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 driveway, sidewalks and in your garage if possible, and try to remove those stains right away, before they set in.
If the stain has been there for a while, like from before purchasing the home, you may need the help of a local driveway cleaning service in Naperville that has the ability to remove even the most set-in stains.
Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?
Mostly, oil from automobiles is the reason for oil-stained concrete driveways. This might be oil, gasoline or transmission fluid – or a combination. Some of the typical ways your concrete gets stained are from:
- Fixing your own car
- Filling up the lawn mower
- A leak that should be checked out by a mechanic
But, there are a lot of other things that can leave an unsightly oil spot on your concrete. So let’s review a few of the best DIY tips to remove those stains!
DIY Oil Stain Removal Tips
CAT LITTER FOR OIL STAINS
Cat litter is a easy first step for new oil stains where there is excess oil that has to be dried up.
Sprinkle cat litter all over the oil, getting it down into the stain by stomping on it with your feet. It’s best to leave the litter on the stain for 24 hours so it can 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 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, rest assured, that is a myth. But, Coke does have powerful cleaning properties when it comes to oily stains, in part due to its carbonated bubbles, but mostly because of the phosphoric acid in the soda.
Pour a good amount of Coke 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 common home cleaning remedy ingredient.
To remove an oil stain on a driveway, you’ll first want to coat the stain with baking soda and let it sit for a while, somewhere from 15 minutes to a few hours. This should absorb some of the oil and allow the baking soda to penetrate the porous concrete.
Next, add that famous blue dishwashing soap and water and scrub until there is a thick paste. Again, let this sit for optimal penetration, or continue to scrub in a circular motion, 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 clean off tough stains on clothes. It’s actually a great option for removing bad oil stains from concrete too!
Mix powdered laundry detergent and borax in equal parts based on the size of the stain. You will want to cover it entirely. Let this dry mixture sit on the oil stain for an hour or longer, then add water to make a paste, scrub and rinse.
This is more of a gentle cleaning method, so it could be necessary to repeat the process two or three times. But there is a good chance it will work!
DRIVEWAY CLEANING IN Naperville
Some oil stains on a driveway are just too tough for home remedies to remove. That’s when it is time to call a professional pressure washing company to thoroughly clean your concrete surfaces.
We don’t recommend pressure washing your driveway on your own to save a few dollars. You can cause major harm that is extremely difficult 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 on a driveway that look just as bad as the oil stains.
Calling Naperville Pressure Washing is definitely the smart choice. Our technicians know the best methods to clean concrete without harming it, such as:
- The right PSI and GPM levels to use to remove stains
- Which nozzle tip will penetrate concrete without damaging it
- The best distance to spray the concrete from
- Solutions that can help lighten stains
Naperville Pressure Washing also follows all of the steps to clean the concrete– 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 in Naperville can also provide protective sealing services for your driveway so oil stains are less likely in the future.