How to Separate Sand & Gravel Mixtures

Gravel mixed with sand or soil can be found in any yard.
Gravel mixed with sand or soil can be found in any yard. (Image: Gravel Path image by Allen Stoner from

Separating sand and gravel allows you to sort through the components in order to supply sand to a sandbox and gravel to a driveway or stone walk way. Sifting through the mix requires a lot of time and patience, but the end result is extremely gratifying.

Things You'll Need

  • Window screen
  • Two wheelbarrows
  • Bucket

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Place the window screen on top of one wheelbarrow. The screen should hang over all four sides to prevent screen from sinking or tipping.

Empty one bucket of mixed sand and gravel on to the screen. Shake the screen from side to side rapidly to allow any loose sand to drop through the screen mesh.

Rub your hands in the mix on top of the screen in a circular motion. Run your fingers through the mix, and pull any large gravel pieces off the screen; throw them into the other wheelbarrow.

Shake the screen one more time to sift the remaining sand through. Dump any gravel left on the screen into the second wheelbarrow.

Replace screen and repeat this process as many times as needed until all mix is separated.


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