How to Remove Oil Stains from Your Driveway or Garage
If your car leaks fluids or you spill some while filling up your vehicle, lawn mower or snow blower, your driveway might end up with a stain or two. Fluids such as oil, transmission fluid and gasoline can leave a stain on paved driveways and garage floors. Because these liquids are all different, cleaning techniques vary slightly from fluid to fluid and surface to surface.
Whether the stain is new or old, there are some basic steps to help remove marks left by leaked fluids from a paved driveway or an uncoated concrete garage floor.
How to Remove Oil Stains from Your Driveway
Oil can leave a dark stain on your pavement. Here are some steps to help remove those stubborn oil stains from your driveway, according to Good Housekeeping.
- Determine whether the fluid is wet or dry. If the spill is new, start by covering the stain with cat litter, cornstarch, baking soda or cornmeal, which may help absorb the extra moisture.
- Once the pavement is dry, or if the stain was already dry, wet the stain with water and scrub with a stiff brush and a paste made from baking soda and water.
- Finally, rinse the pavement with a hose and let it air dry.
To remove dried oil from concrete, douse the stain with spray lubricant and then rinse with water, says Reader’s Digest. Another method, according to the Los Angeles Times, is to put engine degreaser on the stain and scrub it with a wire brush, then cover with kitty litter before sweeping it up.
How to Remove Transmission Fluid Stains from Your Driveway
Transmission fluid spills or leaks may leave a bright red stain on light-colored concrete. Here are some suggested steps for removing the stain from Reader’s Digest:
- Spray the stain with oven cleaner and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Use a stiff brush to scrub the spot and rinse with a hose at its highest pressure.
- If the stain is still there, Reader’s Digest suggests repeating the process.
How to Remove Gasoline Stains from Your Driveway
Spilled gasoline not only leaves stains on your paved driveway; the marks are likely accompanied by an odor you’ll want to neutralize. Good Housekeeping recommends the following tips for removing a gasoline stain:
- Put on protective gloves and goggles.
- Soak a fresh gas spill with cat litter, baking soda or commercial absorbents.
- Sweep the soiled litter or absorbent into a coffee can with a lid. Talk to your local fire department about how to properly dispose of it.
- Scrub the stain with a mixture of dishwasher liquid and water. Let it soak in for a few minutes before rinsing with a hose.
- If that doesn’t take care of the problem, Good Housekeeping suggests buying trisodium phosphate from a hardware store, mixing it with warm water and scrubbing the spill with the solution until the stain lightens.
Those spilled fluids may be unsightly, but they may not be permanent. If the cleaning tips outlined above don’t fully remove the stain, you may want to consider a professional cleaner to do the job.
Originally published on June 4, 2015.