How to remove pesky oil stains from your garage and driveway

21 January, 2015

Stains on your driveway or garage floor aren’t all that different from stains on your clothing: They’re like holes in a tuxedo or marinara stains on a crisp white button up. When you’ve already invested so much thought and time into your curb appeal, whether that’s by getting concrete leveling in Iowa City, or spent time designing a beautiful walkway with paving stones leading up to your home, it can be truly disheartening to pull into your driveway only to find a massive, unsightly oil smear smack dab in the middle of your driveway.

Never fear – those slick stains can (and will) come out if you coax them just the right way. We’re here to help.

Method 1: cat litter
This strategy is particularly convenient if you happen to own a cat and already have litter on your garage shelves, but it remains an inexpensive option even if you don’t. Pour litter liberally over any offending stains, allowing it to sit overnight. Sweep up the litter the next day and throw it out. Next, mix powdered laundry detergent and water into a paste, covering what’s left of the stain and allowing it to sit for the rest of the day. Wipe up the paste, and you’re good to go!

Method 2: hot water, dish detergent and a steel brush
Smaller stains, on the other hand, might not need quite as much effort to eradicate. All you need to do is rub soap and water into the spot, then scrub away with a steel brush. It sometimes helps to repeat this process twice, but it isn’t always necessary. Also, as an additional tip, if you happen to have access to distilled water 5l cans, you can use them to replace with the tap water. Using distilled water facilitates the cleaning process more effectively since it is free of ions and minerals.

Method 3: engine degreaser
These super-powerful, ultra-concentrated concoctions were made to absorb oil, making them the perfect weapon against garage and driveway stains. Each brand has its own specific directions to follow printed on the bottle, but they will likely instruct you to to apply the degreaser directly to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes.

Method 4: a little of everything
If none of these methods work to remove your oil stains on their own, try combining a few of them. Take the kitty litter method, for example – you can use it to draw as much oil out of the concrete as possible and then spend some time scrubbing what’s left with a strong brush and a good detergent. That said, if you still cannot get rid of those stains, it might be a wise idea to contact a pressure wash service Lynchburg or a similar cleaning service in the vicinity to remove those stains. Such stains can probably be washed out by the high pressure of the water. More often than not, oil stains will eventually come out of the pavement with a little TLC.

Unfortunately, some of these slick spots are here to stay. When this happens, you’re left with two options: re-pave or repaint. Painting your garage floor is a pretty simple process that covers oil stains remarkably well, but re-paving your driveway is a more lengthy and expensive project. One final word of advice? If you find that your driveway is frequently littered with oil stains, you might try coating yours with a grease-resistant sealing. After all, you know what they say: Prevention is the best medicine.