How to Remove Oil Stains on Driveways
Oil stains on driveways look bad, and tarnish your home exterior, even if the oil stains are fairly new. Avoid oil stains on your home’s driveway, sidewalks and in your garage if possible, and try to get rid of those stains right away, before they really set in.
If the oil stain has been there for a long time, like from before you purchased the home, you may need the help of a local driveway cleaning service in Columbia that is able to 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 stains on concrete driveways. This could be oil, gas or transmission fluid – or a combination of fluids. 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 needs to be checked out by a auto mechanic
But, of course, there are several other things that can leave an ugly oil spot on concrete. So let’s look at some of the best DIY ways to remove those oil stains!
DIY Oil Stain Removal Tips
CAT LITTER FOR OIL STAINS
Cat litter is a easy first step for fresh oil stains where there is excess oil that needs to be cleaned up.
Sprinkle the cat litter over the oil stain, 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 for 24 hours so it can absorb as much as possible. Scrape 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 follow up with one of the following do-it-yourself concrete cleaning methods.
COCA-COLA FOR OIL STAINS
You’ve probably heard urban legends about accident clean-up crews using Coke to clean the roads, but, rest assured, that is not true. That said, Coke does have powerful cleaning properties for oily stains, partly because of its carbonated bubbles, but mostly from the phosphoric acid in the soda.
Pour a good amount of Coke on the oil stain, then cover it with dishwashing detergent (Blue Dawn is widely accepted as 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 get rid of 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, somewhere 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.
Then, add that famous blue dishwashing liquid and 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 motion, then rinse.
Just like the Coke method, you might need to repeat the process one or two times.
LAUNDRY DETERGENT FOR OIL STAINS
Most homeowners already use this to clean off tough stains on clothing. It’s also a great option for removing bad oil stains from concrete as well!
Mix 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 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 may be necessary to repeat the process two or three times. But there is a possibility it will work!
DRIVEWAY CLEANING IN Columbia
Some concrete oil stains on a driveway are too difficult for DIY 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 yourself to save a few dollars. You can cause major harm that is difficult to repair if you don’t know what you’re doing. The high pressure water can break and loosen concrete, and it can create streaks that look just as bad as the oil stains.
Calling Columbia Pressure Washing is definitely the best choice. We know the best ways to clean concrete without damaging it, such as:
- The right PSI and GPM settings to use to remove stains
- Which nozzle will penetrate concrete without damaging it
- The correct distance to spray the concrete from
- Solutions that can help lighten stains
Columbia Pressure Washing also follows all of the steps to clean the concrete– the most effective method. Most homeowners don’t have the patience to do it right. 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.