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How much psi to clean a driveway: What the pros say

Psi is the unit for pressure and is used in a pressure washer to show how strong the water beam is. Different jobs require different pressures to clean something. Some objects require high pressure, like a driveway. Others require a lower pressure, like a painted wooden window frame. More expensive pressure washers are often more powerful with a higher psi rating. And with most pressure washer models, you can change the psi with a knob or even an app on your phone.

How much psi to clean a driveway:

In general, the pressure needed for a pressure washer to efficiently clean your driveway is around 3000 psi. This is enough to remove older grease and paint stains from a driveway. Along with the pressure, the flow rate is also essential. With the 3000 psi, an average flow rate of 3 gallons per minute is needed for optimal driveway cleaning.

This article will help you with the necessary psi required to clean your driveway efficiently. It will show you a complete step-by-step procedure to pressure wash your driveway and the correct time to do that. Along with these, you will also understand the advantages of pressure washing and sealing your driveway.

How much psi do I need to clean my driveway?

To clean your driveway effectively, you need a good amount of pressure and a decent water flow rate. Most professionals we talked with recommending a pressure of around 3000 psi. This should be enough to remove older grease and paint stains from a driveway. Using a lower pressure will result in a longer cleaning time, and a less optimal result.

Along with 3000 psi of pressure, the recommended flow rate for cleaning the driveway is 3 gallons per minute (GPM). The pressure is required to get rid of stains and dust particles. The water rate is essential to flush the broken filth away. The more water runs through your nozzle, the less time it will take to clean the driveway. But, if you are cleaning a driveway with a risk of paint damaging due to the high pressure, you can use a lower pressure with a higher water rate. For instance, 1500 psi and 1.8 GPM.

We can say that both the psi and GPM play an essential role in cleaning your driveway effectively. Combining higher GPM with a higher psi rating allows you to clean your driveway in a record time.

Relation of GPM/PSI with time
3 GPM/3000 psi
5 minutes
7 minutes
9 minutes

The above table shows the relation of GPM and psi with time. The readings given above are not for any specific driveway. These provide you with a general idea of what different pressures and water flow rates will do. With a pressure washer with a higher GPM and psi, you can see that it takes less time to clean the driveway. When the psi and GPM value decreases, the time taken to clear the driveway increases. What the table does not show is that with this lower pressure, the cleaning is less optimal. Probable really sticky dirt is not removed. But in general, we can say that the higher the psi rating of the pressure washer, the quicker you can clean a driveway.

How do you pressure wash a driveway?

In general, first prepare the driveway by removing all loose dirt by using a boom. Cover the surrounding plants with a tarp. Spray some degreaser on the driveway, and use the pressure washer with some detergent to wash the driveway. The last step is to seal the concrete surface using the suitable sealant when it is dry.

Grease stains and dust disturb the look of driveways and affect the surface of your driveways. So to clean your driveways and maintain an ideal shape, you must pressure wash a driveway from time to time. To clean the driveways successfully, you need to follow some simple steps mentioned below:

Step 1: Prepare the surface and surrounding area

Generally, the first step when pressure washing your driveways is to eliminate all the dust and debris by sweeping the surface using the broom. Cover the surrounding areas, including plants, with the tarp to protect them from the high pressure of water.

Step 2: Spray the surface

Spray the degreaser on the driveway surface for the proper cleaning with a bottle of spray, and then scrub the degreaser into the surface with a stiff brush. Then before setting the pressure washer, read the instructions manual thoroughly and then assemble the pressure washer according to the given instructions.

Step 3: Assemble the pressure washer

Now your surface is ready. The next step is to assemble your pressure washer by attaching the spray wand tip for detergents at the head of the pressure washer. Then connect the hose to the water supply and turn the water on.

Step 4: Use the detergent tube

Put the detergent tube into the detergent container and turn on the pressure washer. As soon as the pressure washer starts running, the detergent will be pushed into the water spraying wand through the tube.

Step 5: Spray detergent

When spraying the detergent, ensure to wear the safety gloves and then spray the detergent onto the driveway surface in a controlled manner by moving back and forth on the surface. Ensure to provide multiple detergent strokes on the driveway surface and then wait for at least 5 minutes.

Step 6: Pressure wash the surface

After spraying detergent on the driveway surface, change the soap tip with the tip labeled as a “25 degree” and then pressure wash the surface by maintaining a constant distance between the spray handle and surface. Move back and forth on the surface to cover the whole area of the driveway and provide multiple strokes at the same area to clean the surface effectively. Decrease the distance between the spray handle and surface in the areas with tougher stains of oil or paint and wash that area for at least 1 minute by holding the handle still to ensure the removal.

Step 7: Seal the surface

After cleaning the surface with the pressure washer, wait until the surface gets dry, and then immediately seal your driveway with the waterproof sealer with the help of a roller. Then wait for at least 24 hours so that the sealer also dries off and then your driveway surface is ready for parking.

Should I pressure wash my driveway?

In general, it is a good idea to pressure wash your driveway to keep it clean from dust, mildew, and algae particles. If you do not pressure wash your surface, it will lead to tire marks and grease stains that ruin the aesthetic look of your driveway. We advise you to pressure wash your driveway at least once a year.

If you have a driveway, you must pressure wash it from time to time to keep it clean and eliminate those undesirable grease stains that damage the surface. The driveway can easily lead to dirt and moss with time. To protect the surface from getting damaged by these particles, pressure washing is a good idea.

To provide your driveway surface with a clean look, you should pressure wash it at least once a year or whenever the surface starts to look dirty or is messed up by the grown weeds. It also helps against algae growth, mildew, or moss, which can cause damage to your surface over time.

Pressure washing is one of the fastest ways to clean your driveways with just a little effort. Cleaning your driveway with the pressure washer gives a brand new look to your place. So if you find your driveway grimy and dirty and thinking about taking drastic measures, then clean the surface using the pressure washer instead of replacing the surface. An ideal time to clean the driveway surface with the pressure washer is during the spring or summer months because this is the growing time for most of the algae’.

How often should I pressure wash my driveway?

In general, it is advised to clean it at least once a year or whenever you find it grimy and dirty. This will ensure that grease stains and tire marks are removed. For older stains that are difficult to remove, you can use bleach. Make sure to wear eye protection and rubber gloves when applying it because bleach can have hazardous effects on your skin.

For cleaning your driveway, the most important thing is to learn about the behavior of your driveway surface. Every surface, usage, and location is different than any other one. Things like the type of driveway material, the climate, if trees surround it, and how heavy it is used. Learn about the correct intervals to clean your driveway.

Should I seal my driveway after pressure washing?

In general, it is advisable to seal the driveway surface after pressure washing it. It prevents water from getting into the concrete surface through small pores and cracks, and your surface is less likely to be damaged by frost, extra moisture, and humidity. Also, a sealed concrete driveway prevents dirt particles from getting inside the concrete.

After cleaning the driveway surface with the pressure washer, it is recommended to seal the surface. Wait until the driveway is fully dried. If you live in an area where there is a lot of traffic pollution, you should pressure wash your driveway at least once a year and seal it every other year.

What is the best machine Pressure Washer to clean your driveway?

In general, there are two types of pressure washers: Coldwater and hot water machines. Suppose you have a limited budget, use a cold water pressure washer. Hot water washers are more expensive. But my experience is that hot water models are just much better at cleaning the driveway surface. Particular if it has older oil and grease stains.

These types of pressure washers come with electric and gas units. Gas pressure washer produces more pollution, and they are generally noisier. So if you have an electric outlet near your driveway, you should go for a comparable electric pressure washer.

What is the best driveway cleaner?

In general, there are several products to clean a driveway. From a degreaser or concrete cleaner to using a detergent, soda, or bleach. And some alternatives that are more plant-friendly, like Baking Soda or Vinegar.

● Degreaser or Concrete Cleaner:

There are several types of degreasers or concrete cleaners on the market. Check the manual how to use them. Take care that you do not use them on your plants. Use the pressure washer to clean the whole driveway after using the product.

● Bleach:

Bleach is also a popular method to clean concrete. Use a bucket with warm water and around a cup of liquid bleach. Spray or pour it over the dirty areas. Let it stay there for a few minutes, and clean the whole area with the pressure washer. Use hand and eye protection when working with bleach, and do not mix it with other products.

● Detergent:

If you have smaller grease stains, you can try to use some strong detergent. Alternatively, you can use dishwasher detergent. Scrub the area with a brush and some water.


Soda is a relatively cheap product and can be used for removing grease stains. Add the soda to the dirty location and let it sit for around 30 minutes. If the stain is difficult to remove, use a brush with some water to help. Then clean the whole area with the pressure washer.

● Baking Soda:

An older but still popular option is to use baking soda. It is less harmful to the surrounding plants, even though I still would try to limit it to the driveway itself. Mix water with some baking soda, and treat the dirty areas with it.

● Vinegar:

Also, an older but still popular option is to use vinegar. This is also less harmful to plants. Mix an equal amount of vinegar and water and use it to treat the dirty areas.