Whether your car sprung a leak or you spilled gasoline while filling up the lawn mower or snow blower, it can be easy for your driveway to end up with a few stains. Oil, transmission fluid and gasoline can leave behind spots that make your driveway or garage floor look greasy or discolored.
Regardless of whether a spot is new or old, follow these steps to help remove automotive stains from your paved driveway or uncoated concrete garage floor.
How to Remove Oil Stains
Oil can leave a dark stain on pavement, but you may be able to clean even stubborn spots out of your driveway. Good Housekeeping suggests following these steps to get oil stains out of your driveway or garage floor:
- If the spill is still wet, cover the stain with clay cat litter, sand, cornmeal, cornstarch or baking soda. This will help absorb the oil before it soaks into the cement.
- Once the spill has dried, sweep up the absorbent material. Then, wet the stain with water. If it’s a set-in stain, start the removal process by spraying the stain with water.
- Use a stiff brush, such as a broom, and scrub the area with a paste made of baking soda and water.
- Use a hose to rinse the pavement clean. Let it air dry.
Some other possible solutions include:
- Covering the stain with spray lubricant and then rinsing with water, says Reader’s Digest.
- Putting a paste of powdered laundry detergent and water on the stain, says BobVila.com. After letting it sit, scrub it with a broom or brush and rinse the spot off with water.
- Scrubbing the stain with a grease-cutting dish detergent and a stiff broom, according to BobVila.com.
- Spraying the oil spot with a microbial stain remover, says The Spruce. This type of stain remover is biodegradable, and you can later clean the area with soap and water.
How to Remove Transmission Fluid Stains
Transmission fluid spills or leaks may leave a bright red stain on light-colored concrete. Here are some suggested steps for removing the stain from Reader’s Digest:
- Spray the stain with oven cleaner and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Use a stiff brush to scrub the spot. Then, rinse with a hose at its highest pressure.
- If the stain is still there, repeat the process.
How to Remove Gasoline Stains
Spilled gasoline not only leaves stains on your paved driveway, but it will likely leave an odor you’ll want to neutralize. BobVila.com recommends the following tips for cleaning a gasoline spill and removing the resulting stain:
- For a fresh spill:
- Cover spill with an absorbent material, such as cat litter. Wait a few hours for it to soak up the gasoline.
- Scoop up the soiled litter or absorbent material, and sweep the area. (Talk to your local fire department or local waste management about how to properly dispose of the soaked material.)
- Once you’ve cleaned the spill:
- Mix a moisture absorbent powder, such as cornstarch or diatomaceous earth (which can typically be found at home improvement and pool supply stores) into a liquid trisodium phosphate (TSP) cleaner to create a thick paste. (Be sure to wear protective eyewear and gloves while using TSP.)
- Spread the paste over the stain and use a stiff brush to work it into the concrete.
- Spread another thin layer of paste over the stain. Wait until it dries fully.
- Scrape off the dried paste with a putty knife, and then rinse the area with a hose.
- For older or stubborn stains, repeat this process.
Spills happen, but they don’t have to leave a permanent reminder on your driveway or garage floor. These simple tips may help you get most automotive stains out of your pavement or cement flooring.