Pressure washing your driveway can remove years of wear and tear in just a few hours. This tutorial will walk you through the process from start to finish, with detailed instructions for concrete, brick and asphalt driveways (plus optional instructions for sealing after).
Tools and materials
Besides a pressure washer, you’ll need a few other tools and materials to clean your driveway. You may need everything on the list below, or you may just need some things depending on the condition of your driveway, whether it’s concrete or brick and more.
Use 3,000-4,000 PSI for concrete or asphalt, or 2,000-3,000 PSI for brick.
Use a product that’s made for your conditions (oil stains, moss, etc.).
Use a push broom if you have one, otherwise any broom will work.
Use safety glasses, work gloves, work shoes and hearing protection.
Get if you want to cover anything (nearby plants, electrical, etc.).
Get if your cleaning solution isn’t made for pressure washers.
Get if you need to do any scrubbing (to remove oil stains, etc.).
Get if you want to speed up the cleaning process, or cover a large area.
Get if you want to seal your driveway after pressure washing.
If this is your first time using a pressure washer, read our guide on how to use a pressure washer to learn the basics. Then, follow the instructions below to pressure wash your driveway (each step explains what to do for concrete, brick or asphalt, when necessary).
Step 1: Prepare driveway
Remove any objects that are blocking the driveway (cars, pottery, etc.), then use your plastic sheeting to cover anything that can’t be moved (doors, plants, etc.). Once the surface is clear, use your push broom to sweep away any loose dirt or debris.
Step 2: Set up equipment
Pull out your pressure washer and connect your garden hose, high pressure hose and spray gun. Prepare your cleaning solution following the manufacturer’s instructions (some need to be diluted, others don’t), then fill your pressure washer (some models have an onboard detergent tank, others have a siphon that you put directly in your solution), or fill your garden sprayer if you’re using one. When you’re ready, turn on your water and start your pressure washer.
Step 3: Apply cleaner
Connect the 65° nozzle (usually black), or use your garden sprayer, and spray the cleaning solution onto the driveway. Let it soak for a few minutes, then use your brush to scrub the surface. If you have a large driveway, consider working in sections so you can rinse the solution off before it starts to dry.
Step 4: Rinse cleaner
Switch to the 25° nozzle (usually green), or connect your surface cleaner if you have one, and rinse the cleaning solution from the driveway (starting with the highest point, or the side closest to the garage). Work in sections of two or three feet at a time, rinsing from top to bottom, and make sure you don’t spray too close to cause any damage (generally, you want to keep the nozzle at least a foot away).
Step 5: Let dry
Take down your sheeting, put away your equipment and make sure you properly dispose of any leftover cleaning solution (if you used toxic chemicals). Wait at least 24 hours for the driveway to dry before enjoying it again, or before sealing.
Step 6: Sealing
Prepare your sealer following the manufacturer’s instructions, then use your preferred applicator (roller, squeegee, etc.) to begin sealing. Work in sections of two or three feet at a time, pushing from one end to the other, and make sure you apply the recommended number of coats (two coats is standard, but again, follow the manufacturer’s instructions).
Frequently asked questions
The most common questions about pressure washing a driveway are answered below. For other questions, you can reach out to us at any time. If you have a question about a specific product, you may need to contact the manufacturer.
How much does it cost to pressure wash a driveway?
The average cost to pressure wash a driveway is between $0.25-0.50 per square foot, which comes out to $125-250 for the average two car size (around 500 square feet). Keep in mind, this doesn’t include sealer. Expect an additional $0.25-0.50 per square foot for sealing.
Should you seal your driveway after pressure washing?
There’s a lot of debate about whether it’s worth it to seal your driveway after pressure washing. Some people argue that a sealed surface will last longer, others argue that concrete and asphalt are durable enough without sealer. In our opinion, it’s worth it just for the curb appeal, if nothing else.
Can a pressure washer damage concrete, brick or asphalt?
Pressure washers can damage anything, even hard driveway materials like concrete, brick and asphalt. With that said, it’s easy to prevent damage: simply use the recommended PSI (3,000-4,000 PSI) and nozzle (25°), and spray at a safe distance from the surface (1-2 feet).