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How To Remove Oil Spots From Driveways: DIY Or Call The Pros?

car oil leak | remove oil spots from driveway

Learning how to remove oil spots from driveway floors can be tough. But it’s necessary if you want to have a clean driveway around your lot. Unfortunately, oil stains on driveway floors can be stubborn and hard to get rid of. You need the right tools and techniques to do it properly.


Household Products for Removing Oil Stains From Driveway

A lot of trial and error is necessary if you want to remove oil spots from driveway floors yourself. How well you can remove oil stains from driveway floors depends on the oil spilled. It also matters what material was used for the driveway. But, some common household products can clean oil stains well.


1. Cat Litter

Cleaning up oil spills as soon as they happen is vital to maintaining concrete. The first step is to remove what’s left of the oil that’s still wet. How do you do this? You may be able to remove oil spots from asphalt or concrete using cat litter.


This is effective because cat litter is absorbent and can soak up fresh spills quite well. It may take a few hours for it to soak up the whole thing, but it can help. However, it will only work if the litter is clay-based. 


2. Soda

After applying cat litter, you can use a few soda cans at room temperature. This is great for cleaning up residue that the cat litter didn’t pick up. Simply pouring and leaving the soda on the oil stain will help. Leave it for 20 minutes to a few hours. You can also use a bristle broom or scrub brush to let the soda penetrate the stain better.


3. Baking Soda

Baking soda is often known as a green or healthy cleaning agent. The chemicals in it can help remove dirt and grease. It’s abrasive enough to remove stains and mild enough not to harm the driveway. The best way to use baking soda is to apply it to the stain like an absorbent. Afterward, mixing it with water to form a paste is best. Then scrub it on the pavement to clean it. 


4. Powdered Detergent

Powdered laundry detergent can be effective in cleaning oil stains. Simply sprinkle it over the spill and add warm water to make a paste. Scrub the paste for two minutes and let it sit for 15 more minutes. Then scrub the area once more and rinse.


5. Oven Cleaner

You can spray oven cleaner over transmission stains and grease oil to clean them. Simply let the oven cleaner sit for 10 minutes and then scrub to rinse it off. However, remember to be careful with non-biodegradable oven cleaners, which can harm garden beds. 


6. WD-40

wd40 | remove oil spots from driveway

The ingredients in WD-40 can penetrate grease and act as a decent pavement oil stain remover. Spray a generous amount of it on the stain and let it stay for 20 minutes. Then wipe the spot clean with a towel.


7. Concrete Degreaser or Cleaner

If you want to remove oil spots from concrete, a concrete cleaner or degreaser should do the trick. It lifts stains well. In fact, it may even remove older, more challenging to remove stains when used together with cat litter.


How To Remove Oil Spots From Driveway

Now that you know which products to use, it’s time to get into the actual cleaning process. Here are three methods for how to remove oil spots from asphalt driveway pavements. 


Method #1

  • Cover the stain with sand, cornstarch, baking soda, cornmeal, or clay cat litter for spills that are still wet. Let these absorb the oil before they fully soak the cement.
  • After the spill dries, sweep the absorbent and wet the stain using water. If the stain is already set in, spray it using water.
  • Make a paste using baking soda and water to spread on the stain. Then get a stiff brush or broom and begin scrubbing the area. 
  • Rinse the pavement with a hose and then let the stain air dry.

Method #2

  • Spray lubricant over the driveway stain and then rinse it off with water.
  • Mix powdered laundry detergent and water to create a paste. Put the paste on the stain and let it sit.
  • Scrub the paste with a brush or broom. Rinse it with water afterward.
  • Use a grease-cutting dish detergent and a stiff broom to scrub the stain. 
  • Spray the spot with a microbial stain remover. Clean the area later using soap and water

Method #3

This method is particularly useful if you want to remove transmission fluid stains. These stains are unique and can leave a light-colored stain on the concrete.


  • Spray the stain using an oven cleaner. Let the oven cleaner sit for around 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Get a stiff brush and scrub the stain. Rinse it afterward with a high-pressure hose.
  • Repeat the process to remove the stain.

Why Should You Get Rid of Oil Spots From Driveway Floors? 

Learning how to remove oil stains from the driveway can be difficult. As such, many people simply ignore oil stains and choose not to clean them. But, removing the oil stains is always a good idea if you don’t want long-term issues.


That’s because oil stains can damage asphalt over time. These stains can make the asphalt soft and more prone to damage. It will also deteriorate much faster than normal, causing cracks and holes to form. Even if the driveway is made of concrete, oil stains can destabilize the driveway and cause damage over time. 


Oil slicks can also cause accidents. That’s because they are slippery and can easily cause collisions. Leaving them might lead a driver to lose control of the vehicle and hit nearby structures, people, or other cars.


The Best Method

It’s not hard to remove oil spots from driveway pavements when freshly spilled. Many household products can get the job done but are imperfect. Sometimes, they aren’t enough to completely clean the stain off. If the driveway oil stains are old or simply stubborn, it’s best to seek help from a professional cleaner.