How to Remove Oil Stains on Driveways

oil stain on driveway

Oil stains on driveways look bad, and tarnish your home exterior, even if the oil spots are still fairly new. Avoid oil spots on your driveway and in your garage whenever possible, and try to get rid of those stains fast, 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 Federal Way that has the ability to get rid of even the most set-in oil stains.

Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?

Mostly, oil from vehicles is the reason for oil-stained concrete driveways. This could be oil, gas or transmission fluid – or a combination of engine fluids. Some of the typical ways concrete gets stained are from:

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

But, of course, there are countless other things that can cause an ugly oil stain on concrete. So let’s explore a few of the best DIY tips to remove those oil stains!

DIY Oil Stain Removal Tips

CAT LITTER FOR OIL STAINS

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

Sprinkle the cat litter over the oil stain, getting it down into the stain by crushing it with your feet. It’s best to leave the litter on the oil stain for 24 hours so it will absorb as much as possible. Scoop it up or sweep it off of the driveway the next day and repeat if necessary.

Get rid of used litter so pets and nearby wildlife don’t eat it and get sick from it.

Next you can proceed with one of the following do-it-yourself cleaning processes.

COCA-COLA FOR OIL STAINS

You might have heard urban legends about accident clean-up crews using Coca-Cola to clean the roads, but, rest assured, that is not true. However, Coca-Cola does have powerful cleaning properties for oily stains, in part due to its carbonated bubbles, but mostly from the phosphoric acid in the soda.

Pour a generous amount of Coca-Cola on top of 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 you have to.

BAKING SODA FOR OIL STAINS

Baking soda is another common home cleaning remedy product.

To get rid of 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 two or three hours. This should absorb some of the oil and allow the baking soda to penetrate the porous surface.

Next, add that famous blue dishwashing soap and water and scrub until you have created a thick paste. Again, you can let this sit for the best penetration, or you can 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 clean off bad stains on clothing. It’s also a great option for getting rid of tough oil stains from concrete too!

Combine powdered laundry detergent and borax in equal parts according to the size of the oil stain. You will 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 then rinse.

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

DRIVEWAY CLEANING IN Federal Way

Some oil stains on a driveway are too tough for DIY home remedies. That’s when it is time to call a professional pressure washing company to thoroughly clean your concrete surfaces.

We don’t recommend pressure washing your driveway on your own to save a few dollars. You can cause significant damage that is extremely difficult to fix 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 almost as bad as the oil stains.

Hiring Federal Way Pressure Washing is definitely the smart choice. Our technicians know the best ways to clean concrete without ruining it, including:

  • The right PSI and GPM levels to use
  • Which nozzle tip will penetrate concrete without chipping it
  • The optimal distance to spray the concrete from
  • Solutions that can help lighten stains

Federal Way Pressure Washing also follows all of the steps to clean the concrete– the most effective method. Most homeowners don’t have enough patience to do it right. They want fast results.

A professional pressure washing company can also offer protective sealing services for driveway so oil stains are less likely in the future.