How to Remove Oil Stains on Driveways

oil stain on driveway

Oil stains on driveways look awful, and tarnish your home exterior, even if the stains are relatively new. Avoid oil stains on your driveway and in your garage whenever possible, and try to eliminate those stains quickly, before they set in.

If the stain has been there for a while, like from before you purchased the house, you may need the help of a local driveway cleaning service in Escondido that can eliminate even the most set-in stains on concrete.

Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?

Mostly, oil from automobiles is the cause for stains on concrete driveways. This might be oil, gas or transmission fluids – or a combination of fluids. Some of the common ways your concrete gets stained are from:

  • Servicing your own car
  • Filling up the gas in a lawn mower
  • A leak that needs to be checked out by a auto mechanic

But, there are a lot of other things that can cause an unsightly oil stain on your concrete. So let’s look at a few of the best DIY tips to remove those stains!

DIY Oil Stain Removal Tips

CAT LITTER FOR OIL STAINS

Cat litter is a simple first step for new oil stains where there is excess oil that has to be dried up.

Sprinkle the cat litter all over the oil stain, getting it down into the stain by stomping on it with your feet. It’s recommended to leave the litter on the stain overnight so it can absorb as much as possible. Scoop it up or sweep it off of the driveway the next 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 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 Coca-Cola to clean the roads, but, be assured, that is not true. However, Coca-Cola does have strong cleaning properties when it comes to greasy stains, in part due to its carbonated bubbles, but mainly from the phosphoric acid in the soda.

Pour a good amount of Coca-Cola on the oil stain, then cover it with dishwashing liquid (Blue Dawn is widely considered the most effective). Scrub with a stiff brush, using circular motions throughout.

Rinse and repeat if necessary.

BAKING SODA FOR OIL STAINS

Baking soda is a popular home cleaning remedy product.

To eliminate an oil stain on a driveway, you’ll first need to cover the stain with the baking soda and then let it sit for a little bit, somewhere from 30 minutes to a few hours. This should absorb some of the oil and allow the baking soda to penetrate the porous concrete.

Next, add blue dishwashing detergent and water and scrub until there is a thick paste. Again, let this sit for optimal penetration, or continue to scrub in a circular pattern, then rinse.

Just like with the Coca-Cola method, you might need to repeat the process one or two times.

LAUNDRY DETERGENT FOR OIL STAINS

Most homeowners already use this to wash off tough stains on clothing. It’s actually a great option for getting rid of tough oil stains from concrete as well!

Mix powdered laundry detergent and borax in equal parts based on the size of the stain. You will want to cover it completely. Let this dry mixture stay on the oil stain for an hour or longer, then add water to create a paste, scrub and rinse.

This is a gentle cleaning method, so it might be necessary to repeat the process one or two times. But there is a good chance it will work!

DRIVEWAY CLEANING IN Escondido

Some oil stains on a driveway are just too tough for DIY home remedies to remove. That’s when it may be 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  little money. You can cause major harm that is difficult to repair if you don’t know what you’re doing. The high pressure water stream can break and loosen concrete, and it can leave streaks that look just as bad as the oil stains.

Calling Escondido Pressure Washing is definitely the safe choice. Our technicians know the best methods to clean concrete without destroying it, such as:

  • 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
  • Products that can help lighten stains

Escondido Pressure Washing 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.