How to Remove Oil Stains on Driveways
Oil stains on driveways look terrible, and ruin your home exterior, even if the oil spots are relatively new. Avoid oil spots on your driveway, sidewalks and in your garage when possible, and try to get rid of those stains quickly, before they set in.
If the oil stain has been there for a long time, like from before you purchased the home, you may need the help of a local driveway cleaning service in St. Louis that can get rid of the most set-in oil stains on concrete.
Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?
Mainly, oil from cars is the cause for stains on concrete. This could be oil, gasoline or transmission fluids – or a combination of engine fluids. Some of the typical ways your concrete gets stained are from:
- Servicing your own car
- Filling up the lawn mower
- A leak that needs to be checked out by a mechanic
But, there are a lot of other things that can create an unsightly oil stain on your concrete. So let’s consider some of the best DIY tips to remove those oil stains!
DIY Oil Stain Removal Tips
CAT LITTER FOR OIL STAINS
Cat litter is a simple first step for new oil spots where there is a lot of oil that needs to be cleaned up.
Sprinkle 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 overnight so it absorbs as much as possible. Scrape it up or sweep it off the following day and repeat as necessary.
Get rid of used litter so your pets and wildlife don’t eat it and get sick.
Next you can follow up with one of the following do-it-yourself concrete cleaning techniques.
COCA-COLA FOR OIL STAINS
You’ve probably heard urban legends about accident clean-up crews using Coke to clean the roads, but, rest assured, that is a myth. But, Coke does have powerful cleaning properties when it comes to oily stains, partly because of its carbonated bubbles, but mostly 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 soap (Blue Dawn is widely considered the most effective). Scrub with a stiff brush, using circular motions throughout.
Rinse and repeat if you have to.
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 need to cover the stain with baking soda and then let it sit for a little bit, somewhere from 15 minutes to a few hours. This should absorb a lot of the oil and allow the baking soda to penetrate the porous concrete.
Then, add that famous blue dishwashing soap and water and scrub until there is a thick paste. Again, let this sit for maximum penetration, or continue to scrub in a circular motion, then rinse.
Just like with 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 clean off bad stains on clothing. It’s actually a great product for getting rid of tough oil stains on concrete too!
Combine powdered laundry detergent and borax in equal parts based on the size of the oil stain. You want to cover it entirely. Let this dry mixture sit on the oil stain for an hour or more, then add water to make a paste, scrub and then rinse.
This is a gentle cleaning method, so it may be necessary to repeat the process two or three times. But there is a good chance it will work!
DRIVEWAY CLEANING IN St. Louis
Some concrete oil stains on a driveway are just too tough for DIY 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 significant damage that is complicated to repair if you don’t know what you’re doing. The high pressure water can break and loosen concrete, and it can leave streaks on a driveway that look just as bad as the oil stains.
Calling STL Pressure Wash Co. is definitely the best choice. Our technicians know the best ways to clean concrete without harming it, such as:
- The right PSI and GPM settings to use
- Which nozzle tip will penetrate concrete without damaging it
- The optimal distance to spray the concrete from
- Solutions that can help lighten stains
STL Pressure Wash Co. also follows all of the steps it takes to clean the concrete– the most effective method. Most homeowners and other companies don’t have the patience to do it right. They want fast results.
A professional pressure washing company can also provide protective sealing services for your driveway so oil stains are less likely in the future.