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 if possible, and try to eliminate those stains fast, 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 Wilmington that has the ability to eliminate the most set-in oil stains.
Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?
Mostly, oil from vehicles is the reason for stains on concrete. This might be oil, gas or transmission fluids – or a combination of fluids. Some of the typical ways your concrete gets stained are from:
- Servicing your own car
- Filling up the lawn mower
- A leak that needs to be checked out by a auto mechanic
But, of course, there are several other things that can create an unsightly oil stain on your concrete. So let’s consider a few 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 excess oil that needs to be cleaned up.
Sprinkle cat litter all over the oil stain, really getting it down into the stain by stomping on it with your feet. It’s a good idea to leave the litter on the oil stain overnight so it will absorb as much as possible. Scrape it up or sweep it off of the driveway the next day and repeat if necessary.
Throw away used litter so your pets and nearby wildlife don’t eat it and get sick.
Next you can proceed with one of the following do-it-yourself cleaning techniques.
COCA-COLA FOR OIL STAINS
You might have heard urban legends about accident clean-up crews using Coke to clean up the roads, but, be assured, that is not true. That said, Coke does have strong cleaning properties for oily stains, partly because of its carbonated bubbles, but mainly because of the phosphoric acid in the soda.
Pour a generous amount of Coke on the oil stain, then cover it with dishwashing soap (Blue Dawn is widely considered the most effective). Scrub with a stiff brush, using circular motions.
Rinse and repeat if needed.
BAKING SODA FOR OIL STAINS
Baking soda is another popular home cleaning remedy product.
To eliminate an oil stain on a driveway, you’ll first need to cover the stain with baking soda and let it sit for a while, anywhere from 15 minutes to a few hours. This should absorb most 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, you can let this sit for optimal penetration, or you can continue to scrub in a circular motion, then rinse.
Just like with the Coke method, you might have to repeat the process one or two times.
LAUNDRY DETERGENT FOR OIL STAINS
Most homeowners already use this to wash off tough stains on clothes. It’s also a great option for getting rid of tough oil stains from concrete too!
Mix powdered laundry detergent and borax in equal parts according to the size of the oil stain. You want to cover it completely. Let this mixture sit on the oil stain for an hour or more, then add some water to create a paste, scrub and then rinse.
This is more of a gentle cleaning process, so it might be necessary to repeat the process one or two times. But there is a good chance it will work!
DRIVEWAY CLEANING IN Wilmington
Some oil stains on a driveway are 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 a little money. You can cause significant harm that is extremely complicated to fix if you don’t know how to properly pressure wash concrete. The high pressure water can break and loosen concrete, and it can create streaks that look just as bad as the oil stains.
Hiring Wilmington Pressure Washing is definitely the smart choice. Our technicians know the best ways to clean concrete without harming it, such as:
- The right PSI and GPM settings to use
- Which nozzle will penetrate concrete without damaging it
- The best distance to spray the concrete from
- Solutions that can help lighten stains
Wilmington Pressure Washing also follows all of the steps to clean the concrete– the most effective process. Most homeowners don’t have the patience to do it right. They want immediate results.
A professional pressure washing company in Wilmington can also provide protective sealing services for your driveway so oil stains are less likely in the future.