Oil stains on driveways look terrible, and age your home exterior, even if the oil stains are still relatively new. Avoid oil stains on your driveway and in your garage whenever possible, and try to get rid of those stains fast, before they really set in.
If the oil stain has been there for a while, like from before you purchased the house, you might need the help of a local driveway cleaning service in Vista that can get rid of the most set-in oil stains.
Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?
Mostly, oil from vehicles is the reason for oil-stained concrete. This could be oil, gasoline or transmission fluid – or a combination of fluids. Some of the most common ways concrete gets stained are from:
- Servicing your own car
- Filling up the gas in a lawn mower
- A leak that should be checked out by a mechanic
But, there are several other things that can create an ugly oil stain on concrete. So let’s explore 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 stains where there is a lot of 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 best to leave the litter on the oil stain overnight so it absorbs as much as possible. Scrape it up or sweep it off of the driveway the following day and repeat as necessary.
Get rid of used litter so pets and wildlife don’t eat it and get sick from it.
Then you can proceed with one of the following do-it-yourself concrete cleaning tips.
COCA-COLA FOR OIL STAINS
You might have heard urban legends about accident clean-up crews using Coca-Cola to clean the roads, but, be assured, that is a myth. That said, Coca-Cola does have powerful cleaning properties when it comes to oily stains, in part due to its carbonated bubbles, but mostly from the phosphoric acid in the soda.
Pour a generous amount of Coca-Cola 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 a common home cleaning remedy ingredient.
To get rid of an oil stain on a driveway, you’ll first want to cover the stain with baking soda and let it sit for a little bit, somewhere from 30 minutes to two or three hours. This should absorb most of the oil and allow the baking soda to penetrate the porous concrete.
Then, add that famous blue dishwashing soap and some water and scrub until you have created a thick paste. Again, let this sit for maximum 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 one or two times.
LAUNDRY DETERGENT FOR OIL STAINS
Most homeowners already use this to wash off tough stains on clothes. It’s actually a great option for removing tough oil stains on concrete too!
Stir powdered laundry detergent and borax in equal parts based on the size of the oil stain. You will want to cover it entirely. Let this mixture sit on the oil stain for an hour or more, then add some water to make a paste, scrub and then rinse.
This is a gentle cleaning method, so it may be necessary to repeat the process two or three times. But there is a good chance it will work!
DRIVEWAY CLEANING IN Vista
Some concrete oil stains on a driveway are too tough for home remedies. That’s when it may be 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 significant damage that is extremely difficult to repair if you don’t know what you’re doing. 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 Vista Pressure Washing is definitely the safe choice. Our technicians know the best methods to clean concrete without damaging it, such as:
- The right PSI and GPM levels to use to remove stains
- Which nozzle will penetrate concrete without chipping it
- The correct distance to spray the concrete from
- Solutions that can help lighten stains
Vista 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 right. They want immediate results.
A professional pressure washing company in Vista can also offer protective sealing services for driveway so oil stains are less likely to occur.