How Long Does it Take to Pressure Wash a Driveway?

Pressure washers are useful tools that can be used on windows, houses, and cars. But did you know it can be used on your driveway? It’s low-cost option to make the outside of your house look new again. But how long does it take to pressure wash a driveway?

If you want the job done right, pressure washing a driveway can take anywhere from 2-6 hours. There are many factors that come into play, like how long the driveway is and the condition it’s in.

Let’s take a look at what to expect, if you decide to tackle this cleaning project.

Factors to Consider:

Not every driveway is built the same. The size, amount of dirt, slope, and even material type will impact the amount of time it takes to clean.

Below we’ve listed all the factors that impact how long it takes to pressure wash a driveway.

Length of Driveway

It’s no secret that a longer driveway will take more time to pressure wash. You could get away with cleaning a short driveway in under two hours.

But a longer driveway has more surface area and will take more time. More driveway also means more edges.

Even though a surface cleaner will do most of the work, it won’t do the entire job. The driveway edges are a little trickier to clean, so you will need to clean them up with the pressure wand.

Condition of Driveway

A neglected driveway will always take more time to clean. These surfaces will be discolored and have stains from cars, plants, and other elements.

Driveways that are kept up with on a regular basis can get away with a less thorough cleaning.

For extremely dirty driveways, it’s absolutely crucial to take your time. If you speed through a heavily stained driveway, it won’t look as good at the end.

You need to slow down to prevent ugly overlapping lines from a rushed job.

Slope of Driveway

You probably aren’t working with a driveway that is perfectly level. But the most important thing to understand about a driveway is the pitch.

You need to figure out where the water will pool, so you can clean that area first.

Water pools can decrease the cleaning power of pressure washers, so you need to deal with this area first. It can be annoying if you don’t know where the pitch is, because you’ll be battling water for the entire job.

Material of Driveway

Driveways come in all different shapes, sizes, and materials. Poured concrete, paved asphalt, stone and interlocking pavers are some of the more popular options you can find today.

So, how does this impact the amount of time it takes to clean?

Stone and paver driveways will have many different interlocking sections because of their small shape. That means you will need to spray down these areas to free up loose dirt.

Concrete driveways on the other hand have fewer expansion joints that will be much faster to clean.

How to Pressure Wash a Driveway

How Long Does it Take to Pressure Wash a Driveway

1. Prepare the Driveway

Before you begin pressure washing, it helps to prepare the area on and around your driveway. This includes removing any door mats, planters, cars, or anything else that will get in the way.

Don’t forget to untangle any hoses or electrical cords.

This is also a good time to wash the perimeter of your driveway. A surface cleaner doesn’t have the accuracy to do these areas.

Use a tight nozzle on your wand to clean these sections that require a little more skill and control.

2. Use a Surface Cleaner

Avoid using the wand your pressure washer came with. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when cleaning the driveway.

Wands will create wave marks on the surface and leave you with unprofessional results. Surface cleaners will easily attach to your pressure washer with a quick connect.

They roll around on wheels which makes it much easier to clean flat surfaces. This machine will help create an even spray of water for a cleaner finish.

3. Work in Sections

It helps to split up the driveway into sections to make cleaning easier. Once you clean a small area with the surface cleaner, there will still be dirty water sitting on top.

It’s important to get rid of this dirt as quickly as possible. If not, the dirty water will begin to dry, and you won’t get that bright white finish on the concrete when the project is done.

It also helps to spray sections of the driveway off so you can actually see what areas have been cleaned.

4. Take your Time

The more time you spend pressure washing a driveway guarantees better results. Time equals cleaning power, so avoid rushing the task to get it over with.

More time also gives you the flexibility to use different cleaning patterns. When you slow down the process you can utilize different methods for improved cleaning.

Try using back and forth motions, or hash marks with the surface cleaner. With this method you will clean in vertical lines, followed up by horizontal lines.

Do You Need to Use Soap?

There are plenty of driveway cleaning soaps on the market. But are they really any good? The truth is, there’s no need to use soaps, detergents, or any other chemicals when cleaning your driveway.

All you need is a high-powered pressure washer. At the end of the day, these soaps really aren’t doing that much.

It’s not like you’re getting on your hands and knees and scrubbing the driveway with a brush. The design of a surface washer is what makes a driveway clean. The results speak for themself.

Is it Illegal to Pressure Wash Your Driveway?

This is a common question most people wonder before pressure washing their driveway. It really depends on where you live, but pressure washing your driveway is illegal if you live in a subdivision with a water drain.

According to the EPA, any discharge you create that flows into a water drain is illegal. You probably won’t get fined (unless your neighbors hate you).

Law enforcement has better things to do than monitor your water usage. This is another reason why you shouldn’t use chemicals. If you’re only using water to clean your driveway, no one really cares.

But when using bleach, soaps, or other chemicals, just be aware that you could get fined. If you’re really paranoid you could solve this problem with a water reclamation system.

How Often Should I Pressure Wash My Driveway?

You should ideally pressure wash your driveway once a year. It’s best to do this in the spring, before the weather gets too hot.

This is when you can remove all those natural stains that were sitting on your driveway surface all winter long. This is typically the time of year homeowners tackle outdoor projects.

Just remember to pressure wash your house and clean the gutters, before beginning this project. You want to avoid leaves, dirt, and grime from landing on your freshly cleaned driveway.


Pressure washing your driveway can completely transform the exterior of your home. Expect to take anywhere from 2-6 hours if you want the job done correctly.

But this time frame can vary depending on the size and condition it’s in. A regular cleaning of your driveway should be done about once a year.

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