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How Can You Remove Oil Stains From Your Driveway?

by Eddy Smith

Although dirt can be expected on driveways, it is difficult to ignore oily spots. It is possible to clean up oil stains with simple cleaning techniques. Learn how to get oil off driveways using common household products like dish soap or baking soda. Also, learn about products specifically created to deal with concrete oil stains.

Not only can an oil leak or spillage cause problems for your vehicle, but they can also create problems for your driveway. Unsightly oil spots and drips can cause damage to your yard and home. Choosing the right cleaning agent is the key to removing oil stains on driveways. Many household supplies can be used in order to clean oil stains. You may need to use an oil-based cleaner specially designed for concrete and driveway cleaning.

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For driveways with an inclined surface, begin at the highest part and work your manner down. Don’t let dirty water or residue flow over parts you’ve already cleaned. Take care when cleaning your landscaping. Some cleaners will provide guidelines for protecting plants against runoff and errant spray. Before applying the cleaner, it is recommended to water-saturate the vegetation, grass, or plants around it.

Cleanup Immediately

Oil, adhesives, or pigmented compounds can cause concrete stains. Do not delay. A stain can be removed quickly. Absorbent materials such as terrycloth, paper towels, and spill absorbers are recommended to soak up potential stains. Other options include cat food or sawdust.

Sweep the area with a Concrete Brush or broom. These materials can hold water, inhibit cleaners and trigger chemical reactions, which may make stains worse.

After cleaning up all spillage and removing debris, cover the stain in absorbent material. Let it sit for 24 hrs. Then sweep it all up. The absorber will soak most of the staining material up before it seeps further into concrete. This makes cleanup easier.

Use the Right Cleaner

Match the cleaner and the stain. Chemical cleaners are specifically designed to target specific types of stains. Make sure you choose the right one for faster and better stain removal. Be sure to follow all directions regarding mixing, application, and safety.

Clean concrete oils with detergents. New advancements have also made it possible to use microorganisms-based cleaners.

Strippers as well as specialized detergents can be used to remove cement paint. Trisodium phosphate, or TSP, can be used for more complex paint stains. TSP is toxic, so it’s important to use it with caution.

With sharp Scrapers, hot water, and some glue removers (including carpet glue), adhesives can be removed. Adhesive Removers also work well, and they are most effective when used with hot water after scraping.

You can loosen any mastics by using hot water diluted with vinegar and citrus-based cleaning products. Let the cleaner sit for an hour or so until the mastic starts to fall off. Use a scraper/hammer and chisel for the removal of the mastic.


Concrete stains will not disappear. The persistence of stains in concrete can be particularly problematic for older, deeper stains. These spots may return and ruin the concrete’s look.

After oil stain removal on concrete, be sure to clean the surface thoroughly. After each procedure, rinse the treated surface with water. This removes dirt and helps you identify deeper, or missed, stains. If outdoors, use a pressure washer. Re-clean the area until you are satisfied with the results.

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