Tips For Removing Oil Stains From Concrete & Driveways
Motor oil and grease can leak from cars onto the ground below them causing noticeable and ugly stains.
Below I've collected tips for removing oil stains from concrete and driveways, so you can clean up after these messes and get on with your life.
There are really several parts to this process though.
First, you've got to clean up the fresh oil or grease drips, removing as much of the liquid that has spilled from the surface of the concrete or driveway.
Once the fresh oil is removed then the real fun begins -- getting the stains it has caused removed, which is the second part of the process.
The tips below go through both of these steps in the process for you.
In addition, I have another suggestion for what to do after you remove the stains, to clean your concrete driveway, and seal it to prevent future staining. After all, after all that hard work, who wants to have to do it all over again?
Of course, there is often lots of different ways to clean oil from concrete, so I'd love to hear even more tips from you if you've used a home remedy, discovered a great removal method, or found a good concrete oil stain remover that worked for you.
Once you soak up as much excess motor oil and grease from your concrete with the newspapers, rags or paper towels (or use the kitty litter method I suggest above) you'll want to scrub with a scrub brush, hot water and dishwashing liquid.
The dishwashing liquid and hot water will both help break up the oil, and the scrub brush gets the stain removal solution deep down into the concrete.
***Update: Please note this is similar to the homemade formula I suggest for cleaning garage floors of oil and grease stains in another article on this site, except that I suggest using powdered dishwasher detergent. The powdered detergent is stronger than the milder dish soap, so may be a bit more effective in removing the stain. ***End Update
After rinsing your concrete driveway, next sprinkle cat litter over the oil stained area, and the cat litter will help absorb any additional oil and grease.
The next day you sweep up the cat litter, and if needed, again use hot water, dishwashing liquid and the scrub brush to get up the rest of the oil stain from your driveway.
See this video for complete details:
Motor oil and grease get on all kinds of things, of course, not just your driveway. You can see more tips for grease and oil stain removal here, that have been submitted by readers for all types of surfaces, or you can share your own tips as well.
How To Clean Oil From Concrete And Pressure Wash Your Driveway Or Brick
Below is a video from Lowes which gives additional tips for how to clean oil from concrete, and also goes on to provide more general tips about cleaning your driveway (or bricks) with a pressure washer.
The instructions for cleaning the oil stains off the driveway are similar to those listed above, except instead of sharing a home remedy Lowe's suggests using commercially available products.
To remove the stains the video suggests using a heavy duty cleaner and degreaser, along with a stiff utility brush. First, you spray the cleaner on as directed, let it sit for the directed amount of time, and then scrub it with the stiff brush.
Next, after cleaning the stains themselves the video shares how to clean the driveway in general, using a pressure washer. It gives good advice for how close the tip of the pressure washer should be to the surface you're cleaning. (Too close, and you'll harm the surface from the high pressure).
For pressure washers with PSI of 2200-3000, hold the want 8-18 inches from the surface.
For pressure washers over PSI of 3000 hold the wand 12-30 inches form the surface.
To pressure wash the driveway the video suggests adding the detergent to the pressure washer (must be a detergent designed for pressure washers), spray it on, let it sit for 5-10 minutes for concrete and 20 minutes for brick.
During this waiting period don't let the detergent dry onto the surface, and then rinse with the pressure washer.
Please note that brick is more fragile than concrete so for the entire pressure washing process you must be using less pressure than for concrete, or you'll harm the surface!
Here are the products suggested within the video to use for general cleaning, and for removing oil stains from concrete:
You can, of course, clean lots of items around your home with a pressure washer. If you're interested in more information check out my page of collected tips on how to pressure wash.
Finally, the video discusses how to seal your driveway after you've thoroughly cleaned it, so that you protect it from future stains, and gives detailed instructions on how to do it, and the supplies you'll need for such a project.
Here's the video for full details.
I hope these videos and tips have helped you in removing oil stains from concrete and driveways.
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CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.