How to Remove Oil Stains on Driveways
Oil stains on driveways look terrible, and ruin your home exterior, even if the oil spots are fairly new. Avoid oil spots on your driveway and in your garage whenever possible, and attempt to get rid of those stains fast, before they 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 Seattle that is able to get rid of even the most set-in oil stains.
Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?
Mostly, oil from cars is the cause for stains on concrete driveways. This might be oil, gasoline or transmission fluids – or a combination of engine fluids. Some of the common ways concrete gets stained are from:
- Servicing your own car
- Filling up the gas in a lawn mower
- A leak that should be checked out by a mechanic
But, of course, there are several other things that can leave an unsightly oil stain on concrete. So let’s explore a few 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 fresh oil spots where there is a lot of oil that needs to be cleaned up.
Sprinkle the cat litter all over the oil, getting it down into the stain by crushing it with your feet. It’s recommended to leave the litter on the oil stain overnight so it can absorb as much as possible. Scrape it up or sweep it off 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 cleaning tips.
COCA-COLA FOR OIL STAINS
You might have heard urban legends about accident clean-up crews using Coke to clean the roads, but, be assured, that is a myth. That said, Coke does have powerful 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 top of the oil stain, then cover it with dishwashing soap (Blue Dawn is widely accepted as the most effective). Scrub with a stiff brush, using circular motions throughout.
Rinse and repeat if needed.
BAKING SODA FOR OIL STAINS
Baking soda is a popular home cleaning remedy product.
To get rid of an oil stain on a driveway, you’ll first need to coat the stain with the baking soda and then let it sit for a while, anywhere from 15 minutes to two or three hours. This should absorb most of the oil and allow the baking soda to penetrate the porous concrete.
Next, add blue dishwashing detergent and water and scrub until there is a thick paste. Again, let this sit for maximum penetration, or continue to scrub in a circular pattern, then rinse.
Just like the Coke method, you might have to repeat the process one or two times.
LAUNDRY DETERGENT FOR OIL STAINS
Many homeowners already use this to eliminate bad stains on clothes. It’s also a great product for removing tough oil stains from concrete too!
Stir powdered laundry detergent and borax in equal parts based on the size of the oil stain. You will want to cover it completely. Let this dry mixture stay on the oil stain for an hour or more, then add water to create a paste, scrub and then rinse.
This is more of a gentle cleaning process, so it could be necessary to repeat the process one or two times. But there is a possibility it will work!
DRIVEWAY CLEANING IN Seattle
Some oil stains on a driveway are just too difficult for DIY home remedies to remove. That’s when it is 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 few dollars. You can cause major damage that is difficult to repair if you don’t know what you’re doing. The high pressure water stream can break and loosen concrete, and it can create streaks that look just as bad as the oil stains.
Calling Seattle Pressure Wash Plus is definitely the best choice. Our technicians know the best methods to clean concrete without ruining it, such as:
- The right PSI and GPM levels to use
- Which nozzle tip will penetrate concrete without chipping it
- The optimal distance to spray the concrete from
- Solutions that can help lighten stains
Seattle Pressure Wash Plus also follows all of the steps to clean the concrete– the most effective process. Most homeowners and other companies don’t have enough patience to do it correctly. They want quick results.
A professional pressure washing company in Seattle can also offer protective sealing services for driveway so oil stains are less likely in the future.