How to Remove Oil Stains from a Concrete Floor

oil stained concrete and asphalt
Oil stains are unsightly but can be cleaned with a little effort. Fotolia markd800

Removing oil stains from your concrete garage floor or driveway is easier than you think. This tutorial shows you different ways to clean an asphalt or concrete floor or driveway with simple household materials. A stained driveway or garage floor looks poor and can detract form an otherwise beautiful home.

A quick note is to make sure to correct the offending vehicle leak first and then you can tackle cleaning the oil stain.


Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 30 Minutes

Here's How:

  1. Prep ASAP!: Time is not on your side so the sooner you start removing the oil from concrete, the better as it provides less time for the stain to set. It is good practice to start by blotting as much oil as you can with paper towels.
     
  2. Cat Litter: Sprinkle inexpensive absorptive cat litter on the stain making sure to cover the oil stain thoroughly. Crush and grind the litter into the oil stain with your shoes. Let set for an hour then sweep up and safely discard. For very heavy stains let the kitty litter set overnight after crushing, then sweep and dispose. Wash with a heavy duty detergent soap and stiff brush and then rinse. Repeat as necessary.
     
  3. TSP: Using phosphate free TSP cleaner (Tri Sodium Phosphate), create a gallon of cleaner by mixing one cup of TSP with one gallon of hot water. Wearing eye protection and rubber gloves, pour the TSP onto the oil stain and let it soak in for 20-30 minutes. Then scrub with a plastic bristled brush and rinse with a hose. Repeat if needed.
     
  1. WD40: This common household lubricant has been known to clean oil stains as well (part urban legend and part truth). Spray on generously and let the solvent soak into the oil for 15 minutes. Wipe up with paper towels or a rag. Wash with a heavy duty detergent soap and stiff brush and then rinse. Repeat as necessary.
     
  1. Paint Thinner and Sawdust: Mix sawdust with paint thinner until it is damp, then spread the soaked sawdust over the stain. Let it soak into the oil stain for 20 minutes. Sweep up the sawdust and reapply if necessary.
     
  2. Microbial Oil Stain Removal: Use a biodegradable microbial oil stain remover such as  EATOILS BT200™ which will use micro-organisms to actually eat the oil and grease away.


Tips:

  1. Get to the oil stains as fast as possible. The longer they soak in, the harder to remove.
  2. Make sure the cat litter you use is very absorptive.
  3. Try the multiple approaches to removing oil stains listed above if the stain is persistent.