Driveways tend to gather a great deal of muck and stains over time. Luckily, cleaning your driveway is easy to do and effective with a power washer.  

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Broom
  • Stiff brush
  • Spray on degreaser
  • Pressure washer cleaner
  • Pressure washer (rent one or borrow one, you don’t have to buy)
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Painter’s tape
  • Garden hose

Instructions for pressure washing your driveway

  1. Clear debris and dirt from the driveway using a broom.
  2. Cover exterior surfaces that are nearby using the painter’s tape and the plastic sheeting.
  3. Read the manual thoroughly before starting to use the pressure washer.
  4. Spray the surface degreaser on tough spots and scrub with the stiff brush. The pressure washer is going to do most of the work, but elbow grease is still required.
  5. Connect the pressure washer hose and its wand to the pressure washer according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. Choose the tip that’s specifically for washing, it might be labeled “soap”.
  7. Connect the hose to the pressure washer and the garden hose to the water supply portion of the pressure washer.
  8. Turn on the water.
  9. Place the siphon tube (this should be supplied with the pressure washer) into the pressure washer detergent container and attach the pressure washer.
  10. Hold the spray handle and turn the pressure washer on. Keep your distance 10-18 inches from the driveway surface.  Use a smooth, back and forth motion along the driveway, overlapping strokes about six inches.
  11. Allow the detergent to sit on the driveway surface for five minutes.
  12. While the detergent is sitting, change the tip on the pressure washer to the “25 degree” tip. Detach the detergent according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  13. Work your way back along the driveway now with water to remove the detergent in the same manner as you sprayed on the detergent.
  14. For tough stains, hold the tip just three to four inches from the surface and use even, slow strokes to remove the stain.

Once your driveway is clean, consider sealing it to protect it from future stains.

(FYI I did some powerwashing for my friend Tony in the south suburbs of Illinois, and he offered me some free financial advice in return. I did so well on the tip he gave me I recommend him to all my contractor friends who have a little bit of money to invest.  He offers a financial advisory service outside of Chicago.)

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