How to Remove Oil Stains on Driveways
Oil stains on driveways look awful, and age your home exterior, even if the stains are fairly new. Avoid oil stains on your driveway, sidewalks and in your garage if possible, and try to remove those stains fast, before they really set in.
If the 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 Lehigh Acres that can remove the most set-in stains on concrete.
Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?
Mostly, oil from vehicles is the cause for oil-stained concrete driveways. This could be oil, gasoline or transmission fluid – 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 many other things that can leave an unsightly oil stain on concrete. So let’s look at 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 fresh oil stains where there is a lot of oil that has to be cleaned up.
Sprinkle cat litter all over the oil, really getting it down into the stain by stomping on it with your feet. It’s best to leave the litter on the stain overnight so it will absorb as much as possible. Scoop it up or sweep it off of the driveway the next day and repeat if necessary.
Throw away used litter so pets and wildlife don’t eat it and get sick.
Then you can follow up with one of the following do-it-yourself concrete cleaning methods.
COCA-COLA FOR OIL STAINS
You might have heard urban legends about accident clean-up crews using Coke to clean up the roads, but, be assured, that is a myth. That said, Coke does have strong cleaning properties for greasy stains, partly because of its carbonated bubbles, but mostly from 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 accepted as the most effective). Scrub with a stiff brush, using circular motions.
Rinse and repeat if you have to.
BAKING SODA FOR OIL STAINS
Baking soda is a common home cleaning remedy ingredient.
To remove an oil stain on a driveway, you’ll first need to cover the stain with baking soda and let it sit for a while, anywhere from 15 minutes to two or three hours. This should absorb a lot of the oil and allow the baking soda to penetrate the porous concrete.
Next, add blue dishwashing soap and some water and scrub until you have created a thick paste. Again, let this sit for optimal penetration, or continue to scrub in a circular pattern, then rinse.
Just like with 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 eliminate dirty stains on clothes. It’s actually a great option for getting rid of tough oil stains from concrete too!
Stir powdered laundry detergent and borax in equal parts based on the size of the stain. You will want to cover it completely. Let this dry mixture sit on the oil stain for an hour or more, then add some water to create a paste, scrub and rinse.
This is more of a gentle cleaning method, so it could be necessary to repeat the process two or three times. But there is a good chance it will work!
DRIVEWAY CLEANING IN Lehigh Acres
Some concrete oil stains on a driveway are just too difficult for home remedies. That’s when it is time to call a professional pressure washing company to clean your concrete surfaces.
We don’t recommend pressure washing your driveway on your own to save a a little money. You can cause significant damage that is extremely complicated to fix if you don’t know what you’re doing. The high pressure water stream can break and loosen concrete, and it can leave streaks that look just as bad as the oil stains.
Calling Lehigh Acres Pressure Washing is definitely the smart choice. Our technicians know the best ways 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 correct distance to spray the concrete from
- Solutions that can help lighten stains
Lehigh Acres 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 Lehigh Acres can also provide protective sealing services for driveway so oil stains are less likely in the future.