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How to Remove Old Oil Stains From a Driveway: 6 Creative Ways

Car Oil Spill_shutterstock_NONGASIMO

Oil, gas, and transmission fluids can often leave unsightly, dark stains on your driveway that can be extremely stubborn to remove. The size of the stain and how long it has been ton the driveway will determine how difficult it is to remove. It is important to remove the oil spills on the concrete immediately, and the faster you respond to the situation, the easier it will be to remove.

Fortunately, there are several methods that you can use to remove these black oil spots regardless of the age of the stains.. See below for creative and easy DIY cleaning tips.

car and road divider


Before you make the first step in removing oil stains from a driveway, you must choose the right cleaning solution. Cleaning an oil stain should not break your budget, and there are many products that you probably already have in your own home.

You can experiment with different solutions to see what works best for your stain. While you are cleaning, don’t forget to keep in mind that a concrete or asphalt driveway can withstand substantially heavy scrubbing—no need to hold back!

cleaning products
Image Credit: Michael-T, Pixabay

The 6 Ways for Removing Old Oil Stains From a Driveway

1. Cat litter

Cat litter is made of highly absorbent material and is effective in removing oil stains. Before scrubbing the spot, it is important to absorb the excess oil, and cat litter is perfect for this. Depending on how fresh the stain is, cat litter by itself may be enough to soak everything up.

  • Pour the cat litter (sawdust can also be used) onto the stain and allow it to sit for half an hour. If the stain is large, the litter should sit longer.
  • Sweep up the litter with a broom.
  • Use a bristled brush and detergent to scrub the remaining spot clean.
  • Rinse and repeat if necessary.

2. Laundry Detergent

scoop of detergent
Image Credit: karunasanghvi, Pixabay

Powdered laundry detergent works better than the pricier liquids. Although detergent is not as caustic as other cleaners, it’s best to wear gloves when scrubbing the stain.

  • Sprinkle powdered laundry detergent over the oil spill.
  • Carefully apply warm water over the laundry detergent until it forms a paste.
  • Scrub the spot with a bristled brush.
  • Allow the paste to sit for 15 minutes.
  • Scrub the spot one last time and rinse away with clean, warm water.

3. Oven Cleaner

Oven cleaner is an effective solvent, but it can produce strong fumes. Use a mask, eye protection, and gloves when you apply the chemical.

  • Spray the oil area with oven cleaner and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Use a hard bristled brush to scrub it clean.
  • Rinse with clean, warm water.
  • Repeat the process until the spot is removed.

4. Coca-Cola

Image Credit: Artem Beliaikin, Unsplash

Carbonated cola can remove oil stains with time, and you can buy a generic brand to save money.

  • Coat the entire stain in Coke.
  • Allow it to sit for a day.
  • Rinse with water.
  • Repeat as needed.

5. Baking Soda

A baking soda mixutre is one of the most affordable methods, and it does not have to sit very long before you scrub it.

  • Sprinkle the baking soda on the oil stain and let it sit for approximately 15 minutes.
  • Add dish soap and enough water to make a paste mixed with the baking soda.
  • Scrub with a bristled brush for several minutes.
  • Rinse with water.
  • Repeat as needed.

6. Concrete Cleaner or Degreaser


If you need a more aggressive approach to removing longer-term oil stains, your local hardware store will have a concrete cleaner or degreaser. Using a power washer in these tough situations is also a good idea.

car and road divider

Prevention and Last-minute Tips

  • Have your car serviced regularly to avoid excessive oil dripping.
  • Never allow water to sit on an oil-stained area, as it could lead to the water soaking through the surface and penetrating the concrete.
  • Do not use bleach to remove stains.It can discolor your concrete.
  • Seal your driveway with a product that will resist the oil, such as a concrete driveway sealer.

Featured Image Credit: NONGASIMO, Shutterstock


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