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.
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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 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.
My Top 3 Pressure Washer Pump Picks on Amazon: