How to clean concrete parking lot

How to clean concrete parking lot


Do you have a concrete parking lot that is your responsibility to keep clean? Or maybe you just have a bigger concrete surface that you need some cleaning tips for?

Wide concrete areas can be a challenge to keep clean as you can’t always just wash them with a pressure washer. Or you can, but it would take awfully long.

There are also times when we leave a lot of dust, crumbling concrete, and other thrash behind when we work on different building projects. It’s the nature of the job, but most of the time no one wants to be on the cleaning duty.

Most of all, when there is a big concrete surface that has lots of traffic, it has all kinds of debris and fluids on it.

The traffic will raise the dust in the air and it will be unpleasant and unhealthy for everyone working or shopping. Maybe here we could have some inspiration on how to clean the concrete parking lots and ready building site alike.

How to clean concrete parking lot using machines

How to clean parking lots

Now how to clean parking lots? We all know from our homes that it’s a brush and garden hose job and if there are stains some special cleaners have to be used.

So for bigger concrete surfaces, there must be a machine for the job. Otherwise, all the parking lots would be full of dirt by now.

Here are some parking lot sweepers that are used to clean them from big to small. The bigger equipment is usually used by businesses that rent their services as these are expensive tools.

The smaller ones are something that could be considered as an investment if you want to make it your own job to make your parking lot clean.

These machines work like a human would, they sweep and vacuum the debris and other trash away, but are far more efficient. They can cover a great area fast and collect all the debris away. If you live in colder climates, you see them often when spring comes as they are collecting all the gravel away.

Parking lot sweeper

If you’re an early bird, you might have seen these machines in action. Usually, big sweepers are cars and other vehicles you can ride, meant for greater areas to sweep.

The cars and trucks come with all kinds of sweeping machines and the latest ones should take noise levels and such into consideration as they are used at unconventional times near the buildings where we live.

These kinds of vehicles are meant for big areas and roads, even when they can be used on some smaller areas as well. They are limited by size and aren’t that flexible to use so let us move on to smaller machines.

Still, for a regular concrete parking lot without many obstacles, these should do a fast and clean job.

Parking lot cleaning machine

Ride on parking lot sweeper is something you can sit on and drive to do the cleaning job. These should be good on concrete parking lots where you can’t drive a car easily.

I would assume many parking halls could use this kind of machine and other hall types as well that has a concrete floor. These machines have all kinds of sweepers and vacuums installed so they could handle any kind of job.

Best of all, these things might come with a weather cap as well so you don’t have to get wet if it rains. If you ask me, that is my favorite feature in any machine I have to ride.

These would also work well in construction sites that have small debris and nothing too harmful left. Like when we need to do final cleaning in front of buildings.

Walk behind parking lot sweepers

This is the smallest solution, good for small things. It’s an option if you have a really small concrete parking lot and you don’t want to invest in bigger machines or buy the service.

I’ve seen these mostly used in small areas where the bigger sweepers can’t go. As always, if there is a tool there is a use for it.

This kind of tool would be good if the parking lot has narrow walkways that the other sweepers can’t access. Or if you have to sweep near the building.

Some of these are also called parking lot vacuum and they are pushable tools that work often with batteries.

Parking garage cleaning equipment

Parking garages are a little different from open-air parking lots. There are walls and ceilings to clean sometimes as well so to clean those you would need other equipment from sweepers.

Not saying that you wouldn’t have a need for parking lot pressure washing, sometimes you have to do that as well as there are fluids like oil and other things sweepers can’t handle. Tire marks come to mind.

Pressure washing cars with water tanks that can reclaim the water

Depending on the place, parking lot pressure washing equipment might have to have their own water tanks and also be able to reclaim that water. There are different regulations around the world but just think about washing all the oil and other things to regular drain from a huge parking garage.

I can imagine that at most of the places, that kind of cleaning wouldn’t stick and there would be intervention quite fast when someone sees it. It could cause a lot of extra work for local water cleaning facilities and it’s not ecological after all, the dirty water could also be labeled some sort of waste.

What the drain system can handle

Parking garage drains might handle normal water amounts that might get there, but when you start parking lot power washing a lot of dirt in the floor gets moving that rainwater wouldn’t even move.

The concrete is porous and there is fine dust on the surface that the pressure washer will get moving. Also, the surface that has constant traffic will have some day-to-day wear and create more dust.

Stone dust is heavy and it makes paste-like dirt in large amounts. I imagine that getting it in the regular drain in large amounts could get it stuck at some point.

Remember that these are just my random thoughts after washing concrete, the drains could also handle more than I imagine. I often like to wonder about these kinds of things to find more effective and sustainable ways to work.

Parking garage pressure washing is probably best left for professionals who use the correct tools for the job like the water tank car mentioned before. Many parking garages might not even have water outlets at conventional places.

After all of this has been written, I can just close on saying there is a lot going on even with parking lot cleaning. You would think it’s a simple profession, but when you go into details there is a lot going on.


I hope you got a good picture of how to clean the concrete parking lot or parking garage. If you own a business it might be a job best left for professionals as they can have the best tools for that as it is their business.

That being said, the small equipment might be something to invest in. A regular pressure washer that has an option for warming the water and a walk-behind sweeper could do the trick.

The warm water option is good as hot water moves things like oil and other things better than cold water. You can try it with regular grease, when you pour cold water on it will get white and sticky while with hot water it will become more liquid.

There are also different stain removing cleaners for rust, glue, oil, etc. I’ve written about them before on this website if you want to do some cleaning on your parking lot.

When it comes to construction use, I wish the sweepers would be used more often. I imagine single-time rent isn’t that high compared to multiple workers sweeping asphalt or concrete for a day or two.

The same goes for pressure washing, but sometimes they do it to keep people working so I understand it in that sense.