Removing Oil Stains from Concrete

by Amy Gordon
(last updated November 24, 2014)

Oil marks under your car are a bad sign, but not just because they mean you have to fix your car. Here are a couple of methods you can try which will get some of that oil out.

As soon as you can after the stain has formed, start with kitty litter or sawdust. The sooner you deal with the stain, the more success you will have with getting rid of it. Pour the kitty litter or sawdust over the oil stain, covering the stain. Cover the kitty litter or sawdust with an unopened garbage bag or other sheet of plastic, and weigh down the plastic at the corners and on top. Leave this for a day or two. Sweep up the kitty litter or sawdust and throw it out. Because the material has absorbed grease or oil, it cannot be reused.

The next step is to get out the oil that has sunk in deeper. For this step, pour dry concrete over the stain. Cover the dry concrete with a plastic sheet or garbage bag and weigh down the corners of the plastic. Again, leave the concrete to set for a day or two. When you sweep the concrete up, be very careful that you sweep up all of the dry concrete—you don't want any of the concrete to go down the drain the next time you hose down your garage or driveway.

Another method you could try is to spray the stain with oven cleaner. Choose a heavy-duty oven cleaner, spray the area, and again cover it with a plastic sheet or garbage bag. Weigh or tape down the corners of the plastic. Leave the cover on for a day, and then remove it and scrub the area with a rag.

If the oil stain is very fresh (still wet to the touch), you can scrub the stain away using a mixture of dish soap and water. The dish soap will emulsify the oil, letting the water wash it away. Mix the dish soap and water, and wet the entire stain as well as the area around the stain. Use a scrub brush (not a wire brush) to scrub at the stained area until you've lathered the soap up well. Soak up the oil, dish soap, and water with paper towels or kitty litter to stop the oily mess from going down the drain.

If your car is still leaking oil, putting an oil pan under the car may help to prevent future stains. You could also treat the concrete in your driveway and garage with a sealant, so that the concrete does not absorb oil.

Author Bio

Amy Gordon

Amy Gordon loves keeping things simple, natural, and safe so she can spend more time having fun. Every day she learns new things about making life at home easier and she loves to share it with you! ...

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