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How To Remove Oil Stains From Concrete

Oil Stains From Concrete

Have you noticed oil stains on your concrete driveway or garage floor? You must remove oil from your concrete before staining, sealing, or resurfacing it. If you don’t remove the oil, it will eventually seep back through and ruin your new decorative treatment. By removing oil stains from your concrete, you can avoid this problem.

Our company provides services in all areas of Birmingham, AL, and we have noticed an increase in these problems. You can prevent oil from getting on your floors and driveways by following the steps below. 

In some cases, concrete surfaces can be heavily contaminated with oil or grease stains, while in other cases, the stains are simply small spills or spots. As well as the size of the oil stain, the age of the stain will determine how difficult it is to remove. It may take some trial and error to find the most appropriate way to clean oil from concrete that will work for you.

To get rid of a fresh stain caused by oil, follow these steps:

  1. Get rid of excess oil – Excess oil should be removed by wiping it up with a rag or by using Kitty Lite to absorb it.
  2. Use a paste to scrub – Scrub the oil stain with baking soda or powdered detergent. Use the baking soda or detergent in combination with water to remove the stain. Rinse with water afterward.
  3. Soap is recommended – Dish soap and a scrub brush help remove new oil spots quickly and effectively. Rinse the concrete thoroughly afterward.

You can remove old oil stains from concrete in four different ways using the following methods:

  • With a scrub brush or sponge, wash away the oil with a strong detergent.
  • A degreaser or concrete cleaner can be used to loosen and remove oil from concrete.
  • Use a poultice to break down the oil and absorb it from the concrete.
  • Oil can be eaten by special single-celled microorganisms.

In order to remove oil or grease (both hydrocarbon-based materials) from concrete, there are multiple chemical methods available. We will discuss the different ways in which to remove oil and grease from the concrete below.  

1. How To Remove Oil Stains From Concrete With Tri-Sodium Phosphate

It can be done with either the poultice method or with the use of tri-sodium phosphate, a powerful cleanser that can be found in home improvement stores. You will need to combine one part of tri-sodium phosphate with six parts of water.

Spread the resulting paste over the stained area in a layer of approximately half an inch thickness. Children or pets may get into the area if the poultice is not covered with a layer of plastic sheeting.

It is recommended that you wait a day before applying the poultice. Once the mixture has dried, scrape it off with a soft cloth. Then, wash the area with water while scrubbing it.

2. How To Remove Oil Stains From Concrete With Sodium Hydroxide

Another option is to use caustic soda, also called lye or sodium hydroxide, which is a harsh dirt-remover used in drain cleaners and oven cleaners. Caustic soda is available online or at many home improvement stores.

Poultices should be prepared using a solution of 5 percent sodium hydroxide. The solution should be applied to the affected area and covered if needed. Wait for 24 hours for it to dry completely. Once it has dried, remove it by scrubbing it with water.

3. How To Remove Oil Stains From Concrete With Paint Thinner

It is also possible to use mineral spirits, which is also known as paint thinner and is made from petroleum. Simply apply the mineral spirits directly to the stain. Allow it to dry for about an hour.

By this time, the solvent should have evaporated completely. If not, you may have to repeat the process. Rinse the area with water to finish.

4. How To Remove Oil Stains From Concrete With Acetone

Four methods are used on the skin, one of which uses a cloth bandage soaked in a mixture of equal parts acetone, which can also be used to remove nail polish, and amyl acetate.

It is possible to buy amyl acetate online or from chemical supply houses. The bandage should extend beyond the area of the stain so that it can be applied over the stain. Cover the area with a heated slab of concrete, stone, or glass.

There will be some amount of oil that will be pulled from the pores of the concrete by the heat. This is accomplished by soaking into the bandage and causing the rest of the bandage to sink deeper so that it does not show on the surface. This is accomplished by removing the bandage, which will remove the stain.

5. How To Remove Oil Stains From Concrete With Trichlorethylene

Finally, a fifth approach involves soaking a bandage with trichloroethylene, an industrial solvent that is mainly used to clean grease from metal parts and is sold online. It is a chemical that is also found in glue, paint remover, and spot removers.

6. The Best Way To Remove Oil Stains From Concrete Using A Commercial Degreasing Product

Usually, one of the most effective ways to get rid of oil stains on your driveway is to apply a store-bought degreaser directly to the stains.

It is important to note that these products are specially formulated to remove even the toughest of oil and grease stains from commercial, industrial, and residential concrete surfaces. With the use of a high quality degreaser, you will be able to make oil stains the thing of the past in your home.

If you are going to use a degreaser, make sure you put on a pair of protective gloves first. This type of product is notorious for leaving hands and other areas of skin that it touches with a dry, sore feeling to the touch.

There is an easy way to apply liquid formula products. Simply apply the product over the stain and leave it to soak for about 15 to 30 minutes. To remove the oil and rinse the product away, use a bristle scrub brush to remove the oil.

There may be a few applications of the product necessary to fully remove stubborn oil stains, so make sure you have enough of the product to continue this process several times.

In the event that you are using a particularly potent commercial-grade degreaser, you may want to scrub the stain with a broom or a long, stiff brush, and keep yourself away from the odor of the substance.

You may also want to try using a pressure washer to wash down the area, in order to guarantee that the area is as thoroughly cleaned as possible. It is of utmost importance that the spray is moved around the area at an even pace, while maintaining a constant distance between the nozzle and the concrete at all times. By doing this, you can prevent any further streaking or marks from appearing on your concrete surfaces.

7. A Basic Guide On How To Remove Oil Stains From Concrete By Using Baking Soda

There is no doubt that baking soda is one of the most useful household products to have on hand-not just for using in the kitchen for baking, but also for a number of cleaning uses.

There is no difference between baking soda and oil stains on concrete surfaces when it comes to baking soda being useful. In spite of this, it is best to keep in mind that fresh oil stains are the easiest ones to lift and remove with baking soda, although you can use the mixture on older stains as well.

To apply the baking soda, simply sprinkle it liberally across the whole stain and allow it to rest for about fifteen minutes. After that, add some dish soap over the top of it to form a paste, then scrub this with a firm brush for several minutes to remove it.

It is important to scrub the concrete in a circular motion so as not to scratch it, and then thoroughly rinse. This should be repeated if necessary.

8. The Best Way To Remove Oil Stains From Concrete With Cat Litter

It is great to use cheap cat litter to treat areas, not only when oil has already formed a stain, but to also remove any excess oil that has not yet penetrated completely into the concrete. This method is primarily useful for cleaning up stains that are less than a year old however.

It is advisable to spread a liberal amount of cat litter over the area affected by the stain, including any fresh drops of oil that can be seen on the surface. If you can, use your shoes or the back of a shovel to grind in the particles, while being careful not to damage the concrete.

You should let this sit for at least 10 to 12 hours for the oil to fully absorb and remove the stain. In this case, you can use a trowel or shovel to remove the cat litter and dispose of it safely. If it hasn’t been removed completely, you should notice at least a difference in size in the stain if it hasn’t been removed.

If you apply cat litter repeatedly to a fresh stain, this should eventually soak it up, although you might need to use a different method if it does not completely remove it.

9. How To Remove Oil Stains From Concrete With Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is not only a refreshing drink on a hot day, but it is also a great cleaner for concrete, among other household uses. Pour yourself a glass of soda, then head out to the problem area with the rest of the soda.

Ensure that you completely cover the stain with Coca-Cola by pouring a good amount over it. Then, add a liberal dose of dishwashing soap over top and scrub it all in with a bristle brush for several minutes.

Mixing the acid present in Coca-Cola with the degreasing agent in dishwashing soap should lift and break down the oil molecules on the concrete, allowing you to rinse it off after scrubbing.

10. The Best Way To Remove Oil Stains From Concrete Using Laundry Detergent

In addition to acting as a combination of dishwashing soap and baking soda, any brand of laundry detergent powder can also be used to remove oil stains from your concrete surfaces.

The best way to apply powdered laundry detergent is to spread a generous layer of it over the entire surface of the oil stain, even going a little bit beyond the boundaries to ensure full coverage.

It is then necessary to sprinkle over just a small amount of water-enough to form a thick paste, but not enough to make it totally liquid. In order to avoid the ratio from becoming out of control, it is important to add small amounts of water at a time since powdered laundry detergent tends to absorb water quickly.

After you have reached the paste consistency, grab your scrub brush and begin sweeping your brush in circular motions across the entire oil stain. Allow the mixture to sit on the stain for one or two hours, then rinse it off and repeat the steps until the stain has disappeared from the problem area.

Other Methods

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There may be a need for a different approach if the stain has been on the concrete for a long time. Occasionally, you may encounter this problem if you clean the driveway or parking area where a vehicle with a leaky oil gasket has been parked for quite a while.

In this particular case, the concrete repair institute suggests using mineral spirits, also called paint thinner. It is imperative that you cover the stained area with an absorbent material such as cat litter after saturating it with the solvent.

It is recommended that the stain be left overnight before sweeping up the absorbent material and taking a closer look at it. This process must be repeated until the stain has disappeared. In order to remove dried-on oil stains, scrubbing with trisodium phosphate can also be helpful.

Instead of using elbow grease alone, you might want to mix the trisodium phosphate with cat litter or diatomaceous earth and apply it to the stain instead.

Allow it to sit overnight to dissolve and absorb the oil, then wash it off with water the next morning. In order to remove any discoloration on the concrete surface, you can bleach it as the last step. To do this, you can use regular laundry bleach and thoroughly rinse it afterward.

Final Thoughts

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The presence of an oil stain on your concrete is sometimes unavoidable. No matter what you’re doing, you’re going to get splatters, whether you’re changing your car’s oil or working on another project! It might even be possible to remove stains left behind by a previous owner from the house.

As a result, there are several options for cleaning up the mess and preventing the stain from spreading or remaining.

Your garage, driveway, or other concrete surface areas can look brand new in no time by removing oil stains as they happen, or dealing with settled stains as soon as possible.

The following are some of the tools and products homeowners and DIY-ers can use to effectively and easily remove oil stains from concrete surfaces, including household products like baking soda or dish soap, as well as commercial products like degreasers and tri-sodium phosphate.

If you are needing any oil stains removed or pressure washing and you’re in our service areas, please let us know how a professional company such as Diamond Pro Wash can help you today! Chelsea, AL – Homewood, AL – Hoover, AL – Irondale, AL – Leeds, AL – Meadowbrook, AL – Mountain Brook, AL – Pelham, AL – Vestavia Hills, AL – Westover, AL – Pinson, AL – Moody, AL – Fultondale, AL – Brook Highland, AL – Columbiana, AL – Center Point, AL – McCalla, AL – Helena, AL

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