How To Remove Oil Stains From Concrete, AT HOME!
Oil, gas, and transmission fluids can leave a stain on your concrete driveway, walkway or garage floor that may seem nearly impossible to remove. Oil stains on concrete are not just an eyesore that detracts from the beauty of your property, but chances are they have also caused a slip or two to an unsuspecting victim. If you knew how to remove oil stains from your driveway using everyday household products and, in doing so, could bring a smile to your face, it would be a win-win, right? Getting rid of oil stains on concrete can be a challenge because, after all, concrete is porous, retains dirt, and is generally a tough surface to clean. Sometimes you have to think outside of the box. Here are a few tried and true ways to remove unsightly oil stains from your concrete driveway, from the items just chilling around your house!
Paint Thinner and Sawdust
If you are seeking tips on how to get rid of oil stains from your driveway or sidewalk, you can’t do much better than this. Sawdust is an excellent remedy because it’s an absorbent that can mop up oil! It’s really that simple. Paint thinner then acts as a solvent that dilutes oil past paints. Mix them together and you have just life hacked an effective way to remove oil from your driveway. After mixing them, spread the sawdust over the oil stain for about half an hour, then use a broom to sweep away the sawdust. If the stain remains, just repeat the steps until it is gone.
Any (Inexpensive) Brand of Cat Litter
Cat litter is usually made up of highly absorbent clay and is surprisingly effective as an oil stain remover; however, not all cat litter is the same. The more expensive brands tend to be made with perfumes and are prone to clumping up when they come in contact with moisture, so your best bet is to go with one of the less expensive brands. To clean oil off the driveway, simply pour the cat litter on the stain and let it sit for around a half-hour. (If the oil stain covers a large area, let it sit overnight.) Next, use a broom to sweep up the litter. Then, use a bristle brush and detergent to scrub it clean, rinsing with water when you’re done. If that doesn’t seem to do the trick, simply repeat the process. If you do not have cat litter on hand, you can substitute for cornstarch or cornmeal as your absorbent. Talcum powder and baby powder can also be effective.
Coca-Cola (Yes, the Soda)
People have been using Coke as a cleaner and stain remover for literal generations, but its effectiveness as an oil stain remover is still something of a well kept secret. If you are on a tight budget, using good old-fashioned Coke may be the least expensive AND easiest solution. Start by pouring two cans of Coke onto the oil stain, then give it a day to perform its magic. The next day, wash it off with a hose and that should have done the trick. If the stain isn’t gone, pour a couple more cans over the spot and wait another 24 hours. Worst case scenario and you’ve used what’s in your fridge, you can always get more soda at the grocery!
The reason heavy duty liquid detergent is such an effective remedy for oil stains on concrete has to do with the behavior of molecules and chemical processes, but I’ll spare you the scientific details. What’s important is how to pull it off! Start by pouring the detergent directly on the oil stain, add some water, and scrub with a hard bristle brush. Then, rinse it off with a hose and take a moment to bask in the majesty of your hard, albeit back breaking, work!
Any store bought oven cleaner can be a very effective treatment for oil stains on your concrete. Simply spray the target area with the oven cleaner and let it settle for roughly ten minutes, longer for larger stained areas. Use a hard bristle brush to scrub it clean and rinse with a hose. If necessary, repeat the process until the stain is removed!
Most adults have a can of WD-40 in their garage, or at the very least, the trunk of their car. This multi-purpose solvent has over 2,000 uses listed by the company, and it’s perfectly suited for ridding your concrete of that unsightly oil stain. Spray your target area with a generous amount of WD-40 and let it sit for five minutes, then wipe it well with an old rag. That alone may solve your problem, but if not, pour dish soap on what’s left of the stain and some hot water over the dish soap. Scrub the stain with a bristle brush and then, for good measure, pour a bucket of boiling water over the area. After it dries, your stain should be a thing of the past!
The Kitchen Sink Method
Getting rid of oil stains on concrete sometimes requires *unusual* solutions. This is the “throw the kitchen sink” method, and many people attest to its effectiveness. Instead of using any one idea on this list by itself, try combining them into one mega solution! You will need a bag of cat litter, some laundry detergent, a few cans of soda, and bleach. You will also need a broom, rubber gloves, and goggles to protect your eyes, because safety first! Begin by applying a thin layer of cat litter over the stain and pouring cola over your target area, mixing it in with your broom. Let it stand for about 20 minutes, and then mix 1/4 of a cup of laundry detergent with 1/4 of a cup of bleach in one gallon of warm water, and use this magic potion to mop up the mess.
Keep in mind that you will want to experiment with different solutions to see what works best for your stain. It may take some trial and error to discover the best way to eliminate oil stains from your concrete, but imagine how good it will feel, being able to cross “clean oil off driveway” from your to-do list!