What to Do About Oil Splatters on the Driveway

Every homeowner knows the importance of curb appeal and works hard to improve their property's exterior. However, motor oil, gasoline, and other fluids used in your vehicles can leave unsightly stains on your driveway and sidewalks if they aren't cleaned up regularly. We've figured out what

Every homeowner knows the importance of curb appeal and works hard to improve their property's exterior. However, motor oil, gasoline, and other fluids used in your vehicles can leave unsightly stains on your driveway and sidewalks if they aren't cleaned up regularly.

We've figured out what causes oil stains on concrete and compiled a list of solutions that will have your driveway, sidewalks, and garage floor looking better than they ever have before.


Oil stains on concrete can be caused by a wide variety of fluids, and they are typically not easy to remove. However, removing an oil stain from your driveway requires knowing the type of oil stain you're dealing with. The most typical liquids that discolor concrete are as follows:

Gasoline

If you notice a gasoline spill on your driveway, don't delay in taking your vehicle in for service. When refueling a lawnmower or other gas-powered vehicle that isn't typically refueled at the pump, be cautious to avoid spills. To prevent fires and environmental damage, gasoline spills must be cleaned up without delay.

Engine oil

It's probably time to take your car in for service if you notice a transmission fluid stain in the driveway. Red transmission fluid leaks from the center of your vehicle. Transmission fluid becomes more difficult to remove from concrete the longer it is left there.

Common ice-melting supplies include rock salt.

In spite of preventing potentially dangerous slips and falls on icy surfaces during the winter, the use of snow removal salt can leave unsightly stains on concrete after the snow has melted and the water has drained away.

Motor oil

Any vehicle with an oil leak in the engine should be attended to immediately. Even though oil can be easily cleaned from a concrete driveway, it can cause significant damage if tracked inside and left there.

Removing Oil Stains from Concrete

An Upbeat Update In order to get rid of an oil stain on a driveway, you don't have to resort to purchasing expensive, dangerous, or environmentally hazardous chemicals.

Wet oil stains require absorbents like cat litter or dirt to remove the stain completely. Dry, set-in stains on your driveway or sidewalk can be more difficult to remove and may require more than one pass with a pressure washer. The following are instructions for removing old oil stains from concrete:

Cat litter can be used to absorb oil spills.

Use kitty litter first on a fresh oil stain. Take a cloth and soak up the excess oil, and then do the following:

  1. Spread kitty litter over the affected area so that it completely covers the stain.
  2. If the stain is small, let the kitty litter sit for 30 minutes; if it's big, leave it there overnight.
  3. Remove the cat litter by sweeping it up.
  4. Use a bristle brush and some detergent (laundry or dish) to remove the stain.
  5. Water rinse
  6. It can be said again if necessary.

Remove the stain from the concrete by using baking soda.

Baking soda can be used as an alternative to kitty litter in an emergency. It's highly absorbent, much like kitty litter, and it effectively removes excess moisture from its surroundings once applied. Just follow these easy steps to get rid of the oil stain with baking soda:

  1. If you have an oil stain on your driveway, use baking soda to remove the odor and the stain.
  2. For the next half an hour, let it sink in.
  3. Scrub the stain with a bristle brush to remove it.
  4. Get rid of the baking soda by rinsing with fresh water.
  5. If necessary, rephrase

If the stain persists after using baking soda, you can try to remove it in the following ways:

Use a laundry detergent or dishwashing liquid

The cleaning power of laundry or dishwashing detergent is sufficient for use in outdoor cleanup as well. The oil stains on your driveway will be gone in no time with these two products:

  1. Soak the oil stain with some detergent (laundry or dish).
  2. Clean it with a stiff brush.
  3. Give the stain an hour to set.
  4. Use hot water to remove the stain.
  5. Do it again if the stain is still visible.

WD-40

You can use WD-40 to fix a squeaky door hinge or prevent frozen car locks, and it also works great to get rid of moisture in general. The following are instructions for using WD-40 on oil stains in a driveway:

  1. Put it on the whole stain.
  2. Use a brush with thick bristles to scrub at the stain.
  3. Water the area down to remove any debris.
  4. Use cat litter or baking soda to absorb the residue.

Apply a concrete cleaner.

If the absorbents and general purpose cleaners you tried on the oil stain in your driveway were unsuccessful, you can choose from a wide variety of commercial cleaners formulated to remove oil stains. Find a suitable cleaner by visiting a hardware store and inquiring about their inventory.

When you're done working on a concrete surface that has other stains and debris, you might want to give it a good pressure washing. Don't give up hope of getting rid of those unsightly stains on your own; call in the pros instead.

Want to learn more about how to keep your house in good condition? Keep the things you've worked so hard for in tip-top shape with the help of our home maintenance hub's many useful tools and guides.  

Make sure your house and money are safe.

Make sure you give your home, family, and property the same care and attention you gave to cleaning up the oil stains on the driveway, sidewalks, garage, and other concrete around your home. One way to do this is to get a homeowners insurance policy tailored to your specific needs, which may include provisions for things like accidental water damage and broken equipment.

Get the insurance policies you need and the service you deserve from your friendly and knowledgeable American Family Insurance agent. Put in a call or send an email today.

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