How to Remove Oil Stains on Driveways
Oil stains on driveways look terrible, and tarnish your home exterior, even if the spots are fairly new. Avoid oil spots on your home’s driveway, sidewalks and in your garage whenever possible, and try to get rid of those stains quickly, before they set in.
If the stain has been there for a long time, like from before purchasing the house, you might need the help of a local driveway cleaning service in Elk Grove that can get rid of the most set-in stains.
Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?
Mostly, oil from vehicles is the cause for oil-stained concrete. This could be oil, gas or transmission fluid – or a combination. Some of the most typical ways concrete gets stained are from:
- Fixing your own car
- Filling up the gas in a lawn mower
- A leak that should be checked out by a auto mechanic
But, of course, there are a lot of other things that can leave an ugly oil stain on concrete. So let’s explore some of the best DIY tips to remove those stains!
DIY Oil Stain Removal Tips
CAT LITTER FOR OIL STAINS
Cat litter is a easy first step for new oil spots where there is excess oil that needs to be cleaned up.
Sprinkle cat litter all over the oil stain, getting it down into the stain by stomping on it with your feet. It’s a good idea to leave the litter on the stain overnight so it absorbs as much as possible. Scoop it up or sweep it off of the driveway the next day and repeat as necessary.
Throw away used litter so pets and nearby wildlife don’t eat it and get sick from it.
Next you can follow up with one of the following do-it-yourself concrete cleaning tips.
COCA-COLA FOR OIL STAINS
You’ve probably heard urban legends about accident clean-up crews using Coca-Cola to clean up the roads, but, rest assured, that is not true. That said, Coca-Cola 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 Coca-Cola on 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 needed.
BAKING SODA FOR OIL STAINS
Baking soda is a popular home cleaning remedy product.
To get rid of an oil stain on a driveway, you’ll first want to coat the stain with baking soda and then let it sit for a while, anywhere from 15 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 soap and water and scrub hard until you have created a thick paste. Again, let this sit for the best penetration, or continue to scrub in a circular pattern, then rinse.
Just like with the Coca-Cola method, you might have to repeat the process.
LAUNDRY DETERGENT FOR OIL STAINS
Most homeowners already use this to eliminate dirty stains on clothes. It’s actually a great option for removing tough oil stains on concrete as well!
Combine powdered laundry detergent and borax in equal parts according to the size of the stain. You want to cover it completely. Let this dry mixture sit on the oil stain for an hour or longer, then add water to make a paste, scrub and rinse.
This is a gentle cleaning process, so it may be necessary to repeat the process two or three times. But there is a possibility it will work!
DRIVEWAY CLEANING IN Elk Grove
Some concrete oil stains on a driveway are just too difficult for DIY home remedies. That’s when it is time to call a professional pressure washing company to thoroughly clean your home’s concrete surfaces.
We don’t recommend pressure washing your driveway on your own to save a few dollars. You can cause major damage that is extremely difficult to fix if you don’t know how to properly pressure wash concrete. The high pressure water can break and loosen concrete, and it can leave streaks that look just as bad as the oil stains.
Calling PWC Elk Grove Pressure Washing is definitely the best choice. Our technicians know the best methods 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 optimal distance to spray the concrete from
- Products that can help lighten stains
PWC Elk Grove Pressure Washing also follows all of the steps to clean the concrete– the most effective process. Most homeowners don’t have the patience to do it right. They want quick results.
A professional pressure washing company can also provide protective sealing services for driveway so oil stains are less likely to happen again.