How to Remove Oil Stains on Driveways

oil stain on driveway

Oil stains on driveways look bad, and ruin your home exterior, even if the oil stains are still relatively new. Avoid oil stains on your driveway, sidewalks and in your garage if possible, and try to get rid of those stains right away, before they set in.

If the oil stain has been there for a while, like from before purchasing the home, you might need the help of a local driveway cleaning service in El Monte that can get rid of even the most set-in oil stains.

Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?

Mostly, oil from vehicles is the cause for oil-stained concrete driveways. This might be oil, gasoline or transmission fluid – or a combination. Some of the common ways concrete gets stained are from:

  • Servicing 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 a lot of other things that can create an unsightly oil stain on concrete. So let’s look at 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 fresh 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 crushing it with your feet. It’s best to leave the litter on the oil stain overnight so it absorbs as much as possible. Scoop it up or sweep it off the next day and repeat if necessary.

Throw away used litter so pets and wildlife don’t eat it and get sick.

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

COCA-COLA FOR OIL STAINS

You’ve probably heard urban legends about accident clean-up crews using Coke to clean up the roads, but, rest assured, that is a myth. However, Coke does have powerful cleaning properties when it comes to oily stains, partly because of its carbonated bubbles, but mainly 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 soap (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 a common home cleaning remedy product.

To get rid of an oil stain on a driveway, you’ll first want to coat the stain with the baking soda and then let it sit for a while, anywhere from 30 minutes to two or three hours. This should absorb a lot of the oil and allow the baking soda to penetrate the porous surface.

Then, add that famous blue dishwashing liquid and some water and scrub hard until there is a thick paste. Again, you can let this sit for the best penetration, or you can continue to scrub in a circular motion, then rinse.

Just like with the Coke method, you might have to repeat the process.

LAUNDRY DETERGENT FOR OIL STAINS

Most homeowners already use this to get rid of bad stains on clothes. It’s also a great option for removing bad oil stains on concrete too!

Stir 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 mixture stay on the oil stain for an hour or more, then add some water to create a paste, scrub and rinse.

This is more of a gentle cleaning process, so it could be necessary to repeat the process two or three times. But there is a good chance it will work!

DRIVEWAY CLEANING IN El Monte

Some oil stains on a driveway are too difficult for home remedies to remove. 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 yourself to save a 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 almost as bad as the oil stains.

Calling El Monte Pressure Washing is definitely the smart choice. We know the best ways to clean concrete without damaging it, such as:

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

El Monte Pressure Washing also follows all of the steps to clean the concrete little by little – the most effective process. Most homeowners and other companies don’t have enough 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 in the future.