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How to Remove Automotive Stains From Your Driveway or Garage

Published: January 2020

Whether your car sprung a leak or you spilled gasoline while filling up the lawn mower or snow blower, it can be easy for your driveway to end up with a few stains. Oil, transmission fluid and gasoline can leave behind spots that make your driveway or garage floor look greasy or discolored.

Regardless of whether a spot is new or old, follow these steps to help remove automotive stains from your paved driveway or uncoated concrete garage floor.


Video Transcript

– [AN OIL STAIN IS SHOWN ON A CONCRETE DRIVEWAY.]

– [ONSCREEN TEXT]: Oh no! A dried oil stain!

– [VIEW CHANGES TO A RED BRICK WALL.]

– [A HAND ENTERS FROM THE RIGHT SIDE AND IS WEARING A SAFETY GLOVE. THE HAND IS HOLDING A BOTTLE OF SPRAY LUBRICANT.]

– [ONSCREEN TEXT]: Spray lubricant

– [THE HAND HOLDING THE SPRAY LUBRICANT DISAPPEARS AND A GREEN GARDEN HOSE ENTERS FROM THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE SCREEN.]

– [ONSCREEN TEXT]: Water

– [VIEW CHANGES BACK TO THE OIL STAIN ON THE DRIVEWAY.]

– [HAND ENTERS FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE SCREEN AND BEGINS SPRAYING THE STAIN WITH THE SPRAY LUBRICANT.]

– [ONSCREEN TEXT]: Spray. Spray. Spray.

– [ONSCREEN TEXT]: Rinse! [THE HOSE ENTERS FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE SCREEN AND BEGINS RINSING THE STAIN. THE WORD “RINSE” BEGINS TO FADE.]

– [ONSCREEN TEXT]: Air-dry

– [THE WATER MARK ON THE DRIVEWAY SLOWLY DRIES. WHEN IT’S FULLY DRY, THE OIL STAIN IS GONE.]

– [ONSCREEN TEXT]: Oil-free!

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How to Remove Oil Stains

Oil can leave a dark stain on pavement, but you may be able to clean even stubborn spots out of your driveway. Good Housekeeping suggests following these steps to get oil stains out of your driveway or garage floor:

  1. If the spill is still wet, cover the stain with clay cat litter, sand, cornmeal, cornstarch or baking soda. This will help absorb the oil before it soaks into the cement.
  2. Once the spill has dried, sweep up the absorbent material. Then, wet the stain with water. If it's a set-in stain, start the removal process by spraying the stain with water.
  3. Use a stiff brush, such as a broom, and scrub the area with a paste made of baking soda and water.
  4. Use a hose to rinse the pavement clean. Let it air dry.

Some other possible solutions include:

  • Covering the stain with spray lubricant and then rinsing with water, says Reader's Digest.
  • Putting a paste of powdered laundry detergent and water on the stain, says BobVila.com. After letting it sit, scrub it with a broom or brush and rinse the spot off with water.
  • Scrubbing the stain with a grease-cutting dish detergent and a stiff broom, according to BobVila.com.
  • Spraying the oil spot with a microbial stain remover, says The Spruce. This type of stain remover is biodegradable, and you can later clean the area with soap and water.

How to Remove Transmission Fluid Stains

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:

  1. Spray the stain with oven cleaner and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Use a stiff brush to scrub the spot. Then, rinse with a hose at its highest pressure.
  3. If the stain is still there, repeat the process.

Related Resources:

Our pages are filled with helpful tips and information about the topics that most of us face in our everyday lives. We focus on safety and maintenance issues with regard to your home, auto, apartment, motorcycle, boat, small business, finances and more. Please recognize that a particular tip may not be effective in every circumstance and that taking preventive measures cannot guarantee any outcome. We encourage you to use your own good judgment about what's appropriate for you and your property and always consider safety.
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