to an almost even match.
Rinse down the entire driveway with the low pressure black tip. Don't forget to clean off things that got splashed like house siding and your garage door. Let it dry for a couple hours on a nice day and double check your work before returning your rental or sealing your driveway
Tips & Warnings
- Work with the flow of water and clean that for your last path.
- Always wear protective glasses when using a pressure washer. Don't push the tip of the pressure washer into the concrete and let it sit in one spot to long. It may scar the surface.
- Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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