Driveways can useful, but they can also be a huge pain in the rear end since they have a tendency to collect stains of all sorts. If you find yourself faced with a particularly dirty or stained driveway, there is pretty much only one surefire method that you can use to get it clean, and that is by employing a cleaning agent called muriatic acid. Just make sure that you follow these directions to ensure that you are using it safely.
- Gather the materials. Go to your local home improvement store to pick up some muriatic acid. Quite often you can find this material in either the masonry section or the pool section. After you have obtained the muriatic acid, you'll want to get a few other items: a large bucket; a large, stiff bristled brush; a large paintbrush; and a pressure washer. If you can't afford one of these helpful pieces of equipment, then rent one. See item 3 regarding safety gear for additional necessary items.
- Read the directions. Once you have picked up the muriatic acid, make sure that you read the instructions carefully. This also goes for any equipment that you purchase or rent as well. This way you will know the proper method for handling the chemicals as well as the other equipment that you will be using.
- Procure the proper safety gear. While you are at the home improvement store, you will want to also pick up a few other items as well: chemical-resistant safety gloves, suits, goggles, and a respirator that is designed to deal with harsh chemicals like hydrochloric acid.
- Make the solution. Follow the manufacturer's directions when making the acidic solution. Each manufacturer has a set way of mixing the muriatic acid, and you will want to ensure that you follow those directions closely to avoid any accidents.
- Apply the solution. Begin applying the cleaning solution to the stained areas of your driveway. The best way to do this is to either brush it on using a paintbrush, or pour a little bit of solution onto the stained area and use a stiff-bristled brush to spread it around. Either way, use the stiff-bristled brush to work the solution into the stain.
- Rinse the solution. After you have scrubbed away at the stain, you need to rinse the area clean. Using a pressure washer is the best way to do this, but if you can't afford to purchase or rent one, a water hose will suffice. Make sure that you use plenty of water to help dilute the muriatic acid. Remember: this stuff is pretty strong.
- Inspect and repeat. Once you have rinsed off the solution, take a bit of time and carefully inspect your work. If you still see any stain on the driveway, you will need to repeat steps four through six until the stain has been removed completely. Once the stain has been removed, you can let the driveway dry out, and then do one of two things. The first is to do nothing and live with the way the driveway looks. The second is to apply masonry, concrete, or asphalt sealer to the driveway. Ideally you will reseal the driveway so that it will help protect the masonry from the elements and future stains.
Muriatic acid can be extremely effective when used to clean your driveway. In fact, muriatic acid can be an effective tool when cleaning most (if not all) types of stone, masonry, and other similar hard materials. However, you must always remember to use the proper safety precautions since this stuff, when used incorrectly, can potentially be harmful or cause unintended damage. Just remember to be careful.