How to Remove Oil Stains on Driveways
Oil stains on driveways look awful, and tarnish your home exterior, even if the spots are still relatively new. Avoid oil spots on your driveway, sidewalks and in your garage if possible, and attempt to remove those stains right away, before they really set in.
If the stain has been there for a while, like from before purchasing the home, you may need the help of a local driveway cleaning service in Simi Valley that can remove the most set-in stains on concrete.
Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?
Mostly, oil from vehicles is the reason for oil-stained concrete. This might 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 a lot of other things that can create an ugly oil stain on concrete. So let’s consider some 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 spots where there is a lot of oil that needs to be cleaned up.
Sprinkle the cat litter over the oil stain, really getting it down into the stain by stomping on it with your feet. It’s best to leave the litter on the 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 wildlife don’t eat it and get sick from it.
Then you can proceed 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 Coke to clean up the roads, but, rest assured, that is not true. However, Coke does have powerful cleaning properties for oily stains, partly because of its carbonated bubbles, but mainly because of the phosphoric acid in the soda.
Pour a generous amount of Coke 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.
Rinse and repeat if needed.
BAKING SODA FOR OIL STAINS
Baking soda is another popular home cleaning remedy product.
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 20 minutes to two or three hours. This should absorb most of the oil and allow the baking soda to penetrate the porous surface.
Next, add blue dishwashing soap and some water and scrub 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 Coke method, you might have to repeat the process.
LAUNDRY DETERGENT FOR OIL STAINS
Many homeowners already use this to wash off tough stains on clothing. It’s also a great option for removing bad oil stains on concrete too!
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 more, then add some water to create a paste, scrub and rinse.
This is a gentle cleaning method, so it might be necessary to repeat the process two or three times. But there is a possibility it will work!
DRIVEWAY CLEANING IN Simi Valley
Some concrete 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 yourself to save a few dollars. You can cause significant harm that is difficult to repair if you don’t know how to properly pressure wash concrete. The high pressure water stream can break and loosen concrete, and it can create streaks on a driveway that look just as bad as the oil stains.
Hiring Simi Valley Pressure Washing is definitely the best choice. Our technicians know the best ways to clean concrete without destroying it, such as:
- The right PSI and GPM settings to use to remove stains
- Which nozzle will penetrate concrete without chipping it
- The correct distance to spray the concrete from
- Solutions that can help lighten stains
Simi Valley Pressure Washing also follows all of the steps it takes to clean the concrete little by little – the most effective method. Most homeowners don’t have enough patience to do it correctly. They want immediate results.
A professional pressure washing company can also provide protective sealing services for driveway so oil stains are less likely in the future.