By Shell on Sep. 15, 2020
There is one simple solution to the filthy-driveway quandary: the high-pressure washer. But what if you don’t have one of these machines? Then grab some of these common household items and get to work.
(Before you start, bear in mind these low-cost cleaning solutions are applicable for concrete only – removing oil and grime from brick and bitumen will require different approaches.)
Kitty litter, sawdust, baking soda
These absorbents can help pull oil, grease or other stains up onto the surface so you can clean them away. If the stain is wet, simply cover with a thick layer of your chosen product, let it sit for 12 to 24 hours, then sweep it up with a broom. For dry oil patches, try wetting the stain and covering with baking soda. Then boil some water, pour onto the stain and scrub with a stiff brush before hose-rinsing and letting it air dry. Either method might have to be repeated more than once for optimum results.
This stuff is capable of unseizing engines, polishing chrome and cleaning up driveway stains. Just pour a 750ml bottle of room-temperature cola onto the stain, allow it to sit for at least an hour, then rinse with a hose. If it’s a really tough stain, scrub in the cola with a stiff brush after applying.
Powdered dishwashing detergent
This can be used in the same way as baking soda for really tough stains: cover the stain generously, pour on boiling water, then scrub with a stiff brush and hose-rinse before letting it air-dry. It’s also great for giving your whole driveway a more general spruce-up. First, sweep the driveway clean of dirt, dust and debris (not forgetting the cracks). Next, sprinkle over the whole area and scrub using a deck brush, dipping it into a bucket of hot water to wet it up as you go. And finally, give it a hose-rinse.
The predecessor to today’s washing powder is also great for a general driveway clean. Simply dissolve into a bucket of hot water at a ratio of about 20g per litre, then dip a deck brush in and get scrubbing, rewetting the brush as needed. Rinse with a hose when you’re done.