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.

Tips for removing oil stains from concrete and driveways {on Stain Removal 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest
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.

You can share your tips here for removing concrete stains, or read other tips already submitted for cleaning this porous surface of other types of stains and dirt that have already been submitted.

Go ahead and scroll down to see the tips already submitted below.

Top photo by Ctd 2005

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Motor Oil Stain Removal From Garage Floor With Kitty Litter

Catch Oil From Dripping On Your Garage Floor With Cardboard

Catch Oil From Dripping On Your Garage Floor With Cardboard

Soaking up fresh motor oil drips and spills from your garage floor, driveway or walk is easy to do with kitty litter.

Actually, the cheapest type of kitty litter is best for this purpose, and you just sprinkle it all over the oil which has dripped or spilled and let it sit in for a while.

You may also find it helpful to either rub the kitty litter in, with either a rough brush or stepping on it with your feet.

This helps break up all the big clumps of kitty litter and gets them in close contact with the spilled oil that you want soaked up and off your garage floor.

Once the litter has sat on the fresh spill for a while, for several hours to overnight, you can sweep it up with a broom and throw it away.

This will get rid of the viscous liquid part of the stain, but now you'll have to deal with the stains that are left behind in the concrete floor.

Simple Tip To Prevent These Stains From Occurring

Another helpful hint is to prevent oil from actually getting onto your garage floor by using a big piece of cardboard on the ground (see the picture above for an example).

Place the cardboard under the car that is dripping oil and save yourself a lot of headaches of cleaning your floor (or having it permanently stained by the motor oil).

Tips for removing oil stains from concrete and driveways {on Stain Removal 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Top photo by Paul Kehrer

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Remove Oil Stains From Concrete Driveway - Video Instructions

The video below gives tips for how to remove oil stains from concrete.

This is unfortunately a common occurrence if a car has parked on the driveway that leaks motor oil.

Once you notice this has occurred the quicker you act, the better, because concrete is a porous surface and the oil will get down in all the pores and cracks.

The more it seeps into the surface of the concrete the harder it will be to remove.

The ingredients you will need to remove the oil and grease stains from your concrete include:

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.

Photo by downing.amanda

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Lestoil Is The Best For Concrete Driveway Stains

by Dave

Dave says:

If you have stains on your concrete driveway from a vehicle oil leak, Lestoil (by Clorox) is the best remover I've ever used.

Just pour some on the stain (full strength) until the stain is covered. Spread it around with a brush for large stains.

Let it sit for 12-18 hours. Then get a bucket of warm water and a brush and start scrubbing away, rinsing brush in water occasionally.

After you've really rubbed it in and created a good lather, rinse the spot with a water hose.

If the stain is not gone, repeat again with another coat of Lestoil, another 12-18 hours, etc.

The more recent the stain (weeks or months rather than years) the more completely the stain will be removed.

Lestoil reviews and uses
Taylor says:

Thanks so much for your tip Dave. Lestoil is amazing stuff! I've got a whole lots of Lestoil uses and reviews here shared by other readers.

Lestoil Stain Remover & Cleaner {Referral Links}

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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.

If you've got your own tips and ideas to share I'd love to hear them, and add them to this page. You can share your tips here for removing all types of concrete stains, or read other tips already submitted.

Further, many of these same tips can be used for cleaning a garage floor, since many of them are made of concrete. You can see more tips for how to clean garage floors here, or share your own.

Finally, you can get more information on how to clean brick here, or provide more tips of your own.

Photo by SupremeCrete

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Comments for How To Clean Oil From Concrete And Pressure Wash Your Driveway Or Brick

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muriatic acid
by: Anonymous

You go to hardware store and buy smallest bottle of muriatic acid (referral link), go home, wait for a nice day, temperature in the 60's or 70's, drag your hose to the site, make sure water is on. Put rubber gloves on (the kind of gloves you use for handling chemicals), make sure you put on safety glasses, then lower container to actual stain then very carefully and with great awareness slowly pour muriatic acid onto stain. If you find the acid rolling away get some sand and encompass the stain. This will cause the acid to pool up over stain within minutes your concrete will be the cleanest it has ever been. Unfortunately you will have to clean the entire area, because the muriatic will really make concrete clean. Keep in mind you will have to add water to the pool, without any splashing. BE VERY CAREFUL, and once the stain is gone you will need to flood the area of the stain with water to wash acid away.

Oven cleaner for driveway cleaner
by: Bobbie

Oven cleaner. You let it sit for at least 30 minutes, then rinse. Comet also works OK too.

by: Anonymous

The speaker hints at the dangers of washing oil down the drain. Not only will the oil "ruin the taste of drinking water." But it is also bad for you (and aquatic animals).

When scrubbing the stain it would be best to make sure the rinse water goes off the driveway into the surrounding soil rather than running down the drive into the road (and eventually the streams). The soil will filter the rinse water as it trickles through.

Removing old oil drippings on driveway
by: MJB

Nothing mentioned about removing OLD STAINS from the concrete. We have old stains from oil drippings from an old car on the driveway and we need to find a way to remove it. Any suggestions?

Kitty liter
by: Sylvia

Kitty liter is great for soaking up oil spills from your driveway.

response re question re Lestoil vs. Murphy's Oil Soap
by: Taylor

While both Lestoil and Murphy's Oil Soap can be used on some of the same things, such as greasy stains, I would not classify them as the same. For example, I would not use Lestoil on wood without a great deal of caution, whereas that is one of Murphy's well known uses. Because Murphy's does cut grease though you might be able to use it for these types of stains??? although I've personally never tried it. Anyone else have experience with this?

by: Anonymous

Is Lestoil similar to Murphy's Oil Soap? (it's a soap, not oil) I use Murphy's for laundry stains (works great on grease stains on clothing). I was just wondering because I've never seen Lestoil, but Murphy's is sold in my grocery store.

Oxiclean powder
by: Anonymous

Oxiclean powder!!!!!! It will remove mold, mildew, & oil!

how we do it
by: Anonymous

My husband is a sales rep for Schaeffer Lubricants. They sell an amazing product called Citrol. It is a citrus based cleaner and degreaser, and will remove oil, grease, tar, crayon, grass stains and many others. We use it in our pole barn on the concrete, and in the house. I highly recommend getting some from your local rep. Just spray some on the area, let it sit for a few minutes then clean it off!

Paint thinner
by: Jessica Dowds

Paint thinner is the trick, takes it right out and you don't need much. Works for gas spills too, or gas drips from filling up the lawn mower when a couple drips get on concrete. Use a dab of paint thinner and voila, all gone =)

Fulsol by Fuller Brush
by: Anonymous

Fulsol (referral link) is an all purpose degreaser. Safe for everything, gets grease out of dishes, laundry, good for all kinds of cleaning, even dirty floors (not wood) and yes those driveway stains. Clean up excess, scrub in Fulsol, when done take a hose to rinse.

use solution with washing soda
by: Dahlia Tamayo

My husband used to repair or change oil of our car in our garage. There are at times, used oil drips on the pavement leaving a fresh dark black stain. Immediately, pour some sawdust or sand and scatter it all over the area to absorb the excess oil then leave it there for about an hour. Then sweep sawdust or sand with a hard bristle broom. Dissolve 1 liter of warm water to a 3 tablespoon of washing soda, stir, and put it in an empty spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the area then leave it to stand for an hour. Dampen a cloth or kitchen paper towel over the area to absorb the solution. Do it many times until the stain is gone.

Please don't use cardboard under your car!
by: Anonymous

Our family has friends whose home burned to the ground from this very thing. He pulled in the garage over the cardboard and a spark from the hot engine somehow, however freak caused it to catch on fire. The garage was on one end of the home and the family slept in the other. The house was totally engulfed with flames on that end of the house through to the second story when the smoke alarms awoke them. Praise The Lord they all got out safely. The firemen said to make sure when you park your car to make sure there are no cardboard boxes sitting under or near your cars. It is a fire hazard. I always thought cardboard was a good idea for keeping the stains off the concrete too. Be safe!

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Hi, I'm Taylor, a busy mom with 3 kids, so I have lots of hands on experience with house cleaning, laundry and my fair share of spots, spills and other messy catastrophes. Thanks for visiting my site.

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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.