The Best Method For Cleaning Your Driveway's Gravel

Keeping your gravel driveway looking good can be quite a task. The dirt, debris, and those stubborn weeds love to team up and mess with its appearance over time. Luckily, the easiest way to clean it is with a good old-fashioned pressure washer. It's important to clean your gravel driveway, and not just to keep up its appearance. It's also essential for safety and boosting its longevity. 

Over time, debris, dirt, and stains can and will accumulate, which diminishes your driveway's visual appeal. Regular cleaning not only restores its appearance but also prevents weed growth by eliminating potential spaces where seeds can nestle in and plant themselves. A clean driveway reduces hazards by providing a smoother surface for walking and driving, and preserves the driveway's structural integrity by preventing deterioration.

While using old-school methods like raking or a leaf blower instead of a pressure washer might seem like more your style, just keep in mind that you need water to clean and rinse and pressure to really get into the nitty-gritty. Raking is good for maintenance, but not a deep clean. Additionally, always be sure to wear protective eyewear and gloves because gravel can, and probably will, go flying.

How to properly clean your gravel driveway

To properly clean your gravel driveway, you'll need a pressure washer with adjustable settings, a wide-angle spray nozzle, a broom or brush, a garden hose, and if you really want to get into it, an eco-friendly driveway cleaner. The pressure washer can easily tackle dirt, weeds, and debris that have turned your gravel driveway into their new home, while the wide-angle spray nozzle will help to give everything a nice, even treatment. Your brush or broom of choice is perfect for those super stubborn spots, and the hose is for the initial and final rinse.

To clean your gravel driveway, start by giving it a once over with the broom or brush to clear away any big debris. Follow that with a rinse from your garden hose to make sure everything is nice and saturated. Set your pressure washer to low-medium pressure — too weak won't do anything but too strong will send the gravel flying. Be sure to hold the nozzle at an angle and move it across the driveway section by section. Think of it like you're giving your driveway a nice shower. If you have some tough staining or greasy spots, this is where you can use that eco-friendly cleaner. Be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle and give those spots some extra love before you bring in the pressure washer again.

Don't forget the edges

If you accidentally cause blowouts on your gravel driveway by using too powerful a setting on your pressure washer, expect it to look a little bit uneven. To prevent this, remember to start off gently and gradually increase the pressure while keeping an eye on how your driveway reacts. In the event that this does happen, it's recommended to keep a few spare bags of gravel on hand, just in case.

One section that's often forgotten about is the edges of your driveway. Interestingly enough, this is usually the dirtiest part because it's where the lawn meets the gravel. That meeting point tends to gather debris and can sometimes have drainage issues. To conquer the edges of your gravel driveway, hold the nozzle of your pressure washer at an angle and avoid making a direct impact on the edges to prevent gravel from flying around. Hold the nozzle about a foot away from the gravel and make sweeping motions from left to right. Then go up and down over the same area.