How to Clean Oil From Concrete

How to Clean Oil From Concrete

Oil stains and heavy residues on your concrete driveway are an eyesore that instantly detract from your property. They are also, unfortunately, tricky to clean up yourself.

DIYers and supposed Internet “experts” claim a lot of methods for removing oil stains from your concrete driveways are practical, easy, and effective. That isn’t always the case, nor are they necessarily the best methods for concrete cleaning or for you.

Here’s a look at a few of the most popular methods people online say clean up oil, and we’ll assess how well that works.

Oil Cleanup Image

Scrubbing Methods

The classic elbow grease solution is still the most common way homeowners clean oil spills and stains from concrete. The method requires using an absorbent substance, like cat litter or laundry detergent, to soak up any excess oil.

Then you must use baking soda or liquid dish soap and a nylon scrubbing brush to scrub out the stain. Finally, rinse.

Does It Work?

Well, kind of. If you can catch a small oil spill quickly, like right after a car pulls out of the driveway, you can prevent the oil from soaking deep in your concrete, where it’s more likely to stain. If the stain is allowed to sit for days or longer, it’s much harder to remove.

This method also requires a lot of hard work. You may have to get on your hands and knees and use a lot of pressure to scrub out the stain or repeat the process multiple times, and there is a chance that instead of removing the stain, you will simply move it around or enlarge it across your driveway.

In-set stains are even harder to remove with this method and may not come out at all. And if you have large stains or multiple stains covering your driveway, using this method to clean them will be time consuming.

Abrasive Chemicals

If scrubbing with gentle detergents doesn’t work, people often resort to using harsher chemicals. Hardware stores sell concrete cleaners and degreasers especially for this purpose, and we’ve even seen people use oven cleaners and paint thinners to try to lift oil stains.

Does It Work?

Yes, and no. Similar to scrubbing methods, these cleaners can take a while to work, may need to be used repeatedly, and do require you to scrub the concrete, too.

Their other downside is their impact on your health and the environment. All these chemicals are toxic in some way and require you to cover your skin, eyes, nose, and mouth while using them.

Cleaning chemicals are also harmful to the environment, and when using them on your driveway, you are likely to wash some of them into your yard or waterways.

Power Washing

Some people prefer to try power washing their concrete to rid it of dirt, grime, and stains. For tough oil stains, they might start with a concrete cleaner to try to lift the stain and then power wash over it to remove it fully.

Does It Work?

It can. But… You have to have the right equipment and know how to use it. Unless you do a lot of power washing, the average homeowner doesn’t own their own equipment. While you can rent it from some stores, you should understand how the equipment works before trying it on your property.

It is very easy to waste water, use the wrong nozzle, or turn the pressure up too high and damage your concrete instead of cleaning it.

Hire Professional Concrete Cleaners

Oil Cleanup Image

For the best results when removing oil stains from concrete, turn to professionals like our Clean ‘N Seal team. Our highly trained crews use advanced equipment that not only precisely cleans concrete and lifts tough oil stains out, but it does so without using chemicals, wasting water, or damaging your exteriors.

You receive an effective clean that takes care of all old and new stains and oily buildup over your whole driveway and exterior surfaces with no wasted weekend for you!

By working with pros, you also have the opportunity to ensure that oil won’t stain your driveway again. After a thorough cleaning, have our team seal your concrete with a high-quality sealant that prevents oils, grease, and residues from seeping into it.

This will protect your driveway and exteriors for years and make accidental spills easy to clean.

Oil Cleanup Image

Clean ‘N Seal: True Expert Concrete Cleaners

Keep stain removal and concrete cleaning simple: hire the experienced and caring professionals at Clean ‘N Seal and enjoy living without straining yourself! Our concrete cleaning and paver restoration methods have beautified homes throughout the Twin Cities and Brainerd areas for over a decade, and we guarantee it will work for yours, too.

View our gallery to see how we improve your exteriors. Then schedule a free estimate by messaging us online, calling our Twin Cities office at 952.393.9588, or contacting our Brainerd office at 218.232.3863.