How to Remove Oil Stains on Driveways
Oil stains on driveways look awful, and ruin your home exterior, even if the stains are still relatively new. Try to avoid oil stains on your home’s driveway, sidewalks and in your garage whenever possible, and attempt to remove those stains right away, before they set in.
If the stain has been there for a long time, like from before purchasing the house, you might need the help of a local driveway cleaning service in New Braunfels that can remove even the most set-in stains.
Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?
Mostly, oil from vehicles is the cause for stains on concrete. This might be oil, gasoline or transmission fluids – or a combination of engine fluids. Some of the most common ways concrete gets stained are from:
- Fixing your own car
- Filling up the gas in a lawn mower
- A leak that should be checked out by a auto mechanic
But, there are several other things that can leave an ugly oil spot on concrete. So let’s consider some 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 fresh oil stains where there is excess oil that needs to be cleaned up.
Sprinkle the cat litter all over the oil stain, getting it down into the stain by crushing it with your feet. It’s recommended to leave the litter on the stain for 24 hours so it absorbs as much as possible. Scoop it up or sweep it off the following day and repeat as necessary.
Throw away used litter so pets and nearby wildlife don’t eat it and get sick.
Then you can follow up with one of the following do-it-yourself cleaning tips.
COCA-COLA FOR OIL STAINS
You’ve probably heard urban legends about accident clean-up crews using Coca-Cola to clean up the roads, but, be assured, that is not true. But, Coca-Cola does have strong cleaning properties when it comes to greasy stains, in part due to its carbonated bubbles, but mainly because of the phosphoric acid in the soda.
Pour a generous amount of Coca-Cola 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 you have to.
BAKING SODA FOR OIL STAINS
Baking soda is another popular home cleaning remedy ingredient.
To remove an oil stain on a driveway, you’ll first want to cover the stain with the baking soda and let it sit for a while, somewhere from 30 minutes to two or three hours. This should absorb a lot 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 you have created a thick paste. Again, let this sit for optimal penetration, or continue to scrub in a circular motion, then rinse.
Just like the Coca-Cola method, you might need to repeat the process.
LAUNDRY DETERGENT FOR OIL STAINS
Many homeowners already use this to eliminate tough stains on clothing. It’s also a great option for removing bad oil stains from concrete as well!
Stir powdered laundry detergent and borax in equal parts according to the size of the 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 make a paste, scrub and rinse.
This is more of a gentle cleaning method, so it may be necessary to repeat the process two or three times. But there is a good chance it will work!
DRIVEWAY CLEANING IN New Braunfels
Some oil stains on a driveway are too tough for DIY home remedies to remove. That’s when it may be 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 few dollars. You can cause major damage that is complicated to fix if you don’t know how to properly pressure wash concrete. The high pressure water stream can break and loosen concrete, and it can create streaks that look almost as bad as the oil stains.
Calling New Braunfels Pressure Wash Plus is definitely the safe choice. Our technicians 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
- Products that can help lighten stains
New Braunfels 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 the patience to do it right. They want fast results.
A professional pressure washing company can also offer protective sealing services for driveway so oil stains are less likely to happen again.