How to Remove Oil Stains on Driveways
Oil stains on driveways look bad, and age your home exterior, even if the oil spots are fairly new. Avoid oil spots on your driveway and in your garage if possible, and attempt to get rid of those stains right away, before they set in.
If the oil stain has been there for a while, like from before you purchased the home, you might need the help of a local driveway cleaning service in Irvine that can get rid of even the most set-in oil stains.
Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?
Mainly, oil from vehicles is the reason for stains on concrete driveways. This could be oil, gas or transmission fluid – or a combination. Some of the most common ways your concrete gets stained are from:
- Servicing your own car
- Filling up the lawn mower
- A leak that should be checked out by a auto mechanic
But, there are a lot of other things that can leave an ugly oil spot on your concrete. So let’s look at some of the best DIY ways to remove those oil stains!
DIY Oil Stain Removal Tips
CAT LITTER FOR OIL STAINS
Cat litter is a easy first step for new oil spots where there is excess oil that needs to be dried up.
Sprinkle the cat litter over the oil, getting it down into the stain by stomping on it with your feet. It’s recommended to leave the litter on the oil stain for 24 hours so it will absorb as much as possible. Scoop it up or sweep it off the next day and repeat if necessary.
Throw away used litter so your pets and nearby wildlife don’t eat it and get sick.
Next you can proceed 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. However, Coke does have strong cleaning properties for greasy stains, in part due to its carbonated bubbles, but mainly because of the phosphoric acid in the soda.
Pour a generous amount of Coke on top of the oil stain, then cover it with dishwashing detergent (Blue Dawn is widely considered the most effective). Scrub 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 get rid of an oil stain on a driveway, you’ll first want to cover the stain with the baking soda and then let it sit for a while, anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours. This should absorb most of the oil and allow the baking soda to penetrate the porous concrete.
Then, add that famous blue dishwashing detergent and some water and scrub until there is a thick paste. Again, let this sit for the best 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
Many homeowners already use this to wash off tough stains on clothing. It’s actually a great option for getting rid of tough oil stains on concrete too!
Stir powdered laundry detergent and borax in equal parts according to the size of the oil stain. You will want to cover it entirely. Let this mixture sit on the oil stain for an hour or more, then add some water to create a paste, scrub and rinse.
This is a gentle cleaning method, so it might be necessary to repeat the process two or three times. But there is a good chance it will work!
DRIVEWAY CLEANING IN Irvine
Some concrete oil stains on a driveway are just too difficult for home remedies. That’s when it may be time to call a professional pressure washing company to thoroughly clean your concrete surfaces.
We don’t recommend pressure washing your driveway on your own to save a 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 on a driveway that look almost as bad as the oil stains.
Calling Irvine Pressure Washing is definitely the smart choice. We know the best methods to clean concrete without harming it, such as:
- The right PSI and GPM settings to use
- Which nozzle will penetrate concrete without chipping it
- The correct distance to spray the concrete from
- Solutions that can help lighten stains
Irvine Pressure Washing also follows all of the steps to clean the concrete little by little – the most effective method. Most homeowners don’t have enough patience to do it right. They want quick results.
A professional pressure washing company in Irvine can also offer protective sealing services for your driveway so oil stains are less likely to occur.