How to Remove Oil Stains on Driveways
Oil stains on driveways look awful, and tarnish your home exterior, even if the oil spots are relatively new. Avoid oil spots on your driveway, sidewalks and in your garage when possible, and attempt to get rid of those stains quickly, before they really 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 Arlington Heights that can get rid of the most set-in oil stains on concrete surfaces.
Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?
Mainly, oil from cars is the cause for oil-stained concrete. This could be oil, gas or transmission fluids – or a combination of fluids. Some of the common 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 many other things that can cause an unsightly oil spot 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 new oil spots where there is excess oil that has to be cleaned up.
Sprinkle cat litter 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. Scoop 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.
Then you can proceed with one of the following do-it-yourself concrete cleaning processes.
COCA-COLA FOR OIL STAINS
You’ve probably heard urban legends about accident clean-up crews using Coke to clean the roads, but, rest assured, that is a myth. However, Coke does have powerful cleaning properties when it comes to greasy stains, partly because of its carbonated bubbles, but mainly because of the phosphoric acid in the soda.
Pour a generous amount of Coke on top of the oil stain, then cover it with dishwashing detergent (Blue Dawn is widely accepted as the most effective). Scrub hard with a stiff brush, using circular motions throughout.
Rinse and repeat if necessary.
BAKING SODA FOR OIL STAINS
Baking soda is another popular home cleaning remedy ingredient.
To get rid of an oil stain on a driveway, you’ll first need to coat the stain with baking soda and then let it sit for a little bit, anywhere from 30 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 liquid and water and scrub hard until you have created 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 Coke method, you might need to repeat the process one or two times.
LAUNDRY DETERGENT FOR OIL STAINS
Most homeowners already use this to clean off tough stains on clothing. It’s actually 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 dry mixture sit on the oil stain for an hour or more, then add water to make a paste, scrub and then rinse.
This is a gentle cleaning process, so it might be necessary to repeat the process two or three times. But there is a possibility it will work!
DRIVEWAY CLEANING IN Arlington Heights
Some concrete oil stains on a driveway are just too difficult for home remedies. That’s when it may be time to call a professional pressure washing company to clean your concrete surfaces.
We don’t recommend pressure washing your driveway yourself to save a little money. You can cause major harm that is extremely 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 on a driveway that look just as bad as the oil stains.
Calling Arlington Heights Pressure Washing is definitely the safe choice. We know the best methods to clean concrete without damaging it, including:
- The right PSI and GPM levels to use to remove stains
- Which nozzle will penetrate concrete without chipping it
- The optimal distance to spray the concrete from
- Products that can help lighten stains
Arlington Heights Pressure Washing also follows all of the steps to clean the concrete little by little – the most effective process. Most homeowners and other companies don’t have enough patience to do it right. They want quick results.
A professional pressure washing company in Arlington Heights can also provide protective sealing services for your driveway so oil stains are less likely to happen again.