How to Remove Oil Stains from a Concrete Drive

How to Remove Oil Stains from a Concrete Drive

Article Summary: If you haven’t got a concrete driveway with existing oil stains I’m sure at some stage or other a friend will drive up with a car that leaks oil all over it. This article tells you how to effectively clean up that nasty oil from your drive.
Small Stains
Depending on the severity of the stain, you may be able to get away with using fairly primitive tools and equipment. This may be a slightly labor-intensive method of cleaning up oil stains but it is the most cost effective method of dealing with them. We’ll take a look at how to deal with both small oil stains, and large ones.

The acronym, KISS (keep it simple silly) sums up the cleaning process. There is a pretty good chance that any small oil stains can be effectively dealt with using nothing more than very hot water, detergent and a steel brush. Simply apply the neat detergent to the affected area and scrub with the steel brush to remove the oil. After, wash away using a hose and if necessary, repeat until the stain has gone.

Large Stains

If you have stains that are either large or have been existing for some time, the best course of action is to purchase a degreaser. These liquid products work by attaching themselves to the oil molecules and “digesting” them. It is then simply a matter of washing the affected area with a hosepipe. Another benefit is that the oil/chemical mixture is biodegradable and doesn’t pollute as much as the neat oil. None of these products will damage the concrete surface in any way.

Degreaser Application

All degreasing products will have their own manufacturer’s instruction, so follow them and you won’t go far wrong. These are general instructions for use:

1. Apply the degreaser product neat to the affected area of the concrete floor.

2. Leave for the recommended time period (usually between 3 – 10 minutes).

3. Work the affected area vigorously with a stiff brush (preferably a steel brush).

4. Leave again for between 5 and 10 minutes.

5. Wash away using either a hosepipe or even better, a pressure washer device.

6. If the stain is still visible, wait until the area is perfectly dry and repeat the process again.

Whatever you do, don’t leave the degreaser on the concrete too long or it will dry out and you will simply have another stain to content with!

Also, oil stains have a habit of reappearing. So after one application you may well think that you have a clean driveway, only to see the same stain reappear the next day. This is because oil can seep into the concrete, depending on the concrete’s hardness. All you can do is to keep repeating the process and eventually you will remove all the oil.

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