How to Remove Oil Stains on Driveways
Oil stains on driveways look bad, and tarnish your home exterior, even if the oil stains are fairly new. Try to avoid oil stains on your home’s driveway, sidewalks and in your garage when possible, and attempt to get rid of those stains quickly, before they set in.
If the oil 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 Carmel that can get rid of the most set-in oil stains.
Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?
Mainly, oil from cars is the reason for oil-stained concrete driveways. This might be oil, gas or transmission fluid – or a combination of engine fluids. Some of the most typical 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, there are a lot of 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 new oil stains where there is excess oil that needs to be cleaned up.
Sprinkle the cat litter 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 for 24 hours so it can absorb as much as possible. Scrape it up or sweep it off the next day and repeat as necessary.
Throw away used litter so pets and wildlife don’t eat it and get sick from it.
Then you can proceed with one of the following do-it-yourself cleaning processes.
COCA-COLA FOR OIL STAINS
You’ve probably heard urban legends about accident clean-up crews using Coke to clean up the roads, but, be assured, that is not true. But, Coke does have powerful cleaning properties when it comes to oily stains, in part due to its carbonated bubbles, but mostly because of the phosphoric acid in the soda.
Pour a good amount of Coke on top of the oil stain, then cover it with dishwashing detergent (Blue Dawn is widely accepted as the most effective). Scrub hard with a stiff brush, using circular motions.
Rinse and repeat if you have to.
BAKING SODA FOR OIL STAINS
Baking soda is another popular home cleaning remedy ingredient.
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, somewhere from 20 minutes to a few hours. This should absorb a lot of the oil and allow the baking soda to penetrate the porous surface.
Next, add that famous blue dishwashing detergent and some water and scrub hard until you have created a thick paste. Again, let this sit for optimal penetration, or continue to scrub in a circular pattern, then rinse.
Just like with the Coke method, you might have to repeat the process.
LAUNDRY DETERGENT FOR OIL STAINS
Many homeowners already use this to get rid of bad stains on clothes. It’s also a great option for getting rid of tough oil stains from concrete too!
Mix powdered laundry detergent and borax in equal parts based on the size of the oil stain. You will want to cover it entirely. Let this dry mixture sit on the oil stain for an hour or more, then add some water to make a paste, scrub and then rinse.
This is a gentle cleaning process, so it could be necessary to repeat the process two or three times. But there is a possibility it will work!
DRIVEWAY CLEANING IN Carmel
Some oil stains on a driveway are just too tough for home remedies. That’s when it is time to call a professional pressure washing company to clean your home’s concrete surfaces.
We don’t recommend pressure washing your driveway on your own to save a little money. You can cause significant damage that is complicated to fix 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 just as bad as the oil stains.
Hiring Carmel Pressure Washing is definitely the best choice. Our technicians know the best ways to clean concrete without ruining it, including:
- The right PSI and GPM settings to use to remove stains
- Which nozzle tip will penetrate concrete without chipping it
- The correct distance to spray the concrete from
- Solutions that can help lighten stains
Carmel Pressure Washing also follows all of the steps to clean the concrete little by little – the most effective process. Most homeowners don’t have the patience to do it right. They want immediate results.
A professional pressure washing company in Carmel can also provide protective sealing services for driveway so oil stains are less likely in the future.