I am almost ashamed to show you just how gross my sidewalk was.
But I know that you guys understand the concept of real life.
Real life that involves neglecting things such as the sidewalk while focusing on much more important and fun things such as a kitchen makeover or just chasing around the circus at the park.
When we bought the beloved foreclosure, the exterior was the last thing on our minds. It may not have been that pretty, but there was nothing wrong with it and we would have rather had a functional kitchen and bathroom rather than a pretty exterior.
This summer I kicked the screened-in porch up quite a few notches with a complete (and super colorful) makeover.
And then I looked at our sidewalk.
And realized just how disgustingly gross it was.
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I had no idea just how dirty my sidewalk was until after it was cleaned.
Here is the before:
I knew there were some stains and a strange funk growing on it, but I had no idea how it was really supposed to look. Honestly guys, I don’t think that this sidewalk had been cleaned in at least 15 years.
I’m trying to be optimistic on that timeframe. I’m probably wrong.
Grunt Labor doesn’t think that it was ever cleaned before now.
Here’s how we cleaned this bad boy up.
How to Clean a Sidewalk
- Concrete / Sidewalk Cleaner (I used Thompson’s Oxy Foaming Action)
- Tank Sprayer (I used my HomeRight Tank Sprayer)
- Large Scrub Brush (I used my HomeRight Deck Washer)
- Water Hose
Give your sidewalk a light scrubbing with the scrub brush to remove any loose dirt or grass and loosen up any stuck on dirt.
You don’t want your sidewalk to be soaking wet, only lightly wet when you apply the cleaner. Let your sidewalk dry for a bit and mix up your cleaner. The cleaner must be used within an hour of mixing it, so don’t mix it until right before you are ready to use it.
I filled up my tank sprayer with two gallons of hot water (hot water is recommended) and added in eight capfuls of the oxy foaming cleaner. The directions say to use at least three capfuls per gallon or four capfuls per gallon if you have a very dirty area.
As y’all well know, mine was ridiculously dirty.
Shake up your tank to dissolve all the cleaner crystals and spray the cleaner onto your sidewalk.
Let the cleaner sit for 5-10 minutes depending on how dirty your sidewalk is. I let mine sit for the full ten minutes.
While you are waiting, you can use the time to clean off your driveway with the deck brush.
After the allotted time, give the area you sprayed a good scrubbing with just the brush. You will literally see the dirt and grime lift off the concrete. After you have scrubbed it good, turn on the water to your brush and scrub some more while rinsing the sidewalk off.
Depending on how dirty your sidewalk is, you may have to repeat the cleaning process twice. I did. After the second cleaning, I still had these little black spots lingering just near the porch steps.
Since this sidewalk hadn’t been cleaned in the history of ever, they weren’t budging very easily. Grunt Labor did a quick run over of those spots near the steps with a pressure washer.
Here is our after:
Why hello, nice and pretty sidewalk.
Its nice to meet you.
I’m the one who neglected you for the past three years.
The cleaning and scrubbing removed a huge amount of dirt and grime and brightened it up like nobody’s business.
Need more outdoor cleaning tips?
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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by HomeRight and Thompson’s provided me with their products. However, all opinions and ridiculously dirty sidewalks are 100% mine.