How To Remove Oil Stains From Concrete (Driveways, Garage Floors, etc.)

How To Remove Oil Stains From Concrete

Do you have unattractive oil marks on the concrete around your house? Does your automobile leak oil and leave unsightly spots on the driveway or garage floor?

If you’re sick of staring at the oil-stained concrete surrounding your house, take action and discover how to effectively eliminate stains from concrete with several simple ingredients and some effort.

Nothing is as irritating as looking at oil-stained concrete. Some oil stains on the concrete are minor spills, whereas others have ruined big regions. The age and size of the oil stain will influence whether it will be tough to remove oil traces from concrete.

Luckily, cleaning oil stains from concrete is simpler than you may think. In this post, you’ll learn numerous strategies to eliminate oil stains from concrete. This guide also provides tips about tidying up fresh oil spills and techniques to prevent oil stains from appearing later.

11 Options To Remove Old Oil Stains From Concrete

There are many efficient techniques for removing oil stains from concrete surfaces. Some techniques are more effective on wet spills, whereas others are effective on dry stains. Some options are more effective than others depending on the size of the stain, how long it’s been there, and other factors.

Here is a comprehensive list of 11 options to remove old oil stains from concrete driveways and garage floors. These techniques involve common household products, such as vinegar or detergent. Other alternatives involve items you might already possess, such as WD-40 or Coca-Cola.

If the oil stain is too strong and tenacious, you can use different concrete cleansing and eradication products. These products feature degreasing chemicals or other substances that do miracles on oil stains.

It’s crucial to note that irrespective of the approach you select, you should test it in an inconspicuous area – this will help you to determine whether the procedure alters the tint of the concrete or causes other problems. 

If one method does not work effectively, you can always try another and eventually figure out a solution to your oil stains problem.

1. Kitty Litter

Kitty litter is a great absorbent product; hence it can have many uses in addition to absorbing cat urine and feces. Damp stains on a concrete driveway can be effectively removed using cat litter due to its great absorption capacity. 

Although kitty litter is often the greatest alternative for this procedure, you could utilize anything absorbent enough, such as cornmeal or sawdust. Baby powder and talcum are also excellent absorbents. You can apply these supplies to major oil spills, but eliminating surplus oil is recommended first.

Use a substantial amount of cat litter on and around the stained area. After applying a heavy layer of litter on the stain, crush the litter pellets with a brick or another solid item. This crushing guarantees that the litter’s granules are maximally absorbent and that a greater portion of the litter comes into contact with the oily liquid to absorb it.

If the oil stain is fresh, allow it to sit for approximately one hour. If the stains have been present for some time, it might take 24 hours for the kitty litter to entirely absorb the liquid. Lastly, sweep or remove the litter. 

This approach could be reinforced with another technique if there are traces of oil staining, but it’s nevertheless an excellent starting point.

2. Detergent

Two various forms of detergent could be efficient in eliminating oil stains. For starters, try using dish soap. Although dish soap detergent might not be the initial product you picture when you come across the phrase ‘detergent,’ it could employ emulsification to bind with the oil and remove it.

Then, combine dish soap and water and brush the solution straight onto the stain. After cleaning it with water and wiping it off, the stain could become fainter or even disappear. If the stain doesn’t fully disappear, you can redo the process again with dish soap after some time.

The second detergent technique requires powder laundry. Get a budget-friendly brand from the shop if you don’t have powder laundry detergent. Spread it evenly across the oil spill. After having a nice layer of powder laundry detergent to the stain, mix a little volume of warm water with the powder to form a paste.

Utilize a scrub brush to apply the paste around the stain. It could take fifteen to twenty minutes to take full effect, so refrain from tampering with it until then. Then, scrub the area a second time and remove the paste and any other residue with water.

3. Pressure Washer

A pressure washer could eliminate some stains, particularly if used after cleaning or degreasing with another approach. Nevertheless, the pressure washer must be fairly powerful, and we advise utilizing one with a minimum of 1700 psi. 2000 to 3000 psi is the ideal range.

Add a small quantity of detergent to the pressure washer before spraying the stain. Proceed in a straight line at a consistent pace. When spraying, the nozzle must remain within the same distance from the concrete’s surface and the stain location. This uniformity eliminates streaking.

You could let the detergent and water soak for 10-15 minutes before scrubbing it off with plain water. Because the section becomes far cleaner than the remainder of the concrete, it could appear newer. In this scenario, you can leave it or pressure wash the remaining concrete surface.

4. Concrete Cleaner or Degreaser

Numerous products are made specifically for degreasing and cleaning concrete or eliminating oil stains, which can remove even the most tenacious stains. Each product has instructions for dilution and application, but most are strong and will eliminate even the oldest, most stubborn stains.

Generally, you’ll need to wash the region with water before scrubbing it with a fine bristle brush and the product you purchased. Let every area soak for approximately 5 minutes without allowing the cleaner to dry. Then, you may rinse that region and continue to the next until the entire area is properly cleaned.

You could also utilize a pressure washer with a concrete cleaner or degreaser. Ensure that it’s appropriately diluted before adding it to the chemical tank of a pressure washer. 

Operate in smaller portions while maintaining a steady spacing between the nozzle, staining, and concrete surface. Then, remove any residue or filth by rinsing.

5. Vinegar

If no cleaning products are available, vinegar could also be effective since it’s an organic degreaser and is readily available and inexpensive. Vinegar is not particularly effective on the most stubborn stains, but it is worth a try. 

Vinegar has a significant percentage of about 4-6% acetic acid, which makes it effective in breaking down some oil structures but may not work well on stubborn oil stains.

The most effective technique to remove oil stains with vinegar is to combine it with other substances. Utilize two tablespoons of vinegar, two cups of water, half to one cup of washing soda, and a little dish soap.

You could double up or triple this formula if appropriate. You may also experiment with the recipe to determine what works best, but vinegar and washing soda will create a chemical reaction that efficiently removes stubborn stains.

Pour this solution over the stained region and allow it to soak for about half an hour. Then, using a scrub brush, stir the solution around a bit before removing the solution’s leftovers and some of the oil dissolved from the concrete.

6. Bleach

Bleach is another home product that can eliminate some grime and stains from concrete. Typically, bleach is advantageous since oil stains could often draw impurities, rendering it challenging to clean the stained region.

The most effective method is to combine water and bleach in a spray bottle with a modest concentration, but you could also apply the bleach solution straight to the concrete. A spray bottle can let you regulate the quantity of bleach and prep the region for a more effective cleaning technique, such as power washing.

Be mindful not to apply bleach on animals or plants as it could damage or kill them. You should also keep it out of reach of kids. 

If you don’t like using a potent bleach mixture, you could reduce the quantity of bleach and replace it with dishwashing detergent. Detergent and bleach are frequently effective at eliminating old and stubborn stains.

7. Baking Soda

Besides absorbing oil, baking soda doubles up as a cleanser. Baking soda’s efficiency and low cost make it one of the most popular solutions for removing stains. Spread baking soda on the oil stain until a thick coating completely covers the stained region. Then, let it set in for roughly thirty minutes.

Utilize a bristle brush to remove the stain and work it towards the middle. Remove the remaining baking soda with water. If you observe a change in the color or darkness of the oil staining, then it acts to some extent. 

This approach could be performed as required and might continue diminishing the stain with every application. You’ll need more baking soda mixture for a larger oil spill and vice versa.

8. WD-40

You might believe that because your driveway isn’t squeaky, you shouldn’t use WD-40, but note that the solution also eliminates stains. WD-40 has solvent qualities that aid in dissolving oil and removing it from the concrete. 

Additionally, this product has water-displacing properties that enable it to penetrate the oil and dissolve the staining.

Spray a substantial amount of WD-40 onto the stained area. Wait about 30 minutes for the chemicals and components to permeate the oil and enter the pores. Then, wipe the stained region with an old fury. 

Remember that it could be incredibly slick, so be cautious and try to eliminate every trace of WD-40. Unfortunately, WD-40 isn’t as efficient as other techniques and varies according to how old the staining has been.

WD-40 is a good choice if the oil stains are fresh and are not spread across a wide region. Try out this method or complement it with other solutions for optimal results.

9. Coca Cola

Coke is a well-known brand, but numerous people are astonished to hear that it could be utilized as an excellent cleaning agent. Since 1885, Coca-Cola has advertised the beverage for its refreshing flavor and ‘secret formula.’ 

However, you might not be aware of one of the most prominent applications: cleaning oil stains off driveways!

Like lemon juice, Coke and other cola beverages are strongly acidic and carbonated; thus, they effectively remove crusted oil stains from concrete. To be most efficient, Coca-Cola must be at room temperature, and it takes a substantial amount of the tasty sugary drink to erase a stain.

For tiny stains, a single 12-ounce cola can is likely sufficient. However, larger stains may require two or more 12-ounce Coca-Cola cans. Ensure that the Coke adheres to the oil stain and doesn’t thin or flow away from the affected region.

Coca-Cola will take some time to take effect, so it’s better to leave it to rest for at least two hours. You could scrape it with a scrubbing brush a bit more before employing a mop to absorb the remainder. Ensure you eliminate all the cola spills since the sugar could draw bees, flies, and other insects.

10. Poultice

A poultice is one of the most successful ways to get oil stains off the concrete, and you can either purchase it or manufacture it yourself. There are numerous techniques to develop a poultice, but it entails employing liquid agents, chemicals, and an absorption component to suck the oil from the concrete spaces.

One means to make Poultices is through diatomaceous earth or sawdust, but other absorption agents could also be effective. First, ensure that you got protective eyewear and clothing to ensure the mix doesn’t touch your skin.

Dilute 1 cup of trisodium phosphate for every water gallon. Then, combine the trisodium phosphate and water mixture with the absorbent until a thick paste is formed. Then, apply it to the stain and allow it to dry for not less than 12 hours. After that, remove the dried Poultice and clean the affected region.

You could also prepare a poultice solution with flour or baking soda. Mix it with acetone, apply it uniformly on the oil stain, and leave it to dry for about twelve to twenty-four hours. Once completely dry, rinse off every drop of Poultice.

11. OxiClean

If all these household products fail to eliminate your oil stains effectively, you should consider trying OxiClean as a secret weapon. This detergent is effective even on the most challenging oil stains on concrete. Mix a single OxiClean scoop and one water gallon till it is dissolved entirely.

Pour the solution onto the oil spill and leave it to set for about an hour or two. Then wash the detergent with water until the whole mess is washed up completely. If the oil spill does not come off ultimately after one wash, you can repeat the procedure several times until the spill is no longer noticeable.

3 Best Products To Remove Stubborn Oil Stains From Concrete

Black marks caused by an oil leak are more difficult to ignore than a little dirt on the driveway. Luckily, oil stains can be removed with several basic cleaning techniques.

If you want to eliminate stains from concrete but find that household solutions are inadequate, you must learn what products are the most efficient for removing stubborn and old oil stains. Here are the three best products for eliminating old stubborn oil stains from concrete:

Oil Eater Cleaner & Degreaser

Oil Eater Cleaner & Degreaser is one of the market’s most effective concrete cleaners and oil stain removers. This product functions by dissolving surface grease without needing solvents or acids. In reality, the formula is biodegradable and water-based.

The product is as potent and effective as products that cost significantly more. It’s powerful, and one gallon could be diluted and still be efficient on most stains. Oil Eater Cleaner & Degreaser could also be utilized on decks, grills, siding, engines, stoves, and more.

Oil Eater Original 1 Gallon Cleaner and Degreaser

Dissolve Grease Oil and Heavy-Duty Stains – Professional Strength

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Terminator-HSD Oil & Grease Stain Remover

Terminator-HSD Oil & Grease Stain Remover degrades and dissolves oil into byproducts, making it more eco-friendly than competing products. This product covers approximately 400 square feet, is simple to apply, and eliminates oil without scrubbing.

Terminator-HSD Oil & Grease Stain Remover is affordable and effective in clearing even the most stubborn oil stains. Moreover, it can be applied in a few minutes and requires no special skills.

Terminator-HSD Concrete Oil Stain Remover and Cleaner

Eco-Friendly Bio-Remediates and Removes Oil & Grease Stains on Concrete and Asphalt Driveways, Garages, Pavers, Patios, Parking Lots, Streets...

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Chomp Pull It Out Oil & Stain Remover for Concrete

Chomp Pull It Out Oil & Stain Remover is an alternative product that eliminates oil stains and other marks from concrete. This product is used over Poultice, infiltrates deep into the concrete, and can remove oil and other car fluids without using acid, bleach, or other harmful chemicals.

Moreover, this product is simple to use; apply it to the stain, and wait. After the cleaning formula dries out, scrape it away, and the oil stain beneath will be entirely removed.

Chomp Pull It Out Concrete Stain Remover

This professional strength concrete stain remover provides exceptional oil and grease lifting from porous surfaces.

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Preventing Oil Stains on Concrete Driveways and Garage Floors

The best way to avoid oil stains is to avoid spilling any oil. For instance, regularly check your automobile for leaks by ensuring it is serviced regularly. However, entirely keeping oil from spilling onto concrete, especially on the garage or driveway, is not practicable.

Be Keen When Replacing Oil

You’ll inevitably make a mess if you switch the oil in your lawnmower, vehicle, or other household tools. Replacing the oil requires getting down on the concrete floor, which could be avoided by placing a tarp underneath you.

Clean Spills Quickly

You can avoid oil stains if the spill gets cleaned up quickly. You might still need to utilize one of the procedures to eliminate the fresh stain, but possess greater alternatives on how you can erase the stain, for instance, a kitty litter.

Use a Concrete Sealer

A concrete sealer with oil-repelling characteristics is the most effective method for protecting your surface from oil stains. There are numerous alternatives, such as epoxy coating, urethane coating, and acrylic sealers. The best product will offer a solid barrier, preventing even the tiniest amount of oil from seeping through and damaging the concrete below.

FAQs

Here are some of the frequently asked questions on how to remove oil stains from concrete:

  • Are oil stains permanent on concrete?

    It’s a common misconception that oil stains on concrete are impossible to remove. They could be difficult to eliminate, particularly if they have been present for some time but are not permanent.

    If a homeowner’s attempts to eliminate oil stains from their concrete garage or driveway were unsuccessful, they could give up and accept the stains as permanent. Nevertheless, if you have the proper oil stain removal solutions, techniques, and cleaners, you shouldn’t have too much trouble.

    Moreover, cleaning oil stains as soon as possible is the best method to prevent them from becoming a major headache. Since the oil won’t be able to set, the unsightly stains cannot penetrate deeper into the concrete surface, making total removal more challenging.

    If you have an oil spill on concrete, whether a small drip from the lawnmower or a massive pool from an accident when replacing your vehicle’s oil, knowing what to do immediately after the spill will help you clean up the issue efficiently.

  • What do I do when oil spills on concrete?

    If oil spills onto your concrete, remove as much of it as possible immediately. The oil stains are easiest to eliminate immediately following the oil spill before the oil penetrates and hardens into the concrete or extends over a larger surface region.

    If the spillage is minor, less than 6 inches in diameter, it should not be quite difficult to utilize a cloth to clean off the excess spill. You must not press the oil deeper into the porous concrete while doing so.

    In addition, it could be difficult to keep the oil from spreading and expanding the possible stain. It could be hard to avoid dispersing the oil, thus, making the possible stain bigger.

    If a cloth doesn’t help since the spill is too light, and you’re simply making the situation worse, you could employ a big scraper with the blade’s edge lightly brushing the concrete’s surface. Then, press the oil gently in a single direction. This may cause the spill to become thick enough to eliminate with a rag.

    If you wish to fully avoid using a cloth that might drive the oil further into the concrete or disperse the spill, you could also utilize paper towels. Place folded paper towels over the spillage to absorb most of the liquid. It might require numerous paper towels to suck up the oil, but it could effectively reduce the depth of the oil spillage.

    Once the excess oil is removed, you will remain with a wet, slippery mark on the concrete. The optimal approach for removing the leftover oil and stain will vary depending on several circumstances, and this article presents you with various options.

  • Bottom Line

    If you have a vehicle and a concrete driveway, the odds are against never experiencing an oil leak. Oil stains on a driveway or other concrete surfaces could diminish the aesthetic appeal of a home.

    While oil staining isn’t permanent, the ability to eliminate oil stains from concrete isn’t a technique in everybody’s cleaning arsenal. Hopefully, this article has provided you with do-it-yourself techniques for effectively removing oil from concrete.

    There are numerous options available for eliminating these stains. For instance, common home materials such as detergent, WD-40, and baking soda can aid in stain removal. Some products are also made to eliminate even the most stubborn stains from your concrete’s surface. You’ll need to experiment with numerous solutions to determine the best for you.