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How to Clean a Driveway with Bleach?

Over time, your driveway can begin to get caked with dirt, stains, and even odors. Because of this, you may want to clean off your driveway, perhaps to prepare it for the winter.

There are several different ways you can go about cleaning a concrete driveway, but the one really easy way is with a bleach solution. Below, you will find some step-by-step instructions for how to do exactly that.

image - How to Clean a Driveway with Bleach?
How to Clean a Driveway with Bleach?

Step One: Move All of Your Cars

If you keep any cars or other vehicles in your driveway, you want to start by moving them out of the way.

While bleach on your car’s tires for a short period of time can remove dirt and grime, if left for too long (say for the duration of the time it will take you to clean your driveway), it could end up damaging the tyre rubber or warping the rims.

Step Two: Sweep Off Your Driveway

Once you are done moving any cars or large objects from your driveway, you can start the cleaning process. The first thing that you want to do is sweep off the driveway to remove any dirt, debris, stones, leaves, etc.

If you do not sweep off your driveway beforehand, the process will be a lot more difficult as your driveway may become muddy and much harder to clean.

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Step Three: Protect Your Plants

You are going to want to be sure to protect any of your plants that are next to your driveway before you start cleaning off the driveway with bleach, as bleach will kill your plants.

You can do this by moving any that are in pots, covering the others with plastic, and/or setting up a barrier to prevent runoff from getting into your gardens or yard.

Step Four: Mix Your Bleach Solution

If your driveway is only lightly soiled concrete, you are going to want to mix a solution of water, bleach, and a 1/8th cup of dishwashing detergent in a spray bottle.

On the other hand, if you are trying to remove any deeper stains in your concrete, you are going to want to mix oxygen, bleach, and water until it makes a paste that is a similar consistency to peanut butter.

Step Five: Apply the Bleach to Your Driveway

If your driveway is only lightly soiled, you are going to take your spray bottle filled with the water, bleach, and dishwashing detergent mixture and spray down your driveway.

Next, to any stains or heavily soiled spots, you are going to want to apply the oxygen-bleach and water paste.

The spray only needs to sit for a few minutes, but the paste needs to stay on the driveway for at least an hour.

Step Six: Scrub the Surface and Rinse

Now you want to take a nylon scrub brush of some sort and scrub down your driveway.

However, you do not want to use a metal scrub brush because metal pieces could break off, rust, and stain the concrete. Once you are done scrubbing, use a hose or pressure washer to rinse off your driveway.

After this, you should be able to have a clean and stain-free driveway and can put everything back. However, concrete is porous, so there is a chance that it could retain some more intense odors or stains.

If this is the case for you, you may want to try using a pressure washer with a more intense detergent. You can also think about using a sealant on your driveway to protect it from future stains and dirt.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you know how to clean off your concrete with bleach, let’s take a look at some other frequently asked questions to ensure that you know everything you need to know about cleaning your concrete with bleach.

What Can Bleach Clean Off of Concrete?

According to the guys at Terraform Driveways most of the dirt and stains that build up on concrete can be cleaned off with bleach.

It can be used to remove dirt, residue, mold, and mildew. It also has a deodorizing effect, so it can kill off any foul smells as long as they have not had the time to soak into the concrete.

Can You Power Wash with Bleach?

As we mentioned, using a power washer and some sort of detergent is a great way to remove any stains or odors that have soaked into the porous surface of the concrete.

However, you should never put bleach into your power washer as it will corrode the pump’s seal, and you will end up needing an entirely new power washer.

What Safety Precautions Do You Have to Take When Cleaning with Bleach?

  • Never mix the bleach with any products that contain ammonia because when the two are mixed, it will result in toxic gas.
  • Be careful not to get any bleach on your shoes or clothes. Not only could the bleach ruin fabric, but you do not want to track the toxins into your home or onto your floors.
  • Make sure that you read the instructions/product information on the back of the beach bottle and follow them.
  • Do not leave any bleach on your driveway if you have dogs or other pets outside. If your pet does lick up any bleach, take him to the vet immediately because bleach can make your animal sick or even be fatal.

What Can You Use Instead of Bleach?

If you do not have bleach or if you are not wanting to use any intense chemicals while you are cleaning, you can also use apple cider vinegar.

If you do decide to use apple cider vinegar instead of bleach, you do not want to dilute it with water, or it will not remove any stains.

What Can You Use If Your Driveway is Made of Asphalt Instead of Concrete?

If your driveway is made out of asphalt instead of concrete, you can still use bleach to clean it.

You want to create a mixture that is one part laundry detergent, three parts water, and one part bleach. Then you can spread it on one section of your driveway at a time, scrubbing it with a scrub brush.