Oil stains on driveways look bad, and tarnish your home exterior, even if the oil stains are still relatively new. Try to avoid oil stains on your driveway, sidewalks and in your garage whenever possible, and try to eliminate those stains right away, before they really set in.
If the oil stain has been there for a long time, like from before purchasing the house, you may need the help of a local driveway cleaning service in Carlsbad that is able to eliminate even the most set-in oil stains.
Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?
Mainly, oil from vehicles is the reason for stains on concrete. This could 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 needs to be checked out by a auto mechanic
But, there are countless other things that can create an ugly oil spot on your concrete. So let’s look at 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 simple first step for new oil stains where there is a lot of oil that has to be cleaned up.
Sprinkle cat litter over the oil, really getting it down into the stain by stomping on it with your feet. It’s recommended to leave the litter on the oil stain overnight so it will absorb as much as possible. Scrape it up or sweep it off of the driveway the next day and repeat as necessary.
Throw away used litter so your pets and nearby wildlife don’t eat it and get sick.
Next you can proceed with one of the following do-it-yourself cleaning processes.
COCA-COLA FOR OIL STAINS
You might have heard urban legends about accident clean-up crews using Coca-Cola to clean the roads, but, rest assured, that is not true. However, Coca-Cola 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 generous amount of Coca-Cola on top of 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 you have to.
BAKING SODA FOR OIL STAINS
Baking soda is a popular home cleaning remedy product.
To eliminate an oil stain on a driveway, you’ll first want to cover the stain with baking soda and let it sit for a while, 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 surface.
Then, add that famous blue dishwashing liquid and water and scrub until there is a thick paste. Again, let this sit for maximum penetration, or continue to scrub in a circular motion, then rinse.
Just like the Coca-Cola method, you might need to repeat the process.
LAUNDRY DETERGENT FOR OIL STAINS
Most homeowners already use this to get rid of dirty 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 oil stain. You 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 rinse.
This is more of a gentle cleaning process, so it could be necessary to repeat the process two or three times. But there is a possibility it will work!
DRIVEWAY CLEANING IN Carlsbad
Some oil stains on a driveway are just 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 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 almost as bad as the oil stains.
Calling Carlsbad Pressure Washing is definitely the safe choice. We know the best methods to clean concrete without damaging it, such as:
- The right PSI and GPM levels to use
- Which nozzle will penetrate concrete without chipping it
- The optimal distance to spray the concrete from
- Products that can help lighten stains
Carlsbad Pressure Washing also follows all of the steps it takes to clean the concrete– the most effective process. Most homeowners don’t have the patience to do it correctly. 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.