Sidewalks become dirty for a number of reasons. Oil stains, planters that have been in one place too long, mold and mildew, or accumulated use from regular wear and tear can all contribute to a dirty sidewalk.
That’s why sidewalks need love too! A clean sidewalk not only gives your visiting guests a better first impression of your home, it will give your yard more curb appeal!
If you’re wanting to give your sidewalk a much-needed scrub, you’ll first need to decide what tool you will use. Sidewalk cleaners are a fast and thorough way to restore your sidewalk’s pristine appearance!
What Is a Sidewalk Cleaner?
A sidewalk cleaner is an attachment for a pressure washer which is designed to clean sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots. Most models resemble large saucers with wheels, and are guided by waist-high handles. Since cleaning a sidewalk can be wet work, some models are designed to direct the water stream away from the person who is steering.
There are other ways to clean a sidewalk, of course! Some people will use sidewalk cleaner, a stiff scrub brush, and patience. Larger projects may require a motorized ride-in sidewalk cleaner. Those who don’t mind getting wet may even use a pressure washer without the sidewalk cleaner attachment!
How to Clean a Sidewalk
While your tool of choice may vary, the same basic idea holds true for all types of sidewalk cleaning. These instructions will work for cleaning sidewalks, driveways, patios, and terraces too!
What You Will Need
Concrete or Sidewalk Cleaning Solution (if using)
Sidewalk Cleaner (or your tool of choice)
1. First, use the stiff-bristled brush to loosen any dirt or accumulation on top of the sidewalk.
2. You’ll then want to sweep away any loose leaves, dirt, grass, or the debris you’ve loosened from the sidewalk.
3. Apply your chosen concrete or sidewalk cleaning solution, if using. This can be a DIY creation or a heavy duty chemical cleaner. Let the solution sit for at least 10 minutes.
4. Now that your sidewalk is prepped, hook up your sidewalk cleaner (or otherwise set up the tool you are using) and start from one corner of the sidewalk.
5. You’ll want to keep your strokes even and methodical if possible. This will ensure that your sidewalk gets an even clean the first time around, and reduces the likelihood of you needing to go back and fix a spot you’ve missed.
6. If your sidewalk is very dirty and needs a second clean, rinse and repeat!
7. Rinse your sidewalk with clean water from your hose when you are finished.
You can reduce the need for a deep clean by giving your sidewalk a regular cleaning. You can do this with your garden hose set on an intense spray.
DIY Concrete Cleaner
There are plenty of good quality commercial concrete cleaners available online or at your local hardware store. However, if you like DIY projects, you can also make your own concrete cleaner at home using items you may already have on hand!
- Vinegar, Water, and a Spray Bottle: Vinegar is a great natural cleaner with a variety of uses around the house! You can also use it on your dirty sidewalk. The best part about this option is that you can adjust the strength of the solution by how much vinegar you add. The more vinegar, the stronger the cleaning power, and vice versa. Not a fan of vinegar’s smell? Add a few drops of essential oils to your taste.
- Baking Soda and Vinegar: Vinegar and baking soda’s unique chemical reaction will make short work of any accumulated grime on your sidewalk. Combine the two into a paste and then apply the paste to the sidewalk. This option is best for smaller, tough stains.
- Bleach and Water: A classic combination, bleach diluted with water will kill any mold or mildew growing on your sidewalk. It can also brighten the appearance of the concrete at the same time!
Northside Tool Rental
If your sidewalk just needs a touchup, or if you’ve moved into a new home and can barely see the sidewalk for the grime, we’ve got the right tool for you. Our sidewalk cleaners come in 20”, 24” and 28” sizes. They can also be used on patios, terraces, and driveways! Contact us today at one of our five convenient Atlanta-area locations. We’ll help you get your sidewalk looking great in no time at all!