How to Remove Oil Stains on Driveways
Oil stains on driveways look awful, and ruin your home exterior, even if the stains are still relatively new. Try to avoid oil stains on your driveway and in your garage if possible, and try to remove those stains right away, before they set in.
If the stain has been there for a while, like from before you purchased the home, you may need the help of a local driveway cleaning service in Folsom that has the ability to remove the most set-in stains.
Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?
Mainly, oil from automobiles is the cause for stains on concrete driveways. This could be oil, gas or transmission fluid – 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 auto mechanic
But, there are countless other things that can leave an unsightly oil stain on concrete. So let’s consider some of the best DIY ways 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 the cat litter over the oil stain, getting it down into the stain by crushing it with your feet. It’s best to leave the litter on the stain for 24 hours so it can absorb as much as possible. Scoop it up or sweep it off the following day and repeat as necessary.
Throw away used litter so pets and nearby wildlife don’t eat it and get sick.
Then you can follow up with one of the following do-it-yourself concrete cleaning tips.
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 a myth. However, Coca-Cola does have strong cleaning properties when it comes to greasy stains, in part due to its carbonated bubbles, but mainly because of the phosphoric acid in the soda.
Pour a generous amount of Coca-Cola on the oil stain, then cover it with dishwashing liquid (Blue Dawn is widely considered 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 another common home cleaning remedy product.
To remove an oil stain on a driveway, you’ll first need to cover the stain with the baking soda and let it sit for a while, somewhere from 30 minutes to two or three hours. This should absorb most of the oil and allow the baking soda to penetrate the porous surface.
Then, add blue dishwashing detergent and water and scrub until you have created a thick paste. Again, you can let this sit for optimal penetration, or you can continue to scrub in a circular motion, 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
Many homeowners already use this to wash off dirty stains on clothing. It’s also a great option for removing bad oil stains from concrete as well!
Stir powdered laundry detergent and borax in equal parts according to the size of the stain. You will want to cover it entirely. Let this mixture stay on the oil stain for an hour or more, then add water to create a paste, scrub and rinse.
This is 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 Folsom
Some concrete oil stains on a driveway are 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 yourself to save a few dollars. You can cause major damage that is extremely difficult to repair 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 on a driveway that look almost as bad as the oil stains.
Hiring Folsom Pressure Washing is definitely the safe choice. Our technicians know the best ways to clean concrete without destroying it, including:
- The right PSI and GPM levels to use to remove stains
- Which nozzle tip will penetrate concrete without damaging it
- The best distance to spray the concrete from
- Products that can help lighten stains
Folsom Pressure Washing also follows all of the steps to clean the concrete– the most effective method. Most homeowners and other companies don’t have the patience to do it correctly. They want immediate results.
A professional pressure washing company can also offer protective sealing services for driveway so oil stains are less likely to happen again.