Project Guide

How to Pressure Wash Your Driveway

Prepare the Area

Clear the surface of your driveway of any loose material, particularly stone and dirt. If your driveway abuts any walls or doors, you may want to cover them with a tarp and some painters tape. That will protect the finish from accidents or flying debris. Take a few moments to determine which end of your drive is the highest and what direction water flows when it runs across the surface.

Degrease the Surface

Applying a degreaser will loosen stains in the concrete, allowing you to pressure it away. Some pressure washers have an attachment tool for applying degreaser. Otherwise, scrub the degreaser into the concrete with a stiff-bristled brush or push broom.

Ready the Pressure Washer

If your pressure washer came with instructions, be sure to follow those as they will be specific to the model you’re using. Generally speaking, though, you’ll need to connect the spray wand to the washer using a pressure hose, and the washer to a water supply using a garden hose. Different nozzles are available for different purposes. For applying the detergent, use the low-pressure nozzle; for rinsing, use the high-pressure nozzle, but do not use the high-pressure nozzle on brick surfaces.

Clean the Concrete

It’s finally time to fire up the washer. Start at the higher end of the drive and work your way in the direction of water flow. Pointing the spray wand at the surface of the drive, depress the trigger and sweep the nozzle steadily back and forth across the concrete, overlapping each stroke by several inches. Once you’ve applied detergent to the entire surface, let it stand for a quarter of an hour or so. You may need to rewet it occasionally to make sure that it doesn’t dry out.

Rinse the Concrete

After 15 minutes, switch to the high-pressure nozzle and set the pressure washer to its rinse mode. Repeat the sweeping pattern you used before, washing away the detergent and using the spray to lift any grime or stains you find. Make tighter sweeps to lift heavier stains. Be sure to rinse away all of the detergent.

Seal the Concrete

After the concrete has dried completely, apply a sealant to help ward off future stains. Using a roller with an extension poll, coat the surface of the driveway with a concrete sealant. Allow the surface to set a full day before using the driveway.