How to Remove Oil Stains on Driveways
Oil stains on driveways look bad, and tarnish your home exterior, even if the spots are fairly new. Avoid oil spots on your home’s driveway, sidewalks and in your garage if possible, and try to get rid of those stains right away, before they set in.
If the 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 Boston that can get rid of even the most set-in stains.
Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?
Mostly, oil from cars is the reason for stains on concrete. This could be oil, gas or transmission fluids – or a combination of engine fluids. Some of the common ways your 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 mechanic
But, of course, there are countless other things that can create an ugly oil spot on your 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 simple first step for new oil spots where there is a lot of oil that has to be dried up.
Sprinkle cat litter all over the oil, getting it down into the stain by crushing it with your feet. It’s a good idea to leave the litter on the stain overnight so it will absorb as much as possible. Scoop it up or sweep it off the following day and repeat as necessary.
Get rid of used litter so your 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 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 a myth. However, Coke does have powerful cleaning properties when it comes to greasy stains, in part due to its carbonated bubbles, but mostly because of the phosphoric acid in the soda.
Pour a generous amount of Coke on top of the oil stain, then cover it with dishwashing liquid (Blue Dawn is widely considered the most effective). Scrub hard with a stiff brush, using circular motions.
Rinse and repeat if necessary.
BAKING SODA FOR OIL STAINS
Baking soda is another common home cleaning remedy ingredient.
To get rid of an oil stain on a driveway, you’ll first want to cover the stain with baking soda and then let it sit for a little bit, anywhere from 30 minutes to two or three hours. This should absorb some of the oil and allow the baking soda to penetrate the porous surface.
Next, add blue dishwashing detergent and water and scrub hard until you have created a thick paste. Again, you can let this sit for optimal penetration, or you can continue to scrub in a circular pattern, then rinse.
Just like with the Coke method, you might need to repeat the process.
LAUNDRY DETERGENT FOR OIL STAINS
Many homeowners already use this to eliminate tough 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 will want to cover it entirely. Let this dry mixture stay on the oil stain for an hour or more, then add water to make a paste, scrub and rinse.
This is more of a gentle cleaning method, so it may be necessary to repeat the process one or two times. But there is a good chance it will work!
DRIVEWAY CLEANING IN Boston
Some concrete oil stains on a driveway are too tough for home remedies to remove. 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 on your own to save a little money. You can cause major harm 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 leave streaks on a driveway that look just as bad as the oil stains.
Hiring Boston Pressure Wash Plus is definitely the best choice. Our technicians know the best methods to clean concrete without ruining it, including:
- The right PSI and GPM levels to use to remove stains
- Which nozzle will penetrate concrete without damaging it
- The best distance to spray the concrete from
- Products that can help lighten stains
Boston Pressure Wash Plus also follows all of the steps it takes to clean the concrete little by little – the most effective method. Most homeowners and other companies don’t have enough patience to do it correctly. They want quick results.
A professional pressure washing company in Boston can also provide protective sealing services for your driveway so oil stains are less likely to happen again.