Oil stains on driveways look bad, and ruin your home exterior, even if the stains are still fairly new. Avoid oil stains on your driveway, sidewalks and in your garage when possible, and attempt to remove those stains quickly, before they set in.
If the stain has been there for a long time, like from before you purchased the house, you may need the help of a local driveway cleaning service in Bloomington that can remove even the most set-in stains.
Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?
Mainly, oil from cars is the reason for stains on concrete. This might be oil, gas or transmission fluid – or a combination. Some of the common ways your concrete gets stained are from:
- Fixing your own car
- Filling up the gas in a lawn mower
- A leak that needs to be checked out by a auto mechanic
But, of course, there are many other things that can create an ugly oil spot on your concrete. So let’s explore some of the best DIY methods 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 the cat litter all over the oil stain, getting it down into the stain by stomping on it with your feet. It’s a good idea to leave the litter on the stain for 24 hours so it can absorb as much as possible. Scoop it up or sweep it off the next day and repeat as necessary.
Throw away used litter so your pets and nearby wildlife don’t eat it and get sick from it.
Next you can proceed with one of the following do-it-yourself cleaning methods.
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, rest assured, that is a myth. That said, Coca-Cola does have powerful 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 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 throughout.
Rinse and repeat if needed.
BAKING SODA FOR OIL STAINS
Baking soda is another popular home cleaning remedy product.
To remove an oil stain on a driveway, you’ll first need to coat the stain with the baking soda and let it sit for a while, anywhere from 15 minutes to a few hours. This should absorb a lot of the oil and allow the baking soda to penetrate the porous surface.
Then, add blue dishwashing liquid and water and scrub until you have created a thick paste. Again, you can let this sit for the best penetration, or you can continue to scrub in a circular pattern, 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 get rid of 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 stain. You will want to cover it completely. Let this dry mixture stay on the oil stain for an hour or longer, then add water to create 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 good chance it will work!
DRIVEWAY CLEANING IN Bloomington
Some oil stains on a driveway are too difficult for home remedies to remove. 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 major damage that is extremely complicated to fix if you don’t know what you’re doing. The high pressure water stream can break and loosen concrete, and it can leave streaks that look just as bad as the oil stains.
Calling Bloomington Pressure Washing is definitely the smart choice. Our technicians know the best ways to clean concrete without ruining it, such as:
- The right PSI and GPM levels to use
- Which nozzle tip will penetrate concrete without chipping it
- The best distance to spray the concrete from
- Solutions that can help lighten stains
Bloomington Pressure Washing also follows all of the steps to clean the concrete little by little – the most effective process. Most homeowners don’t have the patience to do it right. They want quick results.
A professional pressure washing company can also provide protective sealing services for your driveway so oil stains are less likely to occur.