How to clean tarmac driveway?

Your driveway is not just a functional space; it’s also one of the first things people notice about your home’s exterior. A well-maintained driveway enhances curb appeal and gives a positive impression. Tarmac driveways, with their sleek appearance and durability, are a popular choice among homeowners. However, like any other surface, they require regular cleaning to keep them looking their best. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to clean your tarmac driveway effectively.

Understanding Tarmac Driveways

Tarmac, also known as asphalt, is a mixture of aggregate, binder, and filler. Tarmac driveways offer numerous advantages, including cost-effectiveness, flexibility, and quick installation. However, over time, they can develop issues such as stains, oil spills, moss, and tire marks.

Preparing for Cleaning

Before diving into the cleaning process, it’s essential to gather the necessary tools and materials. This includes a stiff broom, a pressure washer, a garden hose, a cleaning solution (preferably designed for tarmac), safety goggles, and gloves. Additionally, check for any repairs or damage that may require attention before proceeding with the cleaning.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning a Tarmac Driveway

Removing Debris and Loose Dirt: Begin by sweeping the driveway thoroughly to remove any loose dirt, leaves, or debris. This will prevent them from becoming trapped in the cleaning solution and scratching the surface during scrubbing.

Treating Stains and Oil Spills: Tarmac driveways are prone to stains and oil spills. To tackle these, use an appropriate stain remover or degreaser. Apply it to the affected areas and allow it to sit for a few minutes to penetrate the stains. Then, scrub the stains gently with a stiff brush or broom.

Applying a Cleaning Solution: Dilute a tarmac-specific cleaning solution with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Apply the solution evenly to the entire driveway, ensuring complete coverage.

Scrubbing and Using a Pressure Washer: Use a stiff brush or broom to scrub the cleaning solution into the tarmac surface. This will help dislodge any embedded dirt or stains. Once scrubbed, rinse the driveway using a pressure washer or a garden hose with a high-pressure nozzle. Start from the highest point and work your way downwards, ensuring that you cover the entire surface.

Rinsing off the Cleaning Solution: After pressure washing, thoroughly rinse off the cleaning solution from the driveway. It’s important to remove all residue to prevent it from drying and leaving streaks or marks.

Drying the Surface: Allow the tarmac driveway to air dry completely before walking or driving on it. This will prevent any potential damage that could be caused by premature use.

Tackling Specific Stains or Issues

Dealing with Oil Stains: For oil stains, apply an oil stain remover or a mixture of baking soda and water. Let it sit for a few minutes, scrub gently, and rinse thoroughly.

Removing Moss, Algae, or Weeds: Treat moss, algae, or weeds by using a moss killer or a mixture of white vinegar and water. Apply the solution, let it sit, and then scrub and rinse thoroughly.

Handling Tire Marks and Stubborn Stains: Stubborn stains and tire marks may require additional effort. Use a specialized tarmac cleaner or a mixture of detergent and warm water. Scrub the stains vigorously and rinse until clean.

Preventive Maintenance for Tarmac Driveways

Regular maintenance is key to preserving the cleanliness and longevity of your tarmac driveway. Here are some preventive measures to follow:

Regular Sweeping and Debris Removal: Remove debris, leaves, and loose dirt from your driveway on a regular basis. This will prevent them from accumulating and causing further damage.

Sealing Cracks and Applying a Protective Coating: Inspect your driveway for cracks and apply a suitable crack sealant. Additionally, consider applying a protective coating to enhance durability and prevent water damage.

Avoiding Harmful Chemicals or Substances: Avoid using harsh chemicals, gasoline, or oil-based products on your tarmac driveway, as they can cause staining and damage.

Proper Drainage and Water Management: Ensure that your driveway has proper drainage to avoid water pooling. Standing water can weaken the tarmac and lead to cracks or potholes.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Using Abrasive Tools or Harsh Chemicals: Avoid using abrasive tools, wire brushes, or harsh chemicals that can damage the tarmac surface.

Neglecting Repairs or Maintenance: Address any cracks, potholes, or damage promptly to prevent further deterioration.

Allowing Spills or Stains to Sit for Too Long: Act quickly to clean up any spills or stains to minimize their impact on the tarmac surface.

Additional Tips and Tricks

Using Natural or Homemade Cleaning Solutions: If you prefer natural alternatives, consider using a mixture of white vinegar and water or baking soda and water as a cleaning solution.

Hiring Professional Services for Deep Cleaning: For extensive cleaning or if you lack the time or resources, consider hiring professional cleaning services that specialize in tarmac driveways.

Applying a Fresh Layer of Tarmac if Needed: If your driveway is heavily damaged or beyond repair, consult with a professional contractor about applying a fresh layer of tarmac.


A clean and well-maintained tarmac driveway not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your home but also prolongs the lifespan of the surface. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article and implementing preventive maintenance measures, you can keep your tarmac driveway in pristine condition for years to come. Regular cleaning and care will ensure that your driveway remains a welcoming entrance to your home, leaving a lasting positive impression on visitors and passersby alike.

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