Pea gravel is often used to landscape or create walkways and driveways. Over time, pea gravel can become overcome with weeds, dirt or stains. When this happens the gravel does not have to be replaced. A few simple tools can be used to clean up pea gravel and restore it to its former appearance and usefulness.
A hoe can be used to clean up gravel that has been left unattended for long periods of time. If grass and weeds have been allowed to grow over the gravel there may be a large root system in place around and over the rocks. A hoe is used to break up the large roots and weeds surrounding the gravel. It can be used to loosen the rocks or to pick them up for transportation to another location.
A trowel is used to remove weeds and plants surrounding the pea gravel. The trowel can also be used to remove pea gravel from one location and move it to another location. Trowels work well when the weeds are located in a hard-to-reach spot that a hoe or larger tool cannot reach.
A rake is the perfect tool to use when cleaning up pea gravel. The rake can get leaves and other debris off of the surface of the gravel. The rake can also smooth the gravel out making it presentable and covering any bare spots in the garden or driveway. A plastic rake is best for this task, as a metal rake can cause sparks.
A leaf blower can be used to clean up pea gravel; however, care must be taken when doing so. A leaf blower houses a lot of power which can blast pea gravel into unwanted locations. The pea gravel can also fly up and hit someone in the face or cause other damage to house walls or windows. When using a leaf blower to blow dirt and debris off of pea gravel, use the lowest power setting and aim the blower directly at the ground.
One of the easiest ways to remove dirt off of pea gravel is to use a hose. The hose can be used to blast the dirt and debris off of the gravel. If you use this method it is best to take the gravel out of the garden bed. Place the gravel in a container to make it easier to contain while spraying it with the hose. For stuck-on dirt, a high pressure sprayer can be used.
If the pea gravel has become discoloured due to rust or algae, a mixture of water and bleach is one of the most effective ways to remove the stain. When bleach is used rubber gloves should be worn at all times. The pea gravel should sit in the solution overnight. After the rocks are rinsed they will look like new again.