How to Pressure wash Asphalt Driveway [2023 Updated]

Asphalt driveways can add a beautiful and functional touch to any property, but they are also prone to accumulating dirt, debris, and stains over time. When left unattended, these unsightly blemishes can quickly become an eyesore and detract from the curb appeal of your home. This is where pressure washing comes in. By using high-pressure water to blast away dirt and grime, you can restore your driveway to its original pristine condition. 

How to pressure wash asphalt driveway? To pressure wash your asphalt driveway, first clear any debris and pre-treat oil stains with a degreaser. Select an appropriate nozzle and pressure setting, and begin washing from the top down, working in sections. Use sweeping motions and keep the nozzle at a safe distance to avoid damaging the surface.

If you’re looking to give your asphalt driveway a facelift, then keep reading to discover everything you need to know about pressure washing.



Before pressure washing your asphalt driveway, take some time to properly prepare the surface. This will help ensure that you achieve the best results possible and avoid any potential damage to the driveway or surrounding areas. 

By following these steps, you can make sure your pressure washing project goes smoothly and your driveway looks clean and well-maintained.

Related: How long does it take to pressure wash a driveway?

Gathering necessary equipment

Gathering necessary equipment is a crucial step in preparing to pressure wash an asphalt driveway. The equipment needed includes a pressure washer, an extension wand, a surface cleaner attachment, a garden hose, and cleaning solution.

Choosing the right pressure washer with adequate pressure and flow rate is crucial to ensure efficient cleaning without damaging the driveway surface.

The extension wand and surface cleaner attachment make it easier to reach and clean large areas. The garden hose provides a water source, and a cleaning solution can help break down dirt and stains on the driveway.

It’s essential to gather all the necessary equipment before starting to pressure wash the asphalt driveway to avoid interruptions and ensure a successful cleaning process.

Clearing the driveway

When pressure washing an asphalt driveway, clearing the surface is a step in the preparation process. This involves removing any debris, such as sticks, leaves, or dirt, that may be on the driveway.

Clearing the driveway will ensure that the pressure washer can effectively clean the surface and prevent any damage that may be caused by the debris getting caught in the machine. Clearing the driveway will help to achieve a more even and thorough cleaning of the asphalt surface.

Covering surrounding areas

Prepare the surrounding areas to prevent damage and ensure safety. This includes covering nearby plants, outdoor furniture, and any other objects that could be impacted by the high-pressure water.

Remove any debris or loose materials from the driveway before beginning the pressure washing process. Taking the time to properly prepare the surrounding areas can help to ensure a successful and safe pressure washing experience.

Pressure washing

Pressure washing

Here are the steps to pressure wash your asphalt driveway, the right way:

Setting up the pressure washer

In order to effectively pressure wash an asphalt driveway, properly set up the pressure washer. This involves selecting the appropriate nozzle for the job, connecting the water supply, and ensuring that the pressure washer is securely grounded.

It may be necessary to adjust the pressure and temperature settings based on the condition of the driveway and the type of stains or debris present. Taking the time to set up the pressure washer correctly can help ensure a successful and efficient cleaning process.

Starting the pressure washer

Starting the pressure washer is an essential step before pressure washing your asphalt driveway. Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before starting the machine to avoid any accidents or damage to the equipment.

Make sure to have the appropriate safety gear, such as eye and ear protection, and wear suitable clothing. Always test the pressure on a small area of the driveway before starting the full cleaning process to avoid any potential damage. Be sure to keep the nozzle at a safe distance from the surface being cleaned to prevent any unwanted harm.

Washing the driveway (Top to bottom, Left to right)

When pressure washing your asphalt driveway, follow a specific technique to ensure that it’s thoroughly cleaned without causing any damage. Start by washing from top to bottom, as this will prevent dirt and grime from getting stuck in the areas you’ve already cleaned.

Washing from left to right will ensure that you don’t miss any spots and provide a consistent and even clean. By following these simple guidelines, you can effectively pressure wash your driveway and leave it looking brand new.

Focusing on tough stains

In pressure washing an asphalt driveway, focusing on tough stains is crucial for achieving a clean and polished finish. Some of the most common tough stains on driveways include oil and grease stains, tire marks, and rust stains.

To effectively remove these stains, it’s recommended to use a high-pressure washer along with a specialized cleaning solution that can break down the stains.

Use the correct nozzle and pressure setting on the washer to avoid damaging the surface of the asphalt. By focusing on tough stains and using the right techniques and equipment, you can restore your driveway to its original condition and improve its curb appeal.

Adjusting pressure as needed

When pressure washing an asphalt driveway, adjust the pressure as needed to avoid causing damage. Using too much pressure can strip away the top layer of the asphalt and create rough patches or cracks.

On the other hand, not using enough pressure may not effectively remove dirt and debris. Start with the lowest pressure setting and gradually increase it until the desired level of cleanliness is achieved. It’s recommended to use a wide-angle nozzle to distribute the pressure evenly and prevent concentrated spots that can damage the asphalt.



Once you have completed pressure washing your asphalt driveway, it’s necessary to take a few post-wash steps to ensure that it stays clean and in good condition. In this section, we’ll go over some things to keep in mind after pressure washing your driveway, including how to prevent stains and how to maintain the asphalt’s integrity.

By following these tips, you can enjoy a freshly cleaned driveway for longer and avoid the need for frequent pressure washing in the future.

Turning off the pressure washer

When you’re done pressure washing your asphalt driveway, turn off the pressure washer properly. To do this, first, release the trigger on the wand to stop the water flow. Then, turn off the engine or motor on your pressure washer, and release any remaining pressure in the hose by squeezing the wand trigger.

Disconnect the hose from the washer and drain any remaining water from the hose and wand before storing them. This will help prevent any damage to your pressure washer and ensure that it’s ready for your next use.

Rinsing the driveway

Rinsing the driveway after pressure washing is an important step to ensure that all the dirt and debris are removed from the surface. It is recommended to use a high-pressure nozzle to rinse the driveway thoroughly.

Start from the highest point of the driveway and work your way down towards the street, making sure to cover every inch of the surface.

Be sure to avoid directing the spray towards the house or other delicate surfaces, as the high-pressure water can cause damage. Once you have finished rinsing, allow the driveway to dry completely before using it again.

Cleaning up equipment

After pressure washing your asphalt driveway, properly clean up your equipment to ensure it lasts a long time and is ready for future use. Begin by turning off the pressure washer and disconnecting the water source. Empty any remaining water in the machine and detach the hose and wand.

Clean the wand and nozzle thoroughly, and store them in a dry place to prevent rust or damage. Drain the hose and coil it neatly for storage. Clean the pressure washer itself with a damp cloth, making sure to remove any dirt or debris from the exterior.

Properly cleaning and storing your pressure washing equipment will help prolong its life and ensure it’s ready for your next cleaning project.

Allowing the driveway to dry

Allow the driveway to dry completely before using it again. This is because any remaining moisture on the surface can cause slipperiness and make it unsafe to walk or drive on. To speed up the drying process, you can use a leaf blower or simply wait for the sun to dry it naturally.

Avoid parking heavy vehicles or placing heavy objects on the driveway until it’s fully dry to avoid any damage or indentation on the surface.

Maintenance tips

Maintenance tips

When it comes to maintaining your home’s exterior, one area that often gets overlooked is the driveway. Over time, dirt, grime, and stains can build up on your asphalt driveway, leaving it looking dull and dingy. But with a pressure washer, you can easily restore your driveway’s appearance and prolong its lifespan.

In this section, we are discussing some essential maintenance tips for pressure washing your asphalt driveway. From preparing the surface to selecting the right pressure washer, we’ll cover everything you need to know to get your driveway looking like new again.

Regular cleaning schedule

Regular cleaning is an essential maintenance task for asphalt driveways. It helps to remove dirt, debris, and stains that can accumulate on the surface and cause damage over time. A regular cleaning schedule should be established to keep your driveway in good condition.

The frequency of cleaning depends on the weather conditions and the amount of traffic on the driveway. If the driveway is in an area with heavy traffic, it should be cleaned more often. In general, it is recommended to clean the driveway at least once a year.

Using the right detergent

When pressure washing an asphalt driveway, use the right detergent. Using a detergent specifically designed for asphalt can help remove stubborn stains and grime without damaging the surface.

Avoid using harsh chemicals such as bleach or ammonia, as they can cause discoloration and even strip away the top layer of the asphalt.

It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and dilute the detergent properly before use. Rinse the driveway thoroughly after cleaning to prevent any residue from remaining on the surface. By using the right detergent, you can effectively clean your asphalt driveway without causing any damage.

Repairing cracks and potholes

Repairing cracks and potholes is an essential part of maintaining an asphalt driveway. Cracks and potholes can cause further damage to the surface and even lead to accidents. The first step is to clean the area and remove any debris.

Next, fill the cracks with a quality filler and level it off with a trowel. For potholes, clean the area and fill it with a cold patch asphalt mixture, then tamp it down with a tamper. Address any cracks and potholes as soon as possible to prevent them from getting worse.

Sealing the driveway

Sealing the driveway is an essential maintenance task that can help to protect and extend the life of your asphalt driveway. By sealing your driveway, you can prevent moisture and debris from penetrating the surface and causing damage, such as cracks and potholes. It can also improve the appearance of your driveway by restoring its color and reducing the impact of UV rays.

To ensure effective sealing, properly clean and prepare the surface before applying the sealant. You should also choose a high-quality sealant that is appropriate for your climate and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully for best results. It is recommended to seal your asphalt driveway every 2-3 years for optimal maintenance.


Prepare the area by clearing any debris and inspecting for cracks. Then, use a high-pressure washer and a specialized cleaning solution to blast away dirt and grime. Be sure to start from the top and work your way down, and avoid damaging the surface or forcing water underneath. 

As we come to the end of this blog on pressure washing your asphalt driveway, recap the benefits of this simple but effective maintenance technique. By using a pressure washer to clean your driveway, you can remove dirt, grime, and other debris that can cause damage over time. This helps to protect your driveway from cracks and other forms of wear and tear, which can extend its lifespan and save you money in the long run.

However, it’s not just about the short-term benefits. Regular pressure washing is part of ongoing driveway maintenance that can help to prevent costly repairs down the line. By making pressure washing a regular part of your maintenance routine, you can keep your driveway looking great for years to come.

So if you haven’t already, we encourage you to take action and give your driveway the care it deserves. By investing a little time and effort into pressure washing your driveway, you can enjoy a host of benefits that will pay off in the long run. So what are you waiting for? Break out that pressure washer and get to work!

Frequently Asked Questions (Pressure wash Asphalt Driveway)

Does asphalt need to be pressure washed?

Pressure washing asphalt can help remove dirt, debris, and stains, enhancing its appearance and longevity. However, it is not always necessary to pressure wash asphalt. Routine sweeping and occasional spot cleaning can be sufficient for regular maintenance.

Assess the condition of your asphalt and the level of dirt or stains before deciding if pressure washing is needed.

What is the best way to clean an asphalt driveway?

To clean an asphalt driveway effectively, start by removing loose debris using a broom or leaf blower. Next, rinse the surface with a hose to remove any remaining dirt. For stubborn stains or oil spots, use a commercial asphalt cleaner or a mixture of dish soap and water.

Scrub the affected areas gently with a brush, then rinse thoroughly. Regular sweeping and maintenance will also help keep your asphalt driveway clean.

What kind of soap do you use to clean an asphalt driveway?

When cleaning an asphalt driveway, it’s important to use a mild soap that is safe for asphalt surfaces. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the asphalt. A suitable option is a dish soap, such as liquid dishwashing detergent.

Mix it with water to create a soapy solution, then apply it to the stained areas and scrub gently. Rinse the driveway thoroughly after cleaning.

What is the best PSI to pressure wash a driveway?

The ideal PSI (pounds per square inch) for pressure washing a driveway depends on various factors, including the condition of the surface and the type of stains you are dealing with. As a general guideline, a pressure washer with a PSI between 2,000 and 3,000 is typically suitable for cleaning driveways.

However, it’s essential to adjust the pressure accordingly and use the appropriate nozzle to avoid damaging the asphalt surface. Start with a lower pressure setting and gradually increase if needed while keeping a safe distance from the asphalt.

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Andrew Joseph
Andrew Joseph

Introducing Andrew Joseph, a pressure washing expert with 15 years of experience in residential, commercial, and industrial projects. Andrew shares his vast knowledge through insightful blog posts, offering valuable tips and best practices for optimal cleaning results. His passion for educating others, combined with his extensive expertise, makes Andrew an indispensable resource for those looking to master the art of pressure washing.