How to Remove Oil Stains on Driveways
Oil stains on driveways look awful, and age your home exterior, even if the oil stains are still fairly new. Avoid oil stains on your home’s driveway and in your garage if possible, and attempt to remove those stains right away, before they really set in.
If the oil stain has been there for a while, like from before you purchased the house, you might need the help of a local driveway cleaning service in Grand Rapids that can remove the most set-in oil stains on concrete.
Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?
Mostly, oil from cars is the cause for stains on concrete driveways. This might be oil, gas or transmission fluid – or a combination of fluids. Some of the common ways your concrete gets stained are from:
- Fixing your own car
- Filling up the gas in a lawn mower
- A leak that needs to be checked out by a mechanic
But, there are many other things that can leave an ugly oil spot on your concrete. So let’s consider some of the best DIY methods 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 stains where there is a lot of oil that has to be cleaned up.
Sprinkle cat litter over the oil, really getting it down into the stain by crushing it with your feet. It’s a good idea to leave the litter on the oil stain overnight so it will absorb as much as possible. Scoop it up or sweep it off 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 proceed with one of the following do-it-yourself 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 a myth. But, Coca-Cola does have powerful cleaning properties when it comes to greasy stains, partly because of its carbonated bubbles, but mainly because of the phosphoric acid in the soda.
Pour a generous amount of Coca-Cola 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.
Rinse and repeat if necessary.
BAKING SODA FOR OIL STAINS
Baking soda is a popular home cleaning remedy product.
To remove an oil stain on a driveway, you’ll first need to coat the stain with baking soda and let it sit for a while, somewhere from 15 minutes to two or three hours. This should absorb some of the oil and allow the baking soda to penetrate the porous surface.
Then, add blue dishwashing detergent and some water and scrub 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 pattern, then rinse.
Just like the Coca-Cola method, you might need to repeat the process.
LAUNDRY DETERGENT FOR OIL STAINS
Most homeowners already use this to get rid of dirty stains on clothing. It’s actually a great product for getting rid of tough oil stains from concrete too!
Mix powdered laundry detergent and borax in equal parts based on the size of the oil stain. You will want to cover it completely. Let this mixture sit on the oil stain for an hour or more, then add some water to make a paste, scrub and rinse.
This is 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 Grand Rapids
Some oil stains on a driveway are too tough for home remedies. That’s when it is time to call a professional pressure washing company to thoroughly clean your home’s concrete surfaces.
We don’t recommend pressure washing your driveway yourself to save a a little money. You can cause major damage that is 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 create streaks that look just as bad as the oil stains.
Calling CWC Grand Rapids Pressure Wash is definitely the smart choice. We know the best methods to clean concrete without harming it, such as:
- The right PSI and GPM settings to use to remove stains
- Which nozzle tip will penetrate concrete without chipping it
- The correct distance to spray the concrete from
- Products that can help lighten stains
CWC Grand Rapids Pressure Wash 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 right. They want immediate results.
A professional pressure washing company in Grand Rapids can also offer protective sealing services for your driveway so oil stains are less likely to occur.