How to Remove Oil Stains on Driveways
Oil stains on driveways look awful, and ruin your home exterior, even if the oil stains are relatively new. Avoid oil stains on your home’s driveway and in your garage if possible, and try to get rid of those stains right away, before they set in.
If the oil stain has been there for a long time, like from before you purchased the house, you might need the help of a local driveway cleaning service in Chattanooga that can get rid of the most set-in oil stains on concrete surfaces.
Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?
Mainly, oil from automobiles is the cause for stains on concrete. This might be oil, gasoline or transmission fluid – or a combination of engine fluids. Some of the most typical ways your concrete gets stained are from:
- Fixing 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 many other things that can leave an unsightly oil stain on your concrete. So let’s explore a few of the best DIY ways 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 stains where there is a lot of oil that has to be cleaned up.
Sprinkle cat litter over the oil, 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 for 24 hours so it can absorb as much as possible. Scoop it up or sweep it off of the driveway the following day and repeat if necessary.
Throw away used litter so your pets and wildlife don’t eat it and get sick.
Next you can proceed with one of the following do-it-yourself concrete cleaning techniques.
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 a myth. That said, Coca-Cola does have strong cleaning properties for 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 top of the oil stain, then cover it with dishwashing soap (Blue Dawn is widely accepted as the most effective). Scrub with a stiff brush, using circular motions.
Rinse and repeat if you have to.
BAKING SODA FOR OIL STAINS
Baking soda is a common home cleaning remedy product.
To get rid of an oil stain on a driveway, you’ll first need to coat the stain with baking soda and let it sit for a while, anywhere from 15 minutes to a few hours. This should absorb some of the oil and allow the baking soda to penetrate the porous surface.
Then, add that famous blue dishwashing liquid 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 Coca-Cola method, you might have to repeat the process.
LAUNDRY DETERGENT FOR OIL STAINS
Most homeowners already use this to remove bad stains on clothes. It’s actually a great product for removing tough oil stains from concrete as well!
Combine powdered laundry detergent and borax in equal parts based on the size of the oil stain. You want to cover it entirely. Let this dry mixture stay 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 method, so it could be necessary to repeat the process one or two times. But there is a possibility it will work!
DRIVEWAY CLEANING IN Chattanooga
Some concrete oil stains on a driveway are too difficult for home remedies. That’s when it may be time to call a professional pressure washing company to 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 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 leave streaks that look almost as bad as the oil stains.
Calling Chattanooga Pressure Washing is definitely the safe choice. Our technicians know the best ways to clean concrete without destroying it, including:
- 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
Chattanooga Pressure Washing also follows all of the steps it takes to clean the concrete little by little – the most effective method. Most homeowners don’t have enough patience to do it correctly. They want immediate results.
A professional pressure washing company can also offer protective sealing services for your driveway so oil stains are less likely in the future.