Like it or not, our homes say a lot about who we are and how we
feel about ourselves. That’s probably why we focus so much on curb appeal. Although most people are diligent about painting and landscaping, you’d be surprised how many overlook that great big “welcome mat” we call a driveway. It probably wasn’t easy painting that porch and planting those petunias. So, don’t let a dirty driveway detract from it all. Here are some ways to keep your driveway as appealing as the rest of your home.
Start with a clean sweep.
Use a push broom to remove all the loose dirt and debris from the surface. This will allow you to better see the problem areas. It will also make things more comfortable if you have to get down on your knees to brush out tough stains.
Kitty litter to the rescue.
For fresh or recent stains, ones that are still near the surface, you can use a clay-based kitty litter. Pour a half-inch layer over the entire area. Then, using the push broom or the sole of your work boots, grind the kitty litter down into the concrete until it becomes a fine powder. Leave the powder covering the stain anywhere from one hour to two days, depending on the severity of the stain. Then sweep up the litter and dispose of it properly, since it will contain oil and grease.
If the kitty litter doesn’t cut it, your next option is some old-fashioned elbow grease, a nylon brush, soap and water. For really stubborn stains try a commercial emulsifier.
Bring in the heavy artillery.
If all else fails, you can purchase – or rent – a power washer. These machines concentrate a high-pressure jet of water that penetrates the pores of concrete and strips away the embedded grease and grime. Follow the manufacturer’s directions and avoid holding the nozzle too close to the concrete.
When the job is complete, you might consider applying a concrete sealer so that next year’s cleaning will be a little easier.
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