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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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About Don Vandervort
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Don Vandervort has developed his expertise for more than 30 years, as Building Editor for Sunset Books, Senior Editor at Home Magazine, author of more than 30 home improvement books, and writer of countless magazine articles. He appeared for 3 seasons on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert for several years. Don founded HomeTips in 1996.

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