How to Remove Oil Stains on Driveways
Oil stains on driveways look terrible, and age your home exterior, even if the oil stains are relatively new. Avoid oil stains on your home’s driveway, sidewalks and in your garage when possible, and attempt to eliminate those stains fast, before they really set in.
If the oil stain has been there for a while, like from before purchasing the home, you may need the help of a local driveway cleaning service in O’Fallon that can eliminate the most set-in oil stains on concrete surfaces.
Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?
Mainly, oil from cars is the reason for oil-stained concrete driveways. This could be oil, gasoline or transmission fluids – or a combination of fluids. Some of the typical ways concrete gets stained are from:
- Fixing your own car
- Filling up the lawn mower
- A leak that should be checked out by a mechanic
But, of course, there are a lot of other things that can create an ugly oil stain on concrete. So let’s look at some of the best DIY methods to remove those oil 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 a lot of oil that needs to be cleaned up.
Sprinkle cat litter all over the oil stain, really getting it down into the stain by crushing it with your feet. It’s a good idea to leave the litter on the oil stain for 24 hours so it absorbs as much as possible. Scrape it up or sweep it off of the driveway the next day and repeat if necessary.
Throw away used litter so pets and nearby wildlife don’t eat it and get sick from it.
Next you can follow up with one of the following do-it-yourself cleaning processes.
COCA-COLA FOR OIL STAINS
You might have heard urban legends about accident clean-up crews using Coca-Cola to clean up the roads, but, rest assured, that is a myth. However, Coca-Cola does have strong cleaning properties when it comes to greasy stains, in part due to its carbonated bubbles, but mostly because of the phosphoric acid in the soda.
Pour a good amount of Coca-Cola on the oil stain, then cover it with dishwashing detergent (Blue Dawn is widely accepted as the most effective). Scrub hard with a stiff brush, using circular motions throughout.
Rinse and repeat if necessary.
BAKING SODA FOR OIL STAINS
Baking soda is another common home cleaning remedy product.
To eliminate an oil stain on a driveway, you’ll first need to coat the stain with baking soda and let it sit for a little bit, somewhere from 20 minutes to a few hours. This should absorb most of the oil and allow the baking soda to penetrate the porous concrete.
Next, add blue dishwashing liquid and water and scrub hard until there is a thick paste. Again, let this sit for the best penetration, or continue to scrub in a circular motion, then rinse.
Just like the Coca-Cola method, you might have to repeat the process one or two times.
LAUNDRY DETERGENT FOR OIL STAINS
Most homeowners already use this to eliminate bad stains on clothes. It’s also a great option for getting rid of bad oil stains on concrete as well!
Combine powdered laundry detergent and borax in equal parts according to the size of the oil stain. You want to cover it entirely. Let this dry mixture stay on the oil stain for an hour or longer, then add water to make a paste, scrub and rinse.
This is more of a gentle cleaning process, so it may be necessary to repeat the process two or three times. But there is a good chance it will work!
DRIVEWAY CLEANING IN O’Fallon
Some oil stains on a driveway are just too difficult for home remedies to remove. That’s when it is time to call a professional pressure washing company to thoroughly clean your home’s concrete surfaces.
We don’t recommend pressure washing your driveway on your own to save a few dollars. You can cause significant damage that is extremely complicated to fix if you don’t know how to properly pressure wash concrete. The high pressure water stream can break and loosen concrete, and it can leave streaks that look almost as bad as the oil stains.
Hiring O’Fallon Pressure Wash Plus is definitely the smart choice. We know the best methods to clean concrete without damaging it, such as:
- The right PSI and GPM settings to use
- Which nozzle tip will penetrate concrete without chipping it
- The optimal distance to spray the concrete from
- Products that can help lighten stains
O’Fallon Pressure Wash Plus also follows all of the steps to clean the concrete– the most effective process. Most homeowners don’t have the patience to do it right. They want fast results.
A professional pressure washing company in O’Fallon can also provide protective sealing services for driveway so oil stains are less likely to occur.