With summer vacations officially underway, everyone is ready to get outside, but mildew growing on your concrete can put a stop to your summer plans.
Mildew is gross and unsanitary, and you don’t want mildew to be part of your summer hangouts.
If you’ve found yourself in this situation, you probably have wondered how to clean concrete driveway mildew and remove it.
Luckily, we’ve done the research, and cleaning concrete driveway mildew is easy with a few essential household items and a few simple steps.
What You’ll Need
You will need a few simple things to clean concrete driveway mildew.
- Protective gloves
- Spray bottle
- Hose with running water
- Scrub brush
- Cleaning cloth
Now that you have everything you need read on to learn how to clean off your concrete driveway mildew.
1. Mix Bleach and Water in a Spray Bottle
Before handling the bleach, put on your protective gloves.
Bleach can be corrosive to human skin, so don’t touch it if you can at all avoid it.
I recommend these Reusable Kitchen Cleaning Gloves With Latex Free, Cotton Lining that I found on Amazon.
They are waterproof, oilproof, and suitable for the kitchen or garden, plus they get excellent reviews.
Combine ¼ cup of bleach with a gallon of hot water and pour this mixture into a spray bottle or a bucket.
Diluting your bleach is important; undiluted bleach can damage and stain your concrete, and it will damage plant life around your concrete.
Properly diluting your bleach is a measure you can take to protect your grass and plants.
2. Spray the Affected Area Thoroughly
If you use a spray bottle, put your bleach and water mixture into it and thoroughly spray the affected area.
Be careful not to spray any plant life growing along your sidewalk.
If you are using a bucket and cleaning cloth, use the cleaning cloth to saturate the affected area with the bleach and water mixture.
These microfiber cleaning cloths work really well because they are a little more robust than your normal cloth.
I highly recommend wearing your protective gloves as you soak the cloth and scrub your concrete driveway.
Once you have adequately soaked the affected area, let the bleach sit for 5-10 minutes.
This will allow the bleach to kill off the mildew, making it easier to scrub out of the concrete.
Pro tip: If your concrete has a unique finish, the bleach may damage that finish.
Before spraying the bleach and water mixture all over your driveway, test it in an inconspicuous area first to ensure it will not damage the final appearance of your concrete driveway.
3. Scrub the Affected Area with a Scrub Brush
Once you have allowed the bleach and water mixture to sit on the affected areas of your concrete for 5-10 minutes, use your scrub brush or cleaning cloth to scrub the mildew off your concrete.
I recommend this LandHope Hard Bristle Deck Broom Adjustable Long Handled Scrub Brush Heavy Duty Concrete.
It’s made for tough surfaces like concrete.
You can use some clean water to help facilitate this process, but the most crucial part is that you scrub vigorously and aggressively.
Mildew can work its way down into the pores and cracks of concrete, so you may have to bleach and clean a couple of times to get all the mildew out.
4. Rinse the Area Thoroughly
After you have thoroughly scrubbed your concrete, use your hose to rinse the area thoroughly.
While you can rent a power washer, you can also use a regular garden hose.
Put your finger partially into the hose to increase the water pressure; this is usually enough to clean your driveway.
You may need to do a bit of additional scrubbing as you are rinsing, especially if the water brings up mildew particles you hadn’t noticed.
That’s alright; alternate between scrubbing and rinsing until your driveway is clean.
Pro tip: To prevent the bleach from damaging the plant life, control your runoff.
Limit the amount of bleach that enters the ground around your driveway to prevent any of the plants from absorbing it.
The following video demonstrates how to clean concrete driveway mildew properly.
0:45—spray bleach on the affected areas
0:52—allow the bleach to sit for 5-10 minutes
2:36—wipe up any loose mildew
2:43—rinse the bleach off with a hose
2:47—scrub the concrete while rinsing
3:38—rinse the concrete again
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use vinegar to get rid of the mildew in my concrete?
If you are concerned about using bleach in an outdoor environment, you can also use a mixture of distilled white vinegar and water.
Mix 1 part distilled white vinegar with nine parts water and spray the mixture on the affected area.
Use your cleaning cloth or a sponge to scrub away the top layer of mildew gently.
Once you have wiped away the top layer of mildew, use a clean sponge to saturate the affected area with undiluted vinegar.
I recommend wearing protective gloves to protect yourself from the vinegar’s acidity.
Allow the vinegar to sit. Depending on the severity of the mildew, this could be 15 minutes up to an hour.
Once you have let it sit, pat the area dry with a paper towel.
You may have to repeat this process several times.
If so, wash the affected area of your concrete driveway with vinegar once a week until the mildew is gone.
How does mildew take hold of my concrete?
Concrete is an excellent place for mildew to flourish because it holds water.
The mildew settles into the nooks and crannies of your concrete and grows on the water and the dust that usually settles on all outdoor concrete.
If your concrete driveway has constantly shaded areas or live in a damp, humid location, mildew is likely to grow there.
How can I prevent mildew in my concrete driveway?
Mildew grows in damp, shaded areas that don’t get much sunshine or heat.
On your concrete driveway, this can be a little difficult to control. Instead of worrying about making sure your entire driveway is exposed to the sun, you should wash your driveway occasionally.
You can use your garden hose—use your finger to cover part of the water flow to increase the water pressure.
Washing your driveway occasionally will dislodge any organic matter, dirt, or mildew that is starting to form, preventing it from taking hold in your concrete driveway.