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How to Clean Driveway Without Pressure Washer

Many people ask us here at Lakeland Pressure Washing how to clean driveway without pressure washer. In reality, it’s not hard at all. Here’s what you need to know.

Why You Don’t Need A Pressure Washer to Clean A Driveway

There are lots of reasons you don’t need a pressure washer to clean a driveway. The main reason is because it’s not necessary since you can use ordinary household cleaning solution like washing soda, a common scrub brush, and some hot water to get the job done. There are other reasons you don’t need a power washer to clean a concrete driveway.

Reasons you don’t need a pressure washer to clean a concrete driveway:

  • Pressure washers cost money
  • Gas pressure washers require fuel
  • A pressure washer uses an abundance of water
  • A power washer can be dangerous if improperly handled
  • You can remove oil stains effectively without pressure washing
  • A spray bottle with bleach solution can whiten the concrete pad, keeping your driveway clean
  • Liquid dish detergent can cut grease stains and clean an old oil stain using a little cat litter to absorb the oil
  • Using a power washer doesn’t guarantee any better results than cleaning with washing soda, hot washing, soda water, and a hard bristle broom
  • If you wash your driveway frequently it should be easy to clean without much heavy duty cleaning, using a natural cleaner to remove stubborn stains

Basics of Cleaning a Driveway

Before you get started cleaning a driveway without a power washer take a minute to think things through. You’ll want to make sure you have everything you need. You’ll want to be in the right mind. You don’t want any distractions or interruptions happening.

What you need to clean a driveway without a pressure washer:

  • Gloves
  • Deck brush
  • Degreaser or detergent
  • Kitty litter
  • Baking soda
  • Scrub brush (and optional soft bristle brush)
  • Garden hose or bucket of clean water

Steps to Clean a Driveway Without a Pressure Washer

To clean the driveway without pressure washer, start by using a deck brush to sweep off the debris. Make sure to be thorough as you’re cleaning the surface. When you’re finished, generously apply the detergent to the entire surface. You can also spray baking soda on the stains. Once you’ve finished, let the cleaner sit for fifteen minutes. Afterwards, spray the garden hose back and forth over the driveway.

Instructions for cleaning a driveway without a pressure washer:

  1. Wear gloves to protect your hands
  2. Clear the area of loose debris (remove loose dirt / surface dirt)
  3. After you remove dirt, apply kitty litter to oil spills
  4. After old oil stains are absorbed sweep up the cat litter
  5. Apply a degreaser or cleaner to the stains (NB: you can use laundry detergent or commercial cleaners and warm water if you need a more powerful cleaning solution)
  6. Start scrubbing entire driveway with a brush (avoid rinsing stained area too quickly)
  7. Rinse the driveway with cold or warm water to clean driveway effectively
  8. Repeat the process as many times as necessary until you’re satisfied with the results.

Protecting Plants When Cleaning A Driveway

To clean your driveway without pressure washer, use a tarp and painter’s tape to cover neighboring plants and adjacent flowers. (NB: You should remove the tarp as soon as you can.)

Important Note: When using a tarp, be sure to protect the plants from the hot surface of the tarp and the heavy thick layer. If you have a small space or few plants, use a cut trash bag.

How to Protect Plants with a Trash Bag:

  1. Cut the bottom of the bag across.
  2. Then cut evenly down one side.
  3. Unfold the trash bag (it will be a long rectangle sheet)
  4. Protect the plants by spreading the trash bag over the plants

Important Note: Rinse thoroughly after applying the detergent. If your driveway is heavily stained, you may want to use a higher pressure setting on your garden hose.

Pro Tip: To clean the concrete without a pressure washer, you can use vinegar and/or baking soda. Once the area is completely dry, you can begin to scrub the surface with the scrub brush. You can rinse it thoroughly and begin to enjoy your freshly cleaned concrete.

Adopt a Safety-First Mentality

While a pressure washer isn’t necessary to clean your concrete driveway, you should wear protective gear. Safety gear is essential. Always wear a pair of rubber gloves. If possible, wear a helmet and other eye protection. You should never wash your driveway with harsh chemicals. These chemicals can discolor your driveway and irritate your skin and eyes.

Muriatic Acid and Trisodium Phosphate Cleaners

Another way to clean a driveway without a pressure washer is by using muriatic acid (hydrochloric acid) and a trisodium phosphate cleaner. These products produce an alkaline solution and can be used for the purpose of cleaning concrete.

Muriatic acid is what masons use to clean concrete walls and slabs and is extremely effective in cleaning a concrete driveway and concrete patios.

Important Note: Keep in mind that muriatic acid and trisodium phosphate cleaners are inorganic compounds.

Important Note: The downside to trisodium phosphate is that its not safe for your car and your surroundings. You should read up on this chemical cleaner before using it on your driveway. If you’re unsure, you can even buy a detergent that has the same effect.

Baking Soda, Deck Brush for Treating Oil Stains

If you’re adamantly against buying a pressure washer and don’t want to use harsh inorganic chemicals, you can also make your own solution to clean concrete surfaces.

You can mix some baking soda in a vinegar solution and spray it onto your driveway.

Then, use a deck brush to scrub away the stains. You may have to mix bleach to remove stains that regular cleaning solutions can’t get out. Bleach has a whitening agent that brightens clean concrete.

Advice for preventing and getting rid of driveway stains:

  • A concrete cleaner can be very useful when cleaning a concrete driveway. When the stains are stubborn, try a chemical cleaner. This can work well in cleaning concrete.
  • You can also make your own detergent. Aside from baking soda, you can use homemade household degreaser or Borax. You can also apply white vinegar to the driveway to get rid of stubborn stains.
  • Depending on the stain, it will take some time to come clean. It may take several applications applying cleaner, scrubbing, spraying, and rinsing to get the stains completely gone.
  • To prevent surface degradation you may want to use undiluted vinegar or mix white vinegar with baking soda to remove old stains and ground in dirt.
  • Use patio stones and other materials to line your driveway to prevent dirt being tracked back onto your concrete driveway or concrete patio
  • When washing soda and all else fails, pressure washing tough stains may be the only option to clean your driveway and clean a stained surface
  • Use joint sand when installing concrete pavers along the side of your driveway to protect against water seepage and green algae, moss, weeds, and other pests from growing up through your

Bottom Line

You don’t need a pressure washer to clean a driveway. To clean a concrete driveway without a pressure washer make sure you have the right cleaners (e.g., washing soda), safety gear (e.g., rubber gloves), and tools (e.g., scrub brush).

Pretreat oil stains with cat litter to remove as much oil or as much grease as you can. Then use a degreaser or laundry detergent and warm water to clean your driveway or concrete patio. Rinse and repeat as many times as you must.

When all else fails to work, power washing may be your best option. The high pressure can clean your driveway without the use of harsh chemicals. When you start spraying the high pressure water blasts dirt quickly.

You can hire a professional power washing expert to clean your driveway and concrete patio and then resort to cleaning it yourself more frequently without using a pressure washer. This way you keep the dirt off and when you clean your driveway it shouldn’t take much time at all.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does white vinegar clean concrete?

Yes, white vinegar does clean concrete. The acid in the vinegar has the ability to break up the dirt and oil on the concrete, so it can be rinsed away.

Will bleach hurt concrete driveway?

Bleach is safe to use on your concrete driveway. Bleach can be used to remove stains, such as mold and mildew stains, from concrete. Mold and mildew are common problems in areas where there is high humidity.

How do you make concrete look new again?

Concrete surfaces are sometimes stained or discolored over time. However, with the help of a concrete resurfacing product you can give your concrete new life and bring it back to its original beauty. Concrete resurfacing products will make concrete look new again.

What is a natural way to clean a concrete driveway?

A natural way to clean a concrete driveway is to use white vinegar and baking soda to treat stains and to rinse with cold water after scrubbing the stained area.

Is Simple Green good for cleaning concrete?

Yes Simple Green Concrete and Driveway Cleaner is a good cleaner for cleaning concrete driveways. It is specially formulated to clean stained concrete.

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