How to Clean an Asphalt Driveway

Expert advice on cleaning and repairing a driveway, including fixing cracks and holes in asphalt, and how to repair cracks in concrete and brick.

asphalt driveway repair tools©Don Vandervort, HomeTips

Freeze-thaw cycles, rain, snow, and daily traffic can take their toll on a driveway, and the resulting cracks and stains can make it look worse for the wear.

Fortunately, cleaning, repairing, and maintaining a driveway can make it look almost new again.The best methods to use depend on whether the driveway is made of concrete, brick, or asphalt.

To clean an asphalt driveway, scour a mixture of detergent and water into the surface using a push broom with a coarse, stiff bristle. Hose off the solution once you are done.

Though oil stains on asphalt are difficult to remove, you can try to scrub them out with a detergent and bleach or, as an alternative, a commercial driveway cleaner.

If you buy a driveway cleaner, be sure to get one that is made for asphalt; a concrete cleaner can damage asphalt. Follow label directions explicitly. But first, try the household cleaner route:

1Using a stiff, long-handled brush and a solution of tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) or phosphate-free substitute, scrub the stain.

2Following label precautions and directions, scrub remaining spots with full-strength household bleach. Wear old clothes, rubber gloves, and safety glasses.

3Rinse thoroughly with a hose.

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  • mjl041172

    this article mentions tri- sodium-phosphate. will that also kill the grass if it comes in contact with it? alsowill tsp remove more than just dirt? such as oil stains or leaky radiator stains?

  • Don Vandervort, HomeTips

    Hi, TSP should not kill the grass…in fact, it contains phosphate, which the grass would probably like. Keep it away from aquatics. For the sake of the environment, I would choose a phosphate-free alternative. It probably won’t do much for oil stains, etc., but might work a bit on the radiator stains.

  • Caroline Rohrer

    How to remove oil stains on an asphalt driveway?

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