Asphalt Cleaning 101

Proper asphalt cleaning, without damaging the surface, can be a challenge. I share my pro-tips & recommendations for cleaning blacktop quickly & effectively using a pressure washer.

If you need a pro grade degreasing detergent check out Simple Green Heavy Duty Detergent on Amazon.

It's a one-step cleaner/degreaser that's formulated for lawn equipment, appliances, auto, motorcycles, RV's, BBB's, ovens, grills, stovetops, heavy equipment, wheels, tools & more.

Check Amazon's price on the Simple Green Pro Degreaser Detergent.

A lot of things get stuck on asphalt driveways, walkways & paths. Dust, dirt, mud, leaves, bird droppings, etc. Yes, you can remove most, but not all of these, with a garden hose. And there are always the really stubborn stains like oil, gas, tire marks, grease, etc. that a garden hose just can’t remove.

Your average garden hose has a PSI rating of 40 to 60. But pressure washers have ranges of 1,200 to 3,200+ PSI, so you’ll get much deeper & faster cleaning. With the asphalt cleaning power that pressure washers offer, you’ll be able to tackle set-in stains & oil stains too.

My pro advice, for the best results without damage, is to pre-treat with a pressure washer detergent. Most contractors use a detergent, first, to save them time and money. Detergents are cheap & they really work!

And you can check out my #1 deck detergent which will help you clean faster & give you pro results: economical Simple Green power washing soap on Amazon. (hint: commercial pressure washer contractors always use soap!)

The most important thing to remember about effectively using a detergent for asphalt cleaning is that, after you apply the detergent with your black (soaper) nozzle, you need to let the detergent sit on the surface for as long as the directions indicate. Don’t rush it. Apply the detergent & let it sit and do its work. The detergent does the heavy lifting for you. You’ll be amazed at the difference in quicker & deeper cleaning you'll get by doing this.

Take my advice: never, ever use home-made detergents. They’re not as effective & you run the risk of ruining your pressure washer – or the surface you’re trying to clean.

And I really want to mention, if you have a large blacktop driveway, court, or path, you really should consider getting a flat surface cleaner for your pressure washer. A flat surface cleaner will clean even faster – 4 times faster than a regular pressure washer nozzle. Again, you’ll see that contractors use these too. Using one will give you the even, pro results you’re looking for, eliminating the risk of zebra-stripping.

I highly recommend the Yamaha Surface Cleaner on Amazon, as the best model on the market in 2015! It has a 15” head, which is a generous cleaning path size for fastest cleaning. This Yamaha attachment will clean your dirty concrete & asphalt surfaces up to 4 times faster than a standard nozzle can do! I really like that it’s a quick connect attachment that will work for almost all power washers up to 3,300 PSI. You just can’t go wrong with this Yamaha surface cleaner – and you can check Amazon’s price.


If you only have a small area of blacktop to clean, using a regular pressure washer nozzle will get the job done for you. After your detergent has had time to soak in, hold your white nozzle 3 to 4 feet away from the surface. Only move the white nozzle closer to the surface if its absolutely necessary. You don’t want to gouge or zebra stripe the asphalt surface! Take it slow & carefully.

Now you’re ready to tackle your asphalt cleaning projects.

Here's My Top Recommendation for the Best Gas Pressure Washer:

When you compare power, quality, speed & cost, I really recommend the Generac 6596 as the #1 gas pressure washer!

Here's why I think it's the best gas pressure washer choice:

With it's powerful Generac 196 cc OHV gas engine, you'll get a whopping 2,800 PSI with 2.5 GPM - which is a powerful amount of cleaning power! You'll be able to clean much faster than if you were using an electric unit.

And I want to say that I really like the high quality Generac axial cam pump. It's built to last over the long haul. And you can read other customer reviews on Amazon.com.

For such a power house of a washer, this Generac weighs a relatively lightweight 65.5 lbs. But what makes it very unique is that it has a specially designed frame that perfectly balances the engine & pump over the axle, for lighter handling. This Generac washer moves easily & effortlessly!

The spray gun is molded so it's comfortable in your hand - even if you're using it for a long time. And I really, really like the oversized Never-Flat tires. Goodbye to irritating flat tires while you're working.

The Generac 6596 is an excellent gas pressure washer at a great price.  You can see Amazon.com's price.

Here's My Top Recommendation for the Best Electric Pressure Washer:

I highly recommend the AR Blue Clean AR383 as the best electric pressure washer for any homeowner! Here's why I think it's the best electric unit:

It provides 1900 PSI which gives you very good cleaning power & speed - and  it has an Annovi Reverberi Triplex 3 axial piston pump!  As a pro, I know very well that the quality of your pump is critical for good cleaning results, consistent performance & long life. This Annovi Triplex pump is a much higher quality & longer lasting pump than you'll see on other electric washers.  And you can read other customer reviews on Amazon.com.

And I know you'll really appreciate that this AR Blue Clean has a hose reel! Finally - you can get a hose reel on an electric unit! Trust me, the fact that you can neatly & quickly store your 20ft hose on the unit will help you work faster & more safely. And it's also easier to store. You can check this item at Amazons price.

And if you're interested in seeing a handy chart of all the pressure washer nozzle colors, and what cleaning jobs they're best suited for, see this Pressure Washer Nozzle Color Chart.

Questions? Contact Me

Best Pressure Washers Comparison Chart Here - Quick & Easy!

Best Replacement Pumps Comparison Chart Here!