Oil stains on driveways look bad, and age your home exterior, even if the spots are still relatively new. Avoid oil spots on your driveway, sidewalks and in your garage when possible, and attempt to eliminate those stains fast, before they set in.
If the 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 Charlotte that can eliminate the most set-in stains.
Where Do Concrete Oil Stains Come From?
Mostly, oil from vehicles is the reason for oil-stained concrete. This might be oil, gasoline or transmission fluid – or a combination of engine fluids. Some of the common ways your concrete gets stained are from:
- Servicing your own car
- Filling up the lawn mower
- A leak that needs to be checked out by a mechanic
But, there are several other things that can cause an ugly oil spot on your concrete. So let’s explore a few 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 spots where there is a lot of oil that needs to be cleaned 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 best to leave the litter on the stain overnight so it absorbs as much as possible. Scoop it up or sweep it off the next day and repeat as necessary.
Get rid of used litter so your pets and wildlife don’t eat it and get sick.
Next you can proceed with one of the following do-it-yourself concrete cleaning techniques.
COCA-COLA FOR OIL STAINS
You’ve probably 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 strong cleaning properties when it comes to oily stains, partly because of 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 considered the most effective). Scrub hard with a stiff brush, using circular motions.
Rinse and repeat if you have to.
BAKING SODA FOR OIL STAINS
Baking soda is another popular home cleaning remedy ingredient.
To eliminate an oil stain on a driveway, you’ll first need to coat the stain with the baking soda and then let it sit for a while, somewhere from 20 minutes to two or three hours. This should absorb some of the oil and allow the baking soda to penetrate the porous surface.
Next, add blue dishwashing detergent and some water and scrub hard until there is a thick paste. Again, you can let this sit for maximum penetration, or you can continue to scrub in a circular pattern, then rinse.
Just like 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 dirty stains on clothing. It’s also a great option for getting rid of tough oil stains from concrete as well!
Stir powdered laundry detergent and borax in equal parts based on the size of the stain. You will want to cover it entirely. Let this dry mixture sit on the oil stain for an hour or more, then add some water to create a paste, scrub and rinse.
This is more of a gentle cleaning process, 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 Charlotte
Some concrete 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 clean your concrete surfaces.
We don’t recommend pressure washing your driveway yourself to save a little money. You can cause major damage that is difficult 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.
Hiring PRO Charlotte 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
- Which nozzle will penetrate concrete without chipping it
- The correct distance to spray the concrete from
- Products that can help lighten stains
PRO Charlotte Pressure Washing also follows all of the steps to clean the concrete– the most effective process. Most homeowners don’t have enough patience to do it right. They want immediate results.
A professional pressure washing company in Charlotte can also offer protective sealing services for your driveway so oil stains are less likely to happen again.