How to Remove Oil Stains on Driveways
Oil stains on driveways look bad, and age your home exterior, even if the stains are fairly new. Try to avoid oil stains on your home’s driveway and in your garage when possible, and try to get rid of those stains quickly, before they set in.
If the stain has been there for a while, like from before you purchased the house, you may need the help of a local driveway cleaning service in Surprise that can get rid of the most set-in stains.
Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?
Mainly, oil from cars is the cause for oil-stained concrete. This could be oil, gas or transmission fluid – or a combination of engine fluids. Some of the most common ways concrete gets stained are from:
- Fixing your own car
- Filling up the gas in a lawn mower
- A leak that needs to be checked out by a mechanic
But, of course, there are several other things that can create an unsightly oil spot on concrete. So let’s review a few of the best DIY methods to remove those stains!
DIY Oil Stain Removal Tips
CAT LITTER FOR OIL STAINS
Cat litter is a simple first step for new oil stains where there is excess oil that has to be cleaned up.
Sprinkle cat litter all over the oil, getting it down into the stain by stomping on it with your feet. It’s best to leave the litter on the stain for 24 hours so it absorbs as much as possible. Scrape it up or sweep it off of the driveway the following day and repeat as necessary.
Get rid of used litter so pets and nearby wildlife don’t eat it and get sick.
Then you can follow up with one of the following do-it-yourself cleaning processes.
COCA-COLA FOR OIL STAINS
You’ve probably heard urban legends about accident clean-up crews using Coke to clean the roads, but, rest assured, that is a myth. But, Coke does have strong cleaning properties when it comes to oily stains, partly because of its carbonated bubbles, but mainly because of the phosphoric acid in the soda.
Pour a generous amount of Coke on the oil stain, then cover it with dishwashing detergent (Blue Dawn is widely considered the most effective). Scrub hard with a stiff brush, using circular motions throughout.
Rinse and repeat if you have to.
BAKING SODA FOR OIL STAINS
Baking soda is a common home cleaning remedy ingredient.
To get rid of an oil stain on a driveway, you’ll first want to cover the stain with baking soda and let it sit for a while, anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours. This should absorb a lot of the oil and allow the baking soda to penetrate the porous surface.
Next, add that famous blue dishwashing detergent and water and scrub hard until you have created a thick paste. Again, let this sit for optimal penetration, or continue to scrub in a circular motion, then rinse.
Just like the Coke method, you might need to repeat the process one or two times.
LAUNDRY DETERGENT FOR OIL STAINS
Most homeowners already use this to remove bad stains on clothing. It’s also a great product for getting rid of tough oil stains from concrete as well!
Stir powdered laundry detergent and borax in equal parts according to the size of the stain. You will want to cover it entirely. Let this mixture sit on the oil stain for an hour or longer, then add water to make a paste, scrub and then rinse.
This is more of a gentle cleaning method, so it could be necessary to repeat the process one or two times. But there is a possibility it will work!
DRIVEWAY CLEANING IN Surprise
Some oil stains on a driveway are too difficult for home remedies. That’s when it is time to call a professional pressure washing company to clean your home’s concrete surfaces.
We don’t recommend pressure washing your driveway on your own to save a little money. You can cause major damage that is complicated to fix if you don’t know what you’re doing. The high pressure water can break and loosen concrete, and it can create streaks that look almost as bad as the oil stains.
Hiring Surprise Pressure Washing is definitely the best choice. Our technicians know the best ways to clean concrete without damaging it, including:
- The right PSI and GPM settings to use to remove stains
- Which nozzle will penetrate concrete without damaging it
- The correct distance to spray the concrete from
- Solutions that can help lighten stains
Surprise Pressure Washing also follows all of the steps to clean the concrete– the most effective method. Most homeowners don’t have the patience to do it right. They want quick results.
A professional pressure washing company in Surprise can also provide protective sealing services for driveway so oil stains are less likely to happen again.