How to Remove Oil Stains on Driveways
Oil stains on driveways look awful, and age your home exterior, even if the spots are still fairly new. Avoid oil spots on your home’s driveway, sidewalks and in your garage whenever possible, and try to remove those stains right away, before they really 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 Birmingham that is able to remove even the most set-in stains on concrete.
Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?
Mostly, oil from cars is the cause for stains on concrete driveways. This could be oil, gas or transmission fluid – or a combination. Some of the typical ways concrete gets stained are from:
- Servicing your own car
- Filling up the gas in a lawn mower
- A leak that should be checked out by a auto mechanic
But, of course, there are several other things that can leave an unsightly oil stain on concrete. So let’s consider a few of the best DIY ways to remove those stains!
DIY Oil Stain Removal Tips
CAT LITTER FOR OIL STAINS
Cat litter is a easy first step for new oil spots where there is a lot of oil that has to be cleaned up.
Sprinkle cat litter all over the oil, 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 can absorb 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.
Then you can proceed with one of the following do-it-yourself concrete cleaning techniques.
COCA-COLA FOR OIL STAINS
You’ve probably heard urban legends about accident clean-up crews using Coca-Cola to clean the roads, but, rest assured, that is not true. That said, Coca-Cola does have strong cleaning properties for greasy stains, in part due to its carbonated bubbles, but mostly from the phosphoric acid in the soda.
Pour a good amount of Coca-Cola 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 throughout.
Rinse and repeat if you have to.
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 baking soda and then let it sit for a while, anywhere from 15 minutes to two or three hours. This should absorb some of the oil and allow the baking soda to penetrate the porous concrete.
Next, add blue dishwashing liquid and water and scrub hard until you have created 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 Coca-Cola method, you might have to repeat the process one or two times.
LAUNDRY DETERGENT FOR OIL STAINS
Most homeowners already use this to clean off dirty stains on clothes. It’s also a great product for removing bad oil stains on concrete too!
Mix powdered laundry detergent and borax in equal parts according to the size of the stain. You want to cover it completely. Let this mixture sit 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 method, so it could be necessary to repeat the process two or three times. But there is a possibility it will work!
DRIVEWAY CLEANING IN Birmingham
Some concrete oil stains on a driveway are too tough for home remedies to remove. That’s when it may be time to call a professional pressure washing company to clean your home’s concrete surfaces.
We don’t recommend pressure washing your driveway on your own to save a a little money. You can cause major harm that is complicated 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 on a driveway that look just as bad as the oil stains.
Calling Birmingham Pressure Wash Co. is definitely the best choice. Our technicians know the best ways to clean concrete without ruining it, such as:
- The right PSI and GPM settings to use to remove stains
- Which nozzle will penetrate concrete without damaging it
- The optimal distance to spray the concrete from
- Solutions that can help lighten stains
Birmingham Pressure Wash Co. 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 correctly. They want immediate results.
A professional pressure washing company can also provide protective sealing services for driveway so oil stains are less likely to happen again.