How to Remove Oil Stains on Driveways
Oil stains on driveways look terrible, and tarnish your home exterior, even if the stains are still relatively new. Avoid oil stains on your driveway and in your garage when possible, and try to remove those stains right away, before they set in.
If the stain has been there for a long time, like from before purchasing the home, you may need the help of a local driveway cleaning service in Philadelphia that can remove even the most set-in stains on concrete surfaces.
Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?
Mainly, oil from vehicles is the cause for oil-stained concrete. This might be oil, gasoline or transmission fluid – or a combination. Some of the most common ways your concrete gets stained are from:
- Fixing your own car
- Filling up the lawn mower
- A leak that needs to be checked out by a mechanic
But, there are a lot of other things that can create an ugly oil spot on your concrete. So let’s explore 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 a lot of oil that needs to be dried up.
Sprinkle the cat litter all over the oil, 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. Scrape it up or sweep it off of the driveway the following day and repeat as necessary.
Throw away used litter so your pets and nearby wildlife don’t eat it and get sick.
Next you can follow up with one of the following do-it-yourself concrete cleaning processes.
COCA-COLA FOR OIL STAINS
You might have 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 for oily stains, in part due to its carbonated bubbles, but mostly from the phosphoric acid in the soda.
Pour a generous amount of Coke on top of the oil stain, then cover it with dishwashing detergent (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 common home cleaning remedy ingredient.
To remove 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 little bit, anywhere from 15 minutes to two or three 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 water and scrub until there is a thick paste. Again, you can let this sit for maximum penetration, or you can continue to scrub in a circular pattern, then rinse.
Just like with the Coke method, you might need to repeat the process.
LAUNDRY DETERGENT FOR OIL STAINS
Many homeowners already use this to clean off tough stains on clothes. It’s actually a great option for getting rid of tough oil stains on concrete too!
Stir powdered laundry detergent and borax in equal parts based on the size of the stain. You want to cover it completely. Let this mixture stay on the oil stain for an hour or more, then add water to create 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 good chance it will work!
DRIVEWAY CLEANING IN Philadelphia
Some concrete 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 little money. You can cause significant harm 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 on a driveway that look just as bad as the oil stains.
Calling AllPro Philadelphia Pressure Washing is definitely the safe choice. Our technicians know the best ways to clean concrete without damaging it, including:
- The right PSI and GPM settings to use
- Which nozzle will penetrate concrete without damaging it
- The best distance to spray the concrete from
- Solutions that can help lighten stains
BRAND also follows all of the steps it takes to clean the concrete little by little – the most effective process. Most homeowners and other companies don’t have the patience to do it right. They want fast results.
A professional pressure washing company in Philadelphia can also offer protective sealing services for your driveway so oil stains are less likely to occur.