How to Clean Concrete Driveway -Easy Guide

Compared to materials like asphalt, concrete is among the cheapest and most durable materials for a driveway. But however durable it may be, a concrete driveway needs some bits of maintenance otherwise it will wear off sooner than later.

Unsealed concrete is porous and this makes things worse because it will always suck in dead leaves matter, oil spills, and dirt while solid particles may cause cracking.

And because the driveway is what people see first while coming to your home, having it clean will go a long way in maintaining a good impression about you. After all, a clean and well maintained concrete driveway will give you years of service and this is lots of money saved.

Concrete driveway cleaning can sometimes be among the hardest tasks especially when you do not know what to use and how to go about it. In the discussion below, we have outlined for you the different methods of concrete driveway cleaning.

We will also enlighten you on the tools and materials you can use to clean your concrete driveway and leave it looking great as if it were new all over again. 

What you need

Before you even embark on the cleaning process, you need to sit down and make a list of the items and tools you will need for this job. Going to the supplies store with a ready list can help save you some time because you will not keep forgetting some things. Among the tools and items you need includes; 

Gloves, Cleaning solution, Hard brush, a bucket, Mop, Spray bottle, and a broom. When it comes to the cleaning solution, you have a wide array of options to choose from. Most of these options are solutions you can easily make at home while others are readily available at the supplies stores at a fair price. 

1. Vinegar and baking soda

This is the best choice for a concrete driveway cleaning solution when you want to go natural. It is also a great choice since vinegar and soda are cheap and readily available. Further, they are ecofriendly and this works best if you have vegetation close to the driveway for example grass and flowers.

2. Bleach

Bleach is very corrosive and is best suited for concrete with old stains and hard stuck-on debris. You will need to be very careful when mixing solutions with bleach. This is because you can end up with a very explosive solution. Ensure to wear a pair of gloves and face mask to prevent corroding your hands and inhaling the harmful bleach fume. 

3. Concrete degreaser

Usually, most concrete degreasers are made from alkaline soaps that are meant to loosen up the stains for easier cleaning. On the flip side, they are not a very good choice for old stains. 

4. Soda

I know it sounds a little crazy but yeah, soda, especially coke, is a great concrete driveway cleaning solution. Sodas contain carbonic, citric, and phosphoric acids, all of which work by loosening up the grease stains on a concrete driveway for easier cleaning. 

The Cleaning process

If you are a handy person and have the will power, cleaning a concrete driveway should not be as hard as most people make it sound. After you have gathered the right tools and items you need for the job, then it is time to roll up your sleeves and get started. 

1. Clear the driveway

First and foremost, begin by clearing the driveway of anything standing in your way. These could be cars, motors like a lawnmower, fallen tree branches, and leaves. Use a broom to sweep away dirt and other solid debris from the surface of the driveway.

In this regard, you should normalize parking your car in the garage instead of the driveway, as long as you are not planning to use it anytime soon. At the same time, trim the bushes, trees, and flowers that overhang the driveway. This will reduce the amount of debris that ends up on your driveway.

2. Scrub the surface

Depending on the age of the driveway, there may be cracks on the surface of the driveway, especially when it is not sealed. Using a hard brush, scrub the surface to lift the debris that may be trapped in the cracks. It is at this stage that most of the debris will come off; the remaining debris will be dissolved by the cleaning solution. 

3. Apply the cleaner

Using a spray bottle, apply the cleaning solution of your choice all over the surface, and let it sit for 30 minutes. This allows the cleaner to disintegrate the debris trapped in the cracks, while at the same time digesting the oil spills. 

4. Scrub the surface again

With the cleaner already settled for close to 30 minutes, it is now time to get handy. Using a rubber broom, scrub the surface back and forth to clean the dirt and oil spills, together with the dead organic matter stains.

You should avoid using a metallic wire brush because doing so might cause damages to the concrete, especially when the driveway is unsealed. Let the surface soak for about10 minutes before rinsing it. 

5. Rinse the surface

Use a pressure washer to rinse the clean surface of the concrete driveway. I advise on a power washer since this one is hard on debris and stains, even those trapped in the cracks. Power washers direct highly concentrated streams of water thus lifting the debris that may have been left behind while scrubbing in the third step.

Allow a space of 2 inches between the nozzle of the power washer and the surface of the concrete because too much force may end up dislodging some particles of concrete off the driveway. 

Important things to note 

Having looked at the process of cleaning the concrete driveway, there are still some important bits you should always remember. They include the following; 

Rust stains 

When metallic items such as paint and food cans are left on the driveway overnight, they will always rust, leaving behind a messy brown spot. The most unfortunate thing about rusty stains it penetrates deep into the concrete.

But the good is that muriatic acid is used to deal with the stains without any hassles. Just like chlorine bleach, muriatic acid calls for extra care since it is highly corrosive. 

Decomposed organic matter 

Nearby or overhanging vegetation like trees, flowers, and grass will also drop green matter on the driveways. When the green matter dries up and decomposes, it releases tanning that manifests as the green or dark stains on concrete driveways.

In such situations, all you have is to mix equal portions of water to detergent then use a rubber broom to scrub the tanning.

Tire Marks

Car tire marks are one of the reasons for those black stains on your concrete driveway. They may go unnoticeable when you have an asphalt driveway but its not always the case. Since petroleum stains are difficult to remove from a concrete, there is a special way of removing tire marks from a concrete driveway.


Our feet, pet paws, as well as the winds, will always transfer dirt onto driveways from the nearby bare grounds. Due to being in constant contact with our feet and car tires, concrete driveways are bound to wear and tear, and this produces concrete debris that contributes to the dirt found on the surface.

Mildew may also form when you go for so long without cleaning your concrete driveway, especially during the rainy season. This is the reason you should power wash your concrete driveway more often.

Cleaning the dirt off the surface of the concrete driveway is easy. Use a broom to remove the larger debris and mud. Apply the cleaner and let soak the caked mud for about 15 minutes then use a rubber bristle brush to scrub the surface. Finally use a power washer to rinse the surface while removing the residual. 

1 thought on “How to Clean Concrete Driveway -Easy Guide”

  1. I’m glad you mentioned that cleaning dirt on a concrete driveway is easy. I am wanting to have my driveway replaced with concrete, and I want to make sure that I keep the new one fairly clean. It seems like I won’t have a hard time keeping it clean unless oil and other tougher substances get on the concrete.


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