How to Remove Oil Stains on Driveways

oil stain on driveway

Oil stains on driveways look bad, and age your home exterior, even if the oil stains are still fairly new. Avoid oil stains on your home’s driveway, sidewalks and in your garage whenever possible, and attempt to remove those stains quickly, before they really set in.

If the oil stain has been there for a long time, like from before purchasing the home, you may need the help of a local driveway cleaning service in Portland that can remove the most set-in oil stains.

Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?

Mostly, oil from automobiles is the reason for oil-stained concrete. This might be oil, gas or transmission fluid – or a combination. Some of the common ways your concrete gets stained are from:

  • Servicing 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 leave an unsightly oil spot on your concrete. So let’s explore 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 easy first step for new oil stains where there is excess oil that needs to be cleaned up.

Sprinkle the cat litter 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 oil stain overnight so it absorbs as much as possible. Scrape it up or sweep it off the next day and repeat as necessary.

Get rid of used litter so your pets and wildlife don’t eat it and get sick from it.

Then you can proceed with one of the following do-it-yourself concrete cleaning processes.

COCA-COLA FOR OIL STAINS

You might have heard urban legends about accident clean-up crews using Coca-Cola to clean the roads, but, be assured, that is not true. However, Coca-Cola does have strong cleaning properties for greasy stains, partly because of its carbonated bubbles, but mainly because of the phosphoric acid in the soda.

Pour a good amount of Coca-Cola on top of the oil stain, then cover it with dishwashing soap (Blue Dawn is widely considered the most effective). Scrub hard with a stiff brush, using circular motions throughout.

Rinse and repeat if needed.

BAKING SODA FOR OIL STAINS

Baking soda is another common home cleaning remedy ingredient.

To remove an oil stain on a driveway, you’ll first need to cover the stain with the baking soda and then let it sit for a while, somewhere from 20 minutes to two or three hours. This should absorb most of the oil and allow the baking soda to penetrate the porous concrete.

Then, add that famous 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 pattern, then rinse.

Just like with the Coca-Cola method, you might need to repeat the process one or two times.

LAUNDRY DETERGENT FOR OIL STAINS

Most homeowners already use this to get rid of dirty stains on clothing. 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 will want to cover it entirely. Let this mixture sit on the oil stain for an hour or more, 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 one or two times. But there is a good chance it will work!

DRIVEWAY CLEANING IN Portland

Some concrete oil stains on a driveway are just too difficult for DIY home remedies to remove. That’s when it may be time to call a professional pressure washing company to clean your home’s concrete surfaces.

We don’t recommend pressure washing your driveway yourself to save a little money. You can cause major harm that is difficult 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.

Calling PRO Portland Pressure Washing is definitely the safe choice. We know the best methods to clean concrete without harming it, including:

  • The right PSI and GPM settings to use to remove stains
  • Which nozzle will penetrate concrete without chipping it
  • The optimal distance to spray the concrete from
  • Products that can help lighten stains

PRO Portland Pressure Washing also follows all of the steps it takes to clean the concrete– the most effective process. Most homeowners don’t have the patience to do it correctly. They want immediate results.

A professional pressure washing company can also provide protective sealing services for your driveway so oil stains are less likely to happen again.