Have you ever rented a pressure washer from Home Depot or Lowe’s to clean your driveway? Chances are you probably have done this at some point or looking to do it in the future. There’s a misconception that higher PSI machines will clean a driveway better. While PSI plays a factor in this, the larger importance is GPM (gallons per minute). The more water you’re able to put on the surface, the cleaner and faster you can work. The problem with most pressure washing rentals is they only go up to 4 GPM, which won’t give you as much cleaning ability as a commercial grade pressure washer which normally starts at 5.5 GPM. While these rentals can do a good job cleaning by themselves, you can get even better results by applying everyday household chemicals.
We’ll cover how to make a simple pre/post-treatment solution so the next time you clean your driveway, you’ll get even better results! These treatments will help loosen all the dirt and bacteria on your driveway so that when you start pressure washing the area, they will come up quicker and easier. This helps save you time and money.
Before you start cleaning your driveway, you’ll want to make sure all debris is removed from the area being cleaned. This is to ensure nothing is kicked up during the cleaning process which may cause injury to you or the surrounding property. Blow the area and ensure there are no rocks or mulch pieces on the surface. This is also a good time to inspect concrete to ensure there are no loose pieces that can separate during the cleaning.
Step 1: Pre-wet Surrounding Grass (Precautionary)
- Take a garden hose and wet all the areas around the areas being cleaned. This helps reduce the likelihood of your grass absorbing the pre-treatment being applied.
Step 2: Mix Bleach/Water/Soap
- Put on rubber gloves and safety goggles for protection
- The following instructions will be used to create a 3% bleach ratio for the treatments. This is based on using a 2-gallon sprayer.
- Mix as follows:
- 0.6 Gallons of Liquid Pool Chlorine
- Fill The Remaining With Water
- Add 2 Ounces of Dawn Dish Soap
Step 3: Apply Pre-Treatment
- Starting at one end of your driveway, slowly apply the pre-treatment walking at a steady pace until you’ve covered the entire driveway with your pre-treatment
- Let the solution dwell for 5-10 minutes
- If you accidentally get some on your grass, take your garden hose and soak that area.
Step 4: Pressure Wash Driveway
- To make the job easier and more efficient we suggest you use a surface cleaner. This will give you a more unified and faster clean. Always remember to walk slowly when you’re cleaning with a surface cleaner to reduce striping.
- We recommend starting at the bottom of your driveway and working your way up. This helps keep your treatment stay intact. If you were to start at the top, all the water from the pressure washer will wash away your treatment below.
Step 5: Post-Treatment
- Apply a post-treatment using the same ratios and process from the pre-treatment process in step 3.
- A post-treatment will reduce any visible striping from your surface cleaner and will kill off any remaining bacteria left on the concrete. A post-treatment will also help keep your driveway cleaner for a longer period compared to only using a pressure washer to clean.
- If any areas of the driveway are still dirty following the cleaning, increase the strength of your post-treatment to remove the remaining algae/mold. In this case, you’ll want to go 50/50 and work your way up from there. If you’re using a 2-gallon pump sprayer you would mix 1 gallon of SH (chlorine) with 1 gallon of water.
Step 6: Enjoy your clean driveway!
Always use extreme caution when using a pressure washer as it’s blasting water at a high rate of speed. There is enough force to cause serious injury to yourself or surrounding property. It’s recommended to wear safety goggles and gloves during the cleaning process. If you’ve tried the DIY route and haven’t had any success, give First Choice Exterior Cleaning a call at (904) 574-4695