How to Remove Oil Stains on Driveways
Oil stains on driveways look awful, and ruin your home exterior, even if the oil spots are still relatively new. Avoid oil spots on your driveway, sidewalks and in your garage when possible, and try to remove those stains quickly, before they set in.
If the oil stain has been there for a while, like from before you purchased the home, you might need the help of a local driveway cleaning service in San Marcos that can remove the most set-in oil stains on concrete surfaces.
Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?
Mainly, oil from vehicles is the reason for stains on concrete. This might be oil, gasoline or transmission fluid – or a combination. Some of the common ways concrete gets stained are from:
- Servicing your own car
- Filling up the lawn mower
- A leak that needs to be checked out by a mechanic
But, there are many other things that can cause an ugly oil stain on concrete. So let’s review 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 easy first step for fresh oil spots where there is a lot of oil that needs to be dried up.
Sprinkle the 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 oil stain for 24 hours so it can absorb as much as possible. Scrape it up or sweep it off the following day and repeat as necessary.
Get rid of used litter so pets and nearby wildlife don’t eat it and get sick from it.
Next you can follow up with one of the following do-it-yourself cleaning methods.
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. That said, Coca-Cola does have powerful cleaning properties for oily stains, in part due to its carbonated bubbles, but mainly from the phosphoric acid in the soda.
Pour a good amount of Coca-Cola on top of 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 needed.
BAKING SODA FOR OIL STAINS
Baking soda is another common home cleaning remedy ingredient.
To remove an oil stain on a driveway, you’ll first need to cover the stain with the baking soda and let it sit for a little bit, anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours. This should absorb a lot of the oil and allow the baking soda to penetrate the porous surface.
Next, add that famous blue dishwashing soap and some water and scrub until there is a thick paste. Again, let this sit for the best penetration, or continue to scrub in a circular pattern, then rinse.
Just like with the Coca-Cola method, you might need to repeat the process.
LAUNDRY DETERGENT FOR OIL STAINS
Many homeowners already use this to clean off bad stains on clothes. It’s actually a great option for removing bad oil stains on concrete as well!
Mix powdered laundry detergent and borax in equal parts based on the size of the oil stain. You want to cover it completely. Let this dry mixture stay on the oil stain for an hour or more, then add some water to make a paste, scrub and rinse.
This is more of a gentle cleaning method, so it might be necessary to repeat the process two or three times. But there is a good chance it will work!
DRIVEWAY CLEANING IN San Marcos
Some oil stains on a driveway are just too difficult for home remedies. That’s when it is time to call a professional pressure washing company to clean your concrete surfaces.
We don’t recommend pressure washing your driveway on your own to save a few dollars. You can cause major damage that is complicated to repair if you don’t know how to properly pressure wash concrete. The high pressure water can break and loosen concrete, and it can leave streaks on a driveway that look just as bad as the oil stains.
Hiring San Marcos Pressure Washing is definitely the safe choice. We know the best ways to clean concrete without destroying it, such as:
- The right PSI and GPM levels to use
- Which nozzle will penetrate concrete without chipping it
- The best distance to spray the concrete from
- Solutions that can help lighten stains
San Marcos Pressure Washing also follows all of the steps 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 immediate results.
A professional pressure washing company can also provide protective sealing services for driveway so oil stains are less likely to occur.