It can happen to anyone—you’re adding more oil to your car, lawnmower, or snowblower, and you accidentally spill some on your driveway. Perhaps you order a pizza, and while you’re paying the delivery person, their car leaks oil on your pavement. Now what?
There are ways to remove fresh oil spills and set-in stains from asphalt and concrete driveways. To keep your driveway looking new and clean, follow our removal tips as soon as you notice a stain on your driveway. Keep reading to learn how to clean asphalt and concrete pavement.
The Various Ways Oil Stains Can Occur
As seen in our examples, oil stains on your driveway can come about from many different sources. Most often, oil stains on driveways come from engine or transmission leaks from idling cars and motorcycles. In other cases, oil stains can be due to the following:
- Industrial processes that use oil-based materials
- Oil leakage from machinery malfunctions
- Outdoor products that require oil (lawnmowers, chainsaws, etc.)
- Oil leakage from natural causes
- Accidents caused by improper storage of oil
No matter the reason for the stain on your driveway, it’s vital to be prepared to fully remove it in a timely fashion.
Why Do Stains Need to Be Removed from My Driveway?
It’s incredibly important to remove oil stains from your concrete or asphalt driveway. If these stains are not removed quickly, they can seep further into your pavement, causing more permanent damage to your driveway in the long run. This can include a stain that is nearly impossible to remove, as well as the potential softening of your asphalt driveway in some cases.
To eliminate the cause of these issues at the source, check out the recommendations from our comprehensive, informational guide today.
Tools for Cleaning Your Driveway
First, get started by collecting the tools and materials you’ll need to remove tough stains from your driveway’s pavement, including:
- Kitty litter, baking soda, or cornstarch
- Stiff-bristle brush
- Biodegradable oven cleaner or diatomaceous earth
- Garden hose
How to Clean Asphalt Driveways
If you have a motor oil, gasoline, or transmission fluid stain on your asphalt, soak up as much of the fresh spill as possible with an absorbent product—try kitty litter, baking soda, or cornstarch. Allow the product to absorb the stain for a few hours, then sweep up the excess and discard it.
While kitty litter or baking soda removes strong odors and fresh spills, it may not completely remove oil that has soaked into the asphalt. If a stain persists, use a stiff brush to scrub a mixture of liquid dishwashing soap, baking soda, and water into the stain. Use a garden hose on the highest setting to rinse the area.
What to Do With Tricky Asphalt Driveway Stains
Luckily, many driveway stains aren’t permanent. The quicker you spot a stain, the easier it will be to remove. However, old paint or grease stains may be harder to remove completely. For these stains, try sealing your asphalt driveway with INTEGRA-SEAL® asphalt sealer for a fresh, black finish.
Browse our products to learn more.
How to Clean Concrete Driveways
While asphalt’s dark color hides dirt and stains well, concrete is different. Both light in color and porous, concrete has tiny holes that easily soak up spills. To remove an oil or solvent stain on concrete pavement, use an oven-cleaning product. Alternatively, for large spills, you may want to apply diatomaceous earth.
Spray the oven cleaner or cover the stain with diatomaceous earth and scrub the area with a stiff-bristle brush. Allow the solution to soak up the stain for 30 minutes. Finally, use a garden hose to rinse the area. If the stain remains, allow the area to dry and repeat the process.
FAQs – Your Oil Stain Questions, Answered
Along with our tips for removing oil stains from your asphalt or concrete, our team wanted to answer some of the most frequently asked questions we get so you can go into your cleanup project fully prepared. Read on to learn more.
Are there any environmentally friendly ways to remove oil from the pavement?
Yes! For those wanting an environmentally friendly alternative in an oil removal project, consider using bioremediation products or degreasers that advertise as environmentally friendly for the best results.
How do I clean an oil stain that has been sitting for a longer period?
If you are dealing with an oil stain that has been sitting for a long time, it can be hard to fully remove it all at once. In this case, try using a stronger oil stain remover, repeat the process more than once, or even consult professional cleaning services that can help solve your issue.
Can a pressure washer be used to remove oil stains from my driveway?
For fresh stains, a pressure washer can be used to remove the existing oil from your driveway.
If you plan on using a pressure washer for your oil removal project, make sure that you do not apply too much pressure during the process. This can potentially damage your asphalt or concrete driveway, especially if your pavement is known to have preexisting oil damage.
Are baking soda and vinegar good alternatives for removing oil stains?
Though these products are more readily available in your home, they are usually only best suited for smaller stains and not stains that are older or larger. If you are dealing with a more substantial oil stain on your driveway, our team recommends using the products we listed above for more definitive results.
How Can I Prevent Future Oil Stains on My Driveway?
Once you have followed the necessary steps to remove an oil stain from your driveway, it is important to ensure that you also follow the necessary precautions to make sure it does not come back. That is why our team has put together of list of tips to keep in mind:
- Inspect your vehicles for leaks often, and perform maintenance in a time-sensitive manner
- Consider conducting oil changes and routine maintenance in a space other than your driveway
- If your car is dripping oil, put a drip pan or absorbent mat underneath it while parked
By following these steps, you can mitigate the need to remove oil stains from your pavement.
Contact Our Team Today for More Information
If you’re looking for pavement repair or preservation materials for your driveway, our team at UNIQUE Paving Materials is here to help you find the perfect product to satisfy your project expectations.
Have any questions about oil stain removal or asphalt and concrete repair? If so, please contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you!