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How to Clean a Tarmac Driveway

How to Clean a Tarmac Driveway

At Wade, we know that curb appeal can be a big deal, but when a tarmac driveway becomes scuffed or covered in moss or other mess, cleaning it up can be daunting.

Regular maintenance of a tarmac driveway can extend its life and keep it looking good for longer, but there are a few top tips that will make it an easier task.


Get a Stiff Broom

Moss will grow almost anywhere, and even though it has a shallow root system, preferring to grip a surface rather than dig deep, it will cause damage over time. Using a stiff broom, or dustpan brush, will lift most moss.

Sweep the driveway, dump the moss on your compost heap, or bag it up to take to the green waste recycling centre.

man using brush to clean driveway

Treat the Surface

You can use a biological washing powder on the moss stains that remain. Simply scatter it over the affected area and leave for a few hours. Washing powder will deter moss from regrowing and will be gentle on the tarmac binders that hold the driveway together.

Another option is to mix up a detergent in warm water in a watering can. Add an equal part of white vinegar to the mix. It won’t make your driveway smell like a chip shop, but it will effectively kill off any remaining moss.

Use detergent to clean driveway

Removing Oil and Grease Stains

Oil and grease are hydrocarbons that are effectively cousins to your tarmacadam driveway, so using anything designed to dissolve either could harm the very thing you are trying to preserve.

Instead, this is going to take patience and a little elbow grease (no relation). Warm water and detergent, mixed with a little baking soda should do the trick. Apply with a stiff brush and rinse repeatedly with plenty of water.


Taking Paint off Tarmac

Whatever you do, leave the white spirit, or other solvent cleaner in the garage. It might be good at lifting paint, but it may well attack the tarmac too, at best staining it, at worst, lifting the top layer of the driveway or spreading the stain deeper into the tarmac.

Use an absorbent cloth, or paper towels to remove as much wet paint as possible. Any remaining water-based paint will probably hose off. For oil-based paint, it’s detergent, water, and elbow grease once again!


The Magic of WD40

Stubborn grease spots, paint marks or chemical stains can be treated with WD40 and a stiff brush. The light-grade lubricant properties of WD40 can help lift the offending problem areas.

Once done, rinse with warm water and a little detergent to disperse any remainder.


Be Careful With the Jet Wash

If you have a jetwash then set it to the lowest spray setting. Go too strong and there is a danger that the water jet could damage the surface. A gentle spray across the entire area with either a hose or jetwash should clear your drive of any remaining debris and residue.

using a pressure washer on driveway

How to Protect a Tarmac Driveway

To keep a tarmac driveway looking good between cleans, use a protective product like Everbuild’s Tarmac Restorer that seals the tarmac, and gives it a like-new sheen.


Everbuild Tarmac Restorer 5L

Everbuild Tarmac Restorer
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It provides a barrier that will deter moss and protect against oil and petrol spills. Once you have the driveway cleaned up, treat it and let the product dry for four hours before use.

For pavers and stone pathways use Sika’s Patio Sealant for excellent protection.


Sika Path, Patio & Driveway Sealer 5L

Sika Path, Patio & Driveway Sealer
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Carrying out cleaning and sealing work to your tarmac driveway every two to three years will ensure it lasts well and looks great, preserving that curb appeal for years to come.

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